Several years ago – six, I think – my friend introduced me to Fall Out Boy, which of course made me obsess over them for quite awhile. That did not last, however. As you all know, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco were/still are attached to the hip. Like, when you know Fall Out Boy it is already assumed that you know about/heard of Panic! too – label mates, Pete Wentz discovering them, the first band to be signed under Pete Wentz’s label Decaydance and all. Their (Panic!) sound didn’t catch my ears at first. Was only forced to listen to them because of my friend (who I liked back then, admittedly). Of course, after countless replays and googles just to stay on the same conversational page my friend and I was on, my ears adjusted to the sound, got addicted to it and… you know the drill.
New band obsession, it would seem. I googled them, stalked them on the internet, watched most of the available youtube videos of them then, the usual. But like most things, I got tired of them. I think school got to me so I had less time to keep on being interested in them. I don’t know. But I still followed them, I think. I don’t exactly remember.
So my obsession died, along with several other things, and the next I heard of Panic! was when New Perspective came out.
I was confused, of course. Where was Jon and Ryan? Why does the video revolve around Brendon and Spencer only? Maybe they thought of giving the spotlight to someone else? Maybe? But then google has the answer, it always does. And to be quite honest, despite my obsession few years back, the split didn’t faze me one bit. I was sad, of course. I like Ryan Ross. I maybe kinda like Jon Walker too but he’s so-so, I think. But I definitely like Ryan Ross and his way with words and the way he writes lyrics and their music and although Pretty.Odd was kind of a flop (let’s admit it, it was), it was the most genius album I’ve heard. The music was different (coming off 2008 and all) and the lyrics were just astounding. I don’t care if Ryan got caught sniffing snow lines or whatnot I would still go stiff (and probably cry) at the sight of him. But I digress.
I would say that New Perspective sort of rekindled my inner Panic! fan girl, but not as much as before, not as much as now. I started reading things about them, started reading things not about them, and like any other famous entity that I become obsessed with, I read fiction written by fans about them.
And I’ve read a lot. Or maybe I just read one. I’m not so sure anymore.
But that goes without saying that while I read a lot (one?), I also neglected a lot. Perhaps it was school works, or maybe the title, or the summary just didn’t catch my eye, or the work was incomplete, all the technicalities.
I think the very first one I’ve read was The Black Rose Season. It was amazing. A complete work of art. And I’m not just saying that only because the pairing was Ryan/Brendon (my weakness), but also because of the emotional roller coaster ride it will take you to. The laughs, the tears (and I’ve cried a lot because of this fucker), annoyance, and sometimes even anger you feel at the characters, the plot, the general everything this work offers. The dialogue, the events – everything.
What I like most about The Black Rose Season is its take on reality, I would think – most especially the ending. While most people end their stories with (and yes, a spoiler, I’m sorry) a happy ending, this story would have none of that. Or at least, would let the reader think that we have would have none of that. It’s just full of wonderful, wonderful things. No words can describe it.
And while no words can describe The Black Rose Season, I don’t even think I can even begin to understand and type down my feelings for The Heart Rate Of A Mouse.
I discovered THROAM (as it’s stylized by the author, Anna Green, that genius, genius, woman) the same time I discovered The Black Rose Season, I think (they’re written by the same author. Genius).
I was scrolling down the Panic! tag (or was it the ryden tag? I don’t remember) in tumblr years ago, I came across tons of people posting things like ‘wow, THROAM is just ahsfajhgj’ or ‘THROAM IS AMAZING!’ and other stuff like that. At first I didn’t understand. I mean, what on earth is a THROAM? Is it really that wonderful? What is it anyway? But I knew it was some sort of fan fiction, I knew that much. So I turned to google, business as usual. I didn’t know what to type so I just typed THROAM. I didn’t know what I was expecting, to be honest, but I realized that it was a ryden fic, ding ding! said my head ’cause really, I was just too addicted.
But lo and behold, while a lot of people were shitting their underwear at how awesome it was, I was there, reading the summary and went ‘blech’.
I know, I know, how stupid of me. So, so stupid of me. But I’m glad I did. That was years ago. I’m glad I put it off until now.
Goes to show how you should always try new stuff.
And truth be told, while I discovered The Black Rose Season many years ago, I only started (re-)reading it and finished reading it some time this year (I think I lost interest in the middle? Or was it because it was still an unfinished work? I don’t exactly remember), when Fall Out Boy came off hiatus (didn’t even know they were gone, Jesus, am I bad fan or what?), which of course led me to open my box of unhealthy band obsessions and hello there Panic! At The Disco we meet again.
I tried reading THROAM a few days back and it took me a while to get into the hype because holy wow 513,000 words chopped up into three volumes, each volume further chopped up into parts and later on into chapters? This is amazing. And while I was overwhelmed at the number of everything, I was, at the same time, relieved as well. I’m not an amateur reader. I’ve read lots of books, and fan fics that satisfied my craving for what ifs. But this is just, wow.
And so I read.
And while I was slow to warm up, in the middle of it all – Volume II, I think? – I saw it. The genius. The amazing work of art that just encapsulates all of the wonderful and broken things life has to offer us. And I guess that was it, the broken things, that made me cling to this volumes and volumes of wonder. I admit, I did not cry like I expected myself to but I felt it. Right in the middle of it all. I felt the hurt the main character (Ryan) was going through, the confusion, the love, the lust (okay maybe not, but you get it), and everything, just, god, everything this novel offers.
And what I like most about this novel (I would like to think of this amazing work of fan fiction as a novel), is the reality it presents us.
I’ve read countless of Harry Potter fan fictions, most of them are beautiful as well, but I would think that none can come close to the reality that THROAM threw in our (the readers) faces.
I didn’t understand why the author set the novel in the era she chose but after reading the FAQ, I got it. And while it was the number one reason why it put me off, I was secretly glad she made it that way. Made it unique, in a sense.
I think reading THROAM made me understand a few things about life.
How nothing is permanent. How life comes and goes as she pleases but that doesn’t stop us from moving as well, that we have to keep on evolving as much as life evolves even without our knowledge. How fame is tempting and everyone wants a piece of the latest, it is also the reason why people in the business destroy themselves as well. How despite all the smiles, and camera flashes, and the magazines, and interviews, and behind all the layers of masks, and words, and up beat tunes, some, if not most, of those up in the business are struggling to live as well. How love can come and go. How love, despite being in its purest form, can destroy other people as well. How forgiveness is the only thing that probably keeps people going. How there are lots of options to choose from but you will always, always choose this one person, this one reason, that would destroy you in the end because that makes you who you are, what makes you complete, and that what makes life so irrevocably beautiful – its imperfections, and flaws, and scars, and mistakes, and fuck-ups, and everything.
That nothing is perfect without the hurt that comes with the love.
That while we go on seeking perfection, maybe the only thing we need is the right combination of flaws and scars to make us see the beauty of life.
And while you, reader, might not be as interested in Panic! At The Disco as I am, or maybe you are but have not read this amazing novel, please do. Please, please do. It would make the author happy, and if you could, buy the book (yes, there is a book! Information can be seen here.) And while you might not be as interested into reading two guys getting it on/off/confused/everything else in between, do it for the plot, do it for the emotional roller coaster you will certainly ride once you start reading.
I swear it would be so worth it.
And can I just say how sometimes, it’s not always the critically acclaimed authors that would grab your heart and tear it to pieces but the everyday people living their lives, wishing to write something to likewise satisfy their what ifs and they just managed to create this wonderful, astounding entity that did. Sometimes it’s not always the creation, the verbal and printed babies of the big people that gets us but the smaller, medium sized people who went through life and hell and back and forth as well.