Avast! Spoilers abound!
So, reviews have started coming in for The Album and, well, I couldn’t be more pleased, to be honest! It’s exactly what I wanted, people enjoying this thing that I’ve created. Something that came up from the advance readers was a common piece of feedback…Ariana is annoying. Ariana is frustrating. Ariana is pig-headedly stubborn.
I got this feedback during the editing stage and I did, vaguely, consider “fixing” her, but here’s why I didn’t. She is real to me, and this is just who she is. She’s a girl who fell in love with a rock star, a girl who had personally seen the price that fame could force you to pay. Her love for Gabriel is strong, but her fear of celebrity is deep-rooted, almost as much as her feelings of negative self-worth.
Quite obviously, she needed to get the fuck out of her own way, perhaps see a therapist and just be happy with Gabriel when they were together on the Cards Have Been Dealt tour. It’s easy to see that, now, but hindsight is 20/20. I do think that the time apart did her good, she was able to grow into a stronger woman.
We do get to see more of exactly how she’s changed in The Wedding, but I won’t go too deeply into that because the spoiler warning is for The Album and I don’t want to ruin the sequel for anyone! I just wanted to write this post to defend Ariana, she does love Gabriel and even when she’s leaving him, it’s because she’s convinced herself that it was the right thing to do.
All along, she just couldn’t believe that she was enough for him. Even when he was doing everything in his power to show her that she was, she couldn’t accept it because she felt unworthy. The time apart, starting a career and becoming more of “herself”, plus the reality of life without him is what made her come to the realisation that of course she is good enough for him.
I won’t lie, she’s in for a rough ride in The Wedding. As you can see from the sneak peek, Heather is not ready to forgive and forget. I’ll let you in on a secret, Sebastian isn’t her biggest fan, either. Not sure if you spotted that one during his voicemails. Needless to say, you can’t just walk out on people for two years and expect that everything will be the same as it was when you return. Gabriel has forgiven her because he loves her and he will fight every damn day for her, but Heather and Sebastian…nah.
Where I feel I may have fallen down, is in my portrayal of Ariana. I tried to show that she struggled with negative self-talk, anxiety and fear but it may not have come across the way I intended it, to. Nonetheless, Ariana is not perfect and I’m okay with that. When I read people ragging on her (well, they haven’t been that harsh, but I do get very defensive of her), I wonder if I did her a disservice in the way she’s portrayed, but I love her just the way she is. Luckily, Gabriel does, too! 😜