Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Lambs Review Vanity and Patience: A Rosalie Hale Story by Achelle Candy

Okay, before we get to the Lamb reviews of Vanity and Patience: A Rosalie Hale Story, I feel the need to verbose my thoughts this grueling month which we dedicated to one Emmett Cullen.  And, it has been an agonizing and tearful month for some of us when it's come to finding quality stories to rec for our dear Emmett.

It's obvious that the opinion that Emmett Cullen has been neglected in the fandom is shared by more than just me, and the other Lambs as well.  Take for instance when I went over to TLYDF to check out their character study for Emmett.  I think hmonster4, who penned the article, pretty much summed it up.

From hmonster4's Emmett Character Exploration article on TLYDF:

I’ve spent the last month and a half elbows deep in fan fic for the Indies. And in the process I noticed a disturbing trend.

Not enough Emmett.

Actually, let me rephrase that. Not enough GOOD Emmett.

Okay, in all seriousness, two male characters did dominate the stories nominated. The first one was common sense. Heck, he lured us in from that first meeting in biology. But the second one surprised me. It wasn’t a dark haired Quileute. It was a quiet blonde haired Texan.

Very simply, the ladies love them some Jasper.

He’s taken over the fandom lately. Canon, non canon, hetero and slash.

And it made me wonder why the other two Cullen boys get such short shrift. Don’t believe me? Do a search on fan fic. Emmett has ½ the stories that Jasper does (we won’t even touch Edward, although…well…yeah, that’s a different article).

Not enough good Emmett is right.  For me, Emmett's character just wasn't given enough substance in Stephenie's books for me to even care about him.  He sure as hell sounded attractive, according to SM's description, but we never got to see anything that keened our interests like Edward, Carlisle, or Jasper has.  Their stories and the pasts constructed for them were much more intriguing, and they gave writers possibilities to work with.  Emmett, well, he was portrayed as the comedian;  the family tough guy;  the dumb jock.  We women  like a beautiful man, but we're more inclined to be attracted to the air of mystery surrounding a man or a character. We want to see a glimpse of sensitivity and vulnerability.  That simply wasn't given to us in the books.  Emmett was simply the big brawn of a brother that several of us, including me, perceived him as.

Maybe we need to be visually stimulated to appreciate Emmett a little bit more.

Kellen gives good visual, don't you think?  I mean, it's better than this shit:

Definitely not going into the House of Debauchery. 

((Huge thanks go out to NCChris and missmaj for supplying me with this fuckery.  Bleach anyone?)), no, we don't base our stories off of what the casting directors gave us for the movies, that's only obvious.  And, to say that Emmett is not appreciated is also incorrect.  He is appreciated in quite a few eyes; he is adored by many.  We Lambs did find a few good recs this month to pass on, but the pickins' were few.  It also is safe to say that Emmett Cullen just doesn't grasp our attention like Edward, Carlisle, or Jasper do.  It's like I said last Sunday:  if you don't have the readers interested in Emmett stories, you don't have the FF writers.  He simply just hasn't caught on like Jasper or Carlisle has when it comes to mixing things up in the AU world.    But, you can't say you don't like to see him pop up in a story.  He's earned and owns several best supporting roles.

Okay. Enough of that.  We're pleased to bring you our group review of Vanity and Patience:  A Rosalie Hale Story written by Achelle Candy.  Now, V&P was an Indie Twific finalist for Best Canon. Did we like it? Well, here's the thing.  We kind of failed miserably with this month.  It was extremely difficult for us to work around Emmett, and we gave it our best shot.  We all procrastinated the hell out of this group review which is why you're getting it on New Year's Eve, in the evening, I might add.  We want to emphasize that although Emmett may not be our cup of tea, we are all committed to getting the word out on great fics out there for everybody to enjoy, not just us.  Maybe you're taking a liking to Emmett.  If you are, then this just might be the story for you.  Enjoy.

Okay, first of all I have to say that like so many others in this blog, I had a difficult time picking this up; so, of course, it waited until the last possible moment.

And I'm kicking myself in the ass for doing so because I really, really like this story. As of this writing, I am on Chapter 16, with seven more to go before I'm caught up.

First of all, Rosalie. The author truly captures the essence in what I think is what we all perceived Rosalie to be. A self-absorbed bitch on the outside, and partially inside, but also a woman who is humbled and longs for all that she has lost. Rosalie is a vain creature; it's almost suffocating to know someone like that, and I'm sure we all have at one point. And plus, you have to read through it in this story. But, you really have to appreciate how the author perceived her thought process, and I for one thought it was an excellent take on Rosalie. I appreciate canon Rosalie just a little bit more now, and this story made her more 'human' for me. While it's true she is superior bitch number one, and you almost just want to slap the shit out of her while you read this, you have to give the author credit where credit is due for truly capturing Rosalie.

I thought that the details the author constructs for Emmett and where he comes from is very well done because we aren't given the information from Stephenie. And the author also did her research because the story is set in 1935. She puts some detail into it, setting her scenes as accurately as she possibly can. I think saying, though, that Emmett is out of character is inaccurate, however; he is simply a newborn, and he behaves as such. Emmett is still there, you just have to 'read' into it. Or perceive it. I'm also glad the author doesn't sugarcoat Emmett's status as a newborn; he should be wild, he should have issues with control and focus, and she nails it for me.

Edward (the cockblocker, he he) is in his character, and I loved the banter between him and Rosalie throughout this story. You also see their relationship grow and strengthen with the introduction of Emmett into the family, even with the confrontations or the awkward moments. And boy, can Rose really dish the shit out when she wants to.

Now Rosalie experiences some humbling instances in this story, and you almost want to feel sorry for her. She also experiences one of the most embarrassing moments that no woman who is ever trying to swoon a guy in her direction ever wants to experience. Yeah, she got caught getting off. And what's worse is that she screams out her fantasy's name, who in turn, breaks a tree. There is a lot of pent up tension in this story for both Emmett and Rose, and you really have to give a lot of credit to Edward for being so discreet with the both of them.

Is there anything I didn't like about this story? I don't believe I have a right to say anything, especially since I haven't completely read up to the last chapter posted. So, I won't. But, I do applaud you, Achelle; you have really put a gem out there that should be appreciated by all Emmett and Rosalie fans. And, while it isn't really my thing either, you have at the very least convinced me to see this wonderful fic to its finish. Good for you.

We were first going to recommend, by vote, Welcome to Existence. Flame me all you want, but all I have to say about that fic is that the author jumped the shark, so-to-speak, at a certain point in the story. Either that, or a troll took over her computer and decided to have its dastardly ways with her fic. End.of.

So, a few commenters on TLYDF's Emmett essay mentioned Achelle Candy's Vanity and Patience: A Rosalie Hale Story. You know what I thought? Fuck it. I can get down with a non-Bella fic at this moment. And, you know what intrigued me about this fic? The very fact that the author writes about the birth of Rose and Emmett's relationship. Not only that, but she also covers Emmett's newborn year. So, read I did. The first few chapters weren't so much painful, as it was just about setting up the basis for her story, and as I told Kay, I often times find that a lot of stories are sort of awkward the first few chapters, trying to find their footing, their voice, their joie-de-vivre, as it were. At about Chapter 6, that is when the good stuff happens; the pace picks up; the adventure starts; the agony and beauty of this story truly begins.

This is a truly canon story, and it is wonderful. The Cullens (Carlisle, Esme, Edward, and Rose) are living in Appalachia. We all know that Rose finds Emmett during one of her hunts mauled, close to death, and she carries him back to Carlisle to have him saved, however way he can be saved. The connection is there from the start. BUT! What I love about this story is the fact that Emmett, in all his newbornness - and I mean NEWBORN - is neither in the right frame of mind nor does he have the inclination to either notice or reciprocate Rose reaching out to him.

Rose is VAIN. VAIN VAIN VAIN. And, you know what? I love Rose to pieces. I always have, and most who know me well, know that she is probably one of my top favourites characters, canon or not. If she hates Bella in a fic, or if they find some common ground, or if Bella is not even in the story, it does not matter to me one iota. I'll say it now: I have no problem with vanity. At all. What must be remembered, or at least realized, is that no one, not even Rosalie Hale, can be summed up by one characteristic. Vain, she is. Shallow, she is not. Rose has depth, feelings, vulnerability, fear, insecurities, and hope just like everyone else. She just covers it up better, masking these deeper emotions with her cold facade. And I love her. Truly. So, you can only imagine how things play out in this wonderful story when she Emmett. Every other instance where I have encountered or read the history of Rose and Emmett has you believe that they started fucking like rabbits the moment Emmett opened his newborn eyes. Not so in this fic. And, the play-by-play between Rose and Emmett here is just fascinating to watch. Emmett is, yes, a huge teddy bear lurking beneath an uncontrollable exterior. Bear scent over Rose's arousal? Yep. He goes for bear. Because he's a newborn. Is he tender? Sometimes. Is he volatile? More often than not. And, he hurts Rose physically on more than one occasion. He also rejects her more times than she has probably gazed at her lovely reflection in the mirror. Their love is not an easy one by any means in this story. And, for that reason alone, I recommend Vanity and Patience: A Rosalie Hale Story without a second's thought.

It's funny, you know? Sometimes, when reviewing, you try to find fault in a fic, just to go give it a more well-rounded review, right? So, yes, sometimes there are spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Sometimes. This author had several betas cover her story, and as a beta myself, Lord only knows I have fucked up on more than one occasion. We're human (unfortunately...I wish I was a vampire...what?) I also wikipedia'd the shit out of this story because it is VERY set during the 1930s, and the author takes great care to try to assimilate sayings, designers, song titles, clothing, and general atmosphere of the 1930s into her story. Brava! The reason I wiki'd shit? Because I had NO CLUE that Volvo has been around as long as it has (so, of course I thought I had had an 'ah ha!' moment of finding a discrepancy...NATCH!) Same goes for 'vegetarianism' and 'OCD'...yep, all are terms used at that time. Huh! You learn something new every day...So, again, I say BRAVA! The only non-contemporary aspect to this entire story is the author's use of a songlist containing current-ish songs...even New Kids on the Block, for which I say, as a fan who went to their concert this year, LOVE IT!!! And, again, who cares?

I would like to make a suggestion to Les Femmes de Twilight: if you have not read this story, I suggest you do so as an excellent piece for studying the character of Rose.

I loved this story, and I very highly recommend everyone read it. If for no other reason than to broaden your canon knowledge and to deepen whatever emotion you may have for Rose and Emmett. They deserve it. And, Emmett? He is so deeply explored in length in this story. Where SM gives us the name Emmett, Achelle Candy gives us a character with history, substance, and beauty. To both Rose and Emmett, really. Wonderful!

Okay, so I'm gonna have to preface this with a statement:

I don't like non-Bella!

There, I said it. Seriously, though, I dislike reading anything without Bella as the lead character. I think I've read 4 or 5. Yeah, 4 or 5 in the year that I've been reading fanfiction. Even if I did decide to read another female lead, it would not be Rose.

That being said, I had an amazingly difficult time with this fic. Maj may have whined about Emmett month, but I bitched and moaned having to read this story non-stop. I procrastinated reading it, as well, because I was truly and completely uninterested. I only got through 8 chapters and it was torture.

Don't think it's much reflection on the author, however. While I had some issues with her seriously lengthy monologues and got sick of hearing the vain Rose bitch and moan worse than I was for having to read her bitching and moaning, she did a good job with the story. It's well written for the most part. She could definitely use a beta, as ALL authors should have. (No matter how good you are, you always make mistakes.) But, she did pretty good without one.

By the time I stopped, the story was shaping into some good interaction between Rose and Emmett. So, please, if you like the idea of the pairing, then give it a try and don't let my bias color your views.

I was probably the only Lamb who whined and threw a tantrum this entire month when we were told we were going to rec Emmett fics. They almost had to tie me down to my computer chair so I would read them. I'm Jasper's little bitch and I'm a stubborn brat who refuses to read anything besides Jasper/Bella or Humanward/Bella fics. Do not even get me started on canon characters.

So, as the procrastinator that I am, I waited until the deadline to finally click on the link they sent me. To my surprise, I actually liked it. She captures the essence of the canon characters, and so far I am pleased with it. I can blatantly say that I was not a canon fan. Personally, they all depress the shit out of me and a lot of times I wish they would all go to the Volturi and end their miserable lives together. But, this story turned me into a convert. It made me appreciate SMeyer's characters once again and it made me remember why I loved Twilight in the first place.

Unfortunately, I'm only eight chapters into the story. The actual story between Emmett and Rose is just now starting. And to date, the author is 23 chapters into the story. This story deserves a lot of love. It's not my cup of tea, but I would definitely recommend this to everyone who's looking for an Emmett/Rose fic.

Am I the only one who envisioned Emmett as The Incredible Hulk during his change? He sounded like Lou Ferrigno in my head. o.O

So, there you have it. No, wait, no you don't.  You should hear what some of VP's fans have to say about her story, so I stalked her reviews:

Ah the irony. Edward doesn't like Emmett at first (though we all know he comes around later) and Rosalie doesn't like Bella 70-some years later. Emmett's first hunt parallels Bella's, but I'm guessing he's going to binge on the nearby humans since everyone seemed so shocked that Bella didn't. Only one way to find out and that's for me to keep reading, which I will :D.

I know stories that don't center around Edward/Bella aren't the most popular, and I'm afraid they often get overlooked. I'll admit to being guilty of that.

I ran across your story because I saw a banner on one of the Twilighted forums that intrigued me, and when I looked closer, I realized that I was completely taken by the premise of the story. It's an added bonus that your writing style is great and that your characters are believable.

Emmett is probably one of my favorite characters (he's in the running with Alice), so to see his story told, not as a back story to being a vampire, but through Rosalie's POV is pretty cool. It gives me a chance to see not only more Emmett, but also that Rosalie isn't just a self absorbed, vain person. We got a little of that in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, but I really like where you're taking this. I like the idea of being able to see how Rosalie and Emmett got to be the Rosalie and Emmett that we see in the books.

There are some things that stand out slightly as being a bit odd for the time period - certain words or phrases that you use, mostly, but I don't think it detracts from the story at all.

As long as you keep writing, I'll be following (mostly here on FF rather than Twilighted, because 1)it updates faster and 2)it's easier to read). Very nicely done so far!

I do want to add something here, that everybody should utilize in the future.  The authors put author's notes in for a reason. To. Be. Read.  Frankly, I find it disrespectful not to read them.  If you read the author's notes for this story, on every chapter, you will see that she is re-editing the story so it's more appropriate for FF guidelines.  And, you will also see that she has a beta, and has, for every chapter.  They are not perfect, so a mistake here or there is to be expected.  That is all.  Thanks everyone, and Happy New Year! 


  1. Christ, that zygote Rob should be banned from this blog. I regret sharing you that pic. Now it's stuck in my head for the rest of my life.

  2. It's well written for the most part. She could definitely use a beta, as ALL authors should have. (No matter how good you are, you always make mistakes.) But, she did pretty good without one.

    If you only read up through chapter eight, I can definitely see how you would think she didn't use a beta if you didn't read the A/Ns, since the beta Achelle had at the time was sub-par at best. (As someone who served as a substitute beta for a few chaps on this fic, I know for a fact that she always uses one.)

    Very nice write-up, over all. Achelle's research and attention to period detail is something I've always admired about her writing.

    I do, however, think it's a mistake to force someone who's biased going in to leave a review. (I write J/N, and I can't imagine if a "demon-spawn"-hater decided to review my fic. *shudders*)


    Anywho, Achelle definitely deserves the recognition!


  3. Kari,

    Are you under the impression that we or certain members of this blog are forced to read stories or leave reviews? Nobody is forced to do anything around here. We are simply trying not only give some attention to some stories and authors that deserve it. Personally, I also think the format we developed also gives us a chance to broaden our own horizons. Our blog is dedicated to explore the men of Twilight, not just Edward and Jasper. But it doesn't mean we aren't going to have difficulties along the way.

    We will however be truthful with our thoughts. I admire Mae for being honest and letting everybody know she just couldn't get into this story. She made it through eight chapters? To me, since I know her, that's fucking great. Yeah, okay, maybe she 'skimmed' some of it, but hmmmm....who doesn't skim through SOME stories. I do.

  4. Admittedly "forced" was the wrong word. ;) I just meant that it would be difficult for someone uninterested in the subject matter going in to give an unbiased review. No offense was intended, of course.

    Like I said, I thought it was a nice write-up over all.



  5. Thanks so much for considering V&P and dedicating this post/month on it! Truly inspiring and wonderful to know that my hard work is being appreciated. Not too bad for my very first fic ever!

    I am truly flattered by the comments left about Rose’s character development as well as the realism I try to portray in Emmett’s struggle as a newborn. And even if half of you aren’t Rose fans or Canon fans, I’m still glad that you found it worthy enough for Rose/Emmett/Cannon fans to recommend to them. I must admit that before writing this I was an ExB person myself, and I read a lot of the AH stories and was Team Edward like most others. However, I found a great possibility with this story and found that as I wrote from Rosalie’s perspective, I could actually find a voice for her. She is now my favorite, and I’m totally Team Emmett.

    Anyway, as mentioned by my buddy Kari above, I have actually always had a beta. However, my first beta wasn’t nearly as helpful as my current beta (cfmom, author of Fractured Hearts) or my stand-in (KariAnn, author of In Pursuit of Normalcy), and they didn’t come in until about chapter 10. I plan to remedy my earlier chapter issues later, but I am working to move forward and finish the Fic first.

    Again, thank you so much for writing the article on my Fic! Truly motivational for me to keep going. The holidays and my recent engagement has me very distracted these days, and this was just the thing to keep me on track and finish!

    Mariecel (Achelle131/Achelle1317/Achelle Candy)