Friday, February 25, 2011

REVIEW: Love is the End by phoebes.promise

Summary from
If he had only spoken the right words at the right time she would be his forever. Instead, they ache, love and long for each other in silence. A bittersweet love story desperately searching for a happily ever after. E/B, AH, M.

Every now and again I read a story that grips my heart and doesn't let go. This happened to me with this story. My Twi Posse pals @RTP4ME and @livindol recommended this fic that I'm obsessing over like I did for Dead on my Feet. I crave updates like a hooker craves a feminine wipe.

This story tells the history of Bella and Edward's love from primarily Edward's POV in a series of nonchronological flashbacks interwoven into the present day narrative starting with a prologue that's painful to read.
"Do you make love to her, Edward?" She whispered in the darkness.
I stilled my fingers that were stroking the smooth, delicate skin on her naked back as she lay across my chest.
"Answer me. Do you make love to your…wife?" Her voice trailed off at the last word.
Bella and Edward are lovers desperately in love. Widow Bella and married Edward are brought together once again at Hale House to remember their mutual friend Angela, who has died tragically. Because their lives have revolved around the same band of friends, their clandestine couplings take place around significant life events that bring the crew together.
I knew we were already vacillating between mourning and loving. It was a complicated conflict that only we understood. We'd mastered our reunions around the guise of funerals, weddings, christenings, and holidays.
Whether intentional or not, this story pays homage to the movie The Big Chill, and I highly recommend watching said movie- perhaps the best casting in a ensemble movie ever.

Wusspervs BEWARE! I have teared up or downright wept during each chapter just like I do reading Expectations and Other Moving Pieces. The following passage takes place while Bella is holding Angela's baby girl:
I rocked and soothed Leah in her moonlit nursery. I traced her tiny features and watched her rapid breaths. "If your mommy was here, she'd guide my heart… She was very good at that. She'd remind me how much Edward loves me, how much he always loved me… How we'll be okay." My whispers were met with peace and slumber. I dusted a goodnight kiss over her forehead and laid her down. "But your mommy's not here… anymore, beautiful girl."
This is not a secretive infidelity, nearly everyone knows that Edward and Bella are in love and having an affair. All their friends and families know. Bella's deceased husband knew before he died. Even Lauren, Edward's ex-beauty queen wife, suspects Edward has someone on the side, though she hasn't figured out who it is. Some are supportive and some are not, and this creates additional stress on this couple trying to find a way to be together when all the cards are stacked against them.

The characterizations here are rich. From Renee's drinking problem, to Lauren's vapid personality, you will get these people; they are real. And speaking of Lauren, I find myself truly feeling very sorry for this character. She has done nothing to deserve Edward's betrayal.

If I started quoting my favorite passages from this fic I would be here all day. This is one that I can't get out of my head.
"You make love to your beautiful wife, in your beautiful home, in your beautiful life… You know what I do, Edward?" She whispered away from me. "I lay in the guest room, in the dark… touching myself, thinking about you… remembering you... missing you." Her tears fell, her words penetrated.

"My life is not beautiful, Bella." I said quietly, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.

"Do you love her?" She faced me, eyes seeking truth.
The following line had me realizing for the 2,543,907th time what separates people who write from writers:
"Talk to me…" She pulled away to see my face. Gently, her fingers traced along my cheekbones, down my jaw and covered my mouth, again. She shook her head, no. Denial was a dangerous evil easily mistaken for survival.
The author admits that there will be more torture before the promised HEA. I understand many of you will want to wait until it's complete to read. I will tweet when it's complete so you won't have to live in agony for updates like myself...Now where's that feminine wipe?

 If you like angst please give this story a read and tell phoebes.promise I sent you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

COMMENTARY: Fanfiction has taken over my fucking life!

I used to clean one or more rooms of my house everyday. This rarely happens anymore. It's presentable, but don't look too closely. This is not to say I've conquered my OCD about the house being clean, but the draw to read fanfiction overrides the draw to clean my house obsessively. That means I am stressing about my house looking like shit (because in my eyes it does), but I continue reading. Is there a pill for this?

I used to watch TV and Netflix movies. Yup, that's now a thing of the past. And since I'm the sugar-mama around here, it chaps my ass that I pay the DirecTV and Netflix bills and I don't even watch TV. My RL friends think I'm whacked because I haven't seen Modern Family or Glee. Meh. What-the-fuck-ever.

I used to read magazines like Living the Country Life, Better Homes & Gardens, and Midwest Living. I still subscribe to them but I haven't read an issue in months. I recently started going through the Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma catalogs. Get this - I had stopped looking at those when they came in the mail and that's just fucking crazy! I love those stores!

I used to be my neighborhood's answer to Martha Stewart. In the summer of 2009 I had a fabulous garden filled with tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, herbs, garlic, peas, beans, carrots, rhubarb, and other stuff I can't recall. Some of these veggies, like the tomatoes and herbs, I started from seed with grow lights and whatnot. I made pies and canned salsa. In the summer of 2010 AFF (after fanfiction), I planted 7 tomato plants and weeded once. I did read a lot of fanfiction on the deck while sipping wine or martinis.

Our family went camping in August 2010. I brought along the laptop and wireless internet aircard so I could read fanfiction. What is a vacation on the beach if you're not reading your favorite stories? I also learned that it's tough reading a laptop while lying in the sun; that damn screen just isn't bright enough. I'm definitely getting an e-reader before next summer!

I now plan my vacation days around meeting my fellow Twitards and fich00rs. I have been to Forks once and am going back in September. Can't. Fucking. Wait. And yes, I'll be gone on my wedding anniversary again. Sorry hubs, you understand right?

I could go on and on with this...How has your fanfiction addiction changed your life?

REVIEW: Starry Eyed Inside by Rochelle Allison

Summary from “High School Fictional. No one sends Bella into a tailspin quite like Edward Cullen... but can she make make him hers? The ups and downs and all arounds.”

Do you remember your first crush? That cute boy or girl who had you French kissing your hand for practice? Set in sunny Florida, Starry Eyed Inside by Rochelle Allison brings back those nostalgic feelings of first love. Bella, 14, falls for Edward at first sight.
 I … saw his face and that was it.
Squashed like a bug on the highway of love.
Just seeing him made my mouth go dry… my heart pound… my stomach clamp up.
Edward is a grade older. He drives. He’s gorgeous, “Sometimes he was just… in his own world, beautifully – and terribly –untouchable, my very own Jake Ryan or Jordan Catalano.” Bella thinks he’ll never notice her. She’s wrong. He attempts to fix her up with his friend Jake. Urgh! Also, it seems there’s always a girl hanging on Edward while Bella watches on wistfully. Fortunately, it’s not long before Edward catches on that Bella has a crush on him and he makes his move.
His lips were so soft and warm, and he tasted good, sweet and smoky. His tongue filled my mouth and I tightened up deep inside, my body wanting him in ways my brain wasn't even aware of just yet.
I love this Bella. She’s sweet and innocent without being immature or na├»ve. As told in first person, BPOV, we are privy to her dreamy thoughts. I assure you, Starry Eyed Inside is the perfect title for this story. I appreciate how Ms. Allison captures the shyness of being an underclassman tossed into the world of partying with the older crowd, you know, the cool juniors and seniors. I remember those times in my life.

Being a Twi-fanfic, the usual characters are present, however, Ms. Allison has given the characters her own twist, and it's an enjoyable change of pace. Alice, for example, is Maria Alice Pena. She has an older brother, Eleazar. She isn’t the pixie shopaholic characterized so often in fanfiction. Instead of being the talker, Alice is the listener. Bella states in chapter 1, “I'd talk and she'd listen.” Rose is Bella’s other close friend and is a “spoiled brat” as well as being the “prettiest girl I knew.” Early in the story the canon pairings begin to form as Rose takes notice of Edward’s older brother Emmett. Jessica and Lauren round out Bella’s girlfriends, but they aren’t major players.
I love Ms. Allison’s use of minor characters and how a simple sentence can describe their essence. For example, Eric Yorkie, who is “…both dorky and cool, the kind of kid who was on honor society but also knew how to fashion pot paraphernalia out of produce.” And Jake, he’s not the bad guy, he’s one of Edward’s best friends and has, “…an amazingly sharp, witty sense of humor.”
The story is angsty but not overwhelmingly so. The scene a few days after Bella and Edward’s first kiss is so well written. Poor Bella is certain that she was just another one in a long line of girls he kisses while drunk at a party. She also witnesses firsthand the jealousy of a catty bitch. It’s a month before they kiss again.
Edward is a mysterious character in the beginning. He is quiet and guarded with his feelings. Bella never quite knows where she stands with him. Then, just as their relationship heats up and she’s totally enamored with him, his partying ways catch up to him, threatening their relationship.

The plot spans a few year's time and I love how Bella matures over the course of this story. It is wonderful to see her blossom and develop confidence in herself, and especially how she conducts herself in terms of her relationships with others.

Currently at 24 chapters, Starry Eyed Inside is a must read for all the romantics in the fandom.