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Reading Reviews for Bittersweet and Strange
  
43 Reviews Found

Review #26, by inkscribble Positively Primeval

15th April 2009:
Hello dear, I'm here with the review you requested!

Well, this was just wonderful. It reminded me a lot about Jane Austen in the way that Minerva is looking for more than just a marriage which isn't what people is expecting from her. I'm really glad to be reading about her too, because all we see in the books is a stern looking woman that we don't know much about. So far, I think your develoption of her is great. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you'll make of her too, but so far you're doing excellent.

Your era of concern was the flow, but there's nothing to worry about there. I think the flow was just as good as your writing - brilliant in other words. You really grabbed my attention with the first line and I could see everything playing out in front of me.

Honestly, it was all fabolously done. The plot seems great so far, Minerva is coming along very nicely and Robert is too. I only have two small problems; don't trust me too much with this because I might be terribly wrong but I think it would be better to use the word 'mother' rather than 'mum'. Maybe not all the time, but at least a little more often. It seems like she's coming from a nice family, at least that's the impression I get, and if we look at Draco Malfoy; his family would consider themselves very nice and he calls Lucius and Narcissa mother and father. Does that make sense? My brain is all over the place right now, it's late. (; Second of all, a little more character descriptions! What does Minerva look like? What does Robert look like? Describing what someone looks like can easily become too much, but it's hard to picture a scene if there's nothing to go from.

Other than that, this was very well written and I enjoyed every minute of reading it.

Author's Response: Hi ink! Thank you so, so much for coming to read and review my story :) :) I really appreciate your time and effort and I just wanted to apologize for taking so long on the response.

I chose Minerva because I wanted to imagine what she was like as a young woman. She's always been interesting to me - she's a strong, brave woman who seems to live for her work, yet there is never any hint of her family or friends or any romance. Since she was born in a time when women were expected to get married, I thought it was intriguing that she'd had the guts to pursue academia instead of housewifely duties. I don't know what the wizarding world expectations were, but I just thought it was so brave of her and wanted to take it further.

I'll go back through and see if I can put "mother" in there somewhere :) This is the 1940's so I'm not sure whether people would have been more formal back then ... maybe Minerva would have. I didn't mean the McGonagalls to be as wealthy as the Malfoys - definitely not - but they are well-to-do so I'll definitely check on that and thanks for pointing that out!

You're not the first person to want more description! :D I will try my very best to add more in the following chapters. I always like to know what the characters look like when I'm reading a story, too.

Thank you very, very much for your constructive criticism! I really appreciate this review :)


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Review #27, by slytherinchica08 As Old As Time

15th April 2009:
this was a really good chapter. i feel that the flow of the story is doing just fine. it has a good pace not going to fast right away. i like the way you describe the beach glass. it sounds amazing.

~Slytherinchica08~

Author's Response: Oh thank you - I've been nervous about the flow of the story ever since I knew it would be a tale within a tale. I still can't figure out how I want to jump back and forth between Minerva and Mirabella (or whether I will do so at all). I'm happy you liked the description of the beach glass :) I appreciate your reviews!

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Review #28, by slytherinchica08 Positively Primeval

15th April 2009:
its a great beginning very promising.

~Slytherinchica08~

Author's Response: Thank you very much! I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the story. :)

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Review #29, by Billion Positively Primeval

1st March 2009:
A new spin on Minerva McGonagall or a deeper look at a side of her that we've barely glimpsed from Rowling's portrayl? I think I'll go with the latter... love your setup - the heroine has to choose: follow her heart or her duty as a daughter? I'm so glad you avoided the "heart-side" being a man her family doesn't approve of. It's more in Minerva's character to be torn for more...hm, what's the word? higher? no, that doesn't sound right either... but I'm sure you get my point? It's also brilliant that you're using BatB songs as chapter titles since there are quite a few similarities between Belle and Minerva. And as usual, I'm looking forward to the rest of the story! Weee! ...Ok, I think I had too much coffee XD

Oh wait! I thought of it just before I pressed submit! Ideal reasons. For more ideal reasons. Yes. Ok, I'm done now.

Author's Response: I know exactly what you're saying :) It makes Minerva's choice that much harder when she's choosing between two "good" things. Her family loves Robert, but she doesn't - not for marriage, anyway. She has a big decision to make and unfortunately she has to make her parents unhappy or to make herself live a life she didn't really choose. Belle is my favorite "princess" and her independence and strength definitely inspired my version of Minerva. Thanks so much for your review!! (Haha and you're typing coherently with too much coffee which is impressive. When I have too much coffee, I can't control my fingers. LMAO) Hugs!

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Review #30, by Groundswell Positively Primeval

23rd February 2009:
This is very good for a first chapter.
I'm wondering what Aurora did, but I think it's better this way, that you don't tell, somehow it fits, not telling. It seems more like an actual story instead of a telling.
I'm a bit surprised you made her a Quidditch player too. I'd never seen that, less of all a good player. haha. I'm not sure whether I like it or not. I mean, Quidditch player I've always imagined being a little more ruthless and wild. And The McGonagall... It's just so different, but I think you can make it work. Everyone was teenagers once, and McGonagall is not an exception.
I really like Robert. He seems responsible (even though he's actually quidditch captain. haha) and thinking about the future is serious. I think it's got something to do with the times, and maybe McGonagall is one of those women who never really committed. She's independent even here (a thing I think she's even more in the HP books), even though she doesn't want to admit it, and I think you wrote that well.
Were good first chapter. Even though nothing but all the marriage talk happened, a lot of the characters and their personalities were shown. Very good.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for coming to review! Sorry for the belated response :D

I think I might leave Aurora's story up for interpretation - there's enough there to suggest that whoever she married was not up to the McGonagalls' expectations or approval. The most important part is that she did it anyway, which leaves Minnie (as the last unmarried daughter) in a tough spot.

Glad you liked Minerva's personality! I love McGonagall in the books and her dry humor; she must have been somewhat similar as a young woman.

Thank you so much!


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Review #31, by chiQs09 Positively Primeval

21st February 2009:
Hi sweetheart!
After re-reading it, I remember why I've added this to my favourites long time ago. But you never updated, and I'm still waiting to read the grandmother's fairy tale. :'(
I could see the pressure that was put on Minnie - one sister was married, and the other was engaged. She doesn't want to disappoint her parents, pondering whether sacrifycing her own happiness just to make them contented is a good idea. But I think she'll never be truly happy if she lives just to please other people. Her friend, Harriet, has a point there.
Robert Wood seems to be a good guy, but unfortunately she only loves him as a brother. At least, if all else fails (like her life ambitions etc.) there is someone who's lining up to marry her. :) Btw, is he somehow related to Oliver Wood, or is it coincidence they have the same surname?

Again, I'm looking forward reading the next chapter. :)

Author's Response: Hi darling! Thank you so much for re-reading ... I know, I've been bad about updating ever since Christmas, but I'm going to concentrate on this story next so it should be updated soon. There is definitely a lot of pressure on Minnie - parents usually put a lot of pressure on us even if they don't mean to. By marrying Robert, she would be making them happy (which they need to be after all that drama with her sister) but she wouldn't be doing what she really wanted to do. She's stuck between a rock and a hard place basically. Yes, Robert Wood is related to Oliver Wood - I think he would be his grandfather. Thanks for the review my love! :)

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Review #32, by Illuminate Positively Primeval

17th February 2009:
This is a great story! (I'm sorry for taking so long, by the way).

You've opened this really well and we already feel connected to Minerva in the way that you've presented her. However, the one thing I don't think is right is their language. Were they that informal in the 40's? I don't know; but it doesn't really seem right to me.

However, all of the characters are great, and your description is sound, too. Please continue!

Author's Response: Hello hello! Thanks so much for coming to review :D

Glad you like the story so far. I'll definitely go back and look at the language - thanks for mentioning it! I don't think they were as formal in the 40's and 50's as they were in, say, the 1920's, but I'll have a look at it. I tend to like using contractions ("don't," "can't," etc) because otherwise it sounds too stilted :)

Thanks a million for your review and I'll definitely be continuing!


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Review #33, by Mrs Roonil Waslib Positively Primeval

8th February 2009:
Addressing your 'Areas of Concern', I don't think any improvements need be made. I always love insight into a character that JK never really told us too much about. This story was both fascinating and nicely written. This was really a joy to read. It was sweet and anything could've (really) happened. I think Minerva probably went off to that school, could've married Robert, but he died. But I'm thinking that maybe she didn't.

The ending of the story suggests the first of my two theories, but either way, it was well written. I liked how I was expecting Robert to follow her outside and instead, she met her grandmother out there. Gold star for NOT writing the expected. ^_^

Feel free to drop by for more reviews; I enjoyed this one very much.

-Mrs Roonil Waslib

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked this. It is kind of open-ended right now as to where the story could go, but looking at the present day McGonagall, I'm pretty sure of which direction it's headed :) I don't think Robert would follow her outside ... he doesn't want to push her too hard and he's already made her kind of antsy. I'm happy you liked this story and I hope you'll come back for more!

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Review #34, by Love Made Visible Positively Primeval

6th February 2009:
This is a very good opening chapter. It didn't give too much away which I like very much, it wasn't full of action and drama which I also liked; I don't believe an opening chapter should be straight into the action because a lot of the time I find myself let down by the following chapters. I enjoyed reading this a lot, you set the scene beautifully and laid the foundations for what I speculate will be an extremely interesting story - I feel there aren't enough fics with Minerva as the main character. I also like the way you characterised Minerva: you didn't write her to be the hard-faced, tight lipped woman she was in the novels. A lifetime of hurt obviously hardened her to be the sort of woman she was, and I thought it was refreshing how you went in a different direction and portrayed her to be the fruitful, optimistic young woman I believe she once was.

Something which I believe could be improved on is your character descriptions. I don't feel you delved into them as much as you could. It would have been nice to read how Minerva looked as a young woman in contrast to the more mature Minerva we read about in Jo's novels. Also I would have liked to know what Rob looked like. He seems like an interesting character and there's obviously a lot of potential between him and Minerva! It'd be great to find out what he looks like either in this chapter or the next chapter. And also her Grandmother, I found her character interesting and it would have been a joy to read about her appearance: does she look extremely withered and old? Has she aged well? Is she still youthful and has light in her eyes despite her age? And also it would be quite interesting to read about a resemblance between Minerva and her Grandmother.

Something which I picked up on was how well you described your settings. Some of the imagery you created in my mind was electric and I found it extremely inspiring. "she could see the waves caressing the beach", that was my favourite bit of imagery you used in this chapter. I thought the personification there was just beautiful.

The dialogue was great also. It all flowed nicely into eachother and it all made sense. There was quite a lot of dialogue in this chapter so usually it would be quite easy to get lost and perhaps lose train of thought; yours was done extremely well however and the interaction between the two characters having a conversation was very naturalistic. As I said, there was a great deal of dialogue in this chapter and I think it would be nice to concentrate less on dialogue in the next chapter, perhaps just use a little bit less to even the story out a little bit more.

One thing that struck me with the interaction between Minerva and her mother was this, "You've been doing so well at school. Top student for the fourth year running and a prefect to boot". In England we do not use the phrase 'to boot', and it sounded quite odd. It's not really a big deal however it's just something I noticed. The spacing in this chapter was also very good, it's laid out very professional and the dialogue is spaced out wonderfully, so the reader doesn't become overwhelmed with all the speech.

I enjoyed reading Minerva's inner-turmoil. The thoughts that were in italics were great, like she was questioning her own motives and beliefs - her parents have drilled this idealistic world they want for their daughter into her head and it's almost as if she doesn't know what she wants anymore. I found that quite effective. I can also really feel for Minerva: how she wants to be the best daughter she can be, make her parents happy, to reassure them after what happened to Aurora (which I'm also intrigued about!) But also she wants to lead her own life...make her own decisions and make her own mistakes and to learn from them herself. Therefore including the battle her head is having with her heart was extremely effective. Overall this is an extraordinary chapter to what I believe is going to be a really promising story!

LMV

Author's Response: This is such a great and detailed review and exactly what I was looking for when I requested :) I'll try my best to give it a response that does it some justice!

I'm really happy that you liked my characterization of Minerva. I actually considered a whole cast of other characters to use before I decided on Minerva, whom I chose because she is exactly what you described: a hard-faced, tight-lipped woman. She really intrigues me and so often during the series, we see that she has a sense of humor that she keeps wrapped up in that tight bun. I like to imagine that she was once a light-hearted, hopeful young woman who had plenty going for her academically. She was probably ambitious and I'm sure that since there was no husband or children mentioned for her in the books, she must have sacrificed life as a wife and mother to teach. I wonder if she ever regretted her choice (hence the kind of personality she has - not exactly bitter, but sort of dry and stiff) and it's kind of interesting to think about.

I definitely agree with you that I need more in the way of character descriptions :) Reading back through this chapter, I don't think I mentioned once what anybody looked like! Whoops! I also like to know what characters look like when I'm reading a story, so I'll definitely add more detail of that kind as I go on.

There will be a lot less dialogue as the story continues since it will be like a fairy tale told by Jane. I think I'll keep the dialogue specifically for the "modern" day with Minerva's story and make the embedded story more like something you'd hear from a person telling the tale.

Thank you so much for pointing out the "to boot" phrase. Can you tell I'm American? :D I bet it's painfully obvious. I will fix that immediately!

The spacing on this site drives me crazy because every time I submit a chapter, the formatting is out of whack. I have to go back to the Simple Editor and fix everything manually (because I'm OCD) so I'm glad you appreciate the layout!! :)

I'm glad you liked Minerva's inner turmoil! I put some of my own real life experiences (haha I sound like I'm 45) into this chapter. My parents were pushy when I was growing up too; parents just want the best for you and sometimes they don't understand that what they want might not be what you want. It's all a part of growing up to sit up and say, "Excuse me. This is my life," and I think since Minerva is such a strong woman and a Gryffindor, she would do so in the end. I've recently made my own big decision and it's scary at first, but so incredibly liberating to know that finally I'm an adult and I get to make the decisions. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this story because it's sort of my own personal vent. :)

Thanks a million for your lovely review; it was just the right mixture of criticism and praise and I truly needed it. I hope you'll come back for more!

Jules


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Review #35, by ghostwriter1030 Positively Primeval

6th February 2009:
Hi ChellDaBelle1030 here *waves*

Well, I've never read a story quite like this so you get a plus for creativity. I love the thought of looking into McGonagall's past to get a glimpse of who she is.

I'm very eager to see how this story progresses. Please, don't hesitate to re-request an update from me.

ChellDaBelle1030 aka ghostwriter1030

Author's Response: Hi Chell! Thanks so much for coming to review :) And thanks for the plus for creativity! I thought this would be a fun story to write and so far, it really has been.

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Review #36, by SometimesThere Positively Primeval

5th February 2009:
Hey, this is Angie from the forums with the review you requested :)

The first chapter is great. It is a really good starter chapter to get the readers interested in the fic, and then to reel them in to keep them reading the next chapter.

Your overall writing is great too. You have no mistakes at all that I could find. And you didn't rush the chapter as if you were having a race to get to the end, which I liked, and your chapter was the perfect length for everything that happened in it.

I also liked how you portrayed McGonagal, you wrote her as she is in the books but you added a youngness to her character, which is good because you don't want a seventeen year old sounding like a seventy year old. And I enjoyed how you had Robert's surname Wood, because it's nice to have little connections like that. And the last sentence for the chapter was absolutely perfect.

So overall, you did excellant with writing this chapter :)
10/10

Author's Response: Hey Angie, thanks so much for coming to review! I'm glad you thought this was a good starter chapter. I like to squeeze in as much information as I can right at the beginning, so I'm happy that you didn't think it was too much. I like writing stories like this because I feel no need to rush or push the plot forward. It's more like a character study and I can take my time with it :) Glad you thought McGonagall seemed like her age - it would be weird if I tried to keep too much of her 50-year-old self in a 16-year-old's body! Good catch on the "Wood" connection!

Thanks for your review!


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Review #37, by Urvi Positively Primeval

5th February 2009:
Aww, I love McGonagall stories, probably because I don't see enough of them. I love child McGonagall, and of course she would be prefect and Head girl and everything. I'm going to keep up with this story so please update soon!

Author's Response: Thanks Urvi! You know how Harry Potter and Voldemort both thought of Hogwarts as the one place they felt like home? I think Minerva would have been in the same situation. She's definitely the overachieving type and she probably shone at Hogwarts, which is why she chose to spend the rest of her life there. Sometimes I wonder whether she really loves teaching or whether she's just looking for a place to hide away - but that's a whole different story entirely :) Thanks so much and I hope you'll like the rest of the story when it comes up!

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Review #38, by Georgia Weasley Positively Primeval

4th February 2009:
Your Minerva is just so---McGonagall. She's such a great, unexplored character. I'm glad you're taking the opportunity to flesh her out for us. She does seem the independent woman here, but in her time I am sure marriage was expected. I really enjoy the way you are building her story for us, so that we can get to know her and her family. As always, the details are impeccable. You have a way of setting a scene that draws the reader in. Also, I'm curious about her sister Aurora. I'm guessing she's chosen to marry a Muggle, or something of the sort. It is the time of the Secrecy Act, right? Mostly, though, I believe I'm going to love Jane. My grandmother was an incredibly wise, story-telling grandma like that. She recognizes Minerva's frustration and her struggle to choose what she wants over what pleases others. I know what it's like trying to compensate for the loss of a sister, and you captured that feeling well. Jane may be telling a 'fairy tale', but I can bet she's got a lesson for her dear Minerva in it. Great beginning.

Author's Response: Hi Shanon! Thanks so much for coming to review :) I'm glad you thought Minerva was in character. I tried to imagine what she would be like as a girl and I came up with a much lighter, more hopeful McGonagall with a little twist of sarcasm that we know and love so well! I thought it was interesting that she grew up in the 1930's and 40's and I feel sure that marriage would have been pushed upon her in those days. A woman would not be encouraged to go into academics, that's for sure, and that very fact intrigued me about McGonagall's choice to teach at Hogwarts rather than go the wife-and-mother route. It must have been a tough decision for her.

Good guess on her sister Aurora! Yes, I had intended that she marry someone either of Muggle heritage or someone that the family didn't deem appropriate. I'm not sure how in-depth I will go on Aurora's story, but I think that was my basic idea for her.

I had a wise, story-telling grandmother too :) She was wonderful at blending morals with a good story, so much so that you'd never know you were being taught a lesson. I also know how it feels to compensate for a sibling and the incredible pressure and duty that comes with it. This story's going to be cathartic for me!

Thanks so much for your kind review as always Shanon :) Your feedback means so much coming from a great author like yourself.


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Review #39, by rachm34 Positively Primeval

3rd February 2009:
I really really like this! I have never really read stories about a young Minerva, and I really enjoyed this. I love your descriptions, you write beautifully. I had been meaning to read one of your stories for the longest time and now that you have requested one it was the perfect chance. Sorry that I have taken so long. Life is crazy with this crazy chemistry project I have going on. But other than that it's all great.

I loved your descriptions, they were flawless and wonderful. The dialogue seemed to blend right in wonderfully as well. My favorite part in this was the last line. I can't wait to see where you are going with this. I think it's really good. You captured the mood perfectly and I honestly have nothing to cc upon. :) great job!

Author's Response: Oh thank you, Rach! :) I'm glad you got an opportunity to try one of my stories and I'm even more glad that you enjoyed reading it! Minerva is not a very widely-written character although there are plenty of amazing fics out there about her. I have a thing for minor characters and though I wouldn't exactly say Minerva is minor, she's one of the HP characters I have always wished I could know more about.

I really appreciate your review and please don't apologize, I know how busy life can be (especially when there's chemistry involved, ew) and I'm so happy you got a chance to read this :) Thanks!!


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Review #40, by datbenik513 Positively Primeval

3rd February 2009:
Hi Jules,

This chappie is a lovely attempt to capture the personality of one of the most interesting and least known persons in Potterverse. I love the way how you build your character and love your unique descriptive style. Good job, I'm tuned in for more. A strong NINE.

Cheers,

Zoltan

PS. In Chapter 5 of "The Healer and the Heiress" I was toying with the private life of Minerva as well. Would you care to review this chapter?

Author's Response: Thanks Zoltan! Minerva is such a great character, one of the strongest female characters in HP I think. I'm so excited to be writing a story about her and I hope I can do her justice; she's one of my favorites. Glad you liked how this chapter evolved and I appreciate your kind review!

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Review #41, by Rowena Positively Primeval

31st January 2009:
This looks really good. I'm so excited to read more!!!

Author's Response: Thank you Rowena! I should be updating soon and I hope you'll enjoy the rest of it :)

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Review #42, by Violet Gryfindor Positively Primeval

10th October 2008:
Here for the second round. ;) This time, I think I discovered different aspects of the story than in my previous reading. One sadly obvious one is Robert's last name - that would have been an interesting match, if it had ever happened. The Quidditch connection there... related to Oliver, I suppose. If Robert is Oliver's actual grandfather, that would put a different slant on the scene in the first book when McGonagall introduces Harry to Oliver. But maybe I'm thinking too deeply into these connections.

Back to your story, this frame for the narrative Jane will tell is set up brilliantly. There's so much life in the characters and the setting - the whirlwind of conversations and dancing matches well with Minerva's confused emotions. This so-called rough draft is hardly rough at all, not with the smoothly-flowing narrative and the utter lack of errors. Hopefully you can get back to writing this soon. :)

Author's Response: Hey Susan, thanks so much for coming back to review again :) Yes, Robert Wood is related to Oliver Wood ... I was actually thinking about that very same thing. It would be weird if Oliver was McGonagall's grandson and captain of her house's Quidditch team. I'm not sure if that's the way I want things to turn out, but we'll see!

You're so nice :) I think the rough draft could be a lot worse but this was something I wrote without really going back to edit ... since I'm OCD about that stuff I almost feel like I put this out without a net. But I'll be going back to look through and I will definitely try my best to get back to this soon. I have two other stories I want to finish in October so this will be top priority afterward!


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Review #43, by SiriusxRemus4life Positively Primeval

8th October 2008:
Hurry up and finish GUTF!!! I love this so much!! McG rules!! I also can't wait for the inevitable sad ending to Merope's story. Well, you get a 10/10 for it all!! As always, I am your loyal fan!!

Author's Response: Wow, thanks for reviewing this!! I looked at the review count and saw the number "1" and it was almost like getting my very first review again :) I'm glad you like McG LOL ... she would give you a very stern look for calling her that, though.

Thank you for being my loyal fan, I'm completely floored and overwhelmed that I even have a fan *starry-eyed* I promise you I will finish GUTF! I'm making time to write this weekend, I've just been so busy lately and I really want to leave some great reviews for the review-a-thon. But you'll get Chapter 16 soon. Thanks, dear!


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