Completed Fic of the Week: 8/8/11-8/14/11

August 09, 2011

Bella and the Beastward by Zhivago3
Review by AnonymouslySufferingFromOCD
Rating: M
Genre: Romance/Hurt/Comfort, AH
Characters: Edward/Bella

Summary: A modern re-telling of the classic. Can Bella learn to tame the beast? Rated M for language, lemons, and themes.

 I have to say I was a bit skeptical when I was asked to review this one, the summary and title hint that it is a Beauty and the Beast re-make, and that made me nervous. I wasn’t sure what type of Beast we would be dealing with and I wasn’t sure I could handle the amount of angst that could go along with it.

With that being said, I loved this story! It quickly ranked among my top 25, with as much fanfiction I have read, that is saying a lot. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise me really, I have read and loved another story by Zhivago. Bliss, is also among my favorites.

We all know the story of Beauty and the Beast and this story does follow it very closely. Edward Cullen had the perfect life in the palm of his hands, he grew up rich and beautiful, everything came easily to him, friends, women, school, he had it all. Until one fateful night when he and two of his best friends decided to take out the family yacht, only to have it explode a few hours later. That is where our perfect Edward Cullen becomes a very reclusive and bitter Edward Masen.

Edward was the only surviving member of the trio following the explosion, suffering severe burns during the crisis his parents decided to allow the press to believe that he too was lost. Edward struggles with the fact that he is not the same person he once was, not only did he survive a tragedy, he also had to endure a painful recovery that left him disfigured and in his eyes a monster.

I didn't leave the house often, when I did it was at night and for very specific reasons. Garrett was one of those reasons. Alice found him for me because needed a way of documenting my mistakes, my anger, my frustrations, my regrets. He was a genius with a tattoo gun and slowly but surely, had been covering what parts of my body he could with ink. 

The first tattoos I got were angry, horrifying scenes. There were fires, death, visions of hell, flashes of misery from my dreams. Over the years though, things became less angry and more... I suppose sad is the word. My anger and fears had melted into murkiness. I felt restless and ill at ease. I was pathetic and I knew it. 

I felt heavy-laden and hunched over. It was a new, unwelcome feeling. That being said, it was better than the unrelenting anger followed by crippling depressing that followed in my past. All I could think of was this sad willow tree by the lake in the park where my mother used to take me as a kid. I don't ever remember it having leaves; it always seemed barren and dead. The irony was fucking palpable and I wanted the image to be part of the collage. 

 Bella Swan is facing demons of her own, after the death of her mother, our Bella escapes to New York City to find herself. She is a dispatcher for a bike messaging service by day and a jewelry designer by night. She only has a few close friends as she has a hard time trusting anyone enough to let them in. The question is can she allow Edward in enough to tame his beast and if she does will she be the one that is hurt along the way?

My mother killed herself when I was 22. 

The only people in the world who knew that were my father and Sue. She wasn't a traditional mother. When I was seven, we spent my summer vacation on a commune in Colorado, pulling carrots from the ground and becoming "one with nature." When I was twelve and got my period, she took me to a local Native American Reservation and we experienced a sweat lodge together as a celebration of femininity. She was a Vegan before it was cool. She wore crystals not because they were pretty, but because she thought they were healing. 

My parents split when I was five years old. It was a mutual and calm break-up. No courts were involved with custody or anything. I split my time equally between the two of them - playing caretaker to my free-thinking mother and chef to my kitchen-allergic father until he married Sue when I was 17. 

I never knew my mother was unhappy because she never said or showed anything. To me, she seemed to find peace in her crystals and mediation groups. It never once occurred to me that the reason she sought peace and tranquility with such a fervent passion was because she never felt either. 

While this story deals with a lot of seriousness and some angst, it is understandable why our two main characters go through what they do. The story is dubbed Romance/Hurt/Comfort and I think that aptly describes exactly what it is. You know I am a wimp when it comes to angst and as I have said earlier, I absolutely love this story. The chemistry between Bella and Edward is electrifying and seeing their love grow from the beginning will make your heart melt.

I let him up and looked around relieved that everything was in its place. That's when I realized that it was still light out. It wasn't quite fall and the days were still semi-long. It wasn't his usual night owl time. He came out in the light for me. I was really very touched. He didn't even think twice about it either. He just dropped whatever he was doing and came right over. 

There was a knock at the door. I peered through the peephole to see him standing at the door, gray hoodie pulled over his head. I undid the locks, opened the door, and he stepped inside. When he was in, I closed and locked the door back up. I turned to him just as he was pulling his hood off. It's not that I had forgotten what he looked like, but it would take time before I couldn't see those scars anymore. 

I couldn't stare for more than a second before he had stepped toward me and pulled me into him. I closed my eyes, let my arms wrap around his waist, and let out a breath I wasn't aware I had been holding. Again, being held by him felt so good - so safe and warm. 

"I..." but he hesitated. 

"Yes?" I whispered. 

"I missed you," he said simply. 

I squeezed him tighter. I didn't want to say it. Maybe I was having a hard time believing that after only 48 hours of knowing him, I missed him too - but I did. I missed being in his arms. 

The story itself is twenty four chapters that suck you in from the very beginning. I started reading it and couldn’t put it down, I finished it in a matter of hours and trust me when I tell you, it takes a lot to captivate me like that. Zhivago3 weaves a wonderful, truly modern day fairytale that you will have you believing could actually happen. Her descriptions of New York are amazing and make you feel like you are there. I highly recommend this story, it is only a few reviews away from one thousand but it deserves so much more recognition than that. I hope you find it as truly captivating as I did.


  1. Zhivago3 said...:

    I am so happily overwhelmed by your review. Thank you so much for your incredible words. I am incredibly honored to be in your "top 25." I only hope that part two can capture the same magic. Thank you again! -Elisabeth

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