Friday, October 9, 2009

Living Backwards by ciaobella27

This week's Perv Pack Recommendation is...

Title: Living Backwards
Author: ciaobella27
Chapters: 17
Words: 88,978
Reviews: 1721
Summary: At 27, Bella Swan is not the mousy and shy girl she once was in high school. After hitting her head, she awakens to find herself back in 1999 during her senior year. How can you go back and repeat history when you aren’t That Bella anymore? ExB, AU/AH


We've all had those conversations. You know the ones, "if you could go back to high school knowing what you know now, would you?" At first, the answer for most of us would probably be "hell yes!" But then we start to think about all that we currently have. What if we went back and changed something and it changed what we have now? The idea starts to lose its luster because you are getting beat to shit by the wings of the damned butterfly effect, so you laugh it off as just a silly idea...but what if you weren't given a choice?

In the vein of 13 going on 30 and Peggy Sue Got Married, Living Backwards by ciaobella27 introduces us to a 27 year-old Bella living it up in Seattle and looking good while doing it. Bella is preparing for a night of revelry (insert awesome Bellaesque super clumsy moment here) and before you can say "bruised brain" we find our girl back to her last months High School as her former 17 year-old self. Things really start to get interesting because Bella retains the memories of the next decade to come. With great knowledge comes great power, but also great responsibility and I ask you, what 17 year-old is truly responsible?

Ciaobella27 has a wonderful comedic timing, but she is also able to capture some awesome UST in the form of high school bad boy Edward Cullen. He is everything you want your own daughter to avoid, but everything you wanted in a boy when you were that age. Luckily the second time around, Bella takes some initiative and we get to laugh, cringe, and cry along with her as she tries to "fix" a few things in her friends' lives. But, Bella quickly learns that what might be considered a small change now could drastically change the future. Oopsie! I don't want to give a bunch of plot away, because there is no way my paltry re-cap can capture the hysterical details that ciaobella27 puts into this story, but sufficed to say, hip-twenty-something Bella is no longer the shy girl that she used to be when she first walked the halls of Forks High. How this Bella navigates the scene is cause for laughter and "OMG, I totes remember that song/tv show/movie!" moments. It's like an awesome episode of VH1's "I love the 90s."

One of my favorite things about this story is Joan, Bella's beloved pink, sparkly flask and constant companion. Next to The Monster from Midnight Desire, Joan is my favorite "OC" in the fandom. In fact, I think Joan and The Monster need to go on a date and let us watch the hijinx that ensue, but I digress... You might be asking "what's the big deal about a flask?" Well, you're just going to have to trust me that she, yes "she", is one. Much like The Monster, Joan provides Bella with courage, albeit liquid, when she is in most need of it. While Joan might not be the best influence, she is the one corporeal thing Bella has tying her to her past, which is now her, you'll just have to read the story if that makes no sense.

I don't remember how I found Living Backwards, but I do remember how I laughed my ass off and thought that every girl needed a Joan in their life, and needed to read this story. This is also the one story I've rec'd to Bri that she actually liked. I really need you to understand the depth of meaning behind that. Bri is as picky with fics as my 3 year-old is with food. I love them both dearly but also get exasperated with them. When they each try something I have set down before them and like it, I feel like a battle has been won. If you read Living Backwards and fall in love with it too, it will make me as happy as my little girl eating peas or Bri telling me I was no longer a fic rec failure to her. So, come on, read this fic. I know you'll love it. It tastes like lemonade.

Yes, it's true. I have Leiah to thank for this wonderful piece of literary genius. It's also true that I am a little bitch when it comes to my fanfic. I know what I like and I know what I don't and unfortunately, the latter is quite extensive. In fact, Leiah told me (and I almost quote) "I swear to fuck, if you don't like this fic, I'm never recommending another one to you for as long as I live!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Or something like that, anyhow.

Well, fortunately I loved the shit outta it. I pinged Leiah right when I was finished with simply "I put it on my faves list." Her resulting *GASP!!* pretty much summed it up.

Yes, I am completely smitten with this fic. I am in LOVE with her Bella. Whut?? Bella you say? Yes, I say, Bella. She is sassy and smart and fucking hilarious and I love the shit outta her. And Edward? Oh mah fuck. Hottie badass with a soft side? G.U.H.

It's definitely a hilarious and fun read to get wrapped up in... I do find myself wondering "ruh roh...will this change the future too much?" And though I won't give anything away, I sort of saw the current predicament coming...

Tracy assured me when I fangirled all over her ass that this would not be a heart-clenching angsty fic. However...I still haven't been able to read the last update. Damn myself and my stupid wussperv tendencies! *shakes fist* But, at least I got to read the smut! (whoops...did I give too much away?)

Another reason I love this fic is that it just completely resonates with me (as I'm sure it will with a large percentage of the fandom) with the timeframe that Bella is currently reliving. I find myself getting giddy and squealing "HEY!! I remember that!" It definitely brings something to the table when you can relate to a story.

This baby is definitely a fabulous read and has worked its ass off for 4.5 out of 5 panties.

I first dove into ciaobella27's writing whilst I was scouring for a great fairytale fic to recc for my one-shot turn a wee whiley ago... I loved her hilarious & sexy Baker's buns fic tons - so reviewed and alerted & recc'd her on the shack and kept meaning to come back to her Living Backwards fic but as usual found myself fighting for time.. Finally I made it back and bloody hell I am so glad I did as I LOVE THIS FIC! It still has delicate lacing's of her fabulous humour but not at the point of overwhelming the story. It is definitely sexy too! So apart from those 2 great ingredients transitioned over from her one shot can you expect to find in this delight of a story?

Well snuggle up lovie's and I will fill you in (<--Snort).. In this those thoughts we often all have of would I like to be young again? Impart my wisdom that experience taught me the hard way to my younger self? Would I do things over? Would I be who I had been dying to be? Would I talk to that bloke I never plucked up the nerve to? Would I punch in the gonads that fucker who really shouldn't have messed with my girls? Would I stop my friends making wrong decisions that a decade on you are still trying to untangle? Well in Living Backwards Bella gets such an opportunity.. After waking up back in the day she has to adjust to who she was back then and all the missed opportunities she didn't even notice the first time round.. The genius in this story is Bella herself. Thoroughly likeable her inner dilemma's that she cannot voice to a soul are so believably developed and executed... How could she explain to her high school best friend she is afraid of mucking up the future for everyone by playing with the past - yet she is dying to do more than just play with CoolEnigmaWard - who still haunts her dreams and facebook pages years on? The other thing I love about this Bella is the things she longs for that she took for granted in her adult, independent world - booze and being legal for one!! (hello Joan! ~ once you have read the story you will know exactly what/who I am talking about!!! :) ) Some decisions Bella does - the ones involving others she cares about she does without worrying about the changes she might be making to the future as long as she can make those she loves in a better place.. But if it involves her own happiness Bella is remarkably still like her teenage self.. Shelving her own hopes & expectations for the good of others - or perhaps too scared of the consequences and not believing enough in her own right of proper happiness and success? The change Bella introduces into this Edward is subtle but persistent she unlocks a side of him that was not present to the outside world in High School - but can Bella cope with the consequences of this? Or will her fear override her own right to happiness? We are poised on a knife edge where the story was left when I wrote this recommendation.. Ok. So how about the sexy times? Well Bella's redo certainly anted up her sex-life.. But this is not porn star sexing - this is honest-to-goodness exploration and physical development and expression. With both Bella & Edward learning and growing... (well obviously! Durr! lol) But seriously... how would you like to redo giving over your cherry pie... would you change to whom & how you lost it? Hmmmmm... They say we are shaped by our experiences and actions - that its our journey that makes us who we are.. So whatever happens to Bella - whether she makes it back to the future or has to live her way into the future again.. She will not be the same person as she has both her old experiences, her future real world life experiences, and her new old experiences - what a journey! & what a journey CiaoBella takes us on with both Bella & Edward.. I really love this story & think its just smashing.
Living Backwards earns 4.5 innocent (before you have a lingerie budget) knickers out of 5.. (.5 torn away cause of the crossroads we are at! lol)

You kind of have to love a story that ends its first chapter with “God, I fucking hate Facebook.” Then in chapter 2, she hits us with, “Every girl should have a Jasper.” - hell yes. Chapter 2 also brings us The Fall. I giggled more than once through chapter 3. Chapter 4 brings us The Plan. Curious to see how The Plan works out... Oh, and Edward comes into focus in chapter 4 as well. *swoon*

I really laughed in chapter 5, the first EPOV. We learn little tidbits about his life, and his thoughts are just as funny as Bella's. Chapter 6 and 7 are more groundwork. More giggles, more information, more fun. I love that Edward calls her Breakdown Bella; it's completely hysterical to me.

This story really takes off in chapter 10, when Bella and Edward team up to visit Seth. Bella names Edward's flask. Things are going well for Rose and Emmett. The push and pull of Bella and Edward is done really well, with a balance of humor and lust. I especially liked the line, “Is it possible to want to step away and move closer to a person at the same time?”

Chapter 12 really punched me in the gut, I'm not going to lie. “But you don’t have to let this break you. You can rise above this” - a lesson perhaps more people should learn. Of course, chapter 12 also had butterflies playing a game of Twister in my stomach. So fucking wonderful.

There are just no words for the beauty and joy that is chapter 14. Chapter 15 follows up with more heart-thumping. And 16? Bring Kleenex.

This was a well-rounded, funny story. When I wasn't giggling, my heart was either breaking or beating fast with anticipation. I can't wait to see how ciabella27 brings this back to present day, if that's even her plan.

Everyone wants a do-over, you want better grades, to make better decisions, maybe you're not as big of a slut or hell, maybe you wanted to be a slut. Regardless of what you want, having a do-over is something that everyone wants.

Bella gets one and holy hell does she make good on it. Everyone has 'that guy', the one that during your do-over you want to make sure you act differently around. Edward Cullen, the A #1 hunk of man meat is Bella's (of course) and a yummy one at that. The great thing though that makes this fic stand out, is that this Bella doesn't just go back for self-serving purposes. Sure it's first on her list but 17 year old Bella and 27 year old Bella ultimately share the same compassion and she puts her friend's needs first.

The lemony fresh times in this story are at a minimum but the UST is fantastic and honestly, gratuitous smut just for the sake of it would be a disservice to this fic. CB delivers wonderful longing between the characters, just enough UST to keep you on the edge of your seat leaning into the screen hoping that they'll... you get the point.

I'd be remiss if I don't mention Joan the flask, who now has her very own one-shot companion piece to this gem that I highly recommend you check out just for the laughs.

I love this story and CiaoBella. The story is unique and deserves more attention and love.

I had heard a lot of great things about this story but was waiting until it was complete to read it. But then it came up for rec so I needed to read it. And though I'm now extremely anxious to find out what the hell is going to happen, I'm so glad I read it and will get to experience the rest of it with everyone else.

The idea of a do-over for HS is somewhat appealing. Especially in that it's only like the last 3 weeks of HS, because I sure as hell don't think I could stomach doing all 4 years again.

From the very beginning, I love this Bella. I think maybe because I can identify with her to an extent. I had a little bit more life than Bella, but only just. I was a good girl. (Shocking, I know. :P ) But then she gets tossed back and has a chance to help prod some things along a little. Surely it won't hurt anything she thinks.

We've yet to see, but I suspect we're coming close to discovering just what influence Bella's little visit to the past has done to the future. I have several ideas in mind and I can't wait to see just where CB takes us.

One part that I absolutely adore is Bella's WOTD calendar. I think they just might be some big clues. I also think the couple of dreams of Bella's that were referenced might just have some significance too. Just my theory, but we'll see.

Then, don't get me started on "bad boy Edward". Just, GUH. Can I have him gift-wrapped for me please? No? Dammit.

This one gets a 5/5 from me and I'll be patiently waiting for updates (okay, that's totally a lie, I suck at being patient when it's something this good) .

This story has been rec'd all over the damn place to me. I kept putting it off due to one thing or another. But I knew I'd like it based on the premise and people's exuberant ranting over it. I have to admit that I kinda like 13 Going on 30 because of the whole glimpse into another life (yes I am a sap for some chickflicks) and this story is even better because smart, independent, sexy Bella goes back to her 17 yo self with all the knowledge of what will happen. Plus she retains her snarky, flirty attitude instead of the shy demeanor that made her blend into the walls at Forks High.

Who hasn't thought about what they would've done differently in high school, given the chance? I know I have...But seriously. What's so great is that Bella goes back to friends she loves like family. Only when Bella was in high school, she wasn't friends with Alice, Rosalie, Jasper, or Emmett. She is forced with having to decide what is and is not interfering with the whole order of things. Is it bad to help Emmett and Rosalie get together sooner? What about befriending Alice earlier? Would those events cause a shift in the world as she knows it?

And let's not forget her relationship with Edward. When she was in hs there was no relationship. Now he is everywhere, and I mean that positively. The loner who smoked out back is now a big part of her life; for good or bad. The UST between them is hot. And despite the consequences of "hooking up" or keeping Edward from going to prom with his original date, all I want is for them to get together and just love the fuck out of each other. The two of them are quite easily one of my favorite Bella/Edward pairings. Ever. That's kind of saying a lot.

Plus there's Joan to think about. Omg I love Joan. A sparkly, pink flask, Joan has a life of her own and definitely helps ease some more strenuous moments in Bella's life. Joan even has a companion...One James Bond. You'll have to read it to get it.

I'm loving this story something fierce at the moment and haven't had a chance to show ciaobella27 the proper love it deserves because I've been so busy catching up. But trust that I will be anxiously waiting to see what happens...and praying my own "theories" are incorrect. And btw, I'm totes discussing those theories online with some non PP members who I have rec'd this too.

5/5 for me

When I’m not going by the name ciaobella27 people call me Tracy. I live just north of Boston with my husband and two boys. I read the first three books over the course of four days in the summer of 2008, finishing Eclipse the week after Breaking Dawn was released. After finishing Breaking Dawn, like many readers, I went looking for something more. I found the Lexicon by way of Stephenie Meyer’s site and was directed to my first fic. I was stunned because I had no idea fan fiction existed. I used to write stories about the *cough* New Kids on the Block 20 years ago. (Don't judge me.) Of course, this was before Al Gore invented the internet so I had no idea other girls did this too.

I read a ridiculous amount of fan fic but didn’t even consider writing until earlier this year. It was when the Movie Crossover Contest was announced that I got the idea for Living Backwards. It was originally supposed to be a Peggy Sue Got Married fic but the more I fleshed it out, the more it changed. Now it’s taken on a life of it’s own.

So, you can find me in my home office, playing on Twitter, reading fan fic and crunching numbers for portfolio managers while watching the Imagination Movers and feeding an infant. I like to multi-task.