Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Lambs Review Through Your Eyes by Megsly

Bella is completely blind, but has a very unique method of getting around her disability. Upon moving to Forks she realizes that she's not the only student in Forks High with a secret. Bella/Edward Rated T COMPLETED

Soo, I was all sorts of happy when I heard that Megsly's Through Your Eyes was going to be our group review this month. I mean, she is the all-superior writer who wrote Tre, a story that's sure to make you soak your panties because she's just so killer with detail. I had never read the story, and before it was presented to our forum by Mae, I had never even read the summary.

Honestly, I have to say that I've tried to avoid fics that cast the Twilight characters into real life. When it comes to all human, or any story that casts a character with a disability or with an abuse issue, I tend to shy away from it. I've always just figured that Twilight's my vampire fantasy world, and I'd rather not see Edward, Jasper, Bella, etc., with a drug or cutting problem, or born with a handicap such as blindness, as is the case with Bella in our group review. But I've also found out that these fics need to be appreciated, not just because they bring awareness to readers, but because the authors tell a good story. 

Okay, so the summary: Bella is completely blind, but has a very unique method of getting around her disability. Upon moving to Forks she realizes that she's not the only student in Forks High with a secret. Why yes, she does have a unique way - a gift within the disability - and how unique was that! 

Megsly simply wrote one of the most well thought out and original tales out there that examines a subject - a disability - while recreating another version of Twilight. It is simply original and cannot be duplicated, and her writing is so wonderful. Her chapters roll sinuously. There's almost a rhythm to her writing. 

I can't explain it, but you know when you're reading sometimes and you A: either skip a paragraph or a few lines, or B: read it and wonder what you're reading and why? Well, you just can't when you read Through Your Eyes. It just gets better and better with each chapter.

Now I’m not saying the story is perfect. It certainly was a stretch for me because the Jacob in this story was just sooo OOC. But it's really no different then what I've done to Edward myself, or what countless other authors have done as well. I also thought when I first started reading this story that the call to Bella's blood was underplayed. Um, I just didn't 'see' it well enough, until later on. There's a tone that sets these first few chapters, and for the most part you're looking through Bella's eyes. 

However, I have to Carlisle just so happened to have a bottle of Ibuprofen in his pocket when he flew up to Bella's window in chapter 15? Really? Baaaaa! Carlisle is THE MAN. 

Frankly, this story is powerful - emotionally packed; so well thought out; and the details are just perfect. There are two places in this story that made me really appreciate the thought she put into this story AND into her Bella. First, Bella admitting to herself that she wants to 'cling to him and keep his(Edward) vision for myself, though I knew that was wrong'- It makes you feel and it makes you understand not only what her character is going through, but you can almost think that perhaps anyone visually-impaired would have this reaction. It is a great plot point. The other is when she has to tell Charlie goodbye. That is simply...some depressing shit. Seriously. 

Megsly does not disappoint. She is such a well-rounded author and you can't help but love her work.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away *cough* Twilighted *cough* there was a story called Through Your Eyes. It was probably one of my first fanfics ever - right after LolaShoes’ stories - and I thought Megsly was quite the original. And as a non-canon reader now, it’s nice to re-read something that is so canon, but still molded so differently from the original. I was still in my canon phase as a reader way back in the day, and I thought that what Megsly had accomplished with TYE was amazing because it was a new and interesting idea within the world of AU. Megsly creates a new version of Twilight, but she still retains a lot of the characters’ canon personalities...err...well...except for one? But we’ll get to that later...

Bella has a very interesting gift. To those around her who are unfamiliar with her ability, she appears to be visually-impaired. And she is...but not quite. You see, she CAN see, but only through other peoples’ eyes. And, she is able to also utilize their power when using their sight. For example, Bella gets Alice’s visions when she uses Alice’ But with Edward, things get very interesting – they actually kind of switch...eyeballs...? No, that just sounds weird. But Bella does render Edward blind when she uses his sight, and she is effectively able to see with her own eyes when she touches him purposefully. Another thing I love about this story is that Bella is OOC but not OOC, if that makes any sense. She’s a stronger version of SM’s Bella. She doesn’t like to be controlled, and I think her disability has caused her to be a more independent person, or at least someone who values her independence first and foremost.

I love Megsly’s attention to detail in this fic – everything from the way Bella experiences her blindness to the way Bella sees the world when she uses someone else’s vision, especially the Cullens'. I like the canon build up of Edward and Bella’s relationship in this story. And I love all the little things that Megsly uses to propel her story along – from the way Bella and Alice pass notes in class to the way Megsly depicts each character and gives them each MORE meat than SM ever did. Megsly obviously understands SM’s characters and she stays true to them, but she gives us more. For example, I remember when I read this story how much I loved the following from Alice (who, by the way, I love in this story. I usually can’t stand Alice to save my life):

He was probably the reason Bella’s room was so cold last night. I thought to myself. I wondered if my brother realized just how stalkerish it was to sneak in through a bedroom window to watch a girl sleep. I knew he was only looking out to protect her, and that he was very curious about Bella, but jeez… sometimes he was just creepy!

And then:

Bella and I made our way to homeroom and I passed Edward in the hall. He shot me a murderous glance and I knew he had heard my thoughts. Well it’s true. People file restraining orders for stuff like that.

*snort* I mean, c’mon! That is so true! But it is this complexity between the characters, as well as the richness of the dialogue, that made me love this fic when I first read it. It is also what made me keep reading. TYE is full of fluff...and angst...and romance...and fear...and so many different surprises.

The biggest surprise? Jacob.

Jacob is pure lunacy in this story. I understand why there may be a lot of people who hate Jacob’s characterization in this fic, but I personally LOVED it. I don’t hate on Jake. At all. So, maybe there are those who love the way Megsly portrays Jake in this story BECAUSE they just hate him. But, I think it’s an interesting alternative to the typical Jacob scenario. I was done with the whole ‘Bella is torn between Edward and Jacob’ thing with the original series, so to not have to deal with that here is just wonderful. And, frankly, I think it is fantastic the way it all plays out with Leah and Jacob – ESPECIALLY the scene in Chapter 43 with Billy. That scene has always stuck with me, more than any other, because I love the way Billy doesn’t ‘blindly’ condone his son’s horrid behaviour or his misguided belief that Bella is his imprint. The scene with Billy and Jacob is is what Jacob does to Bella prior to this moment...and Jasper’s involvement after the fact. I remember reading the part with Jasper (and this was before my Jasper evolution) and thinking, “Jesus Christ Almighty.”

Other wonderful moments include Megsly’s treatment of Charlie’s discovery of Bella’s ‘death’, as well as the way Renee is handled near the end. Closure is a difficult thing to accomplish as an author, I'm sure. And Megsly does it very well.

I believe TYE was Megsly’s first fic, and I have to applaud her for doing such a wonderful job. This story was nominated at the Eddies/Bellies at the time and it won the Immortal Cookie Award for Best Villain (understandably so).

I would like to close off with something else that I loved about this story. I’m a huge Simon and Garfunkel fan, so I loved how Megsly incorporates her own interpretation of this song’s lyrics into her story. It is so fitting: 

Simon and Garfunkel – Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend/I've come to talk with you again/Because a vision softly creeping/Left its seeds while I was sleeping/And the vision that was planted in my brain/Still remains/Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone/Narrow streets of cobblestone/'neath the halo of a street lamp/I turned my collar to the cold and damp/When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of/A neon light/That split the night/And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw/Ten thousand people, maybe more/People talking without speaking/People hearing without listening/People writing songs that voices never share/And no one dared/Disturb the sound of silence.

Fools said I, you do not know/Silence like a cancer grows/Hear my words that I might teach you/Take my arms that I might reach you/But my words like silent raindrops fell/And echoed/In the wells of silence.

And the people bowed and prayed/To the neon God they made/And the sign flashed out its warning/In the words that it was forming/And the signs said, the words of the prophets/Are written on the subway walls/And tenement halls/And whispered in the sounds of silence.

Oh Megsly, how do I love thee for writing this fic?  Let me count the ways…

As with any fic, I love that it has an amazing twist in the storyline.  The author actually takes the original Twilight story and gives it this amazing twist by making Bella blind.  And yes, I said blind! 

Now, there are a lot of similarities between this fic and Twilight, but that is as the author intended.  I think she wanted you to see the correlation between the two roads the story took.  I mean, think about it.  In Twilight there is really no logical reason why Bella is so accepting of the mythological beings that end up gracing her life.  This fic gives you that reason in such a unique way.

On top of that is her ability to see through other people’s eyes.  (Thus the title.)  I mean, thinking of that logistically, it must be strange.  Could you imagine trying to walk straight when you’re looking on from a different angle?  It’s got to be difficult at best. 

I love the details she puts on the power, though.  I like the fact that when she borrows other people’s vision, she sees as they see, not as she would see were they her eyes.  As such, colors are always different, depending on her host.  If her host is the type to shift focus often, she can get dizzy.  These little nuances just add to the imagery of the story as well as show the readers that it was well thought out and designed to be as real as such a fantasy based piece of fiction can be. 

Then when she looks through a vampire’s eyes she is completely awed, as one would imagine.  Remember in Breaking Dawn when Bella is describing the perfection of her vision?  She’s able to see the full spectrum of colors as well as the minutest details of objects.  This is what it is like for the Bella in this fic to look through a vampire’s eyes and the author describes it so well.  I would get into more on this, but I don’t want to give away too many interesting details in the fic, because I think you’ll enjoy reading some things on your own.

Another thing I love about this fic?  Alice!  This is my favorite Alice I think.  Generally she can drive me bat shit because so many authors write her as the never-ending shopaholic pixie and not much else unless she’s needed for her ‘visions’.  But for some reason, here, she comes across as a real friend who is just trying to give Bella experiences.  And she does her best to help Bella feel independent while simultaneously helping her deal with things.  I think the way that she and Bella ‘pass notes’ is cute and funny.  I just really love her in this one, and that’s rare for me to say about an Alice.

Jacob is in this fic and anyone who’s ever heard my lil rant about the types of Jacob I like will know why I like this fic.  No, I’m not going to repeat it here because I don’t want to give too much away and you may guess.  *sticks tongue out*

This is also one of my favorite Emmetts.  I love the ‘voice of reason’ Emmetts.  The ones where the author makes him out to be more than the playful prankster.

And Edward.  Oh, Edward.  I like him in this one, and considering he’s still ‘mostly’ canon, that’s got to be a miracle.  I love that he is so sweet, protective, caring and charming with her.  I love how he is so floored by her and her ability to accept them, her independence, her caring, her gift, and so on.

I love that he still worries and talks of leaving, but when he talks to her about it he LISTENS to her.  And I don’t mean like in Twilight where it goes in one ear and out the other, but really listens, like people do who respect each other.  Of course, that doesn’t mean its all wine and roses with them.  They do argue and have lengthy discussions on the subject, but that’s what I love about it. 

It could use a little editing, but what fic couldn’t, right?  Some chapters have sections where there aren’t new paragraphs for new dialogue and there are some spelling and grammar errors occasionally, but really it’s not bad.  It’s still well written and has a great storyline. 

This is one of the first fics I read when I first got into fanfiction and I still remember it fondly.  It was one of those that I told my niece about and she bugged me for updates of what happened.  Really, it’s just a GREAT fic, so go read it!

I have to be honest. Bad Maj once again completely forgot that GR was looming and she ended up reading only fifteen chapters of the story. But these few chapters certainly didn't disappoint. I actually wanted to hit myself repeatedly for not discovering this fic sooner. I truly wish I read the entire fic before the deadline. 

Wow... a truly interesting twist on Twilight. It felt like I was reading the book all over again, but different at the same time. Megsly stays true to canon as much as possible and she adds her own twist in the story. I am in awe of the storyline. 

It starts with Bella arriving in Forks. She's a girl who has been blind since birth, yet she has a gift that only her mother knows about - she can see by "borrowing" someone else's vision. This Bella is quite OOC. She's not the insecure girl we've read in the books. Having been born with her disability has made her more independent and stronger. But her gift takes an interesting turn when she meets Edward. With him, she can actually "steal" his vision, rendering him blind and her with the ability to see through her own eyes.

Megsly's story is rich in detail. Normally too much of it bores the hell out of me, but with this story I truly enjoyed it. The way she describes things almost feels like you're reading a fairy tale. I also loved some of the jabs hidden in the story, like Alice commenting on Edward's stalking and constipated face.

The only problem I have with this was that it feels like some of the plot lines were rushed, like the introduction of the werewolves and Bella's discovery of the Cullens' secret. Then again, the story's fifty plus chapter long, and I'm only on chapter fifteen, so the rush may deem necessary. And for some readers, some of the grammatical errors may irk them, but it doesn't bother me at all. The great storyline trumps it all. 

I look forward to reading the rest of it. Well done, Megsly!


Post a Comment