Friday, December 11, 2009

Die to Self by Jen's Word Song

Die to Self

Jen's Word Song




"Die to Self" documents Bella and Edward's honeymoon, Bella's last days as a human and beyond. I would highly recommend you read "Mine" and "Yours" wedding night from E and B's POV before beginning.


I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again now – Die to Self saved my life. Yes, I am eternally indebted to the incomparable JenWordSong, as her post Eclipse story became my lifeline after Breaking Dawn was released.

I apologize if you’re a fan of BD. I have no problem with that; in fact, I wish I could be among your number. God knows I approached the book with all the goodwill in the world. But dismay quickly set in, following shortly by disgust and finally, well, remember those missing months in New Moon? Yeah, my feelings exactly – heartbreak and despair. Okay, enough about me. My point is, Die to Self became, in my heart and mind, the fourth book of the Twilight Saga. It represented everything I wanted for these beloved characters, and I am so thankful to have the ending to the series that I desperately craved.

First, we have the perfect wedding, with a Bella not only accepting of her future, but determined on it. It never made sense to me that Bella feared Edward leaving her again but refused to move forward with the one step that would most certainly assure his steadfastness – marriage – primarily because she was worried what people would think. But DTS gives us a Bella who recognizes the silliness of this concern, and moves forward ecstatically with a fairy tale wedding that not only satisfies, but fulfills every expectation of even the most desperate romantics in the fandom.

Secondly, Jen’s characterizations are brilliant. This is a believable Bella and Cullen family, albeit often in a more lighthearted manner. This is the way we would expect them to behave when not faced with overwhelming guilt and extreme danger. We actually get to see them having fun! It’s a side of the characters that we never got to see enough of in the books. As an example:
“Give me the keys, Emmett,” Edward held out a hand.

“Alright, Romeo…on one condition,” he sighed.

Edward’s pinched expression didn’t crack an inch. “What?”

“Just tell me that you two had sex. At least once for Christ’s sake!”

“It’s none of your business,” Edward argued.

“Humor me!”

“Ugh, fine!” I snapped.

“Yes! Plenty of sex! He is absurdly good in bed, Emmett! Mind-blowing, even! You have nothing to fear. He’s perfect! Now…shut the hell up and give my husband the keys!” I finished, feeling both incredibly empowered and embarrassed as hell.

Emmett gawked, dropping the keys into Edward’s hand, and I crossed my arms, stomping my way to the front of the Land Rover and hoisting myself into the passenger seat.

I noted, with no small measure of happiness, the smug look on Edward’s face as he took his seat behind the wheel. Emmett didn’t mention another word about our sex life for the rest of the trip.
Third, we are treated throughout the story to Jen’s clever sense of humor and witty dialogue. A representative example from the morning after their wedding night:
I shuddered. “Yesterday was amazing, Edward,” I said. “Yesterday was perfect.”

The confidence left his expression for an instant. “Then I pleased you?”

I exhaled a laugh. “Are you kidding?”

He shrugged a shoulder.

“Edward…if that wasn’t pleasure,” I began, raising my head up to trace his lips with my tongue. “Then I would like to request that you not pleasure me as often and whenever you like.”

“Oh really,” he whispered, his hand grazing my thigh once again.

I nodded.

“Well then, as it appears I’ve been granted an all access pass, you leave me no other option,” he said, and I felt the sheet gliding deftly away from my body.

DTS, the romance is breathtakingly wonderful. I once dubbed Jen the “Goddess of Twilight Smut,” and I still stand by that assertion. Why? Because Jen writes the most emotion laden romance scenes possible. There is at least as much description of the characters’ feelings as their actions, and she is brilliant at sharing those emotions with the reader and taking us along for the . . . ride.

We begin with the type of post-wedding sex I hoped for and expected at least to a small degree in the book that shall remain nameless. Yes, Edward has to carefully control himself, but in DTS sex is not only possible, it’s amazing:

“Uhhhh, Bella…,” he moaned, his eyes still closed. He was reveling in my touch more than he had ever allowed himself before. Instead of the usual tightened fists, his hands were spread wide, his fingers flexing and releasing against the sheet. His manhood grew and grew in my hand, distending and lifting, pulsing with arousal.

The ache between my legs became an excruciating need. I released his erection and tumbled to my back, pulling him over me. He was still panting, his eyes only half opened as he spread my legs apart, settling himself at my entrance briefly before thrusting into me—slowly, deeply. Each entry was conscious on his part, as if were trying to feel every molecule of my body as he filled me up. His face was strained in pleasure, his lips parted in a soundless cry.

He may have been silent, but I wasn’t. Seeing him this way was intensifying my bliss beyond anything I had known before. My body welcomed him with overwhelming heat and wetness, making each thrust seem effortless, and I cried and moaned aloud with each entry. If he was experiencing even half of what I was, it must have been viciously difficult to be so gentle, to calculate every move.

“God,” he grunted. “So good…” His head fell, and he dropped onto his forearms, kissing me as he filled my body again and again. The fire in my core, once slow burning, was now threatening an inferno.
I think we always knew our Edward had it in him!

But all is not fluff in DTS. We see here the unusual – Bella being changed voluntarily by Edward – something that I wanted to happen (but knew it never would). On some level, it’s refreshing to see Edward having the courage to turn Bella without coercion or dire circumstances – for him to embrace her decision as much as she does. Moreover, the change scene and its aftermath are both moving and realistic. All is not immediately rosy – there are challenges that Bella must learn to cope with – and they are dealt with in a humorous and plausible manner.

Finally, Bella is not the only one with something to learn after her change. Edward must learn that his wife is no longer breakable, and that he can, for the first time, do with her as he wants. Not surprisingly, this creates some of the best sex in the story. So, here’s a little foreplay for you:
Collapsing on top of her, I took her mouth in rash, mindless kisses. My hands fell where they fell, touched as they wanted, grabbed, pulled, kneaded, sought. I let them roam, paying no mind to how or where—only the impossible, ethereal freedom of simply feeling and nothing more. I’d worshipped her for so long, and with the strength of a thousand men. Finally, I would let it out. My heart, my body, my soul demanded liberation. I could scarcely recognize the sound of my own breathing, the rabid madman who had taken over my form.

You’ll have to pick it up from there . . . .

To me, Die to Self represents the happily ever after that I so desired for Edward and Bella. It gives us a beautiful wedding, amazing honeymoon sex with an unbelievably romantic Edward, an emotional roller coaster and a degree of suspense when it comes to Bella’s change, a realistic result from that event and finally, it leaves us with the promise of the characters’ eternal rapture. And honestly, who deserves it more . . . .

Like my fellow pervs here, Die To Self was one of the very first AU stories I read. The missing moments that I was so pissed at S.Meyer for not including. We get them all in this fic.

This fic is completely sugary-sweet. It's a quick, easy read filled with lots and lots of sexy times. We get from immediately after their wedding night through Bella's change. If there was one thing I would have liked to see a little more of would have been just a bit longer after Bella's change to see how she got acclimated to her new strength and needs.

However, before that, we get to see B/E on their honeymoon, doing yummy honeymooner things. Edward is ever the romantic - sometimes a little over the top with Bella, but for the most part he's just a well-controlled, extremely horny husband.

Read this for sexytime after sexytime, for a dose of sunshine and rainbows and for a reprieve from any angst that's ripped your heart into pieces.

3.5 out of 5 open mouthed kisses

This was one of the first AU Vampy fics I had read in the fandom. Sure I had read bits of shitey AU fanfiction and quickly given up - they all seemed so angsty & fixated on Edward leaving her, & Bella finding out whilst he was gone that she was pregnant (like THAT would ever happen in The Twilight Saga.... ***SNORT*** ) and blah blah blah, so I gave up on AU & stuck to AH... But then.... But then I stumbled upon some of Jen's little one-shots... & oh my word! Did they flow my boat and then some.. I went on to where they had them listed in the order Jen wanted them & there I also saw Die to Self... So I promptly & happily moved along to her then WIP, and was instantly bitten... Sexy? Vampy? Tender? YES PLEASE!

I love the development Edward makes through this story, as he lets go off and conquers his fears, anxieties and stressors as he seeks his happy ever after. I love how Jen uses Edward's hands as a reflection of his progress - initially so tightly wound and repressed, constantly clenched even during their most intimate of moments.. to relaxing infinitesimally, hands splayed out, still tight to his body but not all clenched up.. progressing to of course using his hands, trusting himself to just be with Bella, to love her. There is much sexual exploration, much fun & sexy times to be had, almost every chapter! (WOOOHOOO! pervs rejoice!) But this fic is much more than just lemons. This line, from Bella after her transformation, is probably my favourite.
Oh, my long suffering Edward. It was my physical body that had been altered, and yet, it almost felt as if he had been changed…made human. It was empowering and heartbreaking in the same breath.
That constant love, increasing strength & character development running through this story is what makes me love it so.

Please don't stop at DTS all Jen's one-shots with VampWard are brillo and some are very intense. Do in particular read the 2 wedding night stories...

4.5 open-lipped-tongue-in-his-mouth-kisses out of 5 from me.

Just like most everyone else, Die to Self was one of the first AU fics I read. Heck, it was one of the first M-rated fics I read, period.

Line like this really sucked me into the mood of this story:

“Touching you, Bella. Your scent has faded from my skin overnight and I miss it.”

This is a pure romance, lush and beautiful. There are moments of comedy and toward the end, more heart-wrenching moments, but overall, it's just a really delightful piece of yum.

I am a total sucker for a good change scene, and this is definitely in the top 3 for me. Like Twilightzoner said, I loved that her change wasn't under duress – Edward accepted it as their fate and agonized alongside her.

Their first hunting scene together was really fantastic. I love Edward cleaning her up, taking care of her, not allowing her to see the mess she'd made.

This is one of my favorite funny moments, because ngl, I can totally see RP throwing this line out with everyone's favorite smirk:
“What might you be doing?” he laughed, and if I wasn’t mistaken, I’d have sworn he was afraid.

“Touching you,” I answered in a strained whisper, my fingers inching their way up his torso.

“I can see that,’ he said and swallowed again.

“Then why did you ask?”

“I’m inquisitive by nature.” His laughter was still nervous.
There's a realistic push and pull as they each get used to Bella's new body that I really enjoyed.

Of course, I cried. The last line of the story, in chapter 25, simply reduced me to tears with its elegant simplicity.

Die to Self is one of those stories that you can read over and over, soaking and basking in the writing, the word choice, and the pace.

Oh, and the lemons are smokin' hot, too.

4.5 out of 5 open-mouth kisses.

Much like Emmy, Die to Self was one of my first AU vamp fics. Well one of my first rated M AU fics. Yes, folks. I started out reading T rated twific and a lot of it! BLASPHEMY I know! Ha. Truth is, when I started reading there were roughly 300 stories. 75% were fucking rated T so yeah.

Die to Self is a well loved, highly recommended story from the wonderful Jen Word's Song (Check out her plethora of fuckhot one-shots as well.) It's one of those Post-Eclipse stories that it just so good, I like to pretend BD doesn't exist.

Jen's writing to me isn't necessarily smut, at least not by conventional definition. Yes, it evokes it's intended response but it's not done in the overly crass or explicit way that a lot of lemons are written today.

She painstakingly recreates canon characters in a way that I wish were represented more in the books, obviously if they weren't for teens haha. In all seriousness though, each word is perfectly chosen for the next, all of them weaving into a wonderful story. As Bri said, it's short and a quick read but an excellent source for your nearly canon AU lovin'.

Do yourself a favor too, download Moi's unparalleled reading of DtS from the Twilighted ific page on iTunes. JFC Moi outdoes herself on this bad boy.
4.5 our of 5 open-mouth kisses

I was actually a late-comer to this fic, only reading it a couple of months ago. It had been on my list for eons, but we all know lists are ever-growing in this fandom. But when I knew we would eventually rec it, I finally had a good excuse to bump it.

I'm so glad I bumped it up my list. Die to Self was such a sweet, beautifully written fic. I loved seeing the progression of these two and we really got so much more of their relationship. What I would have liked to see BD be like, even minus the lemony goodness. But what Jen has given us combines both beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed what she did with Bella's change, as opposed to the perfection of Bella a la SM.

I give this 4 out 5 open-mouth kisses.


lazykate said...

This wasn't just one of my first AU fics to read, this was MY VERY FIRST TWILIGHT FAN FIC EVER! It still holds a very special place in my heart. And when one of my friends (a latecomer to the books) finishes BD, I'm sending her the link to DTS.

Jennifer said...

Wow. Ok, I just have to thank you guys for this. Twilightzoner mentioned that I should check out the Perv Pack today and when I did, I saw this lovely gem waiting for me. I'm honored and touched by the review, ladies, and I'm thankful for the readers. So glad folks could find some pleasure *smirksnort* in anything I write. Love and lots of groping hugs. Jen(WordSong).