Sunday, March 3, 2013

From Beginning to End

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 4:44 PM

Spontaneous isn't a word easily associated with Crystal Moore...until she runs into Jacob Riley the summer before college. Suddenly "unplanned" seems to have become her middle name. When unexpected circumstances force them together Crystal discovers that the moments we don't plan for are the ones that teach us the most.
Banner Credit: Casey
Annie Thinks: Spontaneous isn't a word easily associated with Crystal Moore...until she runs into Jacob Riley the summer before college. Suddenly "unplanned" seems to have become her middle name. When unexpected circumstances force them together Crystal discovers that the moments we don't plan for are the ones that teach us the most.

If you're looking for a nice, light read that will melt your heart and put butterflies in your stomach... then keep looking. On the other hand, if you're looking for a deep, emotional story that will have you aww-ing one chapter and sobbing the next, then From Beginning To End is perfect for you.

It's about Crystal Moore, a girl who is fresh out of high school with no real direction in life. Her plans for the summer are to do as little as possible while her parents are away, but that changes when Jacob Riley comes to her rescue at a party one night. After that, they form a strong connection that spans a few years and turns into something much more permanent and much more life-changing than is evident at first glance.

In an effort to cut out spoilers, that's as ambiguous as I'll leave the summary. I started reading this story with no idea how it would turn out, and it ended up pretty much ruining my life for one night. It's very long (54 chapters and over 250,000 words), and does drag on in some places, but I think that is the only way a story like this could be told. Sometimes there were long blocks of text that didn't seem to say anything, but From Beginning To End still had me up until 1:30 am (on a school night!). There are so many twists and turns that you can't help but stay up and tell yourself, "One more chapter, just one more chapter!"

For all of its good parts (and there are many!), this story has some faults, too. As I said, there were big paragraphs of narrative that was pretty unnecessary. Sometimes it felt like the same thing was being stated over and over again. A lot of those unrealistic cliches were used too--the raging, alcohol-filled high school parties and the shady men who can't seem to restrain themselves among them. I felt that the character development was lacking as well. Crystal is sort of a boring protagonist; she's not particularly funny or interesting, and the only remarkable thing about her seems to be her relationship with Jake. Speaking of whom, Crystal is consistently saying what a good guy Jake is, but there isn't really any evidence of this; he pulls some jerk moves throughout the story.

Despite all this, I wholeheartedly recommend From Beginning To End. HeadAboveTheWater holds nothing back. She describes everything fully--the emotions are crystal clear and cut you to the core. She has no qualms about breaking her characters' (or readers') hearts, but she more than makes up for them with the lemons. They are pretty few and far between, but are so thorough and poignant that they can definitely tide you over until the next one! The characters (though lacking in personality) each have their own sets of faults and mistakes, without which this story would not exist. They both have their own redeeming qualities--Crystal with an amazing depth and selflessness, and Jake with a surprising humanness to him. Overall, From Beginning To End is a very powerful, heartbreaking story that I 100% recommend, as long as you are emotionally available and have no important plans for the next few days!

3 comments:

  1. I have the utmost respect for Annie, but this story was really quite bad. It was well written in terms of grammar/syntax, but the plot and characters were absurd. I'm just surprised this story was deemed ADoR-worthy.

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  2. I liked it, and I thought others would too. The author spent a lot of time and effort on it, so I thought it deserved recognition.

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  3. I liked it a lot too! I mean, it had some mistakes, but what story doesn't? I definitely enjoyed reading it - so thank you for reviewing it Annie!

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