|Review:||Athene Goodstrength says:|
This is an incredibly good piece of writing. Let’s start with that, shall we? It’s inventive, emotive, intense and provocative. And the actual technique is excellent too, from your vocabulary and deployment of words to the dialogue and the imagery.
I love that you’ve taken a group of characters about whom a certain fandom collective opinion has formed, and done something completely new and interesting with them. The characterizations and relationships you’ve come up with here are the main attraction to me. I simultaneously dislike, care about, and pity all three of the main characters! How did you do that?
Lily’s fragility is at once alluring and irritating. I actually have a friend like Lily, who is so very beautiful and seems most of the time to be oblivious to the things that she does that infuriates and attracts people, but sometimes you have to wonder if she’s actually doing it on purpose. I don’t know if that’s where you were going with Lily, but I felt like I understood some of Rose’s frustration - it’s hard to be the dependable one all the time.
Is it wrong that I disliked Rose almost as much as I was rooting for her? I just want her to buck up, look around and see that there are other people out there, and to leave Lily and Scorpius to either get on or implode. She seems to spend so much energy and time being angry and feeling resentful... that ‘chip on the shoulder’ element really reminded me of Ron by the way, particularly in that the person she envies so much is the child of the people Ron envied. I just want her to move on and be happy! Ron did, when he grew up a bit. I hope his daughter would too, but she does have that dogged determination of her mother’s.
She’s accomplished so much, but she’s almost hanging every hope on something that will never happen. I guess that’s just the awful and intoxicating nature of unrequited love. I enjoyed how her love/obsession is characterized by note-taking and observation. It seems she’s like her mother in more ways than her determination and intelligence. She’s so methodical. It made me imagine Snape doing the same to Lily, actually... I really pity her being asked to keep a secret for the person she is growing to hate, about the person she loves.
And Scorpius. I feel sorry for him more than I dislike him, actually. I think he has no idea of what he’s doing to Rose and to her relationship with Lily (actually, she’s oblivious too... or is she?). The ‘mudblood’ thing was really inspired - he’s not this enlightened NextGen wunderkind - and it makes me wonder if Rose is a bit short-sighted. If anything, she seems more irritated and disgusted by Lily’s reaction than Scorpius using that word. That said, I’m somewhat disappointed in Draco Malfoy for not teaching his son better. I guess the leopard doesn’t
change his spots...
I loved the canonesque touches in this- seeing Rita Skeeter sneaking around, Quidditch teams, OWLS and NEWTS, the real ‘Hogwartsy’ feel of the story. Lovely.
There are so many wonderful lines in this! You are truly so talented. I wish I had your way with words! One of my favourite lines is actually near the beginning. “Hatred. I wonder how it looks on me. Can my almost-sister see the ocean draining from my blue irises, sinking into my bloodstream and turning the fluid there to ice? Perhaps my skin has faded to an elderly white, looking dead and ugly next to hers.” - Wow. You are GOOD.
I could definitely see Atonement's influence in this story having read your AN - I wonder if Rose is a somewhat unreliable narrator like Briony. I enjoyed this so much, and I really need to come back to your page and keep reading. You’re clearly a gem I’ve been missing out on!
Author's Response: Hi Athene! Thanks again for the swap :)
I don't read a lot of next gen, but I do know that people seem very wrapped up in the Rose/Scorpius love story and in their characterizations of Rose, Scorpius, and Lily. I really wanted to turn all of that on its head and go in a really dark, twisted direction with this. I noticed that you made lots of comments about one member of the trio not knowing what the other two were thinking much of the time, and I think that's accurate. Sometimes I don't think anyone really knows.
Yeah, I wanted Lily to be this classically beautiful girl, somewhat oblivious to the effect she has on others. It's complicated because Rose wants to hate her and has reason to do so, given her jealousy, but it's hard to hate someone who's a genuinely kind person.
It's definitely okay to have divided feelings about Rose. I think it's easy to get tired of her ranting about Lily and Scorpius when their relationship is really none of her business and she could probably be happier if she'd just focus on her own promising life. At the same time, I think people can identify with being the ugly duckling and wishing they could spend a day in someone else's shoes, especially if that person doesn't seem to appreciate their blessed life at times. As for her meticulousness, I really wanted it to be like Hermione, but in a very dark way. Instead of focusing purely on her studies, she's developed an unhealthy obsession for a boy.
As for Scorpius, I think the jury's still out. I don't know that he's totally ignorant of his influence over women, even if he doesn't specifically know about Rose's infatuation with him. At the same time, he seems so wrapped up in himself and whatever he has going on with Lily that maybe he is sort of innocent. I definitely like that this piece made you think!
I love that bit of description, so I'm glad you did, too :) You're very sweet to have said so many nice things, and I could definitely say the same stuff back to you. Thanks so much for your wonderful review!