Reading Reviews From Member: AlexFan
  
1,451 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AlexFanYear Five: Cleaner, More Brilliant

17th December 2014:
Oh my goodness! This is the final chapter! I canít believe it! Itís been such a long ride!

I loved the reference to Doctor Who that you made! And if you were to look at it from a magical perspective, the show would be absolutely boring to witches and wizards because this is the kind of stuff that they can do and theyíd probably wonder why people are so fascinated with it. ďHis police box is bigger on the inside? My cousin did that once, it wasnít that big of a deal.Ē

Oh God, 90ís-early 2000 fashion was just an adventure, I look back at some of the clothing and I just cringe because of how horrible it looks, I canít believe that was considered fashionable once upon the time.

Iím so happy that Isobel is slowly becoming a confident woman again and learning to love herself for who she really is. Thatís really great to see and Iím so incredibly happy for her! She deserves to be happy, and I hope her family never puts her down about her appearance ever again (or else!) Iím just in general so glad that everyone is recovering and becoming better people and leading healthier lives (you know, underage drinking and smoking aside).

I canít believe that the story is finally over! I know I joined the crowds a little late on everything but Iím so glad that you requested from me and that I got to read this awesome story. Youíre a truly talented writer and youíre more than welcome to come and request from me again if you want (and to let me know if you start another novel!)

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Review #2, by AlexFanWhen Summer Fades: equinox

17th December 2014:
I can definitely see the problem that Regulus was having, and I can definitely relate to him as well. He wants to please everyone, all of his family has placed such high expectations on him and heís conflicted about what he wants to do because he wants to make everyone happy, but no matter what Regulus does, someone is going to end up unhappy with him. I mean, obviously he should do whatever makes him happy, but thatís a lot easier said than done, especially when youíre in his situation.

I find it kind of funny actually how completely grumpy Regulus is about everything. I mean, he hates it when people are too happy (and is it weird that I know what he means by that). He claims to be so annoyed by this girl yet he notices her whenever she greets other people. That one encounter with her and itís already beginning to have an effect on him.

Summer seems like such a nice person, sheís one of those people that makes friends really easily and is well-liked by everyone, yet you have no idea how she manages to do it so easily.

ďI never claimed I was a saint.Ē That line for some reason just really stood out to me. I think it was because it just really reminded me that Regulus is trying so hard to convince himself of the things that his parents have instilled in him and to behave like a proper pureblood, but itís just making him unhappy and itís obvious because heís so inclined to hang out with Summer. Someone that was devoted to Voldemort would never do that.

I honestly really love your Regulus. I loved hearing him talk about his favourite things about winter, it just really showed how young he was no matter how tough and mature he tried to act about everything. I mean, he needs to ease up on the Mudblood there but in general he seems like a kid who doesnít know what heís gotten himself into (which is pretty much what happened in canon).

And I love Summer because sheís such a genuinely nice and caring person. Sheís always there for her friends and she was even willing to listen and become friends with this boy that made it more than obvious that he didnít want to be around her, not a lot of people would do that. She is the very opposite of Regulus, and somehow, the two of them work.

I just really love this and Iím beginning to wonder why I havenít read this before now.

Author's Response: Grace, thank you for such a lovely review! Gaa!

I'm really glad that Regulus is relatable in his situation there. He is really put in a tough place between the two sides of his family and his friends and his house and it's good to hear that his indecision seems to fit.

Haha, yeah I don't like it when people are overly happy either, I'm glad you can relate too :p I think Summer's outlook on life is just so alien to him that he can't help but notice. She does have a huge effect on him even when he doesn't notice.

Ah, I'm so glad you liked that line, and I really like your interpretation of it. He is definitely unhappy where he is, and doesn't know where he belongs, and it's possible he's just convincing himself that even though he's hanging out with Summer that he still doesn't like her. You made some great points there!

Thank you, I am so glad you like my portrayal of Regulus, and especially the kind of innocent side of him that likes Christmas and snow. You're right - he's really just a kid who's had to grow up too fast.

So glad you like Summer as well! Regulus needed some sort of opposite influence than he had from the rest of his life and it's really wonderful to hear that you like her and that despite all the reasons she shouldn't, she works as a good friend for Reg.

Thank you so much for your kind review! I really appreciate it ♥


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Review #3, by AlexFanYear Five: After

12th December 2014:
Iím going to apologize in advance if I start making no sense throughout this review as I am sick and who knows what might happen.

Okay, first off, thank God that Tristan is alive, I honestly thought that he wasnít going to make it and like I had to prepare myself to deal with his death. I remember how in Philosopherís Stone Harry noticed someone else in the hospital wing with him who was curtained off and I like how you connected Tristan to that time in canon (seriously, I love how you connect every small canon thing to your story).

On another note, can you just imagine the rumours at Hogwarts about Harry after he killed Quirrel. Like, an eleven-year-old murdered a teacher with his bare hands, imagine how that mustíve terrified some people.

I never thought that I would read a sentence like, ďI snogged Voldemort is what happened.Ē Yet here we are.

OH MY GOD WHAT?! HE IS BELLATRIX AND RABASTANíS SON LIKE WHAT THE HELL I DID NOT SEE THIS COMING. I mean, I knew that his biological parents had been Death Eaters but I never thought to make the connection, at least we know why Narcissa was so willing to take Tristan in, and now the story that his father told him makes sense. Thatís just, wow, thatís a really big thing. Talk about a plot twist. Can you imagine how different Tristan wouldíve turned out had he lived with Narcissa and Lucius.

I feel like everyone is beginning to start over and get to know each other better now. Despite everything that has happened, I think all of the characters are in a much better and healthier place than they were at the beginning of the story. And I love how you added even more depth to Isobel by making her question her sexuality. Itís something that a lot of people begin to question and explore as they grow older and become more educated. I love how she came to acknowledge that she didnít like men the way that she liked women and how perfectly okay she was with that.

Oh my gosh Iím so happy for Tristan and the fact that he finally got some closure! He was really brave to go and see his father in Azkaban. And I can definitely see what he was worrying about, wondering if you would grow up to be as cruel as your Death Eater father had been. A huge weight has been lifted off of his shoulders now that he sees that he is nothing like his father. Iím so glad that Tristan finally sees and appreciates the parents that he has that replaced Rabastan and Bellatrix.

Author's Response: Yes! I'm sure there's another explanation for who was in the curtained off bed--but it just worked so well!

And yeah, we hear Dumbledore say that the rumors are running wild, but we never really got to SEE the rest of the school's perspective. So that was definitely fun to play with.

Aha! Yes, he's Rabastan's son! (He's actually Bellatrix's *nephew* though--his mom is named Belvina--because Bellatrix was married to Rodolphus, not Rabastan. But you are sick so I won't blame you for missing the 'auntie Bella' line!)

And YEAH; had he been brought up by Narcissa and Lucius... Terribleness...

I hadn't originally planned on Isobel being gay, but just as soon as I started writing her POVs, I realized that she was (which is why she was always vaguely wondering about other peoples' sexualities). She sort of had a crush on Emily, but didn't realize it--which motivated a lot of her behavior.

Understanding the basis of Tristan's self-loathing does rather validate the intensity of his angst, huh! And such a big part of early Potter was the idea that we are defined by our choices, and that no one can just be BORN evil. So I drew that out in Tristan in a big way (also, I just really wanted to examine the experiences of a Death Eaters child).

As I've said before, Tristan really is the anti-Potter. Both were adopted after losing their parents in the war, but Tristan loves his adopted parents while Harry hates living with the Dursleys. Harry loves Hogwarts and wants to live there year-round, while Tristan loves the muggle world and resents Hogwarts. The Potters are heroes, the Lestranges are villains. Harry grows up not realizing that he's famous, Tristan grows up knowing exactly how infamous his parents were (but lives in obscurity under a false identity).

Gosh, I can't believe there's only one chapter left! Thank you so much for coming along on this strange little journey with me!


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Review #4, by AlexFanL'optimisme: Similes

12th December 2014:
I should warn you that I am sick so if I sound like Iím not making any sense at any point in time, that is most likely the reason as to why.

I donít know how to put this into words properly but I like how you took the theme of similes and connected it to romantic writers like Byron, and Wordsworth, and Milton because if the reader has read anything written by them, then they would be able to see the connection.

It kind of startled me when you mentioned Advent because I never really pictured Dumbledore as a religious man. I always thought of him as someone who would be open to the idea of religion but wouldnít have invested much time in it privately. And even in your story, it feels like he goes along with the custom of going to church more so to fit in rather than because of his belief in God.

I like how you brought out some of Dumbledoreís arrogance here, because you see it in the books but itís more mellow in the series. When Dumbledore is faced with the fact that someone besides him might have figured out the properties of dragon blood, it really hits you that he knew he was the best, he didnít just think it, but he knew for a fact that he was the best and the idea that someone could do something that he, the best, could not is just unbelievable.

I like how you included how Dumbledore was dealing with the fact that he had defeated the man that he cared for, and how he was still attracted to Grindelwald. (I also feel really proud to catch onto and understand all of the references that you made to Verdi and Goethe). Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, this story isnít too slow but youíve got to have patience and the time to properly sit down and read it and digest whatís happening and going on.

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Review #5, by AlexFanGet in Line: Fire and Flight

8th December 2014:
Yes Jordan! I love how she just shut down James when he tried to shame her for her active sex life. Like excuse you, if a guy can sleep around without anyone saying a peep about it then so can a girl. I love how Jordan shut him down about it though, "I wish people would shaming me for enjoying sex." I would've personally been more aggressive but I lack patience.

The ending was so cute and I love how they got to know each other a little bit and they talked and stuff and it was just great (also as a side note, I totally called the Scorpius thing). You know, I feel like James and Jordan are forcing their hatred of each other simply because of their families and the houses that they're in. When they're not being pressure to act a certain way and worrying about what everyone will think of them, they get along really well. I am so excited to see where their weird relationship goes from here. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AW YES.

Author's Response: RIGHT?! I had the biggest grin on my face when I was writing the part where Jordan calls James out. Slut shaming is a total no no in my book.

I loved the ending too. It was so much fun to write and I had warm fuzzy feels when I pictured them lying on the forest floor together. AHHH I feel like it's bad how in I am with my characters.

Anyway, thank you so much for the lovely review! You're a doll xx


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Review #6, by AlexFanfall.: fall.

6th December 2014:
The minute I started reading this story, I just knew that I would be in for the kind of story that is really deep and makes me think about my life and all of the choices that Iíve made. The beginning of your story made me think of growing old and how all of these things that we consider important and dedicate time and energy to will be meaningless in the end when we die.

The imagery in this is beautiful, it isnít overloaded with description but thereís just something about it that gives me a clear picture in my head of what the setting looks like and what the characters are doing and just the general tone of the story.

I love how you connected something like autumn to what Rose is going through. Everything about this story just fits together so perfectly and relates to each other. The trees and the leaves and the season all work together with what Rose is feeling and the situation that she has found herself in. Everything mentioned has some role in the story and serves some kind of purpose and I really like that.

All in all, I thought that this was really well written and really great! I honestly have no criticism for you and I wish you good luck in your challenge!

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Review #7, by AlexFanYear Five: O.W.L.s

6th December 2014:
Oh my goodness, their studying sounds absolutely terrible, I canít imagine how much pressure it must be to be tested on everything that youíve learned since you started Hogwarts. Can you just imagine how hardcore Ravenclaws wouldíve gone on studying for the OWLs, Iím not sure if they wouldíve been more hardcore than Hermione or equally as hardcore.

Iím happy to see that Tristan has at least put his time to good use and is studying. I was wondering when he was going to put his time to good use really, but Iím actually proud of him that heís managed to pull himself out of his despair long enough to focus on his school work. I canít imagine how difficult that mustíve been for him to do. I hope he does well on his exams at least.

What are the chances that the very first question on Laurelís test would be the one that sheís the most familiar with, itís almost as if the universe is laughing at her and the joke that theyíve just made. I definitely think Laurel will do well on her OWLs, I mean, sheís been studying just as hard as the rest of her friends so Iím sure sheíll pass them. And besides, Iím sure that thereís something that Laurel could do with in the wizarding world even if she didnít get as many OWLs as she hoped.

You know, when you really think about it, Hogwarts is really stressful because itís almost like, you do well on all of your exams and youíre able to get a good job, or you fail them and essentially end up with something that might not pay you all that well, and you canít go into the muggle world because you have no muggle education so you wouldnít get hired because you wouldnít have any muggle qualifications. But thereís also the option of starting your own company and that can work out really well, like in the case of Fred and George.

OH MY GOD WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS YOU CANíT JUST KILL TRISTAN LIKE THAT OH MY GOD WHY WOULD YOU HURT ME IN THIS WAY I JUST CANíT RIGHT NOW I DONíT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I mean sure, Tristan has his problems and his flaws but heís a good person underneath all of that. But at least they got to Tristan in time, I just really hope that he makes it through this. Poor, poor Tristan.

I did not know that I would be going on a feel trip when I first started reading this story.

Author's Response: First off, I KNOW! I'M SO SORRY!

Gah, I just... I realized it was going to happen, and I couldn't keep it from happening! I mean, Ian Curtis was the FIRST musical reference, and then all the Kurt Cobain stuff. And the Lake kept absorbing all this weird symbolism, and the idea of jumping into a dark unknown became a common theme.

The story and characters just really took on lives of their own! The original concept was this really funny, wacky little idea of writing about Hogwarts stoners. But then I realized I didn't want to glamourize substance use, so I had to put in its realistic consequences. And then, substance abuse is usually a symptom of other problems, so then THAT happened. And then the story exploded out from there.

As for the other stuff, I'm so glad that the study stress came off! I really wanted to capture that mania, and give it feeling, so yay! And hah, Laurel's charms exam was almost word-for-word how Harry's first exam went in the books (only his question was about Wingardium Levoisa). He smiled though, whereas she rolled her eyes. That reference and counter-point is basically this whole story in a nutshell ;)

I hope you feel this story comes to a satisfying conclusion!

xoxo
-Roisin



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Review #8, by AlexFanYear Five: The Presence of Love

28th November 2014:
It appears that being ďin loveĒ with Tristan is a lot more work than itís worth. Honestly, Emily needs to move on from Tristan because itís not going anywhere. Sheís pined after him for so long but nothing but hurt has come from it so I think itís time for her to move on. I get that love isnít always easy, but whatever Emily and Tristan have isnít even functional let alone hard, how are they going to work towards something that is so broken, Iím not even sure that it can be fixed anymore?

I have to agree with Dumbledore on one aspect, suspending students seems absolutely absurd because all that happens is that they use it as free time and do whatever they want, unless theyíve got strict parents, in which case, there would be severe consequences.

I kind of feel like Emily is seeing a whole other world in her friendship with everyone else than the rest of her friends are. I know that there isnít mutual respect between them, infinite loyalty is most definitely not one of those things either, or deep affection for that matter. It almost seems like she is so unattached to what her friendships are really like that Emily has created this idea in her mind where everyone is really close and having a great time, when in reality, itís anything but.

When I saw the length of this chapter, Iíll admit, it was a little daunting (but this was mostly due to the fact that Iím doing homework as I read your story so the idea of focusing on two things at once for a lengthy period of time was a little scary). But I can see that it was necessary, you covered the families and what kind of homes Laurel, Emily, Isobel, and Tristan went home to and what they had to deal with. Laurel has an abusive mother, and honestly, sheís come out pretty good considering how horribly her mother treats her. Isobelís family treats her as if sheís a stupid child that doesnít know better, and I get that theyíre trying to help her get back on the right track, but theyíre obviously not going about it the right way.

Oh my goodness, poor Emily! I canít believe what this girl went through as a child! Oh my God I want to punch Andrew in the face so much! (I want to do much worse things to him but I have to keep this twelve plus so I canít exactly go into detail, but I assure you, that it is in fact very painful.) Protect young girls at all costs, educate them on how to live healthy lives and how to be confident and most importantly, keep creepy older men away from them.

And as always, I am amazed at how much time, research, effort, and thought that you put into your story, itís what makes it so great and so interesting, you can really see all of the effort that you put into it shine in every chapter!

Author's Response: You are on FIRE right now! Thank you!

Loving Tristan is definitely a HUGE amount of work. And yeah, I once knew someone to get suspended for skipping too much school. Like... what???

Part of it, also, is that this story picks up during such a tumultuous time. They have some years of friendship behind them where Em's analysis might make more sense.

Ugh, I couldn't figure out a way to split or pare down this chapter--I'm SO glad you think it's ok as long as it is!

I agree--Laurel isn't so bad, considering everything. She's been pretty bad these last few chapters, so I'd hoped that seeing a bit of her home life would explain where she's coming from. And yeah, I think the wisdom of Isobel's parents' actions is very up to interpretation. In a way, it's good they are stepping in, and actually DOING something about it. Then again, you and Laurel both make good points.

I definitely wanted to show the flaws of different parenting strategies: the controlling-ness of Isobel and Laurel's, vs the permissive-ness of Emily and Tristan's. We mostly see the Madley's in a stellar light, but then here, we see that something terrible happened to their daughter very much under their roof.

I'm really glad you appreciate all that time and research! And I definitely put a lot of thought into these grittier and more sensitive elements, and pushed myself to write with as much accuracy and realism as possible (and it was often very difficult and uncomfortable and frustrating to do)--so I'm so happy you think it's worth it!

Thank you so much for another review!






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Review #9, by AlexFanYear Five: The Question

27th November 2014:
Sorry for taking so long with your review but Iím here! And I must say, everyone has gotten a lot more aggressive since the last chapter, especially Emily, I didnít think that this girl had it in her to be so mean to Isobel of all people. And itís not like Isobel has done anything wrong either, sheís trying to help her friend and look out for everyone and this is how she gets paid in return. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own problems that they donít even notice that Isobel is slowly wasting away.

Iím not entirely sure how Tristan shows affection but I seriously doubt that he really likes Emily in the same way that she likes him. Iím sorry, but I just donít buy it. ďHmm, I really like this girl but I donít want to hurt her feelings so instead Iím going to get into bed with her best friend and not tell her about it because thatís really such a great idea,Ē like really Tristan, come on now. I get heís not one for affection but he had to try a little harder than just that.

I was about to say, wow, for someone thatís evil, Quirrel sure seems to get along with his students, and then he assaulted Isobel and my opinion went back to being normal lickity split after that. I canít believe that he would do such a thing! Itís absolutely disgusting that he would assault one of his students like this and it is absolutely horrifying to think that this couldíve happened to other girls other than Isobel. Itís horrifying to think of just how many girls this has really happened to, and they probably never spoke up about it either because no one would believe them. Can you imagine how many girls were probably terrified of going to class because they would be confronted with assaulter.

Oo, if I was there, Quirrel would need a place to hide!

And Iím not entirely sure that a place as shady as the Hogs Head is really the best place to take Isobel after what happened to her. The pub doesnít exactly scream safe if you get what I mean.

ISOBEL DONíT YOU DARE BLAME YOURSELF FOR WHAT HAPPENED. SHE IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT QUIRREL DID, HE IS THE ONE THAT SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HE DID! I didnít expect anything less from Hagrid, I just knew that he would defend Isobel and remind her that she is not at fault for the incident that took place. I love that he urged her to talk to someone and report it because it was important and something needed to be done. Hagrid is the best.

This was so great!

Author's Response: Hahahaha, I love your reviews. Like "everything is terrible, they are the worst, this is great!" You always pick up on all of the bad decisions and behaviors that go into this story, and I'm so glad you still like it!

Yeah, Emily had pretty much been the only consistently Good character, which is why I needed to make her have a little spat of immaturity. Everyone's going through a lot of changes and difficulties, and Emily definitely fell into the 'kill the messenger' behavior. Also, she's totally misdirecting her anger and frustration :(

Tristan't capacity for self-loathing and self-destruction is one of his most problematic qualities, because it ends up hurting people outside of himself :( I definitely agree that he doesn't like Emily the /same/ way, but I wouldn't say he likes her less than she likes him. But that gets examined later, so I'll zip it for now :]

I'm really glad you felt so outraged by Quirrel, that's definitely the right reaction. That bit is something inspired by RL. I get really mad when teacher/student stuff gets romanticized, because it's so inherently unethical and exploitative and abusive.

Yes, the Hog's Head definitely wasn't the best choice! (Not least, because Quirrel was THERE). BUT, I really wanted her to talk to Hagrid--I'm so happy you think I did him justice!

Thank you so much for your review!
xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #10, by AlexFanThe Worst: It Is Time

27th November 2014:
Itís been a while since I read this story so itís great to see another chapter! Also, Iím so sorry for taking so long with your review!

If I remember correctly, I was quite upset that Dom had refused Teddyís proposal last chapter, but after reading this one, I can understand where Dom is coming from. Sheís still dealing with the fact that sheís a werewolf and sheís still adjusting to that part of herself, I imagine no one would want to go into something as big as marriage without being sure of who they were and how to deal with being a werewolf.

Wow, miscommunication seems to be a problem in Teddy and Domís relationship at the moment. I can understand what she means when she says that she expected Teddy of all people to understand and figure out why she didnít want to get married so soon, at the same time, Dom never really explained herself either so what she mightíve assumed obvious, was clearly not the case for Teddy.

I liked this chapter and how it focused on Domís anxiety, because of course she would be anxious, and her situation with Teddy would most certainly add to that nervousness. I like how you kept building up to the transformation little by little throughout the story, I was so sure that the entire thing would be in this chapter but only the beginning seemed to have made it in.

Anyway, I look forward to the next chapter and how the entire transformation goes for Dom and what itís going to feel like for her.

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Review #11, by AlexFan"Thou Shalt Not Steal": Twenty-four vs. Twenty-five

23rd November 2014:
James is a delight. That pun was truly hilarious and I can just imagine how much it must've enraged Alethia. Speaking of her, you have no idea how angry I got at the whole "every woman needs a man," and then I had to remind myself that this was just a story and I was getting mad at fictional characters. I admire how calm Alethia was with her answer though, had I been in her place I can guarantee you that I would've gone into a rant about how I didn't need a man. But at least she had her siblings there to back her up, that's what siblings are there for, to back you up!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! And yeah, it's very frustrating to keep calm in a situation like that√ʬĬď I probably would have lost it, too. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #12, by AlexFanA Few Shades of Nothing: Idiosyncrasy

22nd November 2014:
I knew she was going to be put into Slytherin! The fact that the MC was making the Sorting Hat's life as difficult as possible just screamed Slytherin to me, I just knew she would be put there (as a side note, maybe you mentioned her name but I seem to have forgotten it unfortunately).

The only thing that I have to say in terms of criticism is that this moved by really fast, I got confused at times because I wasn't sure if the main character was a Squib or not because you never really explained why she never got accepted to Hogwarts. And that kind of also led to me wondering why she was getting kidnapped. I get that she was supposed to go to Hogwarts but I think the Ministry of Magic would be facing some serious consequences for forcibly removing a child from their homes with no explanation whatsoever.

But I like this, it definitely seems interesting.

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Review #13, by AlexFan(un)censored: Black and Yellow

19th November 2014:
Talk about a quick way to become friends with someone huh? For someone that apparently doesn't really have any friends, Albus sure has a way of chatting people up and being real chummy with them even if they are acquaintances. I like how you set up the chapter by introducing Lara as this sort of motherhen figure, which I don't think I've ever really seen before in fics and I'm actually really interested in seeing how this part of her plays out throughout the story, and how it affects the dynamic of her friends.

I don't know why but I just really like the fact that she takes care of her friends, she's goes around making sure that they're all okay and keeps them from doing anything stupid and she doesn't seem all too bothered by it (which I wonder if this is going to change throughout the story).

Anyway, I liked this as a first chapter but then again I can never resist a fake dating story.

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Review #14, by AlexFanOver My Head: Of Jerk-Face James Potter and Full-Scale War

19th November 2014:
This chapter was so much better than the previous two! I liked how it stretched out more and the fact that I was able to get inside Pippa's head throughout this and really feel what kinds of things were going through her mind. I like how she handled the situation with James when he came over to harass her. It was very different from her reaction to his family on the train and it just showed that she could be civilized and mature if she really wanted to.

The one thing I'm a little skeptical about is Alyssa's Firebolt. I mean, her mum works a crummy job at a pub, and on top of that she's got an alcohol addiction so a lot of the money that she makes probably goes towards her addiction, and as old as the Firebolt may be at that point in time, it's still a pretty expensive broom. I mean, Ron's family could barely even afford to get him his own broom and it was, what, a Cleansweeper? If Ron's family, who had a father that worked in the Ministry, could barely afford to buy him a broom, then how does Alyssa manage to get herself a much better, more expensive broom with just the pub as her sole source of income?

But other than that, I really enjoyed this chapter and I have a feeling that this war is going to get very interesting from the sounds of it (and I mean how can it not considering Peeves is going to get involved).

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Review #15, by AlexFanOver My Head: Of Pranks and Hypothetical Death via Little Lily

18th November 2014:
I relate to Alyssa's morning ritual so much. Except my mom is my alarm clock and I stay in my bed for an extra ten minutes before dragging myself out into the cold and getting washed.

I feel like I need a little bit more on why Veronica Smith is evil in order to truly jump on board of the hate train. As far as I can see, the only thing that she's done that could be considered mean is get Alyssa's name wrong (which I can relate to because I'm horrible with names). The biggest problem that Alyssa seems to have with Veronica is that she leads a very privileged life while Alyssa does not, and it's enough for extreme jealousy at how easy Veronica's life is and some annoyance and sure a little hatred but nothing really extreme. I guess Alyssa's feelings aren't totally unfounded.

I may have missed this but I'm not sure that you mentioned Alyssa looking for her clothes before declaring that they had disappeared. I know I felt a little surprised at the sudden jump so maybe I missed that part.

Wow, things certainly escalate quickly at Hogwarts nowadays. The Potters just went from 0-100 real quick right there. If these pranks keep up, and get progressively more and more complex, the professors are going to have a real problem on their hands by the end of the year.

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Review #16, by AlexFanOver My Head: Of Supposed Best Friends and Extreme Ginger Syndrome

18th November 2014:
Sorry it took me so long to get to your reviews for the challenge but I'm finally here!

Okay, so I thought that I would just tell you what I thought through this and hopefully I can be at least a little helpful. So this isn't bad at all, it's not perfect but it's good. Something that I've noticed that happens a lot is people introduce the character and then give the reader all of the baggage that comes with it. Sometimes a writer gives their reader so much information that they forget half of it, that's not the case here but it's an example.

I like how you introduced the main character, you gave her name, developed the type of relationship that she has with her family and gave your reader an appearance that they could work with, which is great. But there's a lot of telling instead of showing. It wasn't really necessary to have all of that information about her mom and dad and how they fit together, it didn't really add much in the way of plot. You could've maybe started with Alyssa working on her last day of summer break at the pub so that the reader gets a sense of how crazy the pub is and you've set up that part of Alyssa's home life right there, and as a bonus, it also adds length to the chapter. Alyssa's mom is a drunk, but instead of just telling your reader that right from the get go, you could have it come in later on (as having a parent who is an alcoholic is most likely a difficult thing, it could be something that Alyssa is ashamed of and tries to avoid thinking about). You could have a scene later on in the story showing an interaction between Alyssa and her mother, she could come home from the holidays or something and find her mom asleep on a dirty couch and you could even bring in the kind of living arrangements that she has that point, showing the kind of state that Alyssa lives in as well as shows that her mother has an addiction.

I also thought that the scene where all of the next generation of the Weasley's and Potter's come crashing into the compartment a bit melodramatic. Alyssa was being really aggressive with these people and you never really provide any information for why she's aggressive towards them. Right off the bat she's insulting the Weasley's because of their ginger hair but there's no real build up to why Alyssa is being so hostile, it just kind of happens (as an idea, you could hint that the reason she's so hostile is because they tease her about her family which they might've accidentally found out about somehow because it seems reasonable).

And lastly, the pace felt a little too fast, I felt like there could've been more description throughout the chapter to really set up the scene and the tone of what was going on. Maybe talk about what the platform looked like or the kind of chaos that was going on, even snippets of conversation that Alyssa heard to really pull the reader into the story. I hope I wasn't too harsh with this review and at least a little bit helpful in some way! This really is a good start to a story and a pretty interesting one.

P. S. While I agree that in a place where a lot of magic is going on the Ministry wouldn't be able to figure out which underage witch or wizard was doing magic, I think it would be a little different with apparating. Apparating is tracked by the Department of Magical Transportation (or something of the sort) and I think they would get some sort of notification if an unqualified minor just apparated to King's Cross Station (since she's not Side-Along). Also, apparating is extremely dangerous and I would think Alyssa would be a little more worried about seriously injuring herself (also where would she have learned apparating since her mother is clearly in no fit state to be a proper teacher?)

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Review #17, by AlexFanRainfall: A Haunted House

16th November 2014:
I'm so glad that Hugo finally got a chance to really play a harp. He sounds like a really talented kid, I can see him having a future as a musician, if he kept practicing of course he could be just as good as any pianist or harpist.

I honestly just can't get over Hugo and Lily being unaware of the significance of Godric's Hollow and I'm just sitting here thinking "oh if they only knew."

You would think that by the way that Ginny and Hermione are talking about Godric's Hollow that it's already been decided that Harry and Ginny are going to move into the house. Harry doesn't even want to set foot in the place I honestly can't see him budging on something like this no matter what Ginny does. This looks like it might cause some real problems for them.

Anyway, great chapter!

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Review #18, by AlexFanRainfall: Empires Old and New

15th November 2014:
I take really long to leave reviews if you haven't noticed. Anyway! I think this was definitely one of my favourite chapters to be honest with you, politics aren't always my thing but when they're talked about or discussed right they really catch my attention. As you've probably figured out you did it right. It was interesting seeing all of these different views and opinions coming into play throughout the chapter from various experts. Clearly to Hermione the winner of the IC is a much bigger issue for her because the Second Wizarding War affected her in a much more personal way than others.

And it's when you hear about stuff like this happening that it really hits you that people don't really learn anything from history except how to keep doing the same thing over and over again.

I've always read stories where the next generation are already aware of the large role that their parents played in the war so it was quite surprising having Hugo be completely clueless as to what his parents did in their youth.

Loved this chapter!

Author's Response: Hi! It doesn't bother me how long you take to leave reviews. :) My time period between receiving and responding varies considerably, as I'm pretty busy right now but I'm hoping to get up to date over Christmas.

Thank you so much! This chapter was a bit self-indulgent to be honest, inspired by the European elections taking place about when I wrote it (the rise of UKIP didn't prompt riots, though). I'm very glad I got you to like my bit of politics!

I thought briefly about "how much should they know?" and it did occur to me that in most next-gens the kids know all about the war, but I decided to be a bit different (as usual). I think the other kids might be a bit less clueless than Hugo, having seen newspaper headlines and books and stuff, but I decided Ron and Hermione have avoided talking about it - they're famous, for their role in the war, but they've never seen a need to talk about all the things they saw and went through because there's the question of "when is old enough?", they don't want to think about it, and it's in the past. It might also not have specifically occurred to them to sit down and tell their children about the war, because of course most people do know what happens and it doesn't really occur to them that their children don't and should.

Oops, response longer than the review again. I have this habit of talking...

Thank you so much! I'm really glad you liked this chapter. :) I definitely have a soft spot for wizarding politics.


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Review #19, by AlexFanMonster: Monster

10th November 2014:
This was not what I expected, you seem to have a gift for writing monsters, I must say. I can tell you that this got me pretty scared but then again, I consider myself quite weak when it comes to the horror genre.

I like how you started off the story with Rose believing that there werenít any monsters and then ended that last bit with ďYou are eight. Of course you believe your mummy.Ē because it just hints that something much worse is going to happen later on and that what her mother told her is going to be completely shattered. And as Rose grows older she becomes more and more aware of the forest and it frightens her even more and it becomes more difficult for her to believe what Hermione told her about there being no monsters.

I just kept chanting in my head that someone was going to die and then when Rose did get attacked I was kind of happy that I was right, but at the same time, I was terrified of what was going on because you just made it scary. The most disturbing part for me however was the moment in which Rose killed Hermione, her own mother. The complete lack of remorse there was just really disturbing and I think thatís the part that really made Rose a monster, not the fact that she needs blood to survive because she is what she is now and that canít be helped, but the fact that she didnít feel anything over the fact that she had just killed someone, her mother no less.

Awesome job on this!

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for reading and reviewing.

"A gift for writing monsters"? Wow that is a huge compliment! Thank you! I feel so happy xD I am very weak when it comes to the horror genre as well (I can't even watch horror movies) so I totally understand you!

I am glad you liked the way this started off as that was the whole set-up for the story. I am also happy that you managed to catch Rose's feelings and thoughts as she grows, I feel accomplished =)

It is great to hear that you had that sense of foreboding while reading this and that you did get terrified, as that was my aim. Her killing her mother was definitely the most disturbing and sinister element for me while writing so I'm pleased you felt that way while reading as well. Yes, Rose became a monster in the truest sense, having lost all humanity.

Thank you so much!


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Review #20, by AlexFanYear Five: The Disappearing Room

10th November 2014:
Weíre almost near the end! Only five more chapters to go after this! Oh how the tables have turned Tristan! Poor Emily, sheís liked Tristan this entire time and all heís done is just spit in her face and go at it with her friend. I know that theyíre technically not dating but when it goes on in a group as close as them, things get a bit more complicated. Iím happy to see that Emily is spending time with Hufflepuffs that wonít have a negative influence on her, her friends donít seem to inspire much positivity to be perfectly honest.

People in this story of yours seem to have a problem with learning from their mistakes. Laurel and Tristan hooking up was what broke up all of their friendships, like literally, this was like the last straw. Both of them know this, they know that what they did drove away their friend and made everything dysfunctional and itís the reason as to why they canít hang out properly anymore why are they doing it again! Are Laurel and Tristan expecting different results by doing this over and over, because you know thatís the definition of insanity.

On another note, as annoyed as I was with Laurel, I have a great deal of respect for her now, it mustíve taken her a lot to hand over her wand to Isobel and tell her to keep it away from herself. I think you got Dumbledoreís character perfect and I just knew that he would help out Laurel the minute that he showed up, Dumbledore just has that effect on people. He may not have been a very good man but Dumbledore did have his good qualities, I have a feeling though that if he were to talk to Tristan, it would take a lot more work to encourage him to make a change in his life, he might just see it as futile to make an attempt to make his life better than it is.

Yes! Finally, some more backstory about Tristan! Iíve been wondering what went on with him as a child and those blacked out files made me even more curious, I can understand why they were blacked out now (and if Iím reading this right, Tristan is related to the Malfoyís). Of course Narcissa seemed affectionate towards Tristan, he was a pureblood, if he had been anything but I highly doubt Narcissa wouldíve been as warm and welcoming of him into her family. All in all, Tristanís life doesnít seem to be going anywhere good anytime soon.

Author's Response: Hello!

Yes, the end is definitely near, and this chapter definitely sets a lot of things off.

And yeah, Emily is a lot more adaptive than a lot of her friends, I think. She can fit in a lot of different places more easily.

In a way, I think they *do* learn from their mistakes, but are just self-destructive. Tristan and Laurel know that it's a bad idea, but that's the reason they want to indulge it.

Man, imagine how awful it would have been had Tristan been raised by the Malfoys! All that trauma and neglect he experienced in his early childhood coupled with racist indoctrination!

Thank you so much for this review!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #21, by AlexFanYear Five: Interrupted

31st October 2014:
Either something is so wrong that even Emily is picking up on her friends acting weird, no matter how hard they try to hide it, or her friends are being really obvious and sheís just a little bit slow to catch onto the problems that all of them are having. It feels like Isobelís friends know that sheís suffering from anorexia and yet none of them seem to be doing anything. I get the whole stay in your lane thing but I mean come on, your friend is clearly struggling here, they need to do something to help her out before any more damage is caused.

You know, for someone that is so hostile and disliked, people arrive at the most ridiculous conclusions whenever Severus Snape is involved. Like really, a love letter?

Why Laurel? Just, why? She knows sheís in the wrong, she had no right to go snooping through Snapeís stuff like that, why does she just make the situation worse for herself? Does she really think that threatening a teacher is going to make her case any better, and it was stupid to do as well because sheís right, everyone does know about Snapeís past, and of course heís got a tattoo. Albus Dumbledore is not an idiot, Laurel wouldnít be telling him anything that he doesnít already know about Snape. Honestly, thereís more evidence against her than there is against Snape. I just, I just wish sheíd keep her mouth shut. It sucks to be wrong but if you canít admit it then just keep your mouth shut before you do something stupid.

For people who are supposed to be friends, no one seems to be treating each other properly, I really think that everyone needs some time to themselves to figure things out and to prioritize. I feel like being friends is too much for everyone, if you canít take care of yourself, you canít look after your friends and everyone is just a mess right now. Those Hufflepuffís that Emily spent time with seem like good people, see, why doesnít she hang around them sometimes and pick up some good habits?

And I like how supportive Tonks was, I can see her giving advice to younger friends and helping them out, besides, she gave very good advice at that. Itís nice that Emily has at least one person that she looks up to and can talk to.

Author's Response: I sort of think that Emily is *usually* pretty in tune with her friends, unless she's at the center of something, then she kind of misses it. But that's the other weird thing about this story, you meet everyone knowing they've been one way, but mostly spend the length of the narrative watching them change/retreat into themselves. Like, it takes til about the end to get a sense of what Laurel was like *before*, because all of them are having *phases.*

Aha - yes, definitely a silly conclusion there :) And yeah, Laurel definitely doesn't have as much information as we do, and DEFINITELY didn't think through all of her behavior. I don't think she handles panic very well at all at this stage.

That is a very astute analysis! And I think Emily is leaning quite the same direction you are :) And yes! SOMEONE needed to offer some sage words in this chapter, and it was a great excuse to bring Tonks back!

Thank you so much for the review!! This is definitely the beginning of the most excruciating story arc yet :/ (always darkest before the dawn!)



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Review #22, by AlexFanL'optimisme: Bulgaria

31st October 2014:
So sorry for taking so long but Iíve had a lot of homework in the past week and I havenít had any free time!

I can definitely see what you mean about this chapter being more character heavy than the previous three. But I speak for myself when I say that I really enjoyed it, I didnít find it at all boring. I feel like when youíre telling a story that is based almost entirely on a personís memories, lots of imagery is whatís going to be needed. It just feels like it makes it really obvious that the story is being told through the memories of a character. When you look back on things that happened, you tend to pay more attention to the details and everything around you.

Whenever I read this story I feel like Iím in a memory, it feels like everything that Iím reading is something that happened to me personally, even though I know itís not, and it makes me weirdly nostalgic for events that never happened. My favourite bit had to be in the end where Grindelwald was comparing him to a sunrise and how it signified his leadership into this new world that it had in mind, my favourite line had to be the very last one where he describes Albus and compares him to sunset. I donít know why but it just really stuck with me out of all of the other lines in the chapter.

I like how you went into detail about Grindelwald stealing the wand, there was some information given in the series about what happened on the day that Grindelwald stole the Elder Wand but it feels completely different seeing the same incident from the actual characterís point of view.

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Review #23, by AlexFanYear Five: Torture

31st October 2014:
Wow, sorry for taking so long but I was on a school trip and then I came back and had to catch up on four days worth of homework and lessons and itís just been crazy.

Oh no, poor Isobel. Sometimes I wonder why I like reading because I get attached to characters and then they start hurting and it just rips my heart out because my babies are not happy and I just gah! Reading your story is just a constant reminder of the fact that not all kids grow up in a family where their parents are supportive and encourage their kid to do their best. Not every child grows up in a family where theyíre told that they are enough and that they donít have to change and you can see it in Isobel and Tristan. You can really see how even the smallest things can affect someone and what it can lead to.

I am going to smack Isobelís parents, swear to God, I hope they eventually come to realise how harmful their words have been.

I think labeling Tristan as a womanizer seems to be a bit of a stretch to be honest. I can see where all of this frustration is coming from, and for the most part, Isobel is right about Tristan, he is definitely a bit a of music snob, but a womanizer is a stretch. I get that sheís upset that heís messing about with her two friends but come on now, be reasonable here. I can see everyone slowly drifting apart as they spend more and more times together. It doesnít even seem like they all share anything in common anymore, theyíre just around each other because itís all that theyíve ever known and they have no one else to hang out with.

Tristanís reaction the mention of the Cruciatus Curse was interesting. Maybe you mentioned this in the past and I just missed it or forgot about it, but if you havenít mentioned it then Iím curious to see as what went on to cause Tristan to have such a violent reaction to the spell. But hey, at least he and Isobel talked some stuff out and theyíre kind of okay now, she doesnít seem to want to kill him nearly as much as she did before.

Author's Response: No problem! I'm just super stoked you've gone back to your thread!

I definitely agree! My college has a lot of students who *mostly* had easy lives, and appear very privileged and all that. BUT, a lot of their parents just really weren't nice enough or supportive enough. And while they were never outright cruel, withholding praise and affection can really hurt a kid :(

I also definitely agree that Isobel calling him a 'womanizer' is a stretch. But she's also not in the best place right now, mentally (I mean, going without food to that degree for so long really messes with someone's cognition and emotions).

Your analysis about how they've drifted is super spot on. They're all just really self absorbed at this point.

Muahahaha - yes, I have mentioned something about that, and you did notice it at the time... VERY glad that that this pacing is working :D

And yeah, I think it was a lot easier to hate him when she didn't have to feel sympathy for him. She definitely has lasting affection for the boy.

Thank you sososo much for this review!!!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #24, by AlexFanRainfall: Live in Concert

30th October 2014:
It was so nice to see Hugo in an environment where he was enjoying himself. I loved listening to how he got lost in the music and the kind of effect that it had on him. He seems like a completely different person when he's surrounded by music, it's awesome.

Hugo stops being so bitter and angry with the world around him and it's nice to see that in him. I feel like Hugo wants to be angry more than anything but whenever music is playing he forgets to be angry. It's amazing what music can do to a person, isn't it?

I liked getting an overview of what Hugo's life at school is like, having students around with guide dogs and having to announce themselves so the rest of the students know who they are. I like Hugo's school and I can tell he likes it as well, this is the place where he's surrounded by people like him and they understand what he's going through.

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Review #25, by AlexFanRainfall: Past and Future

23rd October 2014:
It's taken me a while to leave this review but I'm finally here. I thought I would just get the CC out of the way first. Personally, I felt like Ginny was a bit out of character. I can see where she's coming from about wanting to rebuild Harry's childhood home, and she had good arguments as well but I feel like if Harry wasn't comfortable with that idea that she would understand and at least consider the possibility of not rebuilding the home. Clearly Harry feels like if they were to fix up the place it would be like trying to erase traces of his parents from his life and obviously he doesn't want that. And I personally found it weird that in all of the time that Harry and Ginny have been together he not once took her to see Godric's Hollow. I mean, this is his wife here, and Godric's Hollow is an important part of Harry's past, I would've thought that he would've taken Ginny to see the place where it all started. But then again, this is just me so feel free to ignore this.

Moving on, Hugo is such a pessimistic child and honestly I can see why, when you look at things from his perspective, the Wizarding world really doesn't have much to offer him. The muggle world is in fact more suited for Hugo and Hogwarts would be extremely difficult for him to navigate, especially the stairs, those would be a nightmare. But he seems really aware for a child is I guess the best way to put it, I like how he thinks about his actions and questions why he does some of the things that he did. When he lashed out, I like how he acknowledged that he really had no reason to act the way that he did and asked himself why he was so angry. I feel like Hugo wants someone to reprimand him, had he not been blind and lashed out like he did, he would've gotten punished for his behaviour and the fact that he got away with it is like another reminder to him that he can't see.

I'm really growing to like Hugo and I love reading about this story from his perspective.

Author's Response: I definitely get where you're coming from regarding Ginny! Getting the characterisations in that bit was a pain and I kind of knew it wasn't right for her but I got lazy and didn't wrestle with it. Now you've confirmed that that bit's a mess, I'll try and make myself actually do something about it! Harry not taking Ginny to see Godric's Hollow - yeah, I get what you mean there as well, but my explanation would be that he moved on too completely and never felt even that he could bring the idea up because that might have meant talking about the past and actually thinking about it. And yeah, he'd have been comfortable with his wife, he just didn't want to think about it himself. But yeah, Ginny, and Harry too to a lesser extent, are characters I haven't really managed to get a grip on and I do need to have another think about them and do some editing. :P

Thank you! Hugo is a character I DO feel I understand now, and yeah, he hates thinking that he's being treated differently. Normal kids might be resentful at being punished for bad behaviour, but the way he gets more slack means he feels guilty about it and also of course is reminded of WHY those allowances are made for him.

Really glad you like it! Thanks for the review, and I'll try to do something with that CC!

~ Leo


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