Sunday, April 26, 2009

GuestFicRec: Morality From An Americn


I've been devouring Twilight fan fiction for about a year now. In that time, I've become significantly more picky about what I will read and enjoy. There isn't much I appreciate more than realism. In fact, I often find myself rolling my eyes at the clichés that have unfortunately become the fan fiction rule rather than exception.

For example, in our fandom, characters frequently marry their high school sweethearts. And, while it does happen from time to time in the real world, you usually don't meet the love of your life at age seventeen.

I'm guilty of using this plot device, and I understand why other authors do it - really I do. No one wants to read: "And they lived happily ever after until they broke up at nineteen after a bad fight and too many tequila shots.” But teenagers are nothing if not impulsive, and the reality is that most young love is fleeting.

No one agrees with this more than the Bella in Memento Mori. Despite being caught between the boy she doesn't love and the boy she refuses to, she regards love and sex with a practicality that I would normally adore. She admires romance, but acknowledges the frivolity of teenage flirtations. She makes all of her decisions with her own interests at heart, focusing on what will be best for her future. She allows herself to be selfish and cruel, because she knows that she will ultimately get what she desires. This is one of the most selfish Bellas I've read: something that both frustrated the hell out of me and excited me at the same time.

Bella remains in a relationship with Jacob because he has the resources to get her into her dream college. She sleeps with Edward because... well, it feels good. Though somewhat disgusted with herself, Bella stays positive and focused on the bigger picture. But when her carefully constructed world unravels around her, we begin to see the pitfalls of living for the future: you miss the moment.

"Memento mori" is a Latin phrase that loosely translates to "be mindful of your own mortality.” Rosette writes in a way that keeps us both utterly frustrated yet understanding while Bella figures this out for herself. I often flinched as Bella made mistake after mistake. But no matter how annoyed I was with Bella, I couldn't look away because I could understand the motivations behind her actions. Also, Rosette’s writing makes the story too compelling to abandon.

Rosette-Cullen is not an unknown name in the fandom. I've been quietly following and adoring her since last summer when I was still lurking without reviewing (if I can overcome it, so can all of you guys). Her twists on these familiar characters constantly amaze me. Neither Jake nor Edward is villainous, something a little miraculous in the often-done world of love triangles. They are instead just flawed teenage boys entranced by the same girl.

Her Edward particularly impresses me. He is similar to Canon Edward in his devotion to Bella, without being cliché, and is described using sparing but fascinating details (I particularly love his penchant for gambling and losing). Even Bella, selfish as she is, never becomes unredeemable; her motives remain honest even when her actions don't.

At only sixteen chapters, Memento Mori is a pretty quick read. It comes full circle without contrived drama (something for which I have absolutely no patience), and maintains the realism that drew me to it in the first place. I suggest reading with a cup of tea and the knowledge that Bella will eventually figure her shit out. It's frustrating. It's difficult. But it's completely worth it. There's nothing quite as sweet as redemption.

americnxidiot recently was nominated for an Eddie for her story, You Get Me Closer To God. She is quite the globe-trotter but decided she didn't need to get an 'a' on her travels. Got to love her for the anarchy.


  1. I beta for Rosette, and she truly is amazing!

    Her stories are not only intelligently written, but also heartfelt. You may think I'm biased (because I probably am), but she really is one of the best writers on fan fiction. This is a well-deserved honor.

  2. This fic just went on my hotlist from that fantabulous review. You've certainly piqued my interest Rach! I can't wait to get to this one!

  3. I, too, will be adding this story to my list. I love Rosette and can't wait to dig into this yummy morsel. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful review, Rachel! :)

  4. I just read and LOVED this story. Thanks for the rec! Thanks so much for doing what you do so well.

  5. Yay!! I'm so happy this story is getting attention.
    Rosette-Cullen is so talented. Plus she has awesome taste in music. She is one of my favorites.


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