I tend not to leave reviews that often but this is my second one on here which I think says a lot about how much I truly love this story :)
I think the first thing that really makes this story one of my favourites is the way it's able to completely hold it's own without there being any James/Seth for an entire chapter. It's surprisingly refreshing to read a fic that does in fact point out that, yes the protagonist does actually have a life aside from James and doesn't spend every waking moment thinking about him. If you'd told me this chapter had no James in it, I would still expect love it, but be one of my favourites? Probably not. However, this chapter has made it into my top three - alongside 'The Stumbling Stag' and 'A Teenage Frenzy'(I totally just had to search the names of those chapters ahah) - which really shows how great your other story lines are wow. (Ngl, I'm so desperate to find out what happened to Al)
I mentioned this in my last review but I just want to reiterate how pleased I am that you have drawn the relationship out because not only does it add to the realism but it seems to mean so much more when something actually does happen. I have read far too many fics in which they don't even know each other in the first chapter, they kiss in the third and are madly in love by the fifth which just seems so unrealistic and doesn't give you a chance to really feel for the characters. Even with some of the more drawn out ones I've read they so often have James being an idiot for the first part of the story and then he seems to have a rapid personality transplant in the space of like two chapters and is all sweet and lovely for the rest which, I mean, just doesn't ever happen. Again, you've avoided this by including some pretty brilliant character development because he was an idiot (although I really do love him) and hell he still can be, but Seth's perspective on life has just slowly started to bring out a different side to him.
Also, the same goes for timing in this story. All your scenes seem so complete and full, you don't just skim over things at a lighting pace which so many others seem to do. Time just seems to pass naturally in this fic without it feeling like five months have flown by in one chapter. I don't know if you understand what I mean by that, I'm quite bad at explaining things ahah.
I couldn't go without mentioning your beautifully deep and well rounded characters, ah your character development is amazing. But anyway, apologies for how long this review is (I've just rambled for like ten minutes ahah) but it always makes me happy to get a long review so I thought if I'm going to review this I should do it properly :)
You're amazing, as is this story so I'll be eagerly waiting for more updates.
~ Charlie ~
Author's Response: I know what you mean about leaving reviews :)
and I'm really glad you wrote this one! I love long and detailed reviews so this one made me really happy :)
I'm so glad you feel that way about James not being there every second of the story... I do enjoy love stories but I agree with you that it can be annoying to have two characters fight for two chapters and then suddenly become the perfect couple. It rarely feels genuine... Also, I really wanted Seth to be defined as something more than a boy's love interest and I can't tell you how happy I am that you feel that way as well :)
I also agree about the sudden Deus-ex-Machina-personality changes... like you said, that just doesn't happen. Characters should have and own their flaws, they may learn to deal with them but ultimately, going from super arrogant bad boy to loving, cuddling, romantic-gesture-throwing boyfriend doesn't really happen.
Timing is always hard, I think, so I'm glad the flow appears natural in the story. To be honest, in the beginning I got some critique that the story was moving too slowly and that Seth and James should get together already, but now I'm glad I stuck with my timeline :) It wouldn't have seemed right to force two opposites like Seth and James together on the premise that they might be kinda attracted to each other... after all, Rome wasn't built in a day ;)
Anyway, I'm rambling :D Thank you so so so much for this amazing review and NEVER apologise for the length... reading it made my day! I hope you'll enjoy the upcoming chapters and thank you so much for taking the time to write this!