|Review:||Athene Goodstrength says:|
Jami... I donít even know where to begin. I knew, from the snippet you showed me, that this story would be something special, but this? You have blown me away. Iím actually sitting here with tears in my eyes, and itís not even a tearful day! This may be the best thing youíve written (so far), and you know how much I love Before They Fall (once again, I wrote ĎWhen You Fallí... maybe we could write a crossover :P).
I seriously donít know where to start. Ok. Iíll just go for it.
The relationships you portray here are so fragile, and yet so strong. So real and so painful and so full of love, and in so few words! You tell me so much about Astoria and her sister in the line ĎAstoria and Daphne had an unspoken agreement: at Hogwarts, none of it was real.í Her relationship with her father broke my heart. I know what itís like to care so much about someone who is destroying themselves and hurting you (although not, in my case, through being physically hurt) ... but thatís a story for one of our long PM chats! Ha. But suffice it to say, you have really hit the nail on the head here. You show your thoughtfulness as a writer by providing a back story for Mr Greengrass too - I personally have a problem with one-dimensional characters who are monsters just for the sake of it (unless they freely admit to it!) and thatís the opposite of what youíve done here. What he does to his child is hateful and unforgiveable and he deserves to go to Azkaban, but I also pity him and can see how Astoria would reason to herself that he doesnít mean to be angry, heís just in pain. I know exactly how Astoria feels when she wants to say ĎHeís still my father, you canít do this!í. The excuses she makes for him are heart-breaking. Itís so sad for all parties involved.
I just want to take Astoria into my arms and tell her that everythingís going to be okay, and that sheís done the best she can for her father, but she needs to take care of herself... I think I know how Draco feels! And I can actually imagine Draco falling for someone with that sort of fragility - as if by helping someone who needs it can atone for the mistakes he made, and he can channel the anger and sense of betrayal he must feel over his formative years into punishing the person who hurt Astoria. This is why I think itís totally reasonable to cast him as an Auror! I do appreciate though that you havenít made it easy for him - he had to prove himself to his colleagues. So many fics have Draco suddenly become this normal part of wizarding society, which of course, he wouldnít and couldnít be. Heíd have to earn their trust. Youíve thought this all through and it shows in the quality of the plot and characterizations here.
Iím going to draw the parallel with Forrest Gump here. Astoria is such a Ďmahh Jennayí here, but I mean that nicely - sheís not a clichť or a retread of Jenny, but youíve captured some of that anger and pain and the Ďbroken-bird-nessí that Robin Wright Penn portrays in your depiction of Astoria. Itís beautiful.
Speaking of beauty, your language is well-chosen throughout and your similes are lovely, particularly Draco as a stone statue. Heís so grey in this! Stony! And yet, with a heart. That moment at the end of the story when he sees the beauty of her skin for the first time - is that the moment where he realises heís in love with her? Because itís lovely. And I officially feel like a big old meanie for what I do to them in ĎWhen You Goí.
I guess I should wrap this up... Ugh, this was just so good. Seriously. Iím so impressed right now. I donít usually read angst (although writing it can be great) because Iím emotional enough without it, and a lot of it can just be cringeworthy but this was in no way cringey or clichť, it was just superb from start to finish. The lyrics fit in beautifully too. Gah, LOVE!
Author's Response: You know we talked about your review length and stuff? Well, everything I said.. it DOESN'T apply to my stories! ;)!!! I love your amazingly detailed reviews so much ♥
I, like you, always want the 'villain' to have a reason. There are those people that are just bad. I read a story where the mother was very abusive (not FF) and you could tell it was simply because of the jealousy her husband showed to their new daughter. So, that's not any kind of huge reason, but it's something.
I really liked the idea of Astoria's father being a good person at one point. Obviously not very good, because good people don't snap and abuse their daughters no matter what, but he was at least a better person.
I'm so happy you picked up on all her massively contradicting emotions. A little girl shouldn't ever have to worry about her father's anger and the way that it just comes out because he's hurting, but she had to grow up so quickly and even blah. Poor girl :(.
I am so happy I got the chance to re-read this review, it made me feel like such a happy little writer ♥
I'm so happy this wasn't cliche or cringey to you, I really wanted to balance that line between heart breaking and over the top. I wanted to make it clear what was happening without having to actually say. Astoria is such a broken little thing in this, I felt so happy for her when she decided to burn down her childhood home. And Draco! I'm sure watching the place that he knew his best friend was being treated so horrbiy for years, go up in flames, was just what he needed.
bahhh I just love you. Thank you so much for being such an amazingly supportive friend ♥