Reading Reviews From Member: SunshineDaisies
  
252 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SunshineDaisiesRadicalia: Hell is Empty...

19th December 2015:
Okay so you probably don't know this but I have been beyond excited to read this since you asked for help with chapter titles on the forums however long ago that was. This story is like, EXACTLY EVERYTHING I LOVE IN A STORY. Like, I'm going to pretend that this was a gift to me because IT IS. EVEN IF IT WASN'T INTENDED.

These three chapters have been such an excellent start to this story! You've set the scene, the mood of the story and the world you're working in and it's all done SO WELL. I actually really like the way you've used the Death Eaters so far. A lot of stories start out with a calm before the storm, and you've alluded to one here, but really you've started right at the start of the hurricane. (That's the nice thing about fanfic, a lot of that sort of stuff is in place for you, so you don't have to waste time with it.) I think starting out this way is very effective for your story, by the way. It really throws us right in there with Ginny, experiencing the terror of Hogwarts under Voldemort's regime. It definitely makes Ginny's actions thus far understandable. I would have guessed she'd be gung-ho to start rebelling and standing up to the Carrows. I have to say, I like this better. Of course she wants to fight, but she's tired and she's scared and it's really hard to keep going. Totally realistic, and it makes me so excited to see how she grows and develops and starts fighting back.

Okay and NEVILLE. Neville is also different from what I would've expected. I thought it'd take a bit for him to get rolling with the rebellion, but now that I've read it, it makes more sense that he's ready to go. Especially with his grandmother and his parents, "I promised I'd fight." That's wonderful and terrible and I love it. And I love how angry he is with Ginny, and the rest of the DA who are just sitting there LETTING IT HAPPEN. I love Neville and I love that he's come into his own, but he's still struggling. He wants to lead, but no one is stepping up to follow. Which, in honesty, I think is fair. Neville doesn't exactly have natural leadership skills, at least not that we've seen, and I think he still needs to prove himself. I'm excited to see that develop as well.

Okay I'm sorry for mostly telling you things that you already know BUT I'M SO EXCITED. This is amazing and I can't wait to see it continue.

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Review #2, by SunshineDaisiesAnd Then There Were None: The Island

19th December 2015:
Wat

So I've never read And Then There Were None, so I had absolutely no frame of reference for this and I'm so mad about it because I'm hooked and THERE ISN'T ANYTHING ELSE YET. You've done a really excellent job of drawing the reader in here. The vibe I'm getting is ominous, but isn't heavy handed in any way. I'm not super invested in any of the characters yet, I don't think we've seen enough of any of them to really make a connection. Except for Dennis because he is just like ? WHAT THE HECK DENNIS

But everyone else is more like ~Tra la la my life is boring/sad/hectic/disappointing and I'm just casually being stranded on an island with a bunch of strangers and mystery hosts because that is totally normal and not at all creepy~

But also I'm DYING to know what's going to happen next. WHY ARE THEY THERE WHAT'S HAPPENING WHO THE HECK ARE THE BLISHENS WHAT KIND OF HOSTS ARE NOT THERE TO GREET YOU WHEN YOU ARRIVE AND ACTUALLY JUST LEAVE YOU TO YOUR OWN DEVICES ON AN ESSENTIALLY DESERTED ISLAND. WHO DOES THAT? WHY?

And ok I just goggled the Agatha Christie novel and I AM UPSET WITH YOU SAM. I mean you've done an excellent job in choosing the characters to bring in to the story. It's a perfectly eccentric group, and an excellent mix of 'this makes perfect sense' characters and 'WHAT THE HELL DID THEY DO' characters.

Did you have to include Andromeda tho? SHE HAS SUFFERED SO MUCH BE NICE TO HER SHE DESERVES LOVE AND KINDNESS.

Okay I'm done shouting at you now :)

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Review #3, by SunshineDaisiesTear in My Heart: Nervousness

19th December 2015:
WELL HELLO MARAUDER FIC. IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU.

I don't even have to tell you how excited I was to read this, do I? You understand my feelings on jily. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS FOOD FOR MY SOUL.

Okay so this is certainly an interesting start! I really love the beginning of marauder fic. It's difficult to manage because it's been done SO MANY times. That's what makes it interesting though, everyone's got a slightly different interpretation of how things went, and a different interpretation of how the story begins. I really appreciate that you've gone with a simpler idea than some others. It was a perfect, realistic moment. I love Lily working up the nerve to go through the barrier. I really like the hesitation she has because it shows what an effect Snape had on her and it's just wonderful

AND JAMES. I love that he apologized, not profusely, not dramatically, just simple and sincere. "I'm sorry. It wasn't cool." That's it. That's all that's necessary and I think it's all that Lily would be willing to accept at the time.

Wonderful wonderful wonderful. :)

ps I'M SORRY I'M SO BEHIND ON THE HOT SEAT

Author's Response: WELL HELLO KATIE IT IS NICE TO SEE YOU ENJOYING THE STORY SO FAR

James is an idiot, that much we can all agree on, but he's not a COMPLETE show-off. He knows Lily and he knows that she wouldn't appreciate something big and major, just something sincere and that's what he came out with!

haha don't worry I'm super behind on the hot seat as well, it's not just you ;)

Thanks for the lovely review! :D

- Kayla :)


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Review #4, by SunshineDaisiesMisery: After detention

17th December 2015:
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD
ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME LADY?

I love Neville and Hannah so much. They have become my secondary OTP, I think, but it's so hard finding stories about them! I mean, there are a lot of really lovely, fluffy one-shots, but I am a masochist and I want the serious stuff. And this was just beautiful! I love the story you're telling, it's a wonderful little scene between Neville and Hannah, and I think you captured both of their characters perfectly. The Hannah you have written here is definitely the anxious, clumsy character that we see in the books, and Neville has just come into his own and RENEE I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS

The writing is absolutely exquisite and I can't even form words right now honestly. AMAZING.

(Also Im sorrry I'm late to your hot seat!)

Author's Response: Ah, Katie, don't you dare be sorry! This review is wonderful!

I can absolutely guarantee that I am not, in fact, trying to kill you. Promise! ;)

I love Hannah/Neville so much, too! I was actually nervous to write this because I ADORE the Chai series about them - it has basically become my head cannon - and this contradicts it slightly. So now I have two head cannons for them :P

Anyway, the point is I am SO THRILLED you liked the story, and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for you AMAZING review!!

xoxo Renee


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Review #5, by SunshineDaisiesShine: Shine

14th December 2015:
Hello! I am so behind on everything but I am determined to get at least review to every person on the hot seat!

Unsurprisingly, I love this. I adore reading about Hufflepuffs (obviously), and I love reading about somewhat misunderstood characters, so this was like a double whammy.

I love that you gave Zacharias such an interesting background and allowed him to be... not such a jerk. You've made him a much more likable and well rounded character.

Excellent work! :)

Author's Response: Aw, thank you for stopping by! :)

Thank you! I love misunderstood characters, and there was a lot to work with for Zacharias :P One thing I really like about him is that he's such an atypical Hufflepuff and doesn't really fit the mold - he's argumentative and annoying - and it makes him stand out and gives a lot to work with as a character. I'm so glad that after reading this you saw him as more rounded and slightly less of a jerk - that was definitely a goal :) Thanks so much for your review!


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Review #6, by SunshineDaisiesIn Love: You Are In Love

7th December 2015:
Hello! I am here belatedly reviewing my challenge entries!

I've been in love with this story since the first time I read it after it was posted. I absolutely adore this song, I think it's probably one of the best love songs ever written, and you did a spectacular job of capturing the emotion in it. I got the same feeling reading it as I do when I listen to this song. It gave me shivers. I love the way you focused so strongly on the feelings rather than the plot, which is exactly what I was looking for in this challenge! You were able to create a scene that was absolutely beautiful and haunting and was focused on happiness instead of sadness or angst. It was gorgeous and lovely and I'm a little obsessed with it, honestly.

I think your characterization was spot on. I don't usually read Romione, but I was able to clearly tell who you were writing about, and I think you captured their character so well.

God, this is just perfect.

Author's Response: AH!

I was totally going to act cool in my review response, but like...your review just makes me feel so happy and the fact that it portrayed exactly what I wanted it to and that you picked up on all those little things and that you could tell which characters it was about! I was so unsure if it was clear, due to the pairing and my head cannon but just...thank you so, so much for this review! I don't know if I can even put to words how much this review means! I'm so very glad you enjoyed the story and I thank you dearly for making up such an amazing challenge! Never knew I could write a story with such a percise focus on happiness!

Thanks again!
-Mikaela


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Review #7, by SunshineDaisiesLying Josephine: Nice to Meet You

7th December 2015:
I'M SO BEHIND ON LIFE. (Reading this story AND the hot seat.)

Every time I read one of your stories I am left in total awe. Your writing is so effortlessly lovely and lyrical, and it's just so pretty! That is one of my favorite qualities in writing and it's so nice to find it in a fic with such an interesting plot as well! (I'm also insanely jealous because you make this writing seem so easy and I'm just like, banging my head on the keyboard)

I love the way you write Josephine. I am very much the same way she is, so I totally understand falling in love with someone who doesn't know you exist, and then simultaneously wanting to be near them and be as far away from them as possible. It brought back a lot of embarrassing memories, actually. I feel you, Jo. I also love that you've made her so unsure of herself, and maybe not great at magic, but with total business savvy. It's such an interesting idea to explore, because it's not like they teach business at Hogwarts. (HOW DO WIZARDS FUNCTION WITHOUT THESE CLASSES I DON'T UNDERSTAND)

This is such a lovely story and I'm so excited to see what happens! Whether or not Jo starts procreating. ;)

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Review #8, by SunshineDaisiesSea of Love: I

3rd December 2015:
Hi Cassie! Happy Hot Seat! Sorry I haven't gotten here sooner!

This was so adorable I think I almost died. You write the cutest fluff in the world, and this in particular made a great start to my morning! I really like how you started out showing Scorpius exhausted and frustrated after a long day of work. Definitely something I can relate to, and it makes Rose's surprise for him even more touching. And that surprise literally almost brought me to tears! I work in a care-giving field, so I can definitely relate to how Scorpius feels, and I can imagine how amazing it would be to get cards from all the people you're taking care of! It's really difficult to work in this field sometimes. It's hard to feel like you're making a difference every day when you aren't necessarily getting that feedback on a regular basis. I work in a nursing home, actually, and it can be so frustrating when you're trying to do what's best for the patient, but it isn't good enough, or it isn't what the family wants etc. I have a lot of people mad at me quite often. I imagine it would feel pretty spectacular to get a bunch of cards from my residents telling me I had made a difference!

Lovely, lovely work, dear!

Author's Response: Hi Katie!
I'm so glad you liked this! I had a lot of fun with it. A lot of the ScoRose I've read on the archives throws some big complication into their relationship (their families don't approve, they hate each other at first, etc.), and those stories are all really great, but I just wanted to write a light story for the two of them.
Scorpius loves his job, and works really hard for his patients, but sometimes it does catch up with him. Rose's surprise was just what he needed. And she had tons of fun planning it! It was all worth it to see him happy.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review!
Cassie :)


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Review #9, by SunshineDaisiesBeautiful Mess: Beautiful Mess

1st November 2015:
Hello! I'm finally reviewing all the Short and Sweet entries!

This was so cute! I squealed like, the whole time. I absolutely loved how you were able to paint such a sweet little picture of Harry and Ginny's life together. It's a beautiful scene of familial bliss. I feel like that doesn't get shown often enough, as drama tends to be much more popular, so it's very refreshing to see.

The description of this is perfect. I could see every detail just as Ginny could, and I love the details you chose to include! The footprints in the flour were so adorable.

THIS WHOLE THING IS JUST SO DARN CUTE FRANKIE. I CAN'T HANDLE IT.

I don't think I can say much more, unfortunately. It gave me feels and now I can't think coherently.

Lovely lovely lovely :)

Author's Response: Katie!


This review made my day. It seriously brought so much joy to my life :) thank for taking the time to read review and host such an amazing challenge. I truly enjoyed writing it!

Frankie


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Review #10, by SunshineDaisiesMy First Date(s): My First Date(s)

1st November 2015:
Ten years later, I am FINALLY here for your requested review! I'm so, so sorry it took me so long to get here. I'm not very good at adulting.

Anyway, this was so lovely! Super enjoyable and very fun to read.

Your characterization was perfect. Katie as someone who is new to the dating scene is so well done. I loved reading about all the struggles that come along when you first start dating people and you're trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. As someone who is also not very experienced in the dating world, I totally related.

Also it was super adorable to read about her thoughts on the girls she was going out with, especially beforehand. It was super cute to see her thoughts about how cute they were.

AND ALICIA. I loved Alicia so much. I AM Alicia, honestly. I am that friend who will sit you down and force you to tell me all about the date you went on and the kissing and then giggle with you about it. It was so great to read about that. :D Everyone should have one of those friends, honestly.

I know you were a little concerned about balance, but I think the longer first section works perfectly. It's necessary to set up the rest of story, and it makes perfect sense for it to be a bit longer than the other sections.

Flow was fabulous. The structure of the story worked so well! I really loved how you had Katie recap the dates to Alicia rather than showing the dates themselves. Of course the story isn't really about the dates, but Katie's perception of them, so it makes perfect sense.

AND THE END. SAM. OH MY GOD. I was so pleased. I had my fingers crossed from at least half way through AND THAT WAS SUCH A SATISFACTORY ENDING. I was so afraid Alicia would be like "uh, no, not a lesiban sorry bye" and I would have just been devastated for Katie but then it worked out AND IT WAS WONDERFUL.

Ugh, this is so fantastic. Then again, ALL of your stuff is fantastic. Thank you so much for requesting it and I'm so sorry it was so late!

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Review #11, by SunshineDaisiesIn Moonlight: In Moonlight

1st November 2015:
Okay the review I left on And Then was so not quality I thought I would definitely come leave you another one :)

This was like a punch in the gut man. I'm not a huge fan of Wolfstar, but once in a while I find a really delightful portrayal, and this is definitely one of them. I love the way you wrote their characters, especially Sirius. He was so perfectly snarky and broken and sweet. He had some really excellent one-liners that I quite literally giggled at. I loved seeing him be so vulnerable with Remus, at both points, and it hurts so much to know that they only got to have those few precious moments together.

And Remus was so wonderful. Nervous and cautious and self-martyring. I loved getting to see things from his perspective, and I think it made Sirius's vulnerability even more pronounced, because we're seeing it from the perspective of someone who sees him as this cool, collected person.

It's really excellent characterization.

AND THEN THE END. MY GOD THE END. I knew that was coming but it didn't hurt any less when Sirius was gone and Dumbledore was there telling him James and Lily were dead and I spent all day yesterday NOT thinking about them being killed AND YOU JUST THREW IT IT MY FACE DEE THAT IS VERY RUDE.

Anyway, this was an absolutely fantastic story and I'm very glad I snuck over to read it:)

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Review #12, by SunshineDaisiesAnd Then: Six Years.

31st October 2015:
Okay so I read this for the first time like three weeks ago and I've been trying to come up with a coherent review ever since. Obviously, that hasn't gone so well.

This is just absolutely haunting. It quite literally has followed me around for weeks. It was honestly a bit difficult for me to read, emotionally. You did an excellent job of writing accurate emotions and it definitely affected me.

This is brilliant and I don't know how you managed it in 500 words but I am so impressed. And I'm sorry I can't leave a better review but it left me speechless!

Author's Response: Katie you are just one of my favourite people ever. This review is seriously so amazing. Thank you so much! ♥

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Review #13, by SunshineDaisiesEvery Moon Wanes: Thinking Out Loud

10th October 2015:
EP! THAT WAS SO CUTE!

I am finally here for your requested review. I'm so, so sorry it took me this long. I got a new job and it's been exhausting. Now on to your story!

I really love the structure of this. It was so nice to see Tonks as a baby, I especially loved how close she was with her dad. The parallels between the two relationships were done really well, and I think that choosing to display Andromeda and Ted's relationship through Ted's stories was particularly effective. Rather than seeing the difficulties her parents actually faced, she only heard stories about them, and saw that in the end, everything was happily ever after. I think it gives the story a really interesting perspective. You can see how Tonks is hopelessly optimistic, and her parents obviously think it's a very naive way of thinking. But of course Tonks thinks that way, it's how her father has taught her.

I think you've done a really great job of keeping Tonks's character intact. She is sort of hopelessly optimistic throughout the books, but it's never something that makes her seem foolish. It's written much more as a strength, and it's almost like she wears it as a badge of honor. Even when she looses her metamorphagus powers, she's still able to produce a patronus, and I think that says a lot about who she is as a person, and I think you've done an excellent job of replicating that in your story. I also really love how you incorporated her losing her abilities into the story, and you didn't bring them all back at once. It was a nice addition :)

It's a bit more difficult for me to comment on Remus, simply because we didn't see a ton of him in this story. He definitely seemed in character from what we see in canon, but he didn't seem to jump off the page quite as much as Tonks did. Granted, that could definitely be a difference in personality-- Tonks is a bit more lively than Remus is. I'd like to have seen him a bit more humorous and a bit more in love with Tonks, but I think that's just a personal preference.

I think your description was lovely, you managed to paint the necessary pictures without it being super obvious. I'm not sure that makes sense the way I intend it to, but it works very well for the story.

On a sort of description related note- I really loved Ted's stories. Those were gorgeous :)

I think the flashbacks worked really well, and none of the transitions made the story too choppy. I actually think it flowed really wonderfully! Aaaand consistency is perfect.

I don't really think I have anything to add in the way of CC. I saw like, one typo but I don't even remember where it was.

Overall, really lovely story! :D

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Review #14, by SunshineDaisiesIn Eternity: In Eternity

4th September 2015:
Hello!

I really liked the style of this. It had a very ethereal feeling that worked really well for it. It was dark and poetic, and while there wasn't a lot of imagery, it still very much conjured images in my head. It felt very swirly to me, and while I'm not sure that actually makes sense, I think it really suited the themes and content. One very small CC in this area, the term "old lady" doesn't really go with the flow of the rest of the piece. It sort of jarred me.

The characterization is a bit more difficult for me to comment on, because it wasn't immediately evident to me. After a bit of thought, it became a lot clearer, and I think your characterization is spot on. For example, I wouldn't have thought of Dumbledore as a young man just waiting to die, but after a bit of thought, it makes perfect sense. When he met Grindelwald, he was stuck in Godric's Hallow with his family when he wanted to be doing so much more. Of course he seemed as if he was waiting to die. Or maybe just waiting for his life to start?

You're making me think with these themes of yours.

Anyway, if you wanted to make that part clearer, you could just add a bit of context, but I think that making people think is a really great achievement in writing. I feel smarter for reading this, actually.)

I think your characterization of Grindelwald is on point as well, and I loved the way you described their relationship. I think you painted a really gorgeous picture of the relationship between two incredibly powerful men, and you highlighted how relationships like that can be brilliant or destructive. And quite often it's both.

Overall I think this is a really brilliant story! I haven't read anything by Rushdie, but I am definitely going to check him out :)

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Review #15, by SunshineDaisiesHunter's Moon: Hunter's Moon

3rd September 2015:
Hello! Sorry it took me a while to get here! I got a little busy trying to be a grown up.

Anyway, this was such a treat for me! My absolute favorite kind of story, and you've crafted it brilliantly. I loved this so, so much. It was beautiful and honest and kind of heartbreaking but also uplifting and it included literally everything I care about in jily fic and so basically it's like perfect. And this review is probably going to suck because it's still the morning and I'm tired and very excited about this.

Characterization: Fab. You definitely nailed James, he is absolutely perfect. I loved his humor and frustration, and literally everything about him MAN THIS IS NOT A HELPFUL REVIEW. The other marauders are on point as well. I also really liked Lily's characterization, though I wish we had gotten to see a bit more of her softer side.

As for their relationship, I think you did a really great job! I normally prefer to see James and Lily a bit friendlier after fifth year, but that's just a personal preference. The way you've explored the relationship here worked really well for the story and the characters. (This is going to sound super ridiculous, but usually when I read things that approach their relationship like this I find myself thinking NO THIS IS WRONG NO. but I did not have that with this story because you formed the relationship so well!)

Also, bonus points for pointing out the muggleborn/pureblood aspect of their relationship. That's my favorite part about them!

Dialogue: It was perfect. It was totally natural sounding and hilarious.

Flow: I really liked the hard cuts between scenes! It worked super well for getting a few days of action into a relatively short story.

Okay and the last bit, starting right around the section about counting ABSOLUTELY FLOORED ME. Right until the end it's just like, perfection. It was beautiful and in character and just a perfect summary of that moment. Easily one of my favorite sections I've ever read. Ever.

Okay I'm sorry for this extremely unhelpful review but THIS IS FANTASTIC THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR REQUESTING IT

Author's Response: Hi there! Thanks for the review and sorry for the late response! I too was off adulting :(

Thank you so so much for the sweet things you said! I'm relieved to hear you liked James. My James is kind of an overconfident, but bumbling weirdo.

That's an interesting preference you have there for James/Lily--I hadn't really given it much thought. I guess it's so ingrained in fanon that Lily hated him until seventh year (you know...until they start spontaenously snogging ;) ). I also thought Remus said that James and Lily were only friendly after James deflated his head and ego a bit, which I thought happened in seventh year, but I could have my timelines mixed up. Nevertheless, that's actually really very interesting and thanks for mentioning it! I'm now imagining other Jily possibilities...namely shenanigans in sixth year with them as friends or perhaps frenemies. :) It's always cool to reinterpret your own headcanon.

The hard cuts between scenes is how I write all things ever, so thank you :) I'm too impatient to transition properly, I suppose.

YAY, thank you!! I was worried that part felt too random (I was apprehensive that readers would prefer the spontaneous snogging or more romancing or something), but in my head, it's always been about his friends for James. He's so fiercely loyal. And I wanted to end on that note, and bring back some realism with the war and stuff.

Thank you thank you for reading


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Review #16, by SunshineDaisiesHealer Vance : Emmeline Vance

31st August 2015:
Hello! Here with your requested review!

This is a really interesting start to a story, and it takes an approach to Emmeline that I don't think I've seen before. You've definitely piqued interest!

As far as characterization, I think you've done a lovely job. I definitely have a good feel for Emmeline at this point, which is always a good sign. She also feels very tangible, so I'm excited to see how you develop her further. I also commend you on her character in general! You don't see very many characters her age in fic, especially not main characters. I love that she's got that maturity about her, and that in general, she's more serious than most characters. She definitely stands out, and it makes for a much more interesting story.

Plot-wise, I think it's a little bit choppy. The paragraph describing her hesitance in joining the Order followed by the explanation of her husband's murder, followed by a flashback made things a little hard to follow. It took me a while to figure out that she was 56 during the flashback scene, and older in the "present."

I actually think you could integrate that information into the flashback scene. Instead of having her explicitly state that she was against joining the order, you could show her turning Dumbledore down when approached her. During that conversation you could probably also include her husband's murder, and how it affected her.

I also think that adding more scenes showing how she finally did join Dumbledore would at a lot!

I'm excited to see where you go with this!

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Review #17, by SunshineDaisiesKeep Calm and Carry On: A Guide to Keeping Calm and Apparating

27th August 2015:
WOW I'M SORRY YOU HAD TO REQUEST A REVIEW FROM ME ON THIS BECAUSE IT'S SERIOUSLY LIKE MY FAVORITE THING EVER AND I LOVE IT AND AM KEEPING UP WITH IT ANYWAY I SHOULD JUST ALWAYS LEAVE REVIEWS I'M SORRY I'M THE WORST.

Okay so honestly this story is so brilliant in so many ways, I'm not at all surprised that you're getting such lovely reviews! That said I totally know how you feel about wanting to know how to improve your story and getting only positive feedback on it. The feedback is SO NICE, but not so helpful if you're trying to hone your writing and create something you're really really proud of. So I'll just be super specific about all the good stuff and see if I can find anything that can be improved :)

As far as canon goes, you're pretty spot on as far as I can tell. I mean there's the age thing but you've already pointed that out and also, who cares? Other than that, you've got pretty free reign, and I really like what you've made of it so far. I really like the way you've structured the new form of Government. It definitely makes sense that society would definitely want to restructure the government after Voldemort's reign, because it was WAY too easy for him to swoop in and change all the laws. WHERE ARE THE CHECKS AND BALANCES JKR??? THIS IS NOT AN EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT SYSTEM. And really, from what we know, it's a stupid system. You can hold elections whenever you want, but they have to take place at least every seven years. That is the one rule? And the minister then appoints the Wizengamot who are the judicial body and also the legislative body? That is stupid.

So I really like how you've incorporated the new Magical Assembly and have elected officials in place. That is a vast improvement and I think the change definitely makes sense given the time and the people coming of age and working for the ministry at the time.

Getting into the slightly more technical aspects of writing, you're still pretty solid. You do a really excellent job of showing rather than telling. I love that you use so much action, it makes it so easy and interesting to read! And the detail! I love detail. It is so useful. That said, you use more direct exposition in really effective ways as well. It would be super confusing to try and show a government structure, so having Lorcan explain stuff like that works wonderfully.

Now I'm going to go on a little bit of a tangent. This isn't exactly concrit, because I don't think you have a problem with this, but I do think my little tangent might be useful for your writing in the future. Also I tell everyone this.

Okay, so I really like it when authors rely on details to help tell the story, rather than just having characters talk about it. So in this case, I'm expecting to see a conversation about Branson's platform. I think you can introduce the concepts through Lorcan's speechwriting. So you can have him working on a speech called "Rights for Magical Beings" before someone walks in and distract him. Likewise, if he's doing research for a speech (idk if that's a thing but I figure someone in that office is doing research), give the books/resources they're using titles that allude to the topics they're being used for. I think that by doing that, the reader will be much less lost during the platform discussion.

(It's a super easy way to help set the political climate too. What are the headlines in The Prophet?)

I use the same technique for characterization as well. I think to think through what each action says about my character before I go through with it. You're already doing a good job of this, but being conscious of it tends to give me more control over the characterization.

(I'm sorry, I just really like detail.)

Now for a little bit of concrit (and I had to think REALLY hard about the things that could be improved btw, so keep in mind that these are just suggestions)

I would like to see a little more characterization as the story progresses. We've got a good foundation for Lorcan right now, but he doesn't seem to be jumping off the page to me. I think consciously adding of it to your writing will help him really come to life. I feel the same way about the rest of your characters as well (except for Branson who is LEAPING off the page). A bit more focus on the characterization will really help bring the whole cast to life. And speaking of, the only thing I might consider an issue in this story is the fact that I can't keep track of the OCs! There are so many of them! Giving everyone a bit more focus, and clearly explaining their name, job, and what they look like will really help them all remain individuals. (A list in an AN would work really well too, but that's like taking the easy way out. All the better if you can get it in the story itself) Alternatively, you could think about consolidating the characters. Figure out what purpose each character serves to the plot, and see if you can blend anything together. It might be a bit late to do that now, but it might be something to keep in mind as you continue with this story and any others.

I'm like 90% sure this is the longest review I've ever written omg. Feel free to get at me if you have questions or want to talk something out or say hi. whatever.

ALRIGHT I'M GOING TO LEAVE YOU IN PEACE NOW MY FRIEND. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK WITH THIS. IT REALLY IS ABSOLUTELY STELLAR.

Author's Response: HI KATIE YOU ARE NOT THE WORST I AM THE WORST BECAUSE IT TOOK ME SO FREAKING LONG TO REPLY. THIS REVIEW IS JUST SO GREAT AND I DIDN'T WANT TO BANISH IT TO THE PLACE WHERE ANSWERED REVIEWS GO. I AM UNWORTHY OF SUCH A SPLENDID REVIEW. YOU ARE THE BEST.

Thank you so much for your concrit! It's always really nice to hear nice things about your writing (lol) but it's also hard to tell if there're ways to improve (and there always are!).

Omg I am so on board with your analysis of the canon political system. It's so easy for Voldemort to take over!! What the heck!! I think you've summed it up perfectly with: "WHERE ARE THE CHECKS AND BALANCES JKR??? THIS IS NOT AN EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT SYSTEM." That is EXACTLY where I'm coming from! While I'm inclined to hit the books and read some political philosophy, I've mostly done some hand wave-y government reform that hopefully addresses some of the GAPING issues that JKR left out there!

Gahh I'm so glad you think I've done a good job interweaving the showing/telling! That's been a huge issue I've been working on in my writing, and this fic is hard to balance that because, as you say, it's hard to demonstrate a new political system, unless I wrote a fic like directly about a bill becoming a law and went School House Rock on this fic. Hahaha that would be so ridiculous.

So you left this wonderful, in-depth and awesome review in August, and your comments about detail have honestly shaped my writing since then more than anything else. Seriously, thank you for laying out your ideas about details and how they can be incorporated, especially in a fic like this. I always love seeing details in other people's stories (and your fic is a great example of one that left me awestruck at the complexity and how everything works together so well), but I had struggled at how to incorporate that into my own writing. I love the examples you've given and how clearly you give some things to focus on.

Also, this line: "idk if that's a thing but I figure someone in that office is doing research" is basically my entire approach to this fic, tbh. Oh, there's a party to plan? I guess there should be an event coordinator! etc. (just a behind-the-scenes look at the complex fic-writing process)

Thank you so much for your comments about the characterization-- it's made me think a lot harder about my characters and how I demonstrate their interests/characteristics. I think at some point I'll probably go back and try to hone in on them a little earlier in the fic, because at this point in my writing (I'm writing ch 7 now), I've gotten a much clearer image of all of them than I had at the beginning. I had been worried about having this many characters, but I also want to balance that with realism, and I don't think I could really have an office much smaller than I've established. I wanted it to be a smaller cast, but alas and alack. Thank you for your honest feedback on this, and it's been invaluable to me as I've continued writing this fic.

Thank you again for all of your help, from the original conversations we had on twitter to this review! I couldn't have written this without you and I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far. I hope you continue enjoying it! :) (And if this response is weird, I sincerely apologize-- it's late here and I've just gone on a review response spree!)

--J


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Review #18, by SunshineDaisiesSerenity: Serenity

23rd August 2015:
Hello! Making my way through the Dobby rec thread so I thought I'd stop by.

I love this so much. It's absolutely stunning. I love the lyrical quality of your writing, and it suits this story so well. It's a really beautiful love story, despite the lack of a happy ending. The interludes between the sections of story are so gorgeous. I'm always jealous when people can include such poetic work into their fic.

I really loved reading about the relationship between Padma and Isobel. I think you did an excellent job of building it, so the progression felt natural, despite the fact that they were already together in the beginning. I really love that you included Anthony and the internal conflict Padma has. I haven't read very many stories that include that aspect, and I think it's an important thing to address. And despite the conflict, the feelings Padma had for Isobel seemed so real. The relationship seemed so authentic, rather than the infatuation based, superficial flings that a lot of teenagers end up having. It was so nice to read.

Lovely work! )

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Review #19, by SunshineDaisiesUnrequited: Unrequited

23rd August 2015:
Well hello lovely!

I always enjoy reading your work, you have such a way with words and this was no exception! I think Helena Ravenclaw is a fascinating character who doesnít get nearly enough attention. I suppose the same stands true for the Bloody Baron as well. :)

I think you characterized both of them excellently. Iím especially impressed with your wielding of the Baron! We donít have a lot to work with where heís concerned, so youíve built a really character on very little foundation. I think his actions and reactions were spot on. Itís obvious heís a rash and hotheaded man, and that came across in crystal clarity. I absolutely love his impulsive move to stab Helena, the rage that consumed him in that moment and the utter horror he felt as he realized what he had done.

I loved the description you used as well!

Breathing heavily, the Baron stared at Helena as the red mist slowly descended and the reality of what he had just done began to take over.

I realize youíre talking about blood here, and itís kind of terrible, but I love this image. It evokes such a strong image, and it really helps drive home the emotion in this scene.

Wonderful work!

Author's Response: Hi, Katie! ♥

I really loved the Baron/Helena/Rowena story from the minute I read it in Deathly Hallows so it was fun to explore that a little bit more in this story. I'm glad you liked it!

Thank you for another lovely review from you♥


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Review #20, by SunshineDaisiesSchrodinger's Cat: Anhedonia

20th August 2015:
Hiya! I'm making my way through the Dobby rec thread so I thought I'd make my way over! I really ought to start spending more time over here, your writing is absolutely stunning.

I have to say, I was a little too excited to read this. I'm sort of morbidly fascinated with the destruction of relationships, especially when it's portrayed like this: mundane. I really love that you chose to approach this story without adding any tragedy or drama. The marriage just fell apart.

The way you described Harry's feelings (or lack thereof) was exquisite. You explained the way he felt perfectly. I certainly understood the way his feelings just seemed to fade. It's so true to life and real. I'm sure you know this, but it really took me aback how completely accurate this is. Like, I'm nerding out about how accurate this was compared to all the stuff I learned about marriage in Social Worker school.

(I am alarmed and embarrassed at the level of nerd I just reached.)

But I digress.

I also think that you've done a really amazing job in keeping with Harry's character. He's got such a savior complex, and I feel like that gets overlooked a lot in fic. He's one who would absolutely fight to save his marriage, and I definitely felt his frustration. I can't imagine him acting in any other way.

I think this was an excellent insight into the devolution of a marriage. My one suggestion would be to include a bit of interaction between Harry and one or two other people. I only suggest this because I read his behavior and feelings as mental illness much the same way Ginny did. When he announced that he only felt like that around her, it shocked me a bit. Especially considering that anhedonia is predominantly used in the context of mental illness. But I can see how you may have done that inentionally, so feel free to ignore me if that's the case.

All in all, a really fantastic story :)

Author's Response: Howdy! Thanks a million for your kind words!

What you describe about it falling apart without drama was EXACTLY what I was going for. I think I've ended up saying this ad nauseam in my review responses on this one, but: (1) I think media and fiction of all kinds overdramatizes the collapse of relationships when in a lot of cases they really do die a more banal death - and if they DO end with some drama, it is often likely a symptom of something, a breaking point, more than a cause and (2) I wanted to show how painful a seemingly "simple" death can be to those involved.

I definitely know what you mean about the mental illness point. Anhedonia was really intended to refer to his inability to take pleasure or feel positive emotion from his marriage to Ginny rather than mental illness, but it was a delicate line since I simultaneously wanted us to be caught up in Harry's head a lot, experiencing what he was experiencing with it and seeing his attempts to save them failing one-on-one through his reactions and how they contrast with Ginny's (see the old pier trip). I did think about injecting a flashback to the conversation Robards or even to a talk with Ron or Neville, but decided against it because I worried it would take the reader out of being as absorbed in Harry and the Harry/Ginny dynamic as fully.

I really appreciate the thoughtful and detailed comments! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #21, by SunshineDaisiesSentience : Debate

17th August 2015:
Hello! Here for your requested review!

This is another really brilliant story! I'm not sure how you manage to write with such range, but it's super impressive. It is a bit different for you, but I think you handled it very well. I thought it was a really interesting thing to read.

I thought it worked well as a social commentary, and I didn't find it preachy. I think the manticore sounded a little condescending at times, but not toward the reader. More than anything, it made the people speaking against the manticore sound ignorant and prejudiced. I think that it helps get your point across, actually.

No concerns about flow or pacing. I think it's clear who's talking, but I definitely confused myself there and wasn't sure if you meant who was narrating or who was speaking in the dialogue. It's clear who's speaking in the dialogue (and who the manticore is speaking of), but not so much who's narrating. I'm assuming that's because no one in particular is narrating and I was just being dumb.

I think the manticore's arguments are some of the most interesting bits of this story. I feel like it ought to be obvious that a being that can speak coherently is sentient, but wizards do tend to be backward that way. His (hers? its?) arguments definitely made sense.

I think I'd have liked to see more of the manticores' culture, perhaps examples of art, festivals or other celebrations, any other customs they might have, just a telling of how their daily lives are. Just one of those things that could make the story a touch richer.

Otherwise, fantastic work :D

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Review #22, by SunshineDaisiesKeep Calm and Carry On: A Guide to Keeping Calm and Coffee Stains

12th August 2015:
Hello! Finally here for our swap AND I'M SO EXCITED.

I absolutely love politics, and I especially love speculating about Wizarding politics, because, you know, the whole system seems like a bit of a mess.

I'm so excited to see what you have planned for the rest of the story! Who the opposition is (and what you've named their party!;)), what each side's platform is, how campaigns work in the wizarding world ALL OF IT. Also, this is already pretty hilarious, and that is ALWAYS a plus, especially when it comes to politics.

You've done a really excellent job with this first chapter. You've introduced the main characters and the start of the main plot in a really interesting way. You also were able to provide enough back story for the reader to gain a context of what the world is like at the moment, and you've done that in a really interesting way too. I really liked how you described the past in terms of what Kingsley has done, it definitely made the chapter fun to read.

Oh okay I'M SO EXCITED FOR THE REST OF THIS

Author's Response: Ahh Katie thank you so so much for this review! And your help on the story thus far!

Wizarding politics seem like SUCH a mess, man! That's why I convinced Shacklebolt to reform the system a fair bit. It just made no sense otherwise...like how did it work?? I don't know! Instead I'm going to worldbuild until I'm in over my head.

Haha the name of the opposition is certainly a big reveal! ;) Their platforms are going to be expanded over time-- I'm trying to balance the humor, the relationships, the ridiculousness, and the plot so that it's not too much too fast and tbh I think I'm failing! :P Hopefully it'll work out and have a bit in there for everybody...

Thank you so much for your kind words! This review was like a big hug, which is wonderful. I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter so much!

The second chapter is in the queue so keep an eye out for it! /I may harass you so that you check it out :P

Thanks again for this review!

--J


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Review #23, by SunshineDaisiesThe Pub: Stumble

11th August 2015:
Hello! Here for our swap!

I was so excited to see you had a story about Hannah! I've become obsessed with her recently, so I'm always excited to read more about her! And the fact that you're writing about the inner workings of a pub made it even more appealing.

As always, you have a brilliant gift for imagery! I could so easily see the set up of the kitchen, and I could definitely imagine Hannah stumbling around inside. It was wonderful!

You also did a really great job of having Hannah making beginner mistakes. Having never worked in a restaurant, I was in the same position as Hannah, and definitely would have made all the same mistakes. It was very funny! I also think you did an excellent job of capturing Hannah's character.

Excellent job!

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Review #24, by SunshineDaisiesthe earth and the sky: the earth and the sky

11th August 2015:
Hello! FINALLY here for the swap.

This has been on my to-read list for quite a while, and I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it! It was absolutely phenomenal. I really enjoy super long stories, so this was such a treat for me! I love how you managed to tell their whole story in one chapter. It was long, yes, but I think it suits the story well. Cutting it into different chapters would have seemed too choppy. The fragments of their lives flowed together so well, and you did an excellent job of showing the entirety of their lives without a ton of detail. I could probably rave about the structure of this for ages, but that's not really the important part, is it?

The way you included the realities of life, especially the harsh ones, is so realistic. Everybody faces tragedies in their lives, miscarriages are so common and hardly anyone writes about them, or explores the reactions characters may have to that. Here, you've done an amazing job of exploring real, raw emotion of both Astoria and Draco. Often when miscarriages are portrayed in writing, authors only focus on the woman's reaction, but of course, especially in a marriage, the father of the child feels a sense of loss as well. I think the way you showed both of their devastation is so beautiful and painfully accurate. You had me feeling the loss right along with them, which is an excellent accomplishment.

And then you went and threw another tragedy at them almost immediately afterward. Again, things like this happen in every life, and I think that the way you portrayed the loss of Draco's hearing pretty wonderfully as well. It's far different from the loss of a pregnancy, but just as profound. And again, it's something both of them are going to experience. Having your spouse lose a sense is a loss just as losing a sense is a loss. And then, in a truly accurate choice, they decided to have a child as a distraction. It might not be the most advisable decision, but it's certainly a real one. People want distraction in times of loss.

Overall, I think you did an absolutely amazing job of exploring two intertwined lives, and all of ups and downs that come along with simply living. You so accurately described the losses and joys that play out in life.

This is an absolutely astounding piece of fiction.

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Review #25, by SunshineDaisiesBetween the Cracks: The Prologue

11th August 2015:
Hello lovelies! I'm here for a swap! :)

I think this is an EXCELLENT start to a novel. It sets up a nice background to base the rest of the story around without giving too much away. Actually, you hardly gave anything away at all, and yet you absolutely pulled me in. Hook, line and sinker. I'm so interested in reading more about Eleanor! Definitely a great way to start out a novel.

As far as writing goes, I think this is some of your best work, honestly. You've told the story of Eleanor's homecoming so well and with a perfect amount of detail. The whole thing flowed really well, and the language made it really easy and interesting to read. It really is a great chapter!

I'll definitely be back for more (...after a nap), I'm excited to see what's next! :)

Author's Response: This was such a beautiful review! Thanks for doing the swap.

You are so kind to this story. We're really excited for this. We hope you do come back, you're so kind to us!

Thanks again! This was an amazing review!
--Georgina


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