There is pretty much zero excuse as to why this took so long. Oh well, I guess it's better late than never... :)
I like how, even in the first chapter, you've developed each of the characters quite a bit. Frank's the perceptive one, Bailey's the secretive one, and Alice... well, she's Alice, so she's quite complex as the main character. By the way, you did a great job of giving her a multidimensional characterization (wow, big English terms...) in just the first chapter.
In your review for me, you mentioned something about you not being able to make things flow, and to be honest, you're completely wrong. This felt very natural as the chapter moved along, and I never really felt like there were any jagged edges. It flowed very nicely. :)
The awkward conversation in the Healer's office was perfect, because I feel like in real life, pretty much everyone does that. I can't even count how many strange conversations I've initiated just to get out of an awkward silence.
I like how you haven't actually revealed anything about her disease yet (even though it is mentioned in the story summary), because it kind of builds up the tension, and allows the reader to see Alice as a person first and foremost, before we start thinking of her as a cancer patient. It really gives her so much more depth and will add so much to the story as it progresses.
There are a few little areas where you can add some British-isms, for example, "favorite" is spelled "favourite," and basically any other word like that has the "ou" instead of "o." It's not a majorly important part of the story, but it helps the story line up with the setting a little better.
I kind of got the feeling as I was reading the chapter that Alice might like Al, and it seems I was right! Points for Taylor. :)
I'm really excited to see how you weave both her cancer and her relationship with Al (hopefully? :] ) together throughout the novel. I always love when there's an added element, so that the story's not JUST a romance.
My one little CC is that I'd suggest giving the Healer a bit of a more formal attitude, especially when he's talking about the diagnosis and what not. From my experience, doctors at least try to develop some basic explanation for the problem rather than pushing it off. Although, if you plan on using that as an element in your story, go for it and ignore everything I just said. :)
You've got a really great start going here, and it was a pleasure to read!
Author's Response: Oh it's totally fine! There is pretty much zero excuse for me taking to long to reply to this! :P
Aw thanks! I'm glad their personalities shine through, I was definitely worrying about that a bit!
Really?! It felt so forced when I wrote it :S I guess I'm just to hard on myself... thanks though, that means a lot! :)
Yay, I'm glad you like the awkwardness :P It's always pretty awkward for me in a doctor's office too and I wanted this story to seem as realistic as possible :)
Okay, thanks! I'll look and see where I can change some of the words!
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and your CC :) I'm going to go through and edit it a bit and hopefully get some inspiration for writing more! I'm glad you liked it :)