I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT. BAH. HUMBUG. I'M COMPLETELY HYPER ON EMOTION AND DRAMA RIGHT NOW. CURSE YOU, GUBBY, CURSE YOU.
AND IT'S OVER AND I'M SO SAD. I WANT A HUG, AND CORINNA'S BLANKET AND BAKED FOODS. :'(
I SWEAR I HAVE SOME KIND OF ADRENALIN RUSH FROM READING THIS, HENCE THE CAPITALS SPAM. OH GUBBY. :'( :'(
Okay, so I was blatently lying when I said I knew it, because I didn't know it. Reading this story, you've continued to surprise me throughout. But from my last review, I can kind of prove that I had a sneaky suspicion Corinna wasn't going to end up with Oliver. Because that wouldn't fit in with the mocking, sarcastic, cynical tones of the story. Because the point (seemed to me) to be that everything was silly and dramatic and a lot of the time insincere. Corinna has seen through that so much throughout that I had a feeling she wasn't going to settle for the expected ending after all this madness. And it was perfect, it really was absolutely perfect. This is how the ending should have been, and as I read that last conversation between Corinna and Oliver, as lame as it sounds, I swear my heart was thumping from all the drama.
I love this story so much. Perhaps I seem to be endlessly gushing, but I really do. Corinna is so amazing, and as I've previously mentioned I adore her as a main character. She's been so interesting throughout, and I feel like her character was developing all the way through, which is really lovely to see in a fic, because Corinna is so interesting and amazing, while all the time being a completely realistic and understandable teenage girl.
I shipped Oliver and Corinna, but it doesn't matter that they didn't end up together because the tension in that last scene was amazing, I loved it, and because Corinna admitted she had feelings for him and that was the ultimate satisfaction-ending. And yeah, I don't think they should have ended up together. I absolutely loved the ending Gubby, even though, I hate Oliver for going back to Gemma, but it's all so right and how it should be, and this ending is a million times better than one that would go along with my shipping wishes.
I loved the incorporation of the title into the final chapter by the way, that was so satisfying in an ending kind of way.
Congratulations on finishing this! :) You are incredible, your talent seeped through this. Off-kilter almost seemed self-mocking to me at times, I don't know if that makes any sense. It was all brilliant and I'm so sad it ended. I'm so happy with the ending though, and it's all ridiculous and I still maintain that I kinda saw it coming, a little bit.
Oh and I can't finish this without saying how amazingly fitting it was that she bumped into them on a food trip. And I love Piper and Cata and I love Gemma just for being an absolute lunatic, and I'm a bit confused as to whether we ever found out if she was a spy or not but I think it's best you don't, though maybe you do and I didn't notice.
Congratulations, congratulations. This was amazing, as I've said, and I've rambled and gushed and spammed in this review because it's the final review I can leave for this and I don't know how to convey my love for this fic but I really rather enjoyed it, indeed, you know ;) Your writing was brilliant and I can't wait to read some of your other stuff.
I love the feeling of continue-y-ness to this, that the cycle started again. Not in a... to be continued kind of way, just in a, I can imagine them all going on living their lives kind of way. It's all madness and circles and sheer brilliance. This is amazing, your amazing and I had so much fun reading this. I should make a fan-girl t-shirt or something, clearly.
♥ MUCH LOVE. THANK YOU GUBBY. HELENA♥
Author's Response: THIS REVIEW. THIS REVIEW. And now:
HAH. HAH. Bah, humbug is probably the best reaction I could expect. But believe me, if I could travel backwards through time and space, I would get you that violet blanket and baked goods (red velvet cake) and a hug (I've got a giant teddy bear that would work wonders for any residual sadness). And BAWW ADRENALINE RUSH FOR FIC? Capslock spam isn't nearly as rare, knowing us, but adrenaline rush? BAWW. EEE. SQUEE. Moving on.
I was curious about how different segments of readers would react to this ending, so I'm relieved to count you amongst the ones who get it, even if they aren't squeeing about it, precisely. I don't know if "insincere" was one of the tones of the story, because I don't think anyone was blatantly two-faced; if anything, there was a lot of ambiguity, but I should hope there wasn't insincerity. Cynicism does not equal insincerity, I think, and Corinna is very point-blank about that. And I don't think that this was made to make fun of the typical Hogwarts romance -- turn it on its head a little bit, without a doubt, and show that a lot of times it /is/ silly and juvenile, but at the same time, isn't cynicism a bit juvenile? But I digress: Corinna and Oliver could not have come together, as much as I personally ship them, at this point. It wouldn't have fit either of their characters, so I'm relieved that even knowing that, their last banterific exchange made your heart pound (it made mine, too).
Character development? What is that? :P Seriously, though, I do worry that my characters are static because no one really learns anything. But Corinna, being the main one, does sort of improve? Or at least, I think she comes to terms with her situation as of the last line and that's huge progress. But yay for realistic! I do strive for realistic. And I can't think of anyone who is expressly happy about Oliver going back to Gemma, but it is what it is. I think an equally hilarious fic could be written just about them (I won't do it, but the idea makes me giggle) because they are an intriguing couple.
I do think this has been largely self-mocking. Off-Kilter is slotted into this genre of wacky-seventh-year-Hogwarts-relationship-story, which means that it is everything it purports not to be. I know that, and I like working within the genre, hopefully showing some new elements in a tried-and-true formula that has made the rounds at the archives.
No, we never found out whether Gemma was a spy or not. If you really want to know what I think, feel free to ask, but I don't think it was important. But Piper and Cata, the poor things, I do wish the endings of their character arcs had been a bit more charitable. But, as I said in the above paragraph, Off-Kilter is ultimately just another Oliver/OC, which means that all characters who aren't Oliver or the main OC must fall to the wayside to some degree.
You sensed the "and so the cycle continues" vibe, hooray! I said this in another response, but I don't think this is any real kind of end. This is not a definitive ending, it's merely the ending of this chapter in the story of their lives. I could easily chronicle the rest of their seventh year, go into their post-graduation lives, the marriages and whatever comes next, but what's the point of that? At some point, the characters' futures belong as much to the reader as they do to me. Of course I know vaguely what happens in that future, and you can see evidence of it in fics like The Confectionary, but the madness and the "brilliance" isn't just mine anymore, is it?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your rambling, spamming, and gushing literally made my month, and I reread this all the time and I get the hugest smile on my face and this lovely fuzzy feeling and it just makes me happy that I could cause someone to squee so effusively. Andandand, no one's ever made me a fangirl t-shirt, or even mentioned one, but squee, thank you thank you thank you I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.