Hi, there! I am slowly but surely getting there. Where did all of my reading and reviewing time go?
I thought your physical description of Regina McFey was fantastic. She came across as being so intimidating, so sculpted and just so... intensely, fiercely fake. It was pretty amazing. It's one thing to be an artificial woman with tons of nips and tucks and a whitened smile and a spray tan for all seasons, but this lady sounds like she's taken it to a whole different level. And she's cold. Merciless, brutal, calculating and downright scary. There isn't a doubt in my mind that she could eat Rose for lunch.
The way she dissects Rose's relationship with Krum was a work of art. She takes a tiny example, the fact that Rose doesn't know what Krum likes for breakfast, and puts Rose instantly on the defensive. Then she proceeds to drag Rose through the drugs, the injuries, Rose's own family background and the way she's being portrayed in the press. It was downright surgical, the way this woman makes Rose doubt every last thought she's had since the moment she laid eyes on Viktor Krum.
What better way to feel special than to be the one Viktor comes crawling to when he’s got no where else to turn? The truth is, she's the only one desperate enough to take his calls. Of course, until you came along, that is. - This is what I suspected about Liddy when we first met her. Not that I'm taking anything Regina says as gospel, mind you. I have a strong feeling that she has her own angle on this situation. Perhaps we'll find out what that is before it's all said and done. For right now, I'll just choose to believe that her visit is more than what it seemed.
Go get him, Heart wrote. Get him, bring him home, and let’s put this whole mess behind us. - Brilliant. The world really is that simple when you're the boss, isn't it? Oh, and I guess it helps to be devoid of conscience.
Rose's angry discussion with Krum about his motivations for leaving was pretty revealing for me. It took me right back to that line of Liddy's about Viktor being a flame that left you feeling cold and dark when he was gone. Rose's life already seems to be starting to exhibit a lot of those swings between the highs and the lows and they're always driven by Krum vacillating between being open with her and shutting her out. It's not a good pattern, at least if you're Rose. It certainly makes me want to put more stock in Regina's comment about him destroying lives.
Krum knows exactly which buttons to push to reel her back in, doesn't he? He lets her get all worked up about the book and then, casual as can be, he acts as though it's been his plan to finish it with her all along.
"That's absurd. This isn’t any more your doing than mine. I could have said no. I could have stopped this if I'd wanted to, but I didn't."
Viktor gave her a wry smile. "It's sweet that you think that, but it isn't true. And even if it was, it's just more proof you don't know what's good for you." - Wow. Whatever else I might think about Viktor Krum, the guy has big brass... erm, let's just say he has no problem calling life as he sees it. Sadly, he's probably right in this case. He has so much more experience when it comes to this sort of thing than Rose.
The way that Rose's heart -- her desire to stop being the safe, boring creature of habit that she'd become and genuinely live her life according to her own desires -- overrules her better judgment at the end of this chapter was heart-warming in a "love conquers all" kind of way and horribly troubling in a "that poor girl is so screwed" kind of way. It seems that Viktor does have a bit of a noble streak, but his own heart is getting the best of him as well. I hope for the best for both of them, even though I'm 90% sure that isn't going to happen. :(
Anyhow, here are a couple of small things you might want to take another look at:
And right now they’re thinking you’re a girl from a good home and a nice family who was all too happy to toss her morals aside to grab herself the inside scope on this little book deal she’s got going. - the inside scoop
Talk about the tea calling the kettle black. - OK, so I spent about 5 minutes on google, thinking, "this is some really common British expression that I've just never heard before." That happens to me about once a week on HPFF. Most of what I found, however, was about a blog post trashing Abercrombie and Fitch. So I'm just gonna flag it and you'll have to tell me whether you meant to say that or not.
Regina’s warnings still rang fresh in her mind, and the humiliation of having her privacy striped away by the press was like a fresh wound, threatening to rip open anytime she thought about it. - her privacy stripped away
So I'm really curious what it was about this chapter that didn't turn out the way you wanted, because I thought it was really good. Highs and lows, highs and lows... Poor Rose must have a hard time keeping track of whether she's happy or sad sometimes. Me, of course, I'm just happy that I have more chapters to read!
Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked the physical description of Regina. I try to avoid going too overboard with what every character looks like, but with her, I thought it was important to establish that she's physically intimidating -- enough so to make Rose insecure -- but that there was also something off about her, like a wicked queen from a fairy tale.
Surgical -- I love that description! Rose and Krum go back and forth a lot, and though he's really skilled at it, Rose can hold her own. But she really isn't any match for Regina because Regina won't play fair. Krum will tease but Regina goes for the kill.
I'm so happy you singled out the line about Liddy. Regina does have her own motives but she isn't wrong about this one. At the same time, I really don't see Liddy as a bad person. She likes feeling needed and important, and is probably more selfish than she wants to admit, but she isn't out to hurt anyone.
Haha, I can't argue with you on Krum. He isn't one for being tactful if he isn't in the mood, not to mention arrogant. But that doesn't make him wrong... It's interesting what you said about Rose too. My goal (whether I was successful at it or not) was always to have the reader root for Krum and Rose as a couple, but the feedback I've been getting, particularly around this point in the story, is that people are sort of half-hoping they can make it work and half wanting to slap Rose upside the head and tell her to get out while she can. I like the idea that there are more layers to it (even if I wasn't smart enough to add them intentionally), but I worry that it weakens Rose as a character. Hmmm... some food for thought on my end, I suppose.
I'd love to tell you that the tea/kettle is some super cool expression, but alas, it was just a mistake on my end. I guess I was going to write teapot but that's not even the right expression either *forehead slap* Anyway, I fixed it and the other mistakes, so thank you for pointing them out.
I think I was so unhappy with this chapter because I'm a big chicken and ended up cutting the big emotional reveal I had planned in my head. I wanted Krum to say something important to Rose, but every time I tried to write it, it felt super cheesy. I thought it said something important about his character but I just couldn't make it work. *sigh* But I am VERY happy to hear that you liked the chapter anyway.
*Phew* Sorry, that was another long reply. Is there any way, really, to respond to reviews without coming off like a total narcissist?!