Hi there! *team blue*
This was so brilliant. I absolutely love what you've done with Lysander and Lorcan's characters, and how you don't use many names so that it's up to the reader to interpret who is who; it makes the situation less specific, and easier to grasp.
You characterised the brother so well. I love how you showed first one and then the other, as though they were being held up against the other for inspection. I think you really showed us how inferior Lysander feels compared to everyone else; you've given him a harsh tone when he talks about himself and how stupid he must have been.
I also love how you showed us a glimpse of his and Rose's relationship. It's hard to say what they were, exactly, and I like that because it somehow makes his gift more meaningful as it is less of a label. I love the idea of him giving a more personal gift, that is not the mainstream present idea but is worth a lot in the eyes of Rose. It was a brilliant metaphor for Lysander himself, especially as you had Rose's fiance - who could have been Lorcan, could have not, but if he was, I loved the parallels between them - sneering at it, because it wasn't worth anything to him.
I loved your subtle use of second person POV too, because it made the piece feel more personal, and almost judgemental as Lysander considered everyone and everything. It was extremely effective in helping us see it his way.
I love how you brought the subtle 'probably you' message through the entire piece, and then reinforced it using the last line, because it implied how much Lysander didn't want to be himself. The entire piece was just so beautiful, I'm so glad I got to read it.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I think Lysander does feel that he's often held up to his brother, and as twins, it's hard for anyone not to.
I've always been one of those people who's often more excited to give a gift and watch the recipient's reaction than to receive one myself. So it was easy for me to picture Lysander putting himself out there (and perhaps being a bit clueless as to gift etiquette as well) and getting shot down. I didn't see Lorcan as the fiance, but that would actually work, it's an interesting thought!
This idea came from a lot of bits and pieces, but mostly from the first line, which came to me fully formed. I really wanted to experiment a bit with second person, because it's a much more intimate way of telling a story when the whole thing is directed at a single person. I'm glad it worked out the way I envisioned it.
Once again, thanks for the excellent review. The last line was a bit of a stretch, so it's great to hear you got it and understood what it was getting at-- that Lysander hated himself as much, if not more, than he hated Lorcan.