Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums.
First off, I totally wasn't expecting a lycanthropy plot when I read the summary and clicked on the story, but as I read it, I enjoyed it more and more. I think you've captured the "problems" that werewolves deal with here very nicely, especially since Lydia is barely seventeen and she has to go through all this. What shocked me the most was how her own parents treated her - of all people family is supposed to be the most supportive - but I guess that's reality as sometimes even your own family can't take it.
I liked Lydia's characterisation here and the way you captured and portrayed her emotions. I also loved her grandmother, her concern for her granddaughter was well-written throughout and it touched me how much she was trying to make everything right for Lydia with the Christmas and all; but in the end everything got spoilt and I felt so bad. I also think you wrote Lydia's parents well. They were not necessarily bad people, but they just couldn't cope with their daughter's condition like this, and though I was annoyed at them, I could get where they were coming from too, so that's definitely a mark of good writing =)
I liked the concept of having a tension-filled somewhat angsty and dramatic christmas as opposed to a cheery and warm happy ending christmas, and the way you presented the scenario. The little details you touched upon such as how Lydia got bitten, her performance in school, the problem about jobs especially in other countries etc. was all nicely done.
My favourite part of the story was the relationship Lydia shared with her grandmother since you wrote it so beautifully and it's something not so common in fan fiction, so good job there.
I think your transitions were okay over all, and the dialogue as well as narrative was smooth. I saw a couple of small grammar issues here and there, basically sentences that were worded a bit awkwardly, so perhaps a thorough re-read (especially reading out loud) could help you spot and fix those. Of course, feel free to ignore this as I am just being a bit too nit-picky here.
Apart from that, the only CC I'd give you is that the ending was indeed a bit rushed. It felt like this ended too abruptly with not enough... closure, if that's the way to put it. Perhaps, instead of saying "Quickly, Alexandrina began to tidy things away..." you could give a description of the decorations or the state of the room and Alexanderina taking them off slowly one by one - the christmas lights, gifts, streamers etc. - and at the same time thinking about Lydia and the rejection (instead of making it in a "for the rest of the day" form). Maybe the descriptions combined with the thoughts, and then the story ending with the cleaning of one final decoration (like taking down the lights for instance) combined with the thought of everything being worse would be better. It might ease the abruptness and flow.
Of course, that is just a suggestion. You can do it any other way as well =)
Besides that, this was a great read and I really liked your one-shot. I hope I was of some help!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review.
I'm glad I got across that Lydia's parents aren't actually bad or even necessarily outwardly prejudiced people, but just people who had to deal with a tough situation and behaved selfishly, putting themselves first. After all, in real life, people don't divide up into those who are downright prejudiced against those with disabilities/mental health issues/gay people, etc and those who react completely supportively. There are people who think they'll be completely OK with it until it turns out to be their child. And of course, on the other hand, there are those who are prejudiced until it happens to their child, when they turn out, surprisingly, to be completely supportive. So I didn't want to demonise them, but just to show how deeply they are hurting her, without necessarily intending to.
I'll take a look at the grammar, but it is distinctly possible it's a hiberno-English versus standard UK English thing, in which case, I probably won't notice. We do tend to structure some sentences according to Irish-language sentence structure and most of the time I don't realise the structure isn't used outside Ireland. I'll take a look though and see if there are any improvements I can make. Thanks for point it out.
The ending is driving me crazy. This is the second or third version and I don't think I've made much of an improvement, if any. I'll try and add in a bit more detail and see if that will help. It's a problem I often have with one-shots - bringing them to an end. But I usually manage it better than this.
Thanks again for the review.