RandomCran's Rec of the Week: 2/27/12

February 29, 2012

High Fidelity by IRene H
Review by RandomCran

Rating: M
Genre: Romance/Angst
Characters: Edward & Bella

Summary: Edward is an unfeeling bastard. Bella gets caught up in his games. Language and lots of it. Lemons eventually. It's a slow burn, slow and painful. Mature. Lots of random pop culture references. AH, AU, ExB.

It’s not often that I spy a tweet loudly proclaiming (IN SHOUTY CAPS) that everyone in the Fandom needs to drop what they’re doing to read a new story. So when this particular message flashed across my timeline a little over a week ago, I clicked ‘Favorite’ and waited until my household had settled down for the evening to see what the deal was about. And after reading just one chapter of High Fidelity, I understood perfectly what that tweet was expressing.

With only six chapters posted at the time, I made the conscious decision to ignore both my husband (Sorry, MOG) and my usual bedtime to read the entire story at once. As I settled in, I only felt my excitement and love for this unique story growing by the paragraph.

By the next morning, I was tweeting praise myself. Two nights ago, I eagerly agreed to review the story to help spread the word even further. Those who have read it and saw me tweeting about it have responded back just as enthusiastically. The rapidly growing consensus with those I discuss the story with is that it is wonderful to have to something new to be so excited about.

I couldn’t agree more. If High Fidelity continues as strongly as it has begun, I think we’ll all soon know the story and its author quite well. Not only has IReen H crafted an incredible set of characters and plotline, she demonstrates a keen wit in her narrative and has done so all without the assistance of a beta or pre-reader. High Fidelity is IReen H’s first multi-chapter WIP and it is nothing short of phenomenal.

So, you ask, what exactly is the plot? The summary, like the story, holds nothing back from its narrative:

“Edward is an unfeeling bastard. Bella gets caught up in his games. Language and lots of it. Lemons eventually. It's a slow burn, slow and painful. Mature. Lots of random pop culture references.” 

Beyond these simple labels, however, are two main characters whose traits are varied and whose personalities are complex. The reader perceives them one way by the end of one chapter, only to have her perceptions and conclusions challenged by the end of the next one. Over the course of the first six chapters, Edward and Bella are slowly, beautifully defined and fine-tuned for the reader and I’m quite certain we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to these two.

Their first interaction takes place in the most mundane of locations, seemingly in the most mundane of circumstances until you realize the plot is taking an unexpected turn.


Fold, tear, staple, stack. 

Fold, tear, staple, stack. 

I was at work, just finishing up the accounts payable and fighting the urge to crawl under my desk and nap when I heard the door to our suite open. Heels clicked across our unmanned reception area's tile floor, then were muffled by the carpet as the visitor suddenly appeared at my office door. 

It's him. Edward Cullen. We have worked in the same office building for over five years and never spoken to each other. 

Our complex has ten suites in it. A bunch of white collar offices including a handful of lawyers, a realtor, a dentist, some accountants, an auto repossession company, and the insurance place right next to me. Sometimes when Emmett Cullen slams a filing cabinet in his office, stuff falls off the shelves in mine. I work for the realtor. 

Edward and I pass in the hallway on occasion. I smile politely, he nods. We don't talk. Sometimes I go into the break room to nuke my overpriced organic non-gmo lunch and run into him taking some leftover Chinese food out of the microwave. Sometimes it's Mexican. It's always in a Styrofoam container. He doesn't acknowledge me. 

It’s not that I dislike the man, it's just that you can tell he thinks he is better than everyone else because he parks his Jaguar in the middle of two parking spaces so that it has 4 feet of clearance around it at all times. 

"Hi." I looked up at him expectantly. 

He leaned against the door frame like he was posing for a cover shoot for GQ. I had a hard time keeping saliva from pooling in the corners of my mouth. Yeah – he is pretty. 

"Do you happen to know who owns the Red Isuzu Rodeo in our lot?" 

"Ya – I do." Uh oh. Did I leave my lights on? 

"Did you know that you hit someone in the parking lot this morning?" 

Come again? 

"Uh. No I didn't. Wait, you mean, someone hit me?" I thought maybe he had misstated what he was trying to say. 

"No, you hit another car in the parking lot." 

I actually laughed. This was absurd. "Nope, wasn't me." 

He just looked at me. I noticed that his eyes were a stunning shade of green. 

"You have a dent in your bumper." Good job Sherlock. Yeah, I have a dent in my bumper, and the paint has oxidized off the hood, I am missing one of the roof rack handles and there is a huge bleach stain on the floor in the backseat. I probably drive a shittier car than anyone else here. But I love it. It goes everywhere, rides just a little bouncy, and I know my way around the engine. 

A few months ago my neighbor's girlfriend parked her Honda CRX in front of my house, halfway blocking my driveway. The next morning when I left I told myself to shimmy around it and then totally forgot and rolled right into it. My bumper dented and she has a nice ding over her right rear tire. She didn't care, I didn't care. We didn't make a thing out of it. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have been harassed by guys in parking lots who offer to pop the dent out for me, no trouble at all. I turn them down. I can handle that myself… I just haven't done it yet. 

It's on my to-do list. 

"Yes, I have a dent in my bumper. It's been there for months. I hit a friend of mine back in May." 

Edward Cullen looked at me like I was full of shit. 


And from this exchange, the rest of the ingenious story takes off.

I have to state outright that I hate delivering spoilers. When I review, I try my best to sum up a story so that you have a fairly decent idea of what it’s about without giving away crucial pieces, and hopefully my enthusiasm for the piece I am reviewing motivates you to go on and read it.

I’ve made a deliberate choice with this particular review to reveal very little about Bella and Edward and their journey in High Fidelity because I firmly believe the fewer details you have about this story going in, the more pleasantly surprised you will be.

I’m simply asking you to have faith in my recommendation and just jump right into the story.

I confidently guarantee that you will not regret it.


  1. Ruby said...:

    Superb review Cran, for a story that itself is nothing short of superb. You already know that I'm salivating over this fic. Well done you!

  1. MOG said...:

    I believe I'll go find this one.

  1. Honorella said...:

    Great review. This story is so good.

Post a Comment