Many fanfic authors go for Drama. Few get it right. It takes more than having Daria finally breaking down and crying, or Jane running away from home, or Quinn getting attacked to make a good dramatic tale.
The award goes to a story that is unforgettable to anyone who ever reads it…
This story is absolutely intense. It’s going to be difficult to review without giving too much away, and I want anyone who hasn’t read it yet to go do so now and then come back to this review after having done so. Follow the following link and check it out.
You have ten minutes.
Now that you’re back, those who have read it for the first time, who isn’t a little shaken? This isn’t the first nor the last story that deals with the possibility of Daria getting committed, but it makes the others look weak by comparison. Sure, there a bit of cliché in the “evil doctors running the asylum” bit, but the thing about cliché is that it can actually benefit a story if it’s done well, and this one is done very well indeed.
The first horror is watching (not reading, but watching – it seems so real) as Daria is rendered helpless in the face of an adversity she would usually turn away with a few well-placed biting remarks. She’s stripped of her defenses in an even greater way than the straitjacket can do. It takes a pretty hard-hearted reader not to feel for her at this point – and this is the beginning of the story, not the end.
The dream sequences involving Jane are ideal for allowing us to explore the inner torment Daria goes through. Somehow, it isn’t enough for us to simply know her thoughts, it’s important to hear her bounce them off someone else. It’s also a great way of bringing Jane into a story she ordinarily couldn’t be in.
Things just get scarier as time goes on, as Daria tries to reach conclusions about why she’s in there, and things continue to go from bad to worse. Then, just as one wonders how it can all end, it does – and the ending is nothing less than chilling.
Having read this story several times, it still gets to me.
I should mention that a sequel has been written, though not by the same author. Like most sequels, it doesn’t quite live up to the original, but it’s good in its own right. It’s called “The Whole Truth” and it has been endorsed by Renfield as a legitimate follow-up to his own story.
"Diary Dearest" can be found at Outpost Daria here