I have to admit that I don’t read a lot of fan fiction. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but because I write it I don’t want to end up with too many of other people’s ideas in my head. But that doesn’t mean I’m completely off reading other people’s works. There are times that reading them helps me see flaws in my own writing.
One of the most recent pieces I’ve read is one called Twist and Shout. It’s set in the Supernatural verse and is based on the characters of Dean Winchester and the angel Castiel, called Castiel Novak in the story. I’m not going to share too many spoilers, except for the fact that the two are homosexuals in a 1960s setting, when homosexuality was very much a sin and the Vietnam war was reaching its peak. These are both very important points for the whole story.
Taking the Characters Out of Supernatural
One thing that I enjoyed is that I could forget that they were actually Supernatural characters. It wasn’t like reading a Supernatural fan fiction. I found myself thinking of the characters as two very different people. In fact, all of the characters were alternate universe ones. Twist and Shout could have been a completely original piece of work and I would happily read it as one.
I guess there are pros and cons to this. Those looking for Dean and Castiel from the show will be disappointed. Those looking for something well-written with a couple of characters that sort of resemble the characters from the show will be extremely happy. I don’t like a lot of Destiel fan fiction when it is set in the actual Supernatural verse, because I just don’t see the two characters together. But when put together like Twist and Shout, I can happily accept it and fell in love with their relationship.
Heartbreak, Sorrow, Fun and Games: A Mixture of Emotions
I can’t pin down my emotions as I read through the whole story. There was a mixture within each chapter. There were times when I feared for the characters’ lives, and I felt sorry for them and even hated them at times. I hated the situations they were put in and the realities they were forced to face.
Any story that has me feeling a genuine mixture of emotions throughout is great for me. It’s not often that I find a story, especially a fan fiction, that does that. It helps to draw me in as a reader, and I know from other Twist and Shout reviews, there have been similar comments. I will also admit that I actually cried at the end. The emotion that built up leading to the end was perfect.
A Little Too Short and Jumpy
As with any review, there are bad points. If it wasn’t for catching a couple of videos on YouTube, these bad points may have put me off reading in the first place. But I really wanted to know how Dean and Castiel were going to face certain events happening and how the story got to the ending in the “trailer” I watched.
The main issue for me is that the chapters jump through the years. There are elements missing that I think would have been better being added in. There wasn’t the big focus on the two being gay in the 1960s-1970s. There weren’t the fights breaking out that I expected. Yes, a couple of chapters had elements of it, but certainly not as much as I expected there to be in later chapters. Definitely not that much in the Vietnam scenes.
These time jumps also left a lot out to get to the end. There is a sudden 10-year jump with brief mentions of what the two main characters got up to in that time. It wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to go through the years and actually feel it. But then, I have to remember that this is fan fiction and the author wasn’t going to make money from this. She/he may have just wanted to get to the end and found that this was the best way of doing it. If it was turned into a real novel, which I really think it could be, then there is certainly room for improvement there. That improvement needs to happen in my opinion.
The whole story is only 13 chapters long. I’m not sure about the number of words, but definitely could be a lot longer. I’d happily read it if it was an actual novel rather than a short story.
Twist and Shout: A Fan Fiction Worth Reading
Over all, I think this story is definitely one worth reading, and I’d recommend it to those who don’t really know much about Supernatural. There’s no need to know the characters. The descriptions in the story are more than enough, and the characters are set in a very alternate universe. It’s the focus on the elements in history that are more important for this.
Those who want a mixture of emotions and don’t mind a not necessarily happy ending will certainly enjoy Twist and Shout.
I'm Alexandria Ingham, and am a work at home mommy and full-time freelance writer. Writing has always been a passion from a young age, but it was only in 2009 that I decided to use it to make money online. Since then, I've managed to make a career out of it and don't regret it. While history and weight loss are two of my favorite topics, I love writing about absolutely anything and even have fictional pieces in the works.