Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Selections for August 15, 2010


IdreamofEddy recommends All Together Different by KristALchelle

The story picks up in New Moon right before Bella jumps off the cliff. Someone stops her, so Alice never sees her jump. Five years later, tragedy brings the Cullen family back to Forks to help pick up the pieces of a shattered heart. AU Contains lemons.

I found KristALchelle's story by chance. I was working over the search feature on FFn while I was at work. An hour later, I was wiping the tears away, and completely flabbergasted that I had found such a gem. It's simply wonderful.

I've yet to come across a story that starts out when Bella jumps off the cliff in New Moon that I can honestly say I like. While they are predominately Bella/Jasper stories, they just can't seem to pull it off for me because they're missing the one big denominator, and that's Jacob. He was heavily influential over her life at that point, so cutting Jacob out and throwing her into a relationship with Jasper immediately just seems wrong.

This story, however, has a unique and very original twist to the incident at the cliff, and it leads to one of the best 'after incident' nights with Jacob I've ever read. I have to admit, by the second chapter I started to get a little nervous because Bella is still hearing voices, and they are voices I was a little concerned about her hearing because it made no sense. But by the fourth chapter I realize I was probably assuming too much. There are reasons for that, so if it turns you off, keep reading.

I have never fallen in love with a Jacob like I have KristALchelle's. Simply put, it's nice to see someone give respect to the character Stephenie gave him, instead of writing him off as an asshole of epic proportions. Er, I'm one of those people, but I simply love her Jacob. I love Bella and Jacob's family. They're as solidified as they can possibly get. Their issues are relatable and their love is real.

There's a certain quality of 'realism' to this story, and it continues past the first chapter and into the next...and the next. KristALchelle is simply a superb writer. Her words flow, her detail to just the emotion of the story does not read rushed, and this fic basks in maturity. The dialogue is STRONG. I've been looking for a story like this for a long time, and I can't wait to see where she goes with it. Please, if you're not reading this fic, you need to be. It's one to really appreciate.

Merina Green recommends Worth It by Nightfairy85

Things change, that is the nature of life. After Bella and Jasper share a moment in a motel room their worlds will change forever, but will this change be worth all the pain? Bella/Jasper pairing. Rated M for language and poss. lemons.

I got hooked on this fic when it first came out because it all starts in the hotel room in Phoenix, when Jasper tells Bella she is worth it.  Only in THIS version, Jasper is interested in more than just telling her.  It sort of comes as a surprise to him, the depth of his feelings for Bella.  And in this version, things don't go down with James in quite the same way.  Instead of the dance studio, it's a dirty alleyway, and Jasper is the one to take James down - but not before James manages to bite Bella, though.

Jasper quickly explains to Bella that she has to make a choice - to go through with the change or have Jasper suck the venom out of her.  This is no out-of-control Jasper here in THIS story.  Well, he warns her there's a possibility he might drain her, but he feels pretty confident he won't because he knows he loves her.

"Bite me," she tells him.

And he obliges, thrilled with her choice.  Hell, he's probably already picking out china patterns and linens in his head, and to hell with the consequences.

Enter Edward and the rest of the Cullens, consequences in tow.  Edward throws a shit fit.  How DARE Jasper change HIS Bella?  How DARE he make that decision?

Never mind that it was Bella's choice.

So Controlward sucks the venom back out while the rest of the family lets him, and Jasper is left wondering what the hell to do next because, after all, Bella IS Edward's mate.  Right?  But he wants her for himself.  And she wanted HIM.  At least, that was HIS understanding of what had gone down between them.

What comes next is a lot of angst, heartache, and pain.  Chapters of it.  Jasper's relationship with Alice falls apart because he finds that he really does have feelings for Bella, even though he can't seem to do anything with that knowledge.  This story was first published before Aggressive Jasper became so popular.  This Jasper loves Bella and wants her to choose him over Edward.  The operative word here being 'choose'.

Bella?  Well, she's going through a rough patch.  The venom in her system has her.  She knows it.  Jasper knows it.  Edward knows it.  Edward denies it publicly, and nobody will listen to Jasper.  And Bella keeps her mouth shut because she doesn't know what's happening to her.  Bella comes across as weak in a lot of the story, and I know people don't like that.  But I see her as what she is - a 17-year old girl who is going through something she cannot understand with nobody to guide her.  All she has is Edward, who she loves and trusts because that's what 17-year old girls do with their first love.  She has no previous betrayals in her life to recognize the one that is happening to her now.  And, well, like all controlling, abusive relationships, by the time she realizes something is terribly wrong, it's a little too late.  Welcome to reality, Bella - except your abuser happens to be an immortal vampire.  The local women's shelter isn't really an option for you, honey, and you can forget telling Daddy.  We wouldn't want him ending up as Edward's midnight snack, now would we?

Edward?  Edward, Edward, Edward.  Edward heads down a dark path.  Edward, it turns out, likes to be in control.  Edward, it turns out, likes the fact that he can do things to Bella - and nobody finds out, thanks to her limited exposure and reaction to the venom in her system.  Between her quick healing and the fear of what Edward will do to her loved ones if she says anything, well...Edward has her right where he wants her.  If you don't like reading about abuse - implied or explicit - well, go ahead and avoid this story.  Actually, I don't like abuse scenes either.  I admit that I skimmed through a lot of those parts (sorry, hon – it was not a reflection on your writing), but Nightfairy85 does them well.  They are not gratuitous violence.  They are, however, very real and violent depictions of an abusive relationship.

What, you ask, is Jasper doing during all of this?  Jasper is trying to get Bella to make a different choice - because it's all very good and well for the hero to ride in and rescue the damsel in distress, but if the damsel appears to not want to be rescued, the rescue will be for nothing.  And really, doesn't that put the rescuer on the same level as the abuser?  "I am going to steal you away because you obviously are making bad choices.  And I will make you stay with me because THAT is the RIGHT choice."  Some readers might want that to happen, but that's no healthier than staying with the abuser.  He wants to save her, he wants her to choose him, but time and again she doesn't. And he, finally...well, you have to read it.

And what are the Cullens doing?  The Cullens are being...well, they're being a typical family.  Edward is a smooth liar, and the golden-boy to boot.  Alice?  Surely dear little Alice would SEE something like that and tell them...Alice, whose husband has become enamored with his new found unreciprocated love.  Yeah, right, like THAT is going to happen.  This Alice might as well run for president of the “Get Bella out of Jasper's Life” club.  Esme and Rosalie?  Wouldn't THEY recognize the signs of abuse?  Well, Edward IS Esme's favorite son...and Rose might recognize it, or suspect it, but we're back to proof... Where is the proof?  Bella hasn't complained, there are no marks, and who is going to listen to Jasper's theory that something is going on with her?  Other than a couple little 'quirks', she's perfectly human.  Edward, after all, has reassured them all of this.  And who would doubt him?  He obviously loves her.

Right now in the story, the shit is in the process of hitting the fan.  It was a long time coming, and I really have no idea what Nightfairy85 will do next or where she's taking it all, but I want to find out.  She has written wonderful, flawed, 'human' characters, and I really, really want to know how she has them handle the nightmare they've created around them.  I feel like NOBODY is blameless in this story.  I want to slap ALL of them.  Like I said, though, I want to find out how it all works out.  I'm not holding my breath for that White Knight to magically fix everything, but you never know...  I'd settle for an angry, blond vamp with a wicked bite right now, even if he IS #2 on my 'slap upside the head' list.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Ladies so much for including ATD and me in your Sunday Selections today.

    My dearest Kay,
    thank you for your kind words and your amazing recommendation. I am absolutely humbled to the ground, blubbering like crazy and smiling like a loon! Thank you for the best Sunday I have had in a long time!!

    Love so much, Krista