Hi! I'm really glad we got the whole swap thing worked out, because I loved reading this chapter! I've been hearing about this story on the forums, and I can see why so many people love it :)
I really like the present tense narration. I rarely use it but I really admire authors who do, because it puts the readers right there in the action. I think when it's done well (as yours definitely is), it can really add a lot to a story. I felt like I was right there in the bar with them, experiencing all the sights and sounds you describe so well.
That's another thing: I like how you sprinkle in little details throughout the chapter about what's going on in the background, what things look like or sound like, or what people around Edie are doing. It creates a complete picture and puts everything in context for me while I'm reading. Instead of just giving Edie's thoughts and leaving it at that, you've created a vibrant backdrop for the chapter, and that's a suprisingly rare find. Great job there!
I also love the ideas you're bringing up about young people facing the real world, and not knowing what in the world they're going to do. I totally get Edie's tinge of bitterness when she's thinking about Lisa; there's nothing worse than looking at someone who has it all together when you're still flailing around, wondering what your life is supposed to be about. I've been there (in fact, I'm there right now), so I can tell this story is going to resonate with me.
Here's my favorite part: "We throw back the glasses. It tastes like it always does: a mixture of shame for being twenty-six, a hybrid of unpaid intern and barkeep, with no love-life to speak of, and getting sloshed at a pub virtually every night--and also the certainty of knowing that I have the best mates in the world." You end the chapter on a note of hope, despite everything. And then your very last line brings reality back, but it's okay because you've given this wonderful statement that everything will be okay somehow. I just love that :)
Okay, so I'll stop gushing now! I loved this first chapter, and I really look forward to reading on! Thanks again for the swap, and keep up the awesome work on this story!
Author's Response: Hello! Thanks so much for the review, and I'm sorry about the confusion over the swap. Glad we finally worked it out, because I absolutely love your story!
I actually just went back and edited this chapter last night, and am much happier with it. A lot of readers pointed out that I dump a lot of information about Lisa/Justin but they're not even in the scene, so I went back and added them in. I also added more physical descriptions of the pub itself!
I'm so glad to hear this resonates with you. Not because of your life situation--which is pretty much my life situation too. By writing this story, I wanted to reach readers who are in the same boat, and give them hope and tell them that they're not alone. The economy is shot right now, but maybe there's hope for us aspiring young people! :D
I'm glad you liked that line. It was the way I felt this past summer, when I would work at a restaurant in the day, take a nap, meet my friends for dinner and then go to the bars, and wake up super early for work again. It was irresponsible, I suppose, but we all bonded over it and I wouldn't take it back ever! :3 I wanted Edie, Dean and Seamus to feel the same sense of companionship; of being able to relate in their uncertainty about life but their determination to enjoy the moment.
Man! This is a really sentimental response! Haha. I think it's time to end this, so I'll just say again thank you so much for the review swap. I will definitely be checking out your story again.