***CAUTION: This review may contain possible spoilers, profanity, and rabid fangirling.***
With all this hype going on about Fifty Shades Of Grey by E L James, which for those of you who don’t know is an erotic novel that started off as a Twilight fanfic, I couldn’t resist the urge to reread my favorite Twilight fanfic. This story is probably one of the best things I have ever read. Fanfic or not, it is still an amazingly written story of loss and love.
It obviously follows the story of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. It’s written in first person, alternating between Bella’s perspective and Edward’s. Both characters have serious flaws and are fucked up in more ways than one. Bella was the victim of a month long home invasion where her mom’s ex-boyfriend locked her in a closet and abused her mentally and physically. This event leaves her mom dead and Bella so traumatized that the simple touch of any man sends her spiraling into a mental breakdown. She refuses to sleep because when she does, she has the worst nightmares and wakes up in a panic. She spent a year in group homes before finally allowing her aunt Esme to convince her to move in with her and her daughter, Alice. Edward is equally fucked in the head. When he was nine, he was in a house fire and watched his father burn to death. Shortly after the fire, his mother put him up for adoption and he spent years in group homes before being adopted by Dr Carlisle Cullen. He blames himself for the fire and his father’s death. He is similarly afflicted as Bella in that he also refuses to sleep because of the horrid dreams. And speaking of Edward….DAMN. This version of him is lovingly referred to as “dark Edward” because he is a fowl mouthed, cocky, antisocial motherfucker. And I LOVED it.
The two are draw together when they realize they have a similar problem and start spending their nights together out in the cold at the gazebo that is between her house and his to help keep each other awake. Things continue in this fashion, with the nightly hangouts for a few weeks until Edward gets completely exhausted and falls asleep on Thanksgiving. Bella becomes so worried that she climbs the lattice to his balcony and finds him curled in the middle of his bed, deep asleep whimpering, shaking, and with tears streaming down his face. She tries to awaken him by yelling at him, but no such luck. Desperate to help him, she crawls into the bed, knowing that touching him means another mental break but needing to wake him, and starts to try to wake him with her touch. And then something amazing happens. She can touch him. She doesn’t feel the panic or have the mental flashes that she gets when anyone else touches her. She still can’t wake him, so she starts stroking his hair and humming the song his mother used to hum to him and he calms instantly. Eventually he unconsciously wraps an arm around her waist and she still feels no panic. Somehow, she ends up drifting off to sleep wrapped in his arms. They both wake up nightmare free many hours later and everything changes after that. She starts sneaking over to his house every night to sleep. Though she is attracted to him, it takes him a long time to admit his attraction to her for fear that he will fuck it up and ruin the sanctity of their sleeping. A lot of shit happens after this and things get better and then worse and then better and so on.
This story is so well written and it’s obvious the author put a lot of effort into the research behind the illness that affect the characters. Bella & Edward don’t just skate along carefree while being severally sleep deprived. That shit had serious medical consequences. As does post traumatic stress disorder which both characters obviously have. These issues are eventually addressed as the characters work towards a better relationship. The two finding solace in each other isn’t a cure-all for their problems even though they think it is.
You guys have no idea how much effort I am putting into not fangirling out right now. This story will make you laugh, cry, scream, and get so angry that you wish the characters were real just so you could punch them in the face and tell them how stupid they are. And it’s all worth it. This is just one of those great things that stick with you even as you read other things. This was my sixth time reading it and the wow factor still hasn’t worn off. I’m just blown away by it. Maybe it’s because I can relate (on a WAY smaller scale) to some of the issues that are faced, but this is one of those stories that is always in my head. Dark Edward rolls around in there along with Bella and Alice and Jazz. No offense meant to Stephenie Meyer, but this fanfic makes Twilight look like it’s deaf, blind, and retarded cousin.
It really is a must read, so go read it now. Seriously, you have no fucking excuse not to because it’s a fanfic so it is free, so go google “Wide Awake fanfic” and read it. NOW!
Random side note, I made a playlist for the epic story and it’s below, in no particular order.
1. All The Same by Sick Puppies
2. White Balloons by Sick Puppies
3. My World by Sick Puppies
4. Survive by Sick Puppies
5. Master Of The Universe by Sick Puppies
6. The Bottom by Sick Puppies
7. The Red by Chevelle
8. Forfeit by Chevelle
9. The Gift by Seether
10. Walk Away From The Sun by Seether
11. Never Leave by Seether
12. The Crow And The Butterfly by Shinedown
13. Beyond The Sun by Shinedown
14. Stop And Say You Love Me by Evans Blue
15. Possession by Evans Blue
16. The Tease by Evans Blue