Initial Thoughts: I hope no one finds out this post is late because I was binge-watching Jane the Virgin. I can’t believe I’m out of episode and there’s…like 7 MORE HOURS until the new one airs. I wish I had written Jane the Virgin.
*Chapter 16 was such a beast in the beginning. Bryn’s research into Roman’s possible identity was more like a 20-page spy novella randomly crammed between her drug trial and senior bonfire. My beta readers really set me straight and got me to cut it down to just a few paragraphs. I learned a valuable lesson about what readers actually need to see *in-scene* versus what the characters can just fill them in on in order to keep the plot moving.
*I’m really happy with the way Dani and Bryn’s sort of sessions of self-reflection have turned out. I didn’t actually have a lot of open conversations like that with friends when I was growing up. A lot of us were in horrible “relationships” (if you want to call them that at 15 & 16) but I feel like there was also a lot of shame involved in what was happening and no one ever wanted to admit that their boyfriend was actually a jerk or that they were being pressured into doing things that made them uncomfortable. I didn’t actually tell one of my best childhood friends until just recently that I was in an abusive situation back when we were in high school and she was sort of shocked that I’d never said anything when we were younger. I don’t know what it is about being that age and believing that having a boyfriend is such a great accomplishment, even if that boyfriend is actually a horrible person. Why do girls have this fear of being alone? Why does the word alone have such a negative connotation in the first place? All I know is that the vow of solitude I took in my sophomore and junior years was the best decision I ever made and I learned more about myself and gained more confidence than I ever had before. Even though Bryn goes on to be in a relationship with Roman, I want readers to realize that their relationship is a result of her making a conscious choice. Because even though there are paranormal aspects to their bond that make it seems inevitable, the truth is that love isn’t actually this overpowering force that controls every move we make. Love is a choice. Everything is a choice.
*Bryn’s fear of change is one hundred percent me. I don’t consider myself a very emotional person but any and all sadness I’ve ever felt has been more about my fear of change than anything else. My family is so much like Bryn’s and growing up in an environment where people cling to their secrets is like growing up in a mine field. You never know when you’re going to accidentally expose something awful or learn the truth about something everyone would have preferred to leave buried. Because of the way I grew up, I value the truth to an extreme, but I’ve also never been hurt more by anything.
*Maybe I’m immune at this point, but there seems to be a lot less curse words than has been otherwise raged about…? Oh wait…there they are.
*I also read a review recently that described Bryn’s mother as whiny and annoying. Isn’t that so sad?
*Felix role-playing Bryn’s mother and uncle’s kiss scene with a so-not-interested-in-participating Dani is pretty hilarious
*So is Dani and Felix fighting over the benefits of reading romance novels vs watching porn. Because, you know, they’re both so realistic…
*Or them arguing about the difference between robots and cyborgs…
*Basically, any time Felix and Dani argue is amazing
*Aren’t you guys so glad that the bread crumb that was Roman’s t-shirt didn’t lead to him being the frontman of some huge rock band? Re-reading Bryn’s discovery in Nacho’s Tacos just made me realize that this whole story could have taken a very different and rather cliche turn.
*Out of all of the characters, I think Roman engages in some of the best self-reflection. There’s so many lines I could pull that are just so heartbreakingly true about people and love and fear and the world.