*Originally published October 10, 2013*
By Jenna Elliot
Summary: After nearly killing Matt Donovan, Rebekah Mikaelson sets out to win his forgiveness. It proves to be a journey that requires all of her creativity and tenacity, and one that may change their lives forever.
Main Characters: Matt Donovan, Rebekah Mikaelson
Secondary Character(s): Elena Gilbert, April Young
A story about Matt!! A story about Matt!! A story about Matt!!
Deep breath. Fan girl moment over.
Seriously. I absolutely love this story. I imagine if you were to scroll through the almost 100 Vampire Diaries’ stories found on Kindle Worlds, only a handful would have Matt Donovan’s name in the summary. This one not only has his name in the summary, but on Every. Single. Page. Really, go read it, I’ll wait.
Okay, fan girl moment over for real.
Jenna Elliot’s Gifts is a beautiful, expressive story about two people living on the periphery of a supernatural world who nobody really notices until they’re being daggered or someone needs a table bussed. They’re part of a group of friends or an ancient family, yet they’re overlooked by those who love them. They’re lonely.
It isn’t spoilery (okay, not really a word, but I just added it to my dictionary, so now it is) to mention that Rebekah has a huge crush on Matt or that Matt almost died at the hands of Rebekah way back in Season 3 of TVD. It isn’t even spoilery to mention that early in Season 4 she gave him a brand new truck to replace the one that went off Wickery Bridge. That Matt grudgingly accepted said truck is the basis of this story and how Rebekah finds not only forgiveness, but someone, finally, who understands who she really is.
Elliot has a special gift in that she takes two secondary characters (from a TV show that relies heavily on its main characters’ development) and nails their personalities, sufferings, and joys perfectly. Comparatively, it’s much easier to write an Elena/Damon story because we know so much about them. Matt and Rebekah exist on the show, but as the best friend and the big bad’s evil sister. Elliot sees through the character clichés and finds Matt and Rebekah. I guarantee that you’ll read this story and realize that Rebekah really does carry the grace of a thousand years. You’ll wonder how you didn’t know Matt still suffered a twinge of pain here and there from an old shoulder injury.
The first time I read this, I felt so bad for not giving Rebekah the benefit of the doubt and from that moment on the real Rebekah jumped off the screen. That TVD fleshed out her character in preparation for The Originals spin-off just proved how accurately Elliot had captured her character. That she wrote Gifts with Matt’s ability to see through to who Rebekah really is way before the show did demonstrates just how intuitive Elliot is.
This story definitely deserves 5 stars, well worth the $2 you’ll spend on it. I can’t tell you enough how much I hope Jenna Elliot will write more about these two characters!
Favorite Part: Matt inviting Rebekah in.
Least Favorite Part: April Young.