Jenna! Here from the Modern Romance challenge to review your entry :D
Gosh. Just - how do I say how much I loved this without sounding like such an idiot? This is one of those stories that just sucks you in straight away. Gorgeous writing that doesn't get in the way of the plot, unique and relatable but still quirky characters who immediately seem fully developed, such original concepts and plotline that it's really stimulating to read because it's all so fresh. And somehow, it wasn't quite any of those things that made me love this, but something else entirely, something I really can't put into words (I know, kinda useless for reviewing, sigh) that kept my eyes glued to the page until the very last word.
Roxanne was perfectly characterised and really a great choice for the main character here, but I'm not gonna say too much about her here because I want to talk about her in reviews of later chapters :D I do just have to say a few more words about Thackeray Doyle. I mean. Just. What a character. What a truly amazing, quirky, insane, realistic literary phenomenon. I totally relish the idea of the next gen being filled with these slightly malcontent social activists, and she perfectly embodies that. Every line she spoke seemed perfect - I loved her stubbornness and the pleasure she took in correcting people, but also by the end the clear affection she showed for Roxanne. She's such a perfectly balanced multifaceted character.
I know the romance hasn't truly started yet so I can't really review this in terms of how well it fits the challenge. But the connection between Roxanne and Thackeray is already obvious here - they seem, in a way, two perfect halves of a whole. From their wider personalities to the finest details like Roxanne's dyslexia(? I'm assuming, I don't think you actually mentioned the word?) and artistic preferences slotting into Thackeray's wordiness and love of facts. And I really do love how you're setting up their relationship. Because this isn't purely a love story - there's a plot, a plot that sounds gosh darn interesting so far, and that means that they don't just have this mindless connection, they're thrown together for a reason which makes the whole thing more significant, and also adds a whole other layer to why this is interesting to read.
I did start compiling a list of my favourite lines but it was getting longer than the review by the time I'd finished the third paragraph, so since it's impossible to pick (since I loved so much in here), here's three random lines from my top faves:
We were the inheritors of a bored age in which the greatest entertainment came from finding something to be appropriately angry about, whether it was the History of Magic curriculum not including enough historic feminist witches or bans on loud singing in the corridors.
I didn't bother to explain to her the excitement of having a purpose, of being necessary and seen as intelligent and a valuable contributing member instead of as Roxanne Weasley, the girl who read a little slower and had to study her words a little more carefully than others.
I took this for a fact: Thackeray never spoke unless absolutely sure of the words' truth.
Okay, that's me done! I'm adding this to my faves so I can keep up with updates :D Can't wait to see what the next chapter holds, and thank you so much for entering my challenge!
Author's Response: Hi! :D *dies at the amazingness of this review*
I'm so thrilled you liked this! It's a little different from my usual style and approach to writing and I felt like I took some risks with it, so getting this lovely feedback really means the world. I've been savouring this review and coming back to re-read it for the last day or so since it's so lovely, thank you for all these compliments! ♥
It's really amazing to hear how the story pulled you in and that the characters felt very developed. That's just how I imagined them, jumping into the story fully-formed, and knowing that came across to you as a reader is really incredible to hear.
Ahh, I love Roxanne and Thackeray and I'm really pleased you do too. I'm happy to see how you appreciated Thackeray as I did- I put a lot of thought and humour and fun into imagining that character and knowing you found the slightly obnoxious comments realistic and interesting is so wonderful. That's exactly what I wanted-balanced, multifaceted, and easy to love and hate at the same time.
I promise the romance will begin and overflow in the next chapter! :P I just got a little carried away with the introductions and didn't want a 10k word chapter, hehe. :P
Yes, they are opposites but in a really good way! I didn't explicitly say, but in my head Roxanne does have dyslexia. And then Thackeray is very fact-based and goes by getting worked up and passionate while Roxanne is more laid back and quietly expresses herself through her art. I'm so happy you like the plot! I love writing it and coming up with Thackeray's crazy schemes, and it's really lovely to hear you like how the causes unite them and drives the story and their relationship forward. :)
These are some of my favourite lines as well so I love how you picked them out. :) I felt like the first one and second lines here represent something quite universal which Roxanne feels quite prominently in her life, and then the third is Thackeray being particular and opinionated. :P
I'm really so excited you like the first chapter! :D I'm working on editing the second one and hopefully will be putting it up in the next day or so! :) Thanks for the amazing challenge and lovely review!