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Review:magnolia_magic says:
Julie, hi! Thanks for swapping with me. I'm really glad you asked me to read this, because I enjoyed it a lot :)

I think you've got a great premise for a story. We always hear about hard work and determination paying off (that's kind of a Puff motto I guess :P), but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. I'm really glad you're exploring that with Taylor, and I'll be really interested to see how she comes back from this devastating setback.

Speaking of Taylor, I like her a lot so far. Her narration seems very laid-back and chill, and it's easy to read. As for Taylor herself, I love that she's so determined to get what she wants. I think that might make for some fun James/Taylor moments in later chapters :) Also, it's nice to see a character who isn't necessarily super talented in her chosen field; I'd much rather read about an underdog who works to beat the odds.

This chapter flows well for the most part, but I did get confused at your transition from past to present. The paragraph that starts: "I lifted my head at the sound of clapping..." comes kind of abruptly. It took me a while to realize that we were back in the present, with Taylor getting her results. So I was kind of confused there. If it were me, I'd add some sort of lead-in to that paragraph, so we're clear right off the bat that Taylor's focus is shifting. I hope that makes sense :)

I really love the way you start this chapter off, by using several hypothetical situations that we can all relate to. That really resonated with me because I know exactly how it feels to be disappointed that way, and I know a lot of your other readers do too. I thought it was a great way to pull readers in (it certainly worked for me!)

You've got an awesome start here! I will definitely get around to reading on (RL is hectic, so I don't always have as much reading time as I want :/) Great job, and thanks again for swapping with me!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Hey Maggie! I'm sorry this response took me so long! I can fully understand the RL getting in the way :p

The premise has been really neat for me to work with so far :) I have this habit of really wanting everything to work out happy endings for characters as soon as possible so I wanted to push myself to do something different. I think everyone's had something they wanted and worked for that just didn't work out.

Thank you! I'm glad you like her so far. Her narration has been quite a change from the witty banter of KoW - though, we will get a little with Lucy in two :) - so it's been really interesting writing someone a little more grown up and hard working. I love the hardworking trait of being a Hufflepuff so of course I had to give her that ;)

I have been really back and forth about the switch from generalization to present, and it's abruptness, so I will have to take another look at adding some more transition sentences and clear that up a little better. It makes sense :)

I guess it's a little obvious, but the relate-ability was definitely what I was going for with the first half. Everyone's had something disappointing happen, whether it be one of those situations or something else and I used that as a way to drag the reader in :)

Thanks so much again for the swap! I know how RL can get it the way of reading time but I do hope you're able to make it back!


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