August 31, 2011

Jeannie's review of 'Expectations and Other Moving Pieces' by Chrometurtle

Everything I had done in my life seemed to lead up to this moment. The moment when I found myself bound inextricably to a man I didn't love, trapped in a life I didn't want. And if I left him, I would be entirely alone.
Twilight - Rated: M - English - Angst/Romance - Chapters: 39 - Words: 191,117 - Reviews: 11896 - Updated: 8-3-11 - Published: 10-13-09 - Bella & Edward

Hi all, it’s me. I know, I know, it’s been a long time baby but I’m back from my self-inflicted hiatus. I’ve been going through a reading dry spell lately and have found myself reflecting back on some of the things I’ve read in recent past that has inspired me to be a power reader in the first place. One of the reasons I love working at SYTYCW is that it’s a great forum for fic readers to cross over to being book readers, which is a category I proudly place myself in.

I know I don’t talk about fic a lot (or at all, really, anymore) but I used to read a lot of fic. Good fic, bad fic, sadly before I found recs, I  mostly read bad fic. (sidenote: there needs to be a bumper sticker that says, “Friends don’t let Friends read Bad Fics” I’d totally rock that on my mom mobile) But when I stumbled on a good fic (and later was rec’d other equally good fic) it was like nothing could stop me from tearing that story up. Sadly, I have found very few good fic and even fewer outstanding fic that I would consider top notch in my book. Most of those outstanding fics are ones you’ve heard of, “Wide Awake” by Angstgoddess003, “Clipped Wings & Inked Armour” by HunterHunting and “For the Summer” by Camoozle are some that come to mind when I think of outstanding fics I’ve read in my lifetime. There are a few, and I mean less than I can count on one hand, number of fics that are almost unknown and yet outstanding. These fics deserve attention, these fics deserve fanfare and accolade.

The one I’m thinking of? “Expectations and Other Moving Pieces” by chrometurtle. Now here’s a fic that started in 2009 and is still considered a WIP, though to its credit, it is now winding down and the author, instead of abandoning it, is committed to seeing the story to a rightful conclusion. When it started EaOMP updated almost every other day with a riveting, thought-provoking chapter every single time. To use a sports analogy (and I’m a baseball fan) this fic was hitting them out of the park with every update. Then there was a long stretch in there where she didn’t write a single chapter for months. But its recent quiet return has re-amassed a decent following and at almost 12,000 reviews, it’s not doing too shabby.

What can I say about this fic? Well, it’s one of THE MOST ORIGINAL ideas I’ve read in a fanfic story. The characters are 100% ooc in my opinion, they do not adhere at all to any of the character stereotypes that we know so well from the Twilight Fandom, other than their physical attributes (and even that is questionable since Edward is described as a scrawny nerd-like character). And that’s part of what makes this story great. The characters are not likeable at first blush, you actually hate Edward from the first chapter and are convinced their relationship is abusive and damaging to Bella. What you don’t know is how they got to where they are and what circumstances changed them into the shells of the people you see now. Thus begins the amazing and oftentimes tragic retelling of events that lead up to this point in their lives. Backstory is interwoven with frontstory and as the story moves forward, you begin to see the healing that so slowly, achingly at times, moves between them. It’s tragically beautiful and heartbreakingly good.

Chrometurtle writes this fic like she is writing the great American novel. With care and reverence for her characters and the story. Her writing the screen into your lap as you read the words that spiral these characters into the abyss they’ve seemingly fallen into over their time together. At times, you find yourself reading and feeling like you’re reading poetry, both lyrical and haunting and freaking bloody good. I have convinced a non-Twi fan to read this story, someone who barely knows who Bella and Edward are and they were on the edge of their seat from chapter to chapter. The story captures you with it’s slow unfolding of events and even though you are anxious to find out more from chapter to chapter, you secretly wish the unveiling will continue on just so you can relish and bathe in the gorgeous writing style.

It’s good. It’s damn good. And I rarely say that about a fic. I’ve stuck with this fic in good times and bad, in times when it updated frequently to the times we didn’t see one for half a year. It’s still outstanding. It’s not sexy, it’s not even romantic. It’s a telling of human lives and emotions and relationships that could very well have been on any best seller bookshelf in any bookstore. Trust me and give it a go. I will be sad when it is over but I’ll be happy to know that I can shelve it (virtually, anyway) next to other such great reads as mentioned above and among other great published books. This story rises to the top of them all.

Happy Reading,


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