Hey ariellem! I'm finally here! ^.^
I really like the pace that you set up right at the start. I always enjoy a story that jumps right in and grabs us with short sentences instead of a lengthy description. However, I think you may have tried a little too hard with this effect and compromised the quality of your writing. The structure in which the first sentences are set up in, while I understand your reason for creating all separate paragraphs for almost every sentence, it's left you with some weird moments. For example: "Even if it was September in London." You have this line here all on it's own, but it's actually an incomplete sentence. It should really be attached to previous sentence, more like this: "I honestly think that it was the heat that caused me to do what I did; even if it was September in London..." You can use an ellipses to create that lingering humor instead of a brand new paragraph, and this way your grammar is correct, too. The exact same rule applies to the next two sentences, which should instead read: "All right, maybe it wasn't the heat, but the lack of heat that caused it; even though the library honestly has a great heating system..." You could also use ellipses or parenthesis instead of a semi-colon, if you prefer. And then there's this bit: "But if you tell anyone I said that, I will… Deny it." There's a brand new paragraph between these two when you already have an ellipses to create space. Using both feels like too much, so I would suggest condensing them into one paragraph. Opening's are so important and when grammar is immediately misused, a lot of people tend to walk away. With these corrections the pacing will still be there, simply in a more condensed visual way, which I really think will help, cause it's got a great start to it otherwise!
"Everyone that knows me just calls me Pen,(semi-colon instead) not because Penelope is such a bad name(comma) but because it's such a mouthful. If you have the irresistible desire to go formal, you can call me Fountain Pen, because I despise Penelope." She starts off by saying that Penelope isn't such a bad name, but then says she despises it, contradicting herself.
I really like the relationship between Percy and Penelope! It's obvious that you put a lot of work into how the two interact after having been through so much together. And I think Percy's character so far is really well-defined and canon and that you did a great job with him here! The small details you've thrown in are my favorites, like how he reads the crossword upside down and can still beat Pen to the answers, and how he uses the third grade method of note-passing to tell a girl he's interested! I like Athena, too! I think you've done a great job hashing out each of your side characters, which a lot of people struggle with. Penelope is the only character that concerns me a little; she's feeling a little overused, like I've read her character before in quite a few first person stories.
So having read through the chapter several times now, I still cannot figure out what this sentence is for: "But you forget all about that when she smiles, because when she smiles she looks so pretty. Lucky for her she's a pretty optimistic person." I have no clue who's POV it's from, but it's clearly not Pen's. Is it the narrator or something? It's not even italicized which makes it feel even more out of place. It's just confusing and takes me out of the flow and feel of the story by making me go '...huh?'.
I wish you'd chosen a different way for Oliver and Pen to first run into each other because the tripping/falling thing is overdone. That said, however, I think it was one of the best post-fall scenes that I've run into. Between her thoughts and the dialogue it was entertaining; especially when he remembers her but she can't remember him: I've been in that situation way too many times and how you wrote it is EXACTLY right! LOL
I LOVE the ending. The moment when he asks what she's done with her life and it's so little in comparison. We've all felt that way, like we aren't doing the great things we set out to do and are instead watching other people in our life surpass us. It's so relatable, and the way it ends is perfect; a great little cliffhanger! I'm excited for the second chapter because I want to see what her lies will be!
A few grammar issues:
"Percy hit puberty later then(than) most teenagers"
"I peeked over his shoulder to see if hunky back boy was there." - In every other mention you capitalized Hunky Back Boy
"I inched back, I have(having, not 'I have') no interest in the secrets of Cauldron butts."
""Can you give her a note?" asked Percy, he handed(handing, not 'he handed') me a small folded up piece of paper."
"I honestly don't know how this man made it in the ministry." Ministry should be capitalized
"It works for all ages, trust me, exclaimed Percy excitedly. Just take a look at the note." - You forgot all of the quotations for Percy's dialogue here
"Mostly because the last time I did that I fell and hit my head against the marble desk." - Not a full sentence; should be combined with the one before it using a semi-colon
"I didn't even bother turning around" - Forgot the period
"I went around to check the books (translated, that means, I'm going to take a break and walk around the shelves reading, so then if Frank (my boss, who spends most of his day watching game shows on the mini television in his office) asks (which he almost never does), I can tell him I was working." These parenthesis are all sorts of screwy
So to sum all of this up, I think this story has a lot of potential to really shine because you're so great with your plot line and the side-characters and the big picture stuff. But I would consider finding a beta who specializes in grammar; someone who's really picky about those small details, because that's where this story is suffering. But it's a great start! Congrats!
Author's Response: Wow, this is one of the most awesome reviews I've ever received and it's really helped me re-write the first chapter. So thanks for all the help. :)
(btw, I realize this is a sucky answer)