Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Slash Guest Author Rec - AHizelm

LINKS:

Get Me To You
Chicklette
Alice's Jasper, Edward's Bella
LyricalKris

.-O-.

I'll be very honest with you:

I am currently in the middle of six (yes, six) works in progress. And I have a toddler. And a husband. And a life.

Therefore, I have very little time to read. So, when I get an update email that says the word count has five digits, I can candidly tell you that, unless it's a one shot, it is likely that that update is going to be placed in the massive backlog of things that need to be read in my email inbox. I just don't have the time to set aside to read something of that length right now.

It's no secret that I am generally a proponent for less wordy things. There is a time and a place for epic length, but I also feel that it says a whole lot about an author if they can viscerally convey a moment or event in very few words. So, when I got to thinking about what I wanted to rec for the purposes of this piece, it was pretty simple.

I ship Jasper/Bella like it's going out of style, and I like brevity.

So, what I'm rec'ing here are two Jasper/Bella novellas, all very distinct and powerful in their own way and less than 10 chapters each.
.-O-.

"Get Me To You" by Chicklette - Winner of Winter 2010 Indie! Pet names and Pop Tarts. Sunday mornings with Etta and Ella. Cibola. Candymouth. You finally realize the truth. What if it's too late? M for drinking, drug use, sex and effing language. ExBxJxAxEm/POV, AH, OOC.

- - -

"Alice's Jasper, Edward's Bella" by LyricalKris - Bella had lost everything, including her purpose in life. Jasper had lost everything, including his freedom. Prison is an unlikely place to find happiness again, but two broken souls will recognize each other in the most unexpected of places.

.-O-.

First up is "Get Me To You", a novella by Chicklette. She has a distinct writing style, and it piles imagery on top of imagery on top of plot, and it just...works. It almost seems necessary, given the basic, seemingly simple plot of GMTY.
Bella and Jasper are in high school and begin dating, and it is passionate and intense. Things fall apart because Jasper cheats.
...or does he?
And therein lies the rub.
While we're on the topic, let's talk Jasper, shall we?
Jasper is, hands down, my favorite Twilight character. Yes, I love Edward as much as the next girl, but give me a well-done Jasper characterization and I am smitten, head over heels style. I simply believe that his character could have had so much depth in the Saga, but was not given a chance to shine, aside from that one chapter in Eclipse.
Also, I'm from Texas, so an authentic Jasper does funny things to my girly bits. Just saying.
This Jasper is cool, calm, collected, and begins the story as one of Bella's best friends. I must say that the voice that Chicklette has given Jasper is kind of fantastic, and if you'll bear with me, I have two bits - both from chapter 1 and after they became an item - that I absolutely adored.
. . .
I got Sunday mornings first. I got Sunday mornings with Ella and Etta and strawberry Pop Tarts and crumbs in the bed and white cotton panties that give under my tongue, that trap my fingers right inside of her where I am the musician and she is the instrument. Sunday mornings watching Bullitt or Bond or reading Dick or Faulkner. She likes it when I read her Faulkner. She likes my drawl and I like her smile so we both win with that one.
. . .
That's my girl you're talking about ... Mine on Friday night when she's shaking her ass on the dance floor, taunting some junior who thinks he's gonna work up his nerve and take a shot. Mine on Wednesday night when I pick her up and carry her to my bed and there's laughter and smiles and groans and shudders. Mine with the big brown eyes and sweet skin at the crook of her neck that says bite me and I'll make that noise that you like. Mine to wrap in old t-shirts because I want everyone to know the next day at school that yeah, she is mine. Mine on Sunday mornings and close the windows to the world and turn off the phone and sleep off the booze and smoke a cigarette so she can like the way it tastes on my tongue. Mine.
. . .
Chickette weaves a tale of young love and angst, a story of two people who make the natural progression from friends to lovers to other, and she makes it all seem very natural. This story alternates POVs often, but the truth is always a step away from where you are, until all of a sudden it's there, on top of you, and you're overwhelmed with the immensity of what you've just learned. I won't give anything away, but I'll tell you that you can take any preconceived notions you may have and throw them out of the window. Yes, Edward's around (and so is Alice), and he realizes too late that he has feelings for Bella. But it's not the source of some overly angsty, tangled web in which Bella can't make up her mind which of them - either Jasper or Edward - she wants, even in the wake of her and Jasper's downfall. Yes, they're in high school, so there is a lot of highly-strung emotion, but it's never overly done. One of my least favorite things is contrived angst. There are very few things that will make me flounce a fic faster, and it is a non-issue here; the range of emotions of these characters is on point and truly reminiscent of their age, which is fantastic. Additionally, the pacing of this story is wonderfully done - it never seems rushed, but it's also far from stagnant. Chicklette makes it work, and it all flows very smoothly from chapter to chapter.
I read the six chapters of this story in a single reading session, and throughout it, I wanted to cry, I laughed and I felt pride. It's also safe to say that I was a bit of a weepy mess by the time I read the last line.
"Get Me To You" is a shining example of my favorite kind of fic - one that is short but powerful. Go read it! You won't regret it.
.-O-.
Second is "Alice's Jasper, Edward's Bella" by LyricalKris.
This story chronicles versions of Jasper and Bella that are strangely canon.
Bella has lost Edward in an extremely violent way. Jasper watched Alice's attackers take her life. It's their reactions to their joined loss - despite the fact that they don't know one another - that finally make their paths cross.
For you see, Bella became a shell of a person and devoted herself to volunteering in an attempt to remain busy, to keep herself distracted.
And Jasper? Jasper became a shell of a person and sought revenge, killing the two men who took his Alice away.
He was eventually caught and put through a trial, and Bella meets him while volunteering at a prison. She is bringing a home made meal to an inmate, and this is the vision of Jasper she sees, initially:
. . .
He wasn't what she expected. He was muscular, but not obscenely or frighteningly so. Instead of the shaved head she had been picturing, he had long, scraggly, dirty blond hair. His glare was not malevolent; it was curiously dead. There were scars on his face and his arms. Parts of his exposed skin were blacked, seemingly randomly, with tattoos. He watched her as she looked him over, but she didn't feel threatened.
There was a time when the sight of him would have made her uncomfortable, made her afraid. She felt nothing. She wondered what the tattoos meant, if they meant anything, and how many more he had that were hidden from view. The thought was fleeting and she didn't honestly care.
...
Her eyes returned to his. It was almost like looking in a mirror. Flat, lifeless brown irises to flat, lifeless blue.
He looked like he might have been beautiful once.
. . .
From there, they find an odd sense of camaraderie. She continues to bring him food, and eventually they share their stories of loves lost because of the actions of other people. They genuinely fall in love while he's finishing his sentence, and every small act of intimacy between the two of them is seemingly magnified thanks to their histories.
This kiss was not like their other first kisses. There was no giddiness, or incredulity. There was a spark though. The fire and life that they had once possessed, that they had thought had died completely, snapped back into existence. It was a low flame, but it was there. Bella opened her mouth to Jasper and he slowly began to explore her tongue with his own as their lips moved together. The spark grew stronger.
. . .
When they broke to breathe the fire was noticeable in their eyes. Once flat, lifeless brown and blue irises gained depth and clarity. It wasn't complete, but it was a start. Where there had been nothing, there was now something.
Slowly, Bella brings Jasper back to life, and she him. You watch as they quietly morph from the versions of Bella and Jasper that their former fiancées knew and loved into stronger, better, more mature versions of themselves. And it's all done believably. When Jasper finally gets out of prison, LyricalKris takes you on an honest journey of their life together in "the real world". The follow up chapters are moments of their life, and while they are all worth a read, I must admit that the first chapter stuck with me the most.
One of my favorite things about this, as I read the first chapter - which was a one shot originally written for the "For the Love of Jasper" contest - is that LyricalKris uses parallelism, of a sort. When we see Jasper's reaction to memories of Alice, we also see Bella's reaction to memories of Edward. When the author describes Bella's feelings during their first kiss, she also tells of Jasper's, but it never feels repetitious. In fact, the story is fully flushed out because we get to see the psyches of both characters in an extremely well done third person narration.
Additionally, I feel as though it should be mentioned that despite the darkness in their pasts - or perhaps because of it - Jasper and Bella are both incredibly candid about their thoughts, their desires and their needs, as well as one another. There is no miscommunication here, and it's absolutely refreshing.
"Alice's Jasper, Edward's Bella" is a story that is filled with palpable emotions, some of which are not entirely pleasant, but all of which are true to life. By the end of the fic, Jasper and Bella, as a couple, are so solid, so cemented together, that the fact that they've experienced such great loss almost becomes a minor detail. They have healed and grown, both together and apart, and in the end, they get the happy ending that they'd always wanted. Happy, happy sigh.

2 comments:

BBSapphire24 said...

I loved your rec ahizelm! GMTY is a fantastic Jasperella that I fell in love with! Your rec was accurate and was beautiful!

I've added the other story to my list! It seems like a good length for my limited time for reading!

Thanks!

Chicklet said...

Oh Gosh! I just want to say thank you, so much, both to ahizelm for your beautiful words, and to DA, for this unf-tastic blog.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)