Twist and Shout
By Gabriel StandByMe
432 ppg., Paperback
"Mom! Mom! Mooommm!!! You HAVE to buy me this book! "
So arrived a series of text messages from my teen daughter, who enjoys reading fan fiction. She happened to just finish reading one such fanfic story that brought to life what many in the Supernatural fandom have been asking for: A real, actual relationship between Dean Winchester and Castiel. Fans will recognize this pairing as what they call "Destiel." Watching Cas and Dean together in the show, it's obvious that Cas loves Dean. But he's an angel. He is not susceptible to feelings of sexual attraction to another person like we humans are (or aren't, if you are asexual). But when it comes to fanfiction, writers of such stories don't care about that. If they want Dean and Cas together, then they'll find a way to get them together!
One particular writer, writing under a pseudonym, did just that: He put Dean and Cas in an alternate universe, where Cas is human, Dean is no longer a hunter but instead a motorcycle racer, and (gasp!) Jess is alive! Not only this, but the boys seemed to have had a normal upbringing, although their mom did die years ago and their dad is absent from their lives. No surprises there!
I am a huge fan of Supernatural. I have seen all of the shows and I follow the SPN fandom religiously. I have a Supernatural board on Pinterest, we have bought Supernatural merchandise (including DVDs) and I am planning to read ALL of the Supernatural books. Heck, I even want to write one myself – if I ever finish all my other WIPs. So I am not new to Supernatural.
When my daughter pleaded to me to buy her the Supernatural fanfic novel, Twist and Shout by Gabriel StandByMe (like I said, pseudonym), she encouraged me to read it. I was very interested in reading this Supernatural-inspired story. I have no qualms reading gay fiction, so as soon as I finished reading OTHER books in my TBR pile, I finally started reading it. My daughter told me she died a thousand deaths while reading this book (and of course that's going to happen with a Supernatural story!), so I was prepared for some serious heart-wrenching moments.
I loved this story. It's a good book. Despite the many editing mistakes, this book was definitely hard to put down, but mostly because I love Supernatural so much. More Dean and Sam! Yay! (And Sam does become a lawyer in this story.) The story takes place in the 1960s and the Winchesters are living in California, not Kansas. In this story, Dean and Cas are both college students who meet at a party. Dean's old flame Lisa actually makes an appearance at this time, although she doesn't have too much of a role. Things click between Dean and Cas from the very beginning and soon they start seeing each other. Later, after Cas is thrown out of his apartment once his manager learns he is gay, the two lovers live together.
The relationship carries on and I couldn't get over how cute Cas and Dean are together. They really love each other and that love is very strong. But then life happens: Dean is shipped off to fight in Vietnam and it all goes downhill after that.
I really enjoyed reading this novel, even though the tragic ending had me in tears at the end. I didn't die a thousand deaths while reading it, though. Actually, I went on an emotional roller coaster. These are actually some of the things I was saying as I read it:
"Aw, kiss him, already."
"Grow a backbone, Cas!"
"Ohh, they're so in wuv."
"If only he knew." (when Dean calls Adam "little brother")
"ADAM!!!!!" *sobs uncontrollably* (and I'm crying again just writing this!)
"No! Dean, don't do that!"
"Cas....." *more sobbing*
For any fans of Supernatural, this "alternate universe" type of story is definitely a must-read. Most of the usual suspects are here. Ellen still owns a food joint (a diner, in this case), Bobby is still a father figure to the boys, and Meg and Ruby are here-- although as crack whores! LOL (I bust a gut laughing over that!) I thought it was interesting that Cas has brothers named Gabriel and Michael. (Ahem!) And when Balthazar made an appearance, I was all, "Balthazar! ... Wait, what?"
Twist and Shout is definitely one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. I might recall the scene where Cas is walking home singing "Twist and Shout" every once in a while, or remember the scene where Dean and Cas are having fries and a milkshake and Ellen is admonishing Dean to behave himself. But it's the ending that packed the most emotional punch of the whole story.
More than anything, this story was a tribute to the love, to the bond, that Dean and Cas share. You don't need to throw sex into that recipe to appreciate it, either. Their love transcends physical desire. It is more stronger than anything else. When Cas rescues Dean from Hell in the show, that was the beginning of a bond that goes beyond human desire, beyond human attraction. What Dean and Cas have is real, it's strong, it's unbreakable. And it's perfect.