Hey Shelby, I'm finally here with your review! I apologize again for being so slow, yet again. (I feel like I always start my reviews by saying that. It's a problem.)
My first thought upon finishing this chapter: I really love how different this is from your oneshots. Not because I didn't enjoy reading them too, of course, but a chaptered story gives you much more time to focus on characterization. I'm the type of reader who would rather see well-written characters than anything else, and I loved getting to know Eileen in this chapter.
She's just so much more content than I ever would have imagined her. And I think that's a great approach to a young Eileen because it's so unexpected. The books only hint at her later life, which clearly wasn't so happy, so it's very surprising to see such a hopeful take on her. She's quiet, reserved, and has a lot to hide, but she's not the recluse I would have expected. You let the best parts of her personality shine through, and I loved that! Her customers adore her, and why wouldn't they? She's a total sweetheart. I think having her call everyone "love" was a great touch, as was her crush on Fabian. They're both great ways of making Eileen relatable, and not to mention adorable :)
I feel like I always comment on your description, mainly because your style is usually so description-intense. But in this chapter you're much more subdued about your imagery, and I love it. You give us vivid mental images, but your main focus is on the events. It just shows that not only can you paint a picture, you can also tell a story :)
This was a great opening chapter! I can't find anything I would change, and I never felt like I was missing anything. Your take on Eileen is wonderful, and I think your readers will be fascinated to know how she goes from this precious young woman to the person we know from the books. I absolutely loved this, Shelby! Feel free to PM me if you want to talk further, and re-request any time!
Author's Response: Hello Maggie! As I tell you all the time, don't worry about it! I know how busy things can get (trust me, I totally understand), so just take your time!
This review has left me speechless (almost). I'm just so over the moon right now. I've honestly been very worried about this novel because my oneshots are so different. Dated, for sure, but also with a focus on imagery and description. The characters in my oneshots aren't as well developed and that's something I've been trying to cultivate in this novel. I'm just so happy you like the deviation from my other stuff.
Isn't she wonderful? I didn't want to make a fantastical character who has an extreme personality (although I myself am a bit eccentric and pretty unique). There's something tiring about reading fanfictions in which almost every single main character is out-of-this-world. I want Eileen to be normal and relateable, so it makes me happy that that shines through here. Ahh, you caught the fact that she calls people "love." We all have those phrases and words we use all the time and she needed one too.
Haha, always commenting on my description! That must mean it's pretty good (hopefully, maybe?). You just made my life, Maggie. I'm so afraid that I can't tell a story, so comments like yours make me feel like I"m on the right track.
Thank you so much for the AMAZING review! You're so wonderful to leave thoughtful reviews for each chapter and take your time to even read! Thank you so much, again! ♥