SOMETHING TRUE by BelieveItOrNot
I want to share one of my favorite stories with you, even though nothing I can say about it can really do it justice, and I’m not sure I’m even going to make much sense, because I flail too hard over it. Something True is a human, complete story that transcends the Twilight universe. Believeitornot wove a story so meaningful and character driven, far beyond Ms. Meyer’s books or imaginings.
Technically, it’s in part a high school story, but while Bella is a senior, Edward is actually a college dropout. Besides, most of the story takes place outside of the school setting anyway, but what it speaks to in a way that most high school stories do not is the utter naivety of Bella as a young girl, and how her experiences over a two year period affect and change her.
Something True is told in a nonlinear timeline, going back and forth between the before and after period of something that happens to Bella the winter previously. Sometimes that can bug me, but in this story, I really felt like it successfully showed the changes in Bella, as well as revealing the events that caused them.
When we first meet Bella, she is sheltered in some ways and not in others. For years, she’s been aware that her mother is carrying on an affair, and this has led to distance between them. It also seems to be one of the reasons why Bella hasn’t dated, though her friend Alice is dismissive of Bella not being sexually active and tries to encourage her to take ownership of her body and have fun. Alice even takes Bella to the store where she persuades her to buy condoms, and she’s embarrassed when she bumps into her friend Rosalie’s good looking older brother and his girlfriend there. Even during that one brief exchange with his girlfriend present, it’s apparent that sweet Bella is attracted to Edward, but those feelings don’t get addressed, and then they quickly fall by the wayside when Bella becomes involved with someone else.
The following summer, Bella is hanging out with Rosalie and avoiding everyone else by spending time at Edward’s cottage. Rose says she doesn’t want to leave Edward alone, but it suits Bella because he doesn’t bug her and you really get the sense that she needs to get away. From her former friends, from the people at school who are talking about her, from her mother (who is constantly letting her down and living a lie), and even her father, who has no clue what is going on. What is really going on is revealed very slowly, artfully and yet in a way that felt totally authentic. Bella spends more and more time with Edward, finding peace, gaining perspective, as well as a surprising bond with this young man who is dealing with a hurt of his own.
Nothing I say about this can do it justice, but the dialogue in this story is something special. Believeitornot does this incredible thing where she doesn’t have the characters say things to each other to spell something out or drive the plot forward. Instead, you read between the lines of what is said or look at what it means, and what that’s telling you.
For instance, I always remember this great conversation quite early on in the story where Bella and Edward are talking about his puppy, Biter, and whether animals have souls because it says so much about them wanting to really know each other, as opposed to just being around. Or sentences like Bella observing Edward’s facial hair and how it’s actually about how much attention she pays to him, even though she’s totally unaware of that or that she’s falling in love with him. She SHOWS instead of TELLS, and it makes it such a great love story. There are so many lines I wish I could quote, like when Edward tells Bella he’s never kissed anyone who kisses like her. What he means is that no one has ever made him feel this way before, but I love that he doesn’t just say that.
I could tell you what happens, what’s behind Bella’s withdrawal, her sadness and anger. I could tell you all the things and never really be able to summarize this story and why I love it so much. It manages to combine absolute realism with beautiful word choices and descriptions, and pretty outstanding dialogue. It’s also very character driven, and so you don’t just feel like you’re reading a story where X happens. You’re reading about a person, getting to know her, and feeling her reactions to things in her life. As a reader, it’s the most rewarding kind of story to dive into.
Summary: With too many secrets and a haunting past she’d love to forget, at seventeen, Bella is sure love doesn’t exist. College dropout Edward Cullen can’t seem to keep hold of love, or his music. A cottage, a lake, a tree, a muse, wrong choices, and heartache. How will these two cope with life and keep afloat? A daily word-prompt WitFit. Alternates between past and present. AH E/B
Rated: M (FFn)
Characters: Bella, Edward
Genres: Angst, Romance