Welcome to a special authors’ review week of Fan Fiction Fridays, where today we ~ The FicSix ~ are thrilled to have joining us three talented fan fiction authors who are going to share with you a fic rec of their own!
*Review by Thimbles*
Something True ~ With too many secrets and a haunting past she’d love to forget, at seventeen, Bella is sure love doesn’t exist. College dropout Edward Cullen can’t seem to keep hold of love, or his music. A cottage, a lake, a tree, a muse, wrong choices, and heartache. How will these two cope with life and keep afloat? A daily word-prompt WitFit. Alternates between past and present. AH E/B
Rated: Fiction M – English – Angst/Romance – Bella & Edward – Chapters: 20 – Words: 37,557 – Reviews: 1,271 – Favs: 349 – Follows: 597 – Updated: 04-11-13 – Published: 03-15-13 – id: 9103200
Disclaimer: Not only do BelieveItOrNot and I write together on occasion, but she’s also one of my dearest friends—the 10000 miles between us be damned.
As the title implies, Something True is an exploration of truth and falsehood, secrets, rumours, gossip, what things are and what they seem to be. And more than that, it’s the story a young Bella seeking the answer to the question all of us must ask ourselves at some point—who am I? Am I more than the things I’ve done? Am I more than my mistakes and bad choices?
As a little girl, Bella understood secrets. Not the kind learned from others through whispers in ears as she promised not to tell a soul, but the kind that were somehow discovered, that became a true and unwanted part of her—shouts inside her heart that could never be let out. She knew how one secret could grow, stacking itself like a staircase in her mind. And she knew that the longer it went untold, the tighter it had to be locked up, and that if it was released, it would cause devastation and destruction.
Letting a secret like hers out could be like detonating a bomb.
Nobody taught her these things. She just knew. Like knowing if you open your mouth to talk your voice will come out; like knowing if you move one foot in front of the other, you’re walking.
Something True skips back and forward in time, moving between the past and the present with each chapter. Right from the first few chapters, the differences in Bella as we see her “now” and “then” are striking. We see her last winter, as a giggling Junior, holding her own with her friends. This summer, we meet a quiet, withdrawn Senior who is being shunned by almost everyone as taunts fly and rumours abound.
Because of the shift back and forth each chapter, we unravel the mystery of what has happened to change Bella so drastically piece by piece. In the “then” chapters, we watch Bella struggle to come to terms with her mother’s continuing affair. Her English teacher, Mr. Biers, gains her trust with his compliments and kindness, providing a shoulder to cry on and building her sense of self-worth as he ropes her in to grading papers and assisting other students. Vulnerable and somewhat disillusioned, let down by the adults in her life, Bella’s admiration quickly morphs into a crush. Riley—as he allows her to call him—doesn’t discourage her, and it doesn’t take very much before they tumble straight past the line of an acceptable teacher-student relationship.
This can’t end well. And it won’t.
We know from the outset that something will happen to leave present-day Bella a shell of herself, bitter and listless, counting down the days until she can escape from high school. Exactly what it was that’s happened, we can guess, though at this point in the story, we’re not quite sure.
It’s in these present day chapters that we really get to know Edward, too. In his own words, “Some people can be a lot of different things, you know? Maybe that’s why some people have a hard time deciding what to do, because they have a lot of choices. But that’s not me. I’m one thing. A composer. Not a student, not anything else.”
When we meet him, Edward is nursing a broken heart and a dying tree. He’s dropped out of college and is looking for inspiration—for his muse. Through the “now” chapters, we watch Bella and Edward’s friendship grow, their secrets slowly unburdened.
At the time I’m writing this—with eighteen of approximately twenty-five chapters posted—we’re seeing a beautiful, inspiring friendship developing as these two find solace in each other’s company. There’s a peacefulness between them, a sense of trust that allows them to express themselves in each other’s company. As Edward tells Bella early on, “I like your quiet.”
Something True is a witfit (that means BelieveItOrNot gets a prompt each morning, writes her chapter around it and posts the same day), which I think makes the depths this story explores quite remarkable.
I’ll be honest. Personally, I’m generally not interested in reading student-teacher relationships. (Not even, or perhaps especially not, when he’s named Edward.) I’m married to a high school teacher, and I can’t tolerate the romanticizing of these kind of relationships—“age is just a number,” or “it’s different for us.”
But there are some writers I will trust with absolutely any subject, and BelieveItOrNot is one of these writers. There is a grace and sensitivity in the way she approaches difficult subjects that never ceases to amaze me. She has the ability to see beyond the surface of things and to draw out the nuances and complexities that govern the way people interact with each other, and within themselves.
In her writing, we meet characters who are flawed and authentic—real people who make real mistakes. There are no caricatures or melodrama, there is no romanticizing or gratuitous angst—these people and the situations they find themselves in are explored with a deft touch and startling insight.
And of course, I can’t tell you about one of BelieveItOrNot’s stories without mentioning the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into them. The intensity with which she makes you feel, and with such economy of words – it’s steal-your-breath-away stunning. There are a lot of brilliant writers in this fandom, and Believey is among the best of them.
… I’m off to obsessively refresh my email inbox until today’s update lands.
*Review by Missus T*
What If ~ Edward is a successful defense attorney living in LA. He lives a lonely, predictable life. But one day, he wakes up in an unfamiliar house, in an unfamiliar room with Bella laying next to him. Will he ever want to wake up from this dream? AH EPOV
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Drama/Romance – Chapters: 31 – Words: 211,785 – Reviews: 2457 – Updated: 7-17-11 – Published: 1-25-10 – Edward & Bella
*Fic is not “complete” in that the final chapter is up, but the epilogue was never posted.
I found twihart21’s story while reading Firefly in Summer as a work in progress. I’ve always had a thing for time travel and parallel universe stories, and FiS left me wanting more – not because the fic was lacking, it’s clearly not – but because I needed something to read between updates. A search of the Twibrary brought me to What If, and I’m so glad it did.
The summary doesn’t quite do this fic justice, although I’m not sure how to explain it all myself. If you say too much it’s spoilery but if you don’t say enough…You just can’t describe it. I’ll give it my best, though. LOL
Los Angeles based attorney Edward Cullen is driven, career focused and lonely. He misses his family and is sick of his predictable life. One night out with friends and family, he’s introduced to a woman, Bella, who makes him wonder if things could be different. Then he wakes up the next morning and everything has changed. He’s in a strange bed with the woman he just met. There’s a picture of the two of them on the wall and as the background picture on his cell phone. He’s inwardly freaking out but she’s entirely comfortable with him.
He sneaks downstairs to investigate while she’s in the shower. He’s never seen the house before, but his friends are all there acting as if everything is normal. He finds mail on the table addressed to himself – but not the self he knows – it’s for Dr. Edward Cullen. In Seattle.
His first reaction to everything is panic. He tries to go home, to find someone who knows him, the Edward he was before he woke up, but it’s as if he’s been erased.
“Hello, sir. Can I help you?” the doorman greeted me. I really wished I could remember people’s names.
“I just have a quick question,” I said, stepping closer to him.
I leaned towards him and studied him carefully. Still the same doorman, still the same building. What had changed?
“Do I look familiar?”
The expression on his friendly face changed and his eyebrows gathered together in the center of his forehead.
“I mean, the slightest bit? Do you think that there is the slightest possibility that we have met before?”
I stepped even closer, never breaking our eye contact. I wanted to make sure that he stared at me long enough to know without a doubt the answer to my question.
So, I waited. I could tell that he was taking his time, like the solution to this was not easy.
It was as if he knew how important his answer to my question was.
Suddenly, his faced relaxed, and he sighed.
“I’m sorry, sir. But I’m positive we’ve never met.”
I ran my hand through my hair and groaned slightly under my breath. “Thanks anyway. Sorry to bother you.”
Without waiting for his reply, I stalked out of the building and back to the cab. I told the driver to take me back to LAX International Airport.
I wasn’t sure where else to go. I had nothing. I owned nothing. No job. No home. No identity. No life. And for the first time in a long time, I felt completely alone.
As if she heard my thoughts, my phone buzzed in my pocket. A text.
“Come home to me. – B”
I thought for a moment about if I should respond or not. I felt sorry for her. She was waiting on someone. Someone who wasn’t me.
With no home to go back to, Edward has no choice. He jumps into his life in Seattle despite feeling like a fish out of water. He doesn’t know or do things his friends and Bella expect him to, but he’s able to play most of it off. He starts to get a handle on things and recognizes that he likes being this other Edward. He’d rather be this Edward. He loves Bella, and he’s terrified of waking up to find it all gone. Eventually, he can’t fight his feelings and lets himself hope for a future with her.
But this wouldn’t be twific if things went easily, if they rode off into the sunset. Nope. Edward wakes up one morning and he’s back in his cold, sleek Los Angeles condo. I found myself sobbing as I read how Edward reacted to returning to his former life. It was gut wrenching. I couldn’t even imagine his devastation – to finally accept the second chance he felt he’d been given, only to have the rug pulled out from under him.
From there, Edward has one hell of a climb if he wants to get back the life he briefly knew. He has to start over – again. He has to pull himself up, relocate, and convince a girl who hardly knows him that they are in love with each other. It’s no longer a question of what if for him. It’s about what he knows can be.
While I was rooting for Edward and Bella to get back together, I loved that their reunion wasn’t quick and easy. It wasn’t angst ridden I-want-to-eat-Ben-and-Jerry’s-‘til-I-die, but it was real. Because no one lives in a bubble. Life doesn’t always go as planned, and sometimes people get hurt while others are trying to get happy.
I thought Twihart21 did a great job of weaving the different versions of Edward’s life together. There were twists I never saw coming that I felt in my heart because she set them up so perfectly. Little details she dropped in that came back later to fit perfectly in the puzzle. She created an compelling original character in Blake. I liked him a lot, and then I felt awful for him, even during the point of the fic when I wanted to hate him.
This story has humor, some great lemons, some E/B arguments that made me cringe for them, and sweet bits that made me sigh. Pretty much, it had all the feels.
I tip-toed away, thinking about what I had heard.
One broken heart is better than two.
Was it? Possibly.
But I couldn’t help that little feeling inside of me. The one that felt so elated… so overjoyed to know that she felt something for me whether it be a feeling she wasn’t quite sure about. Still. She felt something. And right now, something was better than nothing.
Plus, she thought I was pretty.
Walking into the kitchen, I could feel myself smiling. Bella Swan liked me. She didn’t say it, but I knew that’s what she meant. She liked me. She thought I was pretty. A fluttering in my stomach gave way to the emptiness it had been feeling for so long, and for the first time in a long time there was a new emotion taking over me.
And that’s what this fic was about since the beginning. Hope.
The final chapter was posted in July of 2011, and Twihart21 hasn’t published anything new on FFnet since then. I have no idea what happened in her RL or where she’s at, but I’d love to thank her for her words. While I’d still really like to read the epilogue, What If ends at a satisfying place. If you’ve skipped over this story because it’s not marked complete, you should give it a try. If you love the idea of time travel and parallel lives, you should definitely check it out.
The Twibrary can be found here: http://twibrary.blogspot.com/
*Review by Livie79*
Adore, Adore ~ Bella is in a bit of a financial pinch. Can one night with Edward solve all her problems? “What do you want to do to me?” she asked. “Everything.” One-shot written for SFFR, now expanded! BxE, AH, Rated MA for dirty citrus
Rated: Fiction M – English – Bella & Edward – Chapters: 6 – Words: 37,973 – Reviews: 1,749 – Favs: 2,857 – Follows: 4,149 – Updated: 10-13-12 – Published: 01-19-11 – id: 6667983
Summary: Bella is in a bit of a financial pinch. Can one night with Edward solve all her problems? “What do you want to do to me?” she asked. “Everything.”
When we meet Bella, we learn she’s a struggling waitress who just can’t seem to make ends meet. She’s in a pitfall of financial woes with no end in sight.
He’s recently taken over the financial responsibilities for the building Bella lives in. This translates to collecting the rent. He sets out to track down Bella, one of his most delinquent residents, but things take an interesting turn when he offers her an alternate solution to clear her debt.
“Look, I don’t want to evict you, okay?”
He ran his hand down his face and sighed again. His eyes scanned my apartment, finally settling on the large stack of mail on the table. “Bills?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Ooh, feisty. I like it.”
I scoffed loudly.
“Miss Swan,” I corrected through my teeth.
“Miss Swan.” Edward smirked. “Would you be open to coming to an . . . alternate agreement?”
“Like what, a payment plan? It’s not necessary. I’ll give you the money when I get it. I promise.”
“No, not like a payment plan.”
No, not like a payment plan. Edward has something a little more…physical in mind. When he shares his idea, Bella immediately rejects his offer. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, Bella’s mediocre paycheck won’t cover her rent and she realizes she’s out of options. After a tense phone conversation with Edward, Bella agrees to his terms: sex for rent.
When she shows up at his apartment, Edward takes complete control. At first she’s hesitant, but Edward’s confidence and cocky attitude quickly break her resolve.
I whimpered in frustration as he removed his fingers. He dragged them higher, grazing the sensitive skin between my cheeks. I inhaled sharply as he applied more pressure and began caressing the area.
“What are you doing?” I choked out.
“You know what I’m doing,” Edward teased, applying more pressure. “Are you going to tell me no again?”
Never has a sweeter word been spoken. Because when Bella lets go, the readers are swept away by a tidal wave of lust and left in a puddle of goo. But contrary to what Ooza says, this story isn’t just about smut. She’s created two very complex characters who will send you on an emotional rollercoaster.
Bella struggles to come to terms with what she did but can’t deny how much it helped her financial situation. When rent comes due the following month, Edward offers her the same deal. And even though Bella has the money to cover it, she finds herself accepting. Thus begins their arrangement and subsequently where things get tricky.
Edward is a conundrum. In a relationship that’s supposed to be based purely on sex, he blurs the line time and time again. And his hot and cold behavior leaves Bella’s head spinning.
“You should stay.” His voice was authoritative and didn’t leave much room for argument. I really wasn’t in the mood.
“Look, Edward,” I said sternly. “I’m a big girl, okay? I understand the nature of our . . . arrangement. We’re adults. It’s just sex.” I glanced around the room for my clothes before remembering they were in the entryway. I didn’t want to look for my underwear; he could add them to his collection. “I don’t need to spend the night or cuddle with you to be okay with that.” I turned toward the door, but his next words stopped me in my tracks.
“Maybe I do.”
I looked at him, trying to figure out if he was just trying to manipulate me to get his way, but I could see nothing other than sincerity in his eyes.
“It would make me feel better if you spent the night. Please,” he added quietly.
Apparently my inability to deny him extended beyond sex, because I found myself walking back to the bed.
“Okay,” I agreed. “I’ll stay.”
And then you think, oh wow, he has feelings for her. It makes you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy. That is, until he does something like this:
As I reached the sixth floor, I heard Edward’s low murmuring. I smiled, glad he was home and that I’d get to see him. My excitement came to an abrupt end when his voice was followed by a feminine laugh. I turned the corner, coming face to face with Edward and a very tall, very beautiful woman with silver blonde hair.
I froze. Edward’s eyes widened as he looked at me with an expression that could only be described as panic.
“Hello,” the woman said pleasantly. She smiled, showing off unnaturally white teeth. Her voice seemed to pull Edward from his trance.
“Miss Swan,” he said formally. “What a surprise to see you. Is there a problem with your apartment?”
His words slammed into me with the force of a freight train. I stood there, holding his Tupperware to my chest like an idiot, shocked and unable to come up with a proper response.
So this was how I rated. He could fuck me, he could call me his friend, but the minute he had a hot date, I was nothing but a tenant.
“No,” I answered dumbly.
“Excellent.” Edward wrapped his fingers around the woman’s arm and gently tugged her toward the elevators. “Have a nice evening,” he called over his shoulder.
Ouch. Jerk. Or is he?
Edward has a story. That much is obvious. But since we’re experiencing Bella’s POV, we’re left guessing. It’s one of the many things that make this story so addictive. One minute he’s abrasive and blunt. The next he’s sweet and caring. There’s one thing about him that never changes though: he’s hot as fuck in the bedroom.
The lemons? Oh, my God, the lemons. Hats off to Ooza for some of the hottest sex scenes ever written. But is that enough to make up for his bullshit? I’ve found myself on more than one occasion screaming, “What is his deal?!” And better yet, will Bella bother sticking around to find out? Will he give her a choice?
Edward pressed me against the wall, pinning me with his hands and his body. “You agreed to be mine, remember? Mine.”
As the story develops and the layers are peeled away you can’t help but fall in love with both characters. When they laugh, you’ll laugh. And when they hurt…so will you. Adore, Adore is an excellent story that is well written and contains all the pieces to make for one hell of an exciting journey. If you’re not already reading Adore, Adore, you’re only cheating yourself. Go! Now!
Visit ooza’s blog for stories, author’s notes, updates, teasers, banners, downloads, etc.: www.gardenofsin.net.
A quick reminder that the voting in the fabulicious TwiHEA Contest closes 13th April. With 34 one-shots to choose from, you are sure to find a favourite.
TwiHEA Contest http://www.fanfiction.net/u/4523690/
We’d like to plug the daring Let’s Do Anal Anonymous TwiFic Contest. Sorry – we couldn’t resist!
The back door will remain unlocked and open for entries until April 19, 2013 (midnight CST).
We would like to say a special Thank You to our lovely guests, Thimbles, Missus T, and Livie79; it was a real honour to have them accept our invitations to review for us, and we are so excited about the stories they have shared! Thank you, ladies!
Have a lovely week!