Other Reviewers: Goodreads
This week’s post is an unusual post: a book that is free and considered fan fiction. The book is DILF by twentysomething. Don’t let the title mislead you (it stands for Dads I’d like to F#$%), this is actually quite a heartwarming story.
As of today, this book is available for free. Based on the MTV TV show, Teenwolf, is a show about werewolves and angsty youths. Although in this case the author removed the paranormal environment and teenagers, leaving only the characters’ names and some relationships.
But what I find fascinating is the quality writing. What does this say about how a book can be free, someone felt strong enough about the story to create the cover image, and yet we have other books like 50 Shades that sells 70 millions of copies and have, in my opinion, far inferior writing.
The author’s blurb is this: “Today is Scott’s first day of kindergarten and Derek is terrified.”
Four years ago, Derek gained custody of his two nephews when his sister Laura and her husband are accidentally killed. Now raising Jackson and Scott, Derek runs into Scott’s kindergarten teacher, “Stiles”. Their friendship moves into attraction. Can Derek and Stiles risk their friendship to discover if this romance can bloom?
The book’s perspective is completely Derek’s. We must rely on his observations of others sometimes to move the plot forward. Derek is in his late 20’s working in a wildlife wolf preserve. In this version, Derek is not a werewolf, but a lonely uncle who is slightly overwhelmed with singlehandedly taking care of his two nephews. But what I enjoyed about Derek is how human he is, how insecure at times, his love for his nephews, and how he finds humor and joy in little things. My favorite part about Derek is how his children see him:
“He can lift really heavy stuff, he lifts weights in the basement,” Jackson suggests.
Their food really needs to arrive to totally derail this conversation.
“Oh, oh! He does do a super amazing Optimus Prime voice. For Transformers time.” Scott tries again.
How can you not fall in love with a guy like that?
He is cute as a button! Yes, I know it is not a surprise considering the origination. But from the first moment that we see him, we know that this guy loves his job and loves children. Stiles is kind-hearted and simply desires to feel love and create a family and home. What I like most about him is his charm and how they bounce ideas and one-liners back and forth between them:
Stiles contorts his neck to look up at Derek. “I just want you to know this is the first time I have ever been so sexually appealing that a person rejected a meal. This is a big deal for me. I’m going to be pretty smug about this for awhile.”
While they do not have sex until the end of the story, their sexual tension keeps us interested until the end.
What we have here is a simple story of love. Derek takes responsibility of raising Scott and Jackson when they are orphaned. Derek had to sacrifice his chance at romance (although his options were no great loss) for his family. Stiles too seeks love, he is looking both for a romantic love, but a way to create he is own family unit. In all of these ways, this book is about the simple need for all of us to find a family. Stiles’s father really says it all:
“You know, we lost someone really important to us, too. And Stiles took care of me a lot more than I took care of him when that happened. He likes to take care of people, to feel like he’s needed. I think he’s looking for someone, or some people who might need that, too.”
This is a story about two care-takers who finally find someone to take care of them.
I don’t have any children, nor do I have any plans for them. But these children have to be some of the most intriguing children. Not so much that they seemed goody-goody, I found their attitudes and writing realistic. Yet there was so much charm to them and the scenes where Derek interacted with both Jackson and Scott were some of the best writing. In a book where the focus normally is on the romance between the two leads, I actually found all of the characters just as compelling.
Jackson crosses his arms over his chest, a rebellious frown on his face. “I guess.”
He still looks worried and unhappy so Derek relies on his default– he grabs Jackson around his middle and pulls him into his lap. Jackson makes a grumbling noise of irritation, but he curls up and puts his face in Derek’s shirt.
“Thank you. For saving Laura.” Jackson mumbles.
Derek squeezes him tighter. “Hey, of course. She’s our wolf. You saved her before. It was my turn.”
“Do I have to keep hugging you?” Jackson mutters.
“Yep.” Derek says and he can feel Jackson relax.
“Hey, hey are you guys doing hugs?” Scott asks. “I want hug.”
I could completely see the older brother who thinks he’s too old for hugs, but really needs it and then the younger brother who just wants to be included. It was scenes like these that just warmed me.
I also loved the humor. For example, Derek’s inner dialogue of his attraction toward Stiles often cracked me up:
“Thanks again for letting us crash your family breakfast,” Stiles says, squinting into the sunlight in a way that crinkles his nose and purses his mouth into something that Derek just wants to take.
“It was good,” Derek counters when he remembers that a response is required and kissing Stiles isn’t an appropriate option.
These are things that all of us would think to ourself and it was easy to relate to Derek.
What could be better?
Of course there was some polishing that could have improved the story. The story itself is quite simple, just one about two men who find love. We don’t know much back story of either character, so if anything I would have liked to have seen more of that.
Regardless of price, this has quickly become one of my favorite stories to read. It is certainly on the top of my list when I need some “feel-good” mood enhancement. I do not know what else is out there by the author, but I will certainly keep my eye out for it. I do hope that some day we can 1). Learn what their real name is and 2) see something officially published some day.
But for me, this book helped me realize that there are people out there, often writing fan fiction with the only goal of writing something that they like to read and in turn hoping others will like it. They don’t ask for money or really any achievement: just humble servants. I think that we can learn something from their gift.