|Review:||Cherry Bear says:|
I'm a really big fan of any Lily and James stories, but this one was absolutely amazing. From the start, I loved your characterization of Lily and your descriptions. The first line was so filled with imagery that I was immediately hooked in - I've always thought that's an important part of writing and I want to congratulate you on accomplishing it. Another part of the beginning of the story that I really liked was your transition from painting to Lily's thoughts about James; it was so smooth and effortless.
Lily's mother was also a rather humorous character that I was happy you included; you managed to give her a rather understandable personality just by her actions and Lily's thoughts about her. I believe it's called dramatic irony - the whole 'the audience knows what the character doesn't' thing - and it was really funny to read. The story in itself was rather funny, something that I didn't quite expect for a one-shot I thought would be all fluffy and romantic. But I'm really glad you did, and I thought Lily was really hilarious, especially the bit about Mr. Darcy. Perhaps because I find it so relatable.
I really enjoyed your switch between Lily and James' point of views, which is surprising, because I normally hate that. But you pulled it off so well, and you didn't stretch it out longer than it had to be or cut it short or anything like that. And I could tell right away that the the squiggles and asterisks meant a P.O.V. change, which is another accomplishment for you. Seriously, this is where you should actually pat yourself on the back ;)
I loved Lily's struggle with her old self, how she insisted that she's more mature and won't be suspicious about James' determination to make her have a very wonderful picnic. I thought it was so cute to imagine James' visiting a Muggle store with Sirius - another example of Lily's great humor - and I practically melted when he said he hadn't cooked all of it, but that he'd gotten his mother to help him. I thought your James so adorable, and I think it's because he didn't really seem all that arrogant or independent as you'd expect; it was like, when it came to Lily, he was willing to be dependent on other people just to make sure everything was perfect. And his insecurities were just so cute!
The only critique I have (and it's a very minor one) is that I absolutely abhor the nickname Lily Flower...I just find it so cliche, I suppose, but it's really a matter of personal preference so pay no mind to me. I did think Lily calling him Jamie was rather cute, though - especially because I can imagine Sirius teasing him about it and James turning all red.
The proposal in itself was fabulous. I liked how James approached the subject - bringing up the glance into the future, what they would name their children, especially because it ends up true. I found it surprising that Lily would say she wanted a boy - so many women want girls as their first children - but I actually found it a nice change from the norm.
James' speech to Lily was amazing, I think because it was so simple and you could tell he had no idea what to say so he was just going with the plain truth. His acknowledgement of the fact that they're young - and that he even asked Lily's mother for permission!!! Aw - showed that you really understood the struggle the characters must have gone through to get married at such a young age. And Lily's response was really cute and heartfelt: "Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes!" I adored that line.
And, lastly, I loved the repetition of forever and ever at the end; it was so wonderful and so amazingly-executed, especially how you managed to include the title of the story in the last line. Lily's attempts to absorb every aspect of that moment - something that I think everyone does, but artists do more than anyone else - was so believable and I could just see it happening in my mind's eye. Now that is truly good writing.
And, now that I've inflated your ego to the size of James' during fifth year, not to mention wasted a fair chunk of your time making you read this long rambling review, I'm going to wrap this up. Thank you for this really adorable one-shot! It brought such a big smile to my face on an otherwise smile-free day. I'll be sure to check out what else you've written (:
Author's Response: Okay, let me calm my heart down so I can type this response ^_^
First of all, WOW! I dont ever think I have received such an amazing or helpful review EVER. And second, I cannot express hoiw glad I am that you liked this! Its one of my favorite stories, even though its a oneshot, so I am always really glad when people enjoy reading it ^_^
I am really glad you thought James was cute. He is one of my favorite characters to write, because I personally think there are so many aspects of his character that you could delve into, and I just chose to do this particular one here. And the part with him and Sirius at the camping store was literally last minute, and I am glad you picked up on the alternative scene it presented. Honestly, lets see the Marauders in OutdoorWorld lol.
I LOVE how you picked up that at the end! How Lily begins the story painting a picture of her fictional wonderland, and she ends the story painting a picture of her OWN, real-life wonderland, the one she really always wanted. You are the first person who commented on that, and it made me exceedingly happy that you saw it!
So, in conclusion, my ego is pretty huge right now ^_^. But not as big as it was yesterday, when I read this at first. I decided I should let it deflate a bit before I typed something back, and that was probably a wise descision :]. It was long, but definately not rambling, and it didnt only make my day, but probably my week, and maybe even my month.
Thank you so much for this stunning review!