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Reading Reviews From Member: TreacleTart
  
824 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTartSweet Little Ginny: the girl who killed them all

19th May 2017:
Hey Plums!

I'm here to finally leave you a review for the Take It Seriously Challenge. Sorry that it's taken me ages, but life has been keeping me super busy. I'll be breaking this review down by the categories that I used to judge this challenge.

Rarity - I've never read a Colin/Ginny pairing, so I gave you full marks for this.

Editing - This was a behemoth of a one-shot. Massive word count always makes me oddly nervous, but this was well-written, concise, and well edited. Good job.

Flow - I thought this flowed pretty well for the most part. There were a couple of areas in the beginning that I found a tiny bit choppy, but all in all it was pretty smooth and easy to read.

Emotional Impact - You definitely nailed the emotional impact. I was at times annoyed with how Ginny was treating Colin. At other times, I felt really sorry for her. And at the end, well at the end I felt a whole jumble of emotions.

Plot - I thought the plot was logical and made sense for the characters you were writing. You did a good job of making it plausible within canon, which made it all the more believable to me.

Characterization - I thought you did an excellent job of characterizing both Colin and Ginny. You gave Ginny that fiery, cool exterior, but really nailed her self doubt and dark thoughts too. Colin was so sweet and patient and just as nice as you'd expect him to be.

Overall, I thought this was a really well done piece. I'm convinced that Colin and Ginny could've been a thing. Good job!

Results should be posted in a few hours!

Thanks for entering my challenge!

~Kaitlin

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Review #2, by TreacleTartBehind This Mask: Behind This Mask

18th May 2017:
Hello my dear!

I'm here to leave you a review on this for The Take It Seriously Challenge! Sorry it took me ages to get to it, but life has been keeping me super busy. I'm going to break this review down by sections, so you can see exactly how I'm judging it. :)

Rarity - Okay. So first off, kudos on going for a super rare pair! I have never even read or seen another Cormac/Neville story, so I was immediately excited when I saw who you were writing about. Even better is that you made it believable.

Editing - I didn't notice any huge glaring issues. There were a couple typos here and there, but overall, I'd say this was pretty solid.

Flow - Overall, I thought the flow was pretty good. The very beginning was a bit choppy for me when Cormac was going through all of his methods. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on. Once you got to the part where he was paying attention to Neville, it felt much more fluid and flowed smoothly.

Emotional Impact - I gave you full marks on emotional impact because this was so incredibly emotional for me on a lot of levels. I found that I could really relate to Cormac's struggles with his personality. I too am a bit too loud and forward and I get rambly when I'm uncomfortable. I also thought the ending really packed an emotional wallop. I was so sad to see how things ended, but I thought you did it in a clever and realistic way. Really great job there!

Plot - Your plot was really great! I loved how you showed Cormac's evolution before, during, and after the relationship. You really packed a lot into a one-shot.

Characterization - I absolutely loved your characterization of Cormac. You did a great job of making him a more sympathetic character and really fleshing him out. You're right that he's very one-note and unlikable in canon, so it was nice to see him explained in depth like this. Really clever. This might be my new head canon for him, tbh. :)

Overall - I thought this piece was excellent. I've read a few of your other stories previously and this was definitely my fave so far. Really great job!

Look for the challenge results in the next day or so! Hoping to post them by tomorrow evening. :)

Thanks for entering and for writing this lovely story! (Even if it shattered my heart a bit)

~Kaitlin/TreacleTart

Author's Response: Oh hello Kaitlin. It's fine, I've been so busy I didn't even notice! Oh thank you for the kudos. I've only seen one, on AO3, and I didn't read it because it didn't look like something I'd like.

Let's face it: there are ALWAYS typos in my work no matter how many times I read it over, haha.

I definitely agree with the flow thing, but I kind of wanted to break up the writing with something a little more casual since it is a long piece of writing.

Oh thank you! I'm glad I hit it right.

Thank you again. *accepts praise and bows before Goddess Kaitlin*

I really need to stop saying thank you as a reply, but thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Thank you for the lovely review, and I hope to see you hanging around my AP soon. And thank you for starting the challenge!

-Lily Xx x


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Review #3, by TreacleTartOctober 31st: October 31st

28th February 2017:
Hey Kayla,

Just dropping by to leave you a review. You already know that I loved this story. I thought you did a beautiful job of creating an alternate scenario where James didn't die. You certainly surprised me with the twist at the end. I never expected it coming from you.

I do love how Remus and Sirius came to the conclusion that Peter was the mole. I thought it was really clever how you played with the two of them blaming each other and it all dawning on them. I thought you did a great job of capturing the sheer terror in that moment when Sirius realizes its Peter.

You did a great job of showing off Sirius' best qualities in this. His loyalty to his friends. His instinctive need to protect him. It was easy to understand why his friends loved him so.

Your writing was really good in this too. It was really polished and clean. Your description was on point. Really great work there!

I'm so excited to see new writing from you! I hope you'll be posting more soon. :)

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin,

Thank you! I'm really excited that you liked this, since I wrote it for your challenge, and I'm even more excited that I managed to surprise you because wanting to surprise you was how I came up with the idea in the first place hahaha

I'm happy to hear you say that I captured Sirius's loyalty and protective instincts in this, because I feel like those things haven't been very prominent in my other stories about him, yet they're such a big part of why I love him so much.

And yay, a description compliment! I struggle with description a lot so it always means so much to get compliments on it.

I hope I'll be posting more soon too! Hahaha.

Thank you so much for the lovely review!

-Kayla


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Review #4, by TreacleTartBleeding Hearts and Bitten Tongues: -1.

15th January 2017:
Hey Plums,

I happened across this story from the recommendation thread and I knew instantly that I had to read it.

Wow. This was spectacularly good. It was dark and definitely tough to read at times, but you did a great job of not overdoing it on the gruesome description. You gave enough to make my skin crawl, but not so much that I had to stop reading it. That's a hard line to walk and you did it excellently.

I love the way you characterized Hannah too. You make her so tough, loyal, and brave. She really exemplifies the best of Hufflepuff here and I love how she refused not to answer with Dumbledore's Army when she's being tortured. Brilliant characterization.

I also thought there was a sweetness to Neville and Hannah's relationship that balanced really nicely with all of the horror surrounding them. You can really see how she cares for him and how much he cares for her too. Even if it's solely in a platonic sense at this point, you can see he potential for their relationship to evolve down the road. It all just fits in so nicely with cannon.

I also thought the hallucination about her mother was a nice touch. We see some moments of vulnerability from her and it gives us some insight into her background. I also liked that Neville went along with it because he knew she needed the comfort and that he probably did love her too. Again, whether in a platonic or romantic sense, it's still a wonderful moment.

Really brilliant writing. This is definitely my favorite piece of yours to date.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin!

I'm so glad you liked this one shot, especially because I'm 99% sure it was my first dip into a character that I'm not all too familiar with. Hannah was such a mystery to me at this point and I was really anxious to do her right so at the time, publishing this one shot made me such a nervous wreck!

It was also the first time I wrote a Hufflepuff (now it seems like all I do is write them 😜) so I spent a lot of time on trying to emphasise those qualities of Hannah's. A lot of people assume that anyone who was part of the resistance was a Gryffindor because they MUST have been brave, but I wanted to show how those actions aren't necessarily always about bravery. It's about being loyal to the cause and your own, even when the odds are against you. I think that so many people assume Hufflepuffs are a soft bunch when they can be the toughest of them all (and stubborn haha). So I really wanted Hannah to exemplify all of that.

This was also the first time I went anywhere NEAR Neville's character in a fic (apparently, it was a whole load of firsts) so their relationship was something I really wanted to nail. I'm glad it seems I did because you interpreted their current relationship perfectly! There's a real tenderness there against the horror of the war, one that has almost been born *because* of the war, that the two are hesitant to acknowledge but also treasure. They see each other perfectly - Neville recognising how much Hannah's mum's death affected her and how she needed that brief second of oblivion, Hannah admiring the man who Neville has become and realised how essential he was to everything. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I warmed up to them.

Ahh, this *was* a dark fic, wasn't it? I'm fairly sure I was binging on dark fics at this moment, though at the same time I was hesitant to go too far with it. I'm glad I managed to toe the line!

Thank you so much for reading, reviewing and enjoying this fic. Much love 💕💕

Plums x


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Review #5, by TreacleTartTraitorous Hearts: A Dangerous Game

28th October 2016:
Hey Penny!

Back for one last review!

As soon as that girl sat down next to Astoria, I knew something was terribly wrong. I mean why would the D.A. risk meeting with her in public if it wasn't serious. It's a good thing the girl was clever enough to use homework as a cover.

Ugh. Your descriptions in this made my stomach twist into knots. Poor Seamus and Neville. It's horrible to think of any adult hurting a child that badly. I mean I know I'm talking about Death Eaters, but even still, to think of them torturing Neville the way they did is just horrific.

Astoria was just the person to call. Her ability to keep her wits about her under pressure is a huge asset and has saved the D.A. many times. With her help, they may just all survive after all.

The conversation with her and Madame Pomfrey was good as well, although I do feel like the whole thing was a bit transparent. In that case, if someone had been watching, it might've been easy enough to put two and two together. Particularly, when Astoria goes into great detail about the size and length of the wounds. But I mean how else is she supposed to get the info she needs?

I don't know if my heart can take anymore of this. Every time a new chapters up, I'm on the edge of my seat.

Looking forward to the chapters to come! Let me know when you post the next one.

Good work as always!

~Kaitlin

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Review #6, by TreacleTartTraitorous Hearts: An Unofficial Assistance

25th October 2016:
Hello again!

Back to review another chapter!

Poor Neville! I can only imagine how worried he must be thinking the Death Eaters might be going after his grandmum, but he should know that Augusta is more than most Death Eaters can handle. She's tough and I'm pretty sure in cannon she gives them hell when they come round. I guess that thought probably isn't much comfort though when his parents have been tortured into insanity. Probably his only thought is that he can't let it happen to her too.

I love that Astoria ends up being put in the position of having to go. She's definitely the right person for the job. Her level headedness keeps her from getting into trouble.

And aww. Seamus. I'm so glad he went with her. (Have I mentioned that you're totally making me a Seamus/Astoria shipper?)

I liked the little nod to Dean/Seamus as well in the way that Dean is so protective and worried about him. All my shipper feels are happy.

Oh and Luna/Neville that's another of my favorite ships. This story really does have all my favorite things at this point. :)

Back to the story.

The conversation between Mrs. Longbottom and Seamus was genius. The way you wrote both of their voices was sheer perfection. I giggled the whole way through even though I was on the edge of my seat prepared for something bad to happen.

I was also thrilled that you included the pyrotechnics in there. I had a head canon that Seamus becomes a demolition/explosives expert for the Auror's office after the war, so this fits right into my own head canon.

Of course, the one time that Astoria does something impulsive, it's throwing a massive bomb into a fireplace and exploding the Carrow's office. I absolutely loved it.

I also really loved the bits of humor you tied into this. The giggling fits at the end of the story were great.

As always, lovely work! I'll be back to review the next chapter later on. :)

~Kaitlin

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Review #7, by TreacleTartTraitorous Hearts: Beyond Blood and Bone

24th October 2016:
Penny. Penny? PENNY!

You said there was A new chapter and so I hurry over here and find not one, not two, but three chapters that I haven't read! What is this madness?! How did these updates happen without my knowledge? Like part of me is so happy because I got to read three chapters in one go, but part of me is sad that while I've been going through Astoria withdrawals. this whole time there's been two sparkly new chapters waiting for me. What's more is that this chapter is about Draco and you already know I've been dying to know what's going on with him.

Okay. Now that that's out of my system, maybe I can try to review a bit.

Man, things are tense for poor Draco, eh? This certainly is punishment for him. In a way it's kind of cute how he's homesick and all he wants is to talk to his mum. But then part of me is kind of mad about it because his parents got him into this mess in the first place, so why should he really have any loyalty to them at this point?

I have to tell you that Bellatrix is one of my absolute favorite characters and I was sort of nervous (foolishly) when she popped up in the scene. I think a lot if writers just write her as senselessly vicious without motivation, but you did a great job of nailing her motivation. She might be crazy, but she is motivated by her loyalty/love for Voldemort and she'd forsake even her own family for it.

I feel pretty bad for Draco at this point. He's just a pawn on Voldemort's chess board. It seems he won't have much resolution for quite a while...and in the mean time, he's stuck in a forest with crazy people and only fond memories of Astoria to keep him from losing it. Maybe she will inspire another random act of courage in him.

Excellent work as usual! I've already read all the chapters, so expect more reviews from me soon.

~Kaitlin

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Review #8, by TreacleTartCravings.: Cravings.

4th September 2016:
Hi Paula!

I'm here to review your story for my Drapple Challenge.

I thought this was a cute story and an interesting use of the prompt. Instead of having Draco focused on the apple himself, he's worried about fulfilling one of Astoria's crazy pregnancy cravings. What a good husband he is to be up that early out looking for such a specific type of juice.

I did think it was odd that Draco would have any Muggle money at all because he doesn't really seem the type to be out wandering around in a muggle place, but maybe Astoria's softened him up a bit.

I loved that at the end, Draco returns to the house to find Astoria passed out with a breakfast burrito and salsa smeared on her face. The only question I have (and this might be because I've never been to the UK) is whether or not a breakfast burrito would be a common thing there. Like it strikes me as a bit out of place because the last time I talked about Mexican food with UK folk, I realized that they don't really have much authentic Mexican food.so yeah, I wonder about that part.

All in all, I thought this was a good story. The technical aspects of it were good and I didn't notice any typos or mistakes.

Good work! I should be posting the results in a day or two, so keep your eyes peeled.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi! I'm so glad you liked it even though it wasn't a true Drapple!

I'd like to think Astoria was a little more muggle friendly and it probably wasn't the first time she craved something you couldn't find in normal magical markets. If so he'd have to have some cash on him!

NoOoO! Now I feel bad for adding it! I included the breakfast burrito because I had a friend from New Mexico rant and rave because she ate at this place called the breakfast club (lol) which had better breakfast burritos there in London than she did in NM and I thought it was hilarious! Maybe it's just a greater London thing?

Thanks for the lovely review! :D


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Review #9, by TreacleTartToo Good for You: Wizarding Harmony - #1 Trusted Dating Service for Single Wizard and Witches

2nd September 2016:
Hey Alexis,

Back for another gift tag review!

I absolutely loved this one-shot. It was so humorous and thoughtful all at the same time. You really did such an excellent job of parodying Lucius and Narcissa. You wrote their haughty, high opinions of themselves so well. I was giggling away reading through the dating adds. They were really perfection.

I also adored the idea that Narcissa and Lucius were sort of just meant for each other. I mean reading the dating adverts, you can clearly see that they really are the only people who share each others interests and feelings. Even though they're sort of awful, it's sweet in a way.

For some reason, when Lucius was set up with a date, I knew it was going to be Narcissa. I felt certain that the dating agency was like "Look! Finally someone who will match with that crazy Pureblood lady!" The scene where the two of them finally see each other was well written too. The protracted gaze across the room and it dawning on Lucius that it's his wife. Narcissa being a bit frigid at first, but then softening up to him. It was really nice.

I really loved this story and thought you did such a great job with the Malfoys. I'd love to see you write more of them in the future.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hello Kaitlin!

I know it's taken me a while to get to answering this review - forgive me. This one-shot is actually quite old and the product of a love story writing class that paired me up with another author. We were each given the assignment of writing dating ads for randomly assigned characters. Once we were partnered up, we just went with the inspiration of Escape (The Pina Colada Song).

The dating profiles were perhaps the funniest part to write. And you're correct - these two were made for each other. Who else would put up with those attitudes, that sheer arrogance? But underneath the parody, there are hints of seriousness. The Malfoys do love each other and their son.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving yet another gift tag review. The number of gifts you left was crazy and I loved each one!

*hugs*

~Alexis


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Review #10, by TreacleTartWendigo: Wendigo

1st September 2016:
Hey there!

Back for another review for the gift tag!

This was a really interesting concept and I love how you kept up the theme of starvation as the story progressed. It worked really well for both Peter and Sirius. Sirius starving for revenge and Peter starving from regret.

I think my favorite part was when Sirius stops eating and has this vision of James. I guess I never really gave much thought to how he might've decided to escape or how he managed to slip through the bars, but I like your inspiration for it here. I like that he made a plan and made a conscious effort to stop eating so he could fit.

I also like that at the end Sirius gets his revenge but still doesn't feel satiated. I think that even though Peter has done a horrible wrong, two wrongs don't necessarily make it right and I think killing him would've messed something up in Sirius.

Compared to the other stories I've read of yours, this was a really unique story telling style. It was a lot more sparse on description, but I kind of liked that about it. Don't get me wrong, I love your beautiful description, but the sparseness of this really fit the theme of the story and because you're so skilled, I didn't really feel like I was losing out for the lack of word count. It was still really rich and powerful.

I did notice one small typo towards the end here. ' twist his gut and casts vines into his heart ' Casts should be just cast, singular.

All in all, another great piece! You really are such a skilled writer!

~Kaitlin

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Review #11, by TreacleTartRosemary Lane: Rosemary Lane

1st September 2016:
Hello again!

Back for another review for the gift tag competition!

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Minerva McGonagall. She's one of my all time favorite characters, so I was thrilled to see that this story was about her.

I thought you did a really great job of writing a young Minerva, still sort of struggling to sort out what she wants with life and finding confidence in her choices. It's easy enough to say you're satisfied being alone, but certain life events can make one question that choice and I thought it seemed really realistic that she might be feeling sensitive about it when her younger sister is getting married.

Her interactions with Roger Bishop were interesting as well. She was very formal in the beginning, almost on edge after his comments about her career suiting her, but when she sees his false leg, you can see the ice visibly start to melt.

The realization that she comes to at the end is so important. Everyone does have inadequacies or things they feel a bit uncomfortable about, but that doesn't make them less of a person. It seems that in that moment, she really starts to remember who she is.

I do hope that down the road she found some peace with her choice to not marry and have a family. I think her life's work at Hogwarts is such a spectacular thing that I have to imagine she was satisfied by it.

Another well written piece. As usual, your description is on point and your writing is smooth.

Good work!

~Kaitlin

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Review #12, by TreacleTartAnd in the Distance, Church Bells: And in the Distance, Church Bells

1st September 2016:
Hi again!

Back for more gift tag reviews!

Let me just start by saying that this properly shattered my heart. I'm a Romione shipper, so I have a hard time imagining them not ending up together. It was particularly painful because Ron doesn't really do anything wrong. In fact, he grows up to be a good, respectable man and everything that Hermione should want. It's just one of those things that happens where people fall out of love or realize they weren't really in love so much as in love with the idea of love. I feel like endings like that are so much more painful because there isn't really logic behind it.

You wrote Hermione's conflict so well. Her feelings were all over the place and I can sympathize with her sitting there wondering if she should just compromise and marry Ron or if it's better to tell him the truth even if it will be painful. It's a horrible choice to have to make any day, but particularly on a wedding day.

I think Harry is right though. She's not one to back down from a conflict...and the rest of your life is a long time to compromise. Sure, she could marry him with the intent of making the best of what she has, but that isn't happiness and that's bound to catch up with her eventually. It also isn't fair to Ron to be married to someone who doesn't love him as much as he loves her.

Gah. Why did you do this to me? Just take my feelings, throw them on the ground, and stomp on them a few times, why don't you?

As with the other stories of yours that I've read, your writing is again flawless. You have beautiful descriptive prose and your vocabulary is very varied, but without the awkwardness that comes from using overly complex words.

Good work!

I'm off to go check out some more of your lovely work!

~Kaitlin

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Review #13, by TreacleTartHero: The Descent into Hell

27th August 2016:
Hello again!

Back for one more review for the evening!

Oh Hero. Sometimes when everyone is telling you someone's a creep you should listen. Emory is so right. Tom is just an angel faced devil and I'm so glad that at least one person can see through his act. He's just the worst.

It's interesting that Finn has started to behave nicely, but I have a feeling that's all part of Riddle's scheming. I think he told the Slytherins alone so he could complete his plans for Hero.

That whole scene in the library was nauseating. Hero keeps seeing proof that Riddle is a blood purist, so I can't understand how she can keep writing it off. I mean he has Grindelwald's book in his bag. How can she possibly justify that?

And what was with Noah's roommate? She seemed like sort of a jerk too. I get that they went through something traumatic together, but that doesn't mean that they can't grow up and have lives and date people. She was weirdly possessive and I didn't like that at all.

Unfortunately, this is where I leave you for the night, but I hope to be back sooner than later. Good work!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Thank you!

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Review #14, by TreacleTartHero: The Kiss

27th August 2016:
ICK! ICK! ICK! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, BIANCA?!!! HOW COULD YOU LET HERO FALL FOR THAT CREEP?! WHY?! WHY CAN'T SHE SEE WHAT A HORRIBLY MANIPULATIVE PERSON HE IS??!SERIOUSLY?!! UGH!

In case it wasn't clear, I really don't get Hero and how easily she's manipulated by Tom's charm. She knows something is off about him and yet she continues to justify his behavior. It's awful.

My skin was legitimately crawling when he kissed her and I still have the creeped out chills just thinking about it.

I'm even more convinced now that Tom tortured Noah as a child, killed him as a teenager, and now he's after Hero to try and figure out how much she knows and if she's a threat or not. Sadly, I have to wonder if he'll dispose of her if she becomes to inconvenient for him.

I'm also not sure who I hate more, Tom or her brother. Like I might hate her brother on the same level that I hate Umbridge and Ramsey Bolton.which means A LOT!

UGH. I need to go make myself some tea so I can settle down a bit.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Ooh you got some strong emotions here. I hope you're okay! :P thanks for the review!

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Review #15, by TreacleTartHero: Wake Me Up

27th August 2016:
Hey there!

Back to review another chapter for the gift tag thread!

Hallellujah! Finally, Hero is seeing Tom Riddle for the jerk that he is! How could he tell her not to think about someone she witnessed drowning because he was a muggle? Every life is valuable and precious. It's horrific to see how cavalier he is about the whole thing. I hope she sticks to her guns and stays away from him.

Poor Hero. All the guilt she feels over Noah's death is just awful. Of course she couldn't have been at fault. Even if she'd startled him, it's not like she purposefully made him drive off a cliff. Accidents happen and I'm glad that she can feel at least a little bit of relief.

It dawned on me while reading this chapter that Noah must've been the boy that Tom Riddle tortured on the trip to the cliffs from the orphanage. It all sort of makes sense. Noah has no family, had something horrificly traumatic happen to him as a child, and then Tom Riddle just happens to show up in the same town he lives in as an adult. I'm like 99.99% certain now that Riddle murdered him. He probably sabotaged the car door and then sent the raven flying into the windshield. Ugh.

Now, I have to go read another chapter to find out if that's the case.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Kaitlin!

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Review #16, by TreacleTartHero: Mystery

27th August 2016:
Hey Bianca!

Here to drop off a review for the gift tag thread! I've been meaning to get back to this story for awhile and this was just the motivation I needed! :)

Ugh. Tom Riddle is such a creep. I don't believe for a single minute that he really has genuine affection for Hero. He's using her and he's pulling all the right tricks. The hard swallow after healing her bruise, the gentle kiss on the cheek. It's such a well orchestrated performance.

And don't get me started on Hero's brother. Seriously, he is the biggest jerk. I can't believe he hit his sister and the way he torments her. Seriously, I don't advocate violence very often, but somebody needs to give him a serious whoppin'.

And aww...Hagrid. Always off doing things that look suspicious, but of course he just means well. It's a shame that he's going to get torn up by Tom Riddle.

Ugh! Hero...I just want to shake her. Poor thing. She's just so naive thinking that she can solve this mystery, thinking that she can handle Tom Riddle. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion. :(

Another good chapter! I'm headed off to the next one right now!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin! So great to see you back here!

Oh, Finn will get a whoppin', don't you worry.

Thank you for your wonderful review! ♥


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Review #17, by TreacleTartBeyond Repair: Sailing

27th August 2016:
Hey Renee!

Back for one more review for the gift thread!

This is quite the change of pace from the last two chapters, but I think that's a good thing. After the sort of bittersweet tone, it's nice to have a break of just pure fluffy, happy, sisterly love.

I really enjoyed reading the girls and their imagination. You do such a great job of writing young children! I could almost see the ship and the storm as the two of them described it. And I gasped as Lily was swept off into the ocean. Good thing Petunia was there to save them!

I think the only thing that sort of makes this chapter tragic for me is knowing that their relationship doesn't stay this close. It's hard to look at them this way and then imagine them down the road when they aren't speaking to each other. It's heartbreaking really.

I have to wonder if as an old woman Petunia looked back on moments like these and regretted her treatment of her sister. I like to think that maybe she felt truly sorry for not cherishing what she had more.

Good work on this! I'll definitely be back to read more of this when I can!

~Kaitlin

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Review #18, by TreacleTartBeyond Repair: Don't Let Go

27th August 2016:
Hi again!

Back for another gift thread review!

This was a sort of bittersweet chapter. We have a chance to see both Petunia's best and worst characteristics here. Later in life, we know her as very vain and caring about what everyone thinks. Her comments about not wanting to play with a baby at school seem to sort of reflect that. Even at a young age, it seems she cares what the others might think of her.

Then we see her being a great older sister and perhaps feeling bad for the harsh words she said to Lily. The snuggling with her during story time and the teaching her to ride a bike show just how much she really does love her. And her reaction when Lily goes flying is really good too.

Lily's moment with her mum in the garden is really sweet and it's nice to see that they have such a good relationship. I love that they sat there weaving daisy chains together until Lily felt better.

This chapter has left me feeling a bit conflicted because I know that deep down Petunia loves her sister, but I unfortunately also know how she turns out as an adult. Part of me almost hopes that this is going to be an AU and they'll develop a strong, unshakable bond.

Good work so far! I'm off for the next chapter now!

~Kaitlin

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Review #19, by TreacleTartBeyond Repair: Daddy's Little Flowers

27th August 2016:
Hey Renee!

Here to drop off a few more gifts from the gift tag. Now that works slowing down a bit, I can finally get caught up on all the things I'd rather be doing, like reviewing your lovely stories! BTW, how have I not read this story already?

I loved that the first chapter was about Petunia's reaction to Lily's birth. Writing a very young child can be so tough, but I thought you did a fantastic job of making her thoughts sound like those of a little girl. You had just the right amount of jealousy, insecurity, wonder, and love.

I thought that Petunia's reaction to Lily was very telling of things to come. She loves her and at the saqme time, there's something deep down inside of her that resents Lily taking away the attention. Of course, here it's just a fleeting moment of jealousy, but it sets a precedent for the future.

I also really liked the length of this chapter. You kept it short and to the point, but I thought that actually really went with how a child might experience things. In short bursts instead of long overly descriptive paragraphs.

Anyway, if the first chapter is anything to go by, this story looks really promising! I'm off to read chapter 2 right now!

~Kaitlin

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Review #20, by TreacleTartThe Attic Garden: The Attic Garden

26th August 2016:
Hello again!

Here for one more review for the gift thread!

Well, I don't know what I was expecting in this, but that certainly wasn't it. By now, having read quite a few of your stories, I expected sad or emotionally charged, but this was something a bit different.

It still had the emotions, but in a sort of detached way. It actually really helped bring me into how Arianna was feeling. It was a little bit confusing and disorienting, but again, that's how she would feel.

I love that Aberforth sees that she wants a garden so he helps her make flowers and decorate the attic. He doesn't question her or her sensibilities. He just wants her to be happy.

Albus on the other hand is very much the emotionally detached, logical, harsh older brother. He doesn't understand nor does he seem to make any effort to try to. It seems silly that he should care about Arianna's room being decorated with paper. He should just be pleased that she'd found a moment of happiness.

And the moment of Kendra's death. How excruciating. I can definitely understand why he and Aberforth had such a strained relationship and why Dumbledore felt so guilty later in life. I mean obviously Arianna was unstable because the tearing of a small flower set her off in such dramatic fashion, but I imagine that Albus spent the rest of his years wishing he'd left it alone.

Another fantastic example of your talent and skill as a writer.

~Kaitlin

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Review #21, by TreacleTartLaid in Earth: Laid in Earth

26th August 2016:
Hello!

Back for another review for the gift thread!

I seem to be picking all of the emotionally charged stories today for some reason. Not that I'm complaining. I love the way you describe these complex emotions. You make them very vivid and tangible. You definitely have a knack for writing.

After reading Brindisi and seeing that bittersweet moment between young Lily and young Snape, it was interesting to see how you wrote them as adults. There's still so much hanging between them, but I think at this point things are broken beyond repair.

Lily's presence at the funeral seems to me more her sorting out her own feelings than anything else. I think she perhaps felt overwhelmed by James' proposal and found herself craving Severus' calm, calculated personality. I think maybe, just maybe a small part of her still loved him in some way and wanted to make sure she wasn't making a mistake.

Also, kudos on writing Severus so well. I find him to be possibly the single most difficult character to write, so I'm quite impressed with how spot on his tone is. You really capture his hatred for his father, the bitterness he feels in the deepest levels of his being, and the love that he has for Lily.

This was another well written story and although it was again melancholy, I really enjoyed it. Good job!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin!
Gah, I'm totally awestruck by all the reviews you've left for me. And your comments are always so thoughtful and kind. I can tell that you put so much effort into your reviews, so receiving one from you is truly an honor. Again, I know you're probably sick of hearing me say it, but I can't help myself...thank you!

You know, I don't even remember what inspired me to write this story in the first place. I so rarely write a story with a popular pairing in it (this one being Snape/Lily and Lily/James, usually my stories might be OC/OC or have no pairings at all), although I did want this fic to act somewhat as a companion piece to Brindisi, as you mentioned. I also believe I was listening to the aria “Dido's Lament” from Purcell's opera “Dido and Aeneas” at the time of writing, so that piece of music certainly influenced me. Snape's resignation, his acceptance of his unrequited love for Lily reminded me of how Dido must have felt when Aeneas left her to go on and found the city of Rome. Also, I'm so pleased you thought I did a decent job writing Snape. He is a character I highly respect, so it was important to me to be as true to Rowling's vision of him as possible.

And as far as Lily goes, I agree with you as to just why she came to the funeral. I think a strong part of her knew that Snape needed her there, that he couldn't face something so emotionally complex without her gentle and reassuring presence. At the same time, I think you were quite right when you suggested that she needed to sort out some of her own lingering feelings for Snape. And Lily being Lily, I think she needed to find a way to resolve some of the feelings she had for her childhood friend in order for her to go ahead and marry James. She couldn't open one door without closing another, I suppose.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to read and review this one-shot! It was just great hearing from you. Be well!

Best,
Lee Anne


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Review #22, by TreacleTartThe Lowlands: The Lowlands

26th August 2016:
Hey there!

Back for another review for the gift thread!

Wow! You really have a way with these emotionally charged moments. I think I mentioned in my last review that I love that you don't write these big dramatic screaming fights or melodramatic crying. You write it in a way that is true to how life is.

The tension between Freddy and her mother is palpable in this. Even before her mother starts to speak I could tell that things wouldn't go well. There was just something about how Freddy bristled and her cool response. It spoke quite clearly.

I like that Freddy is sort of coming to terms with her own psychic abilities. I almost wonder if that's more what has her running around the world than anything else. It seems to me she's trying to find herself and who she is. I think having seen her dad die, maybe she's sort of resigned to divination.

I do hope that maybe somewhere down the road, when Freddy is a little bit older, the two of them will be able to reconcile their differences. With her father out of the picture, it would be quite unfortunate if they went on angry with each other forever.

Another story that's sort of left me feeling conflicted, but in a good way. Lovely writing.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitin!
Thank you once more for the very lovely gift/review! You know, I never noticed how emotionally-charged my stories really were until you mentioned it. I know my dad always says that my characters have hidden agendas or ulterior motives, but I guess I also enjoy writing these intense exchanges too. ;)

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that Freddy's constant need to be on the go, traveling around the world, has a lot to do with her running away from who she is. Although traveling is definitely something important to her and in her blood, I think she's the type of person who has trouble settling down in way place because she's unhappy with herself. And her psychic abilities, I feel, play a big role in it. In this one-shot at least, Freddy is certainly not ready to come to terms with the fact that she is gifted in the art of divination. Just as she definitely isn't prepared to completely make peace with her mother. I think of all the stories I've written about Freddy, she appears at her most emotionally immature in this piece.

Thank you again for taking the time to read and review this one-shot, Kaitlin! Your feedback is always so thoughtful and insightful. I don't know how I can possibly thank you for all of your wonderful comments! I hope you're well!

Best,
Lee Anne


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Review #23, by TreacleTartThe Queen of Carthage: The Queen of Carthage

26th August 2016:
Hello again!

Back for another review for the gift thread! I'm so sorry I've been abysmally slow with this, but better late than never I suppose. :)

So Jill is one of my favorite authors on HPFF and I've really enjoyed her take on Ginny/Seamus, so I was excited to see what you would do with that pairing. I'm a pretty avid Dean/Seamus shipper, so it takes a lot of convincing for me to pair Seamus with anyone else.

Let me say that as someone who's been through a lot of what you wrote here, I thought you did a pretty accurate job of writing the feelings of divorce. Like Ginny I got married young, during a war, and my ex suffered from PTSD which lead to a lot of the hostility that Ginny talks about here. The whole hodge podge of emotions that she's experiencing and the way it's manifesting in physical behaviors like shaking hands is so spot on. The one moment that really stood out to me was Ginny sitting beside the window unable to cry. You sort of hit a point during intense periods of time that there's just nothing left for you to give. You're just completely emotionally spent, so I liked that you had a scene like that instead of her sobbing dramatically. The silent sadness is much more poignant.

I also loved your version of Seamus (even if he wasn't with Dean). I like that he's a proper gentleman and that his warmth puts Ginny at ease. He seems like just the sort of person she needed to bump into.

The ending was a bit sad. I hate to see Ginny lose it like that. I hope that it's more a temporary phase than a permanent state. I can understand the weight of a divorce and stress causing moments of confusion, but to completely mistake Seamus for Harry (I'm assuming) is a bit scary. I think that Seamus will follow her and probably make sure she gets some help. Either way, the ending was very poignant and touched at some feelings I had locked pretty deep inside of me.

Good work.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin,
Thank you so much for the beautiful review! I am very honored that you chose to share a little of your own experiences with me in relation to this fanfic. I was really hoping to show my respect for Ginny as a woman going through a stressful and horrendous period of time and I was actually quite worried that her mental difficulties might just be put down as something as nonsensical as “female weakness”. Your courage and candor, however, has helped me understand that I was heading in the right direction as far as her physical and emotional grieving is concerned. I myself have not yet married, nor have I been divorced, however, I am a child of divorced parents, so I did actually let my own experiences inspire me while writing this story.

The first scene by the window, in fact, that you pointed out in your review, was taken from a situation my father told me about after his divorce from my mother was official. I think, therefore, having myself lived through something that I found to be extremely emotionally traumatic gave me a sort of respect for Ginny's situation that I might not have otherwise had.

At the same time, I was sincerely glad to hear that you enjoyed the Seamus/Ginny pairing featured in this story. I'm actually not really well-versed in either the Seamus/Ginny or Seamus/Dean fandom, but I thought I might as well give S/G a try since Jill is such an avid fan of them. I also tend to not write straightforward romance fics, so the whole boy meets girl scenario was a little awkward for me. Needless to say, I definitely felt a bit clumsy when it came to Seamus and Ginny's interactions. ;)

Again, thank you for this wonderful review, Kaitlin! And thank you for sharing your own experience with me, it was truly touching to hear about. I hope you”re well!
Best,
Lee Anne


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Review #24, by TreacleTartBrindisi: Brindisi

26th August 2016:
Hello there!

I'm here to drop off a few gifts from the gift thread! First, let me apologize for the dreadfully long wait. Life has been keeping me quite occupied.

So I'm a huge sucker for these stolen moments between Lily and Snape. In the long term, I don't think they were necessarily right for each other, but I have to believe that even after Lily and Snape were no longer friends, she'd have a bit of tenderness left for him. I mean he was the one who introduced her to the magic world and was her best friend for a long time.

I also sort of had the sense that there was a lingering sort of fondness between the two of them that could've bloomed into something more had Snape not chosen the dark path that he did. I think the moment you've written here captures that feeling perfectly. It's so bittersweet thinking about what could've been had Snape not joined the Death Eaters.

I also really love how you tied Lily and Snape's friendship to Petunia. Lily is frustrated with her sister and Snape sort of encourages the frustration. I mean he's clearly trying to be helpful by teaching her a silencing charm, but in the end, when Lily is on her own, she realizes that that isn't something she'd be naturally inclined to do. It really highlights the differences between them.

From a technical aspect, I thought this story was well written. I didn't notice and grammar or punctuation issues and I felt that the story flowed quite nicely.

All in all a pleasant, but bittersweet read. Good job!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hiya Kaitlin!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review this piece! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, especially considering it deviated somewhat from my usual style. I almost never write fluffy stories, which is probably why I had to include some lingering tension between Petunia and Lily, as you noted in your review. I always have to add some conflict or darkness or angst, lol. :)

I'm also really happy to hear that you did like the “stolen moment” between Snape and Lily. I definitely agree with you that, while Snape always carried a torch for Lily, Lily, in turn, must have experienced some strong emotion (or emotions) for Snape throughout her entire life. He did, after all, introduce her to the world of magic, the world she truly belonged in, and I think, as you mentioned, that she would be eternally grateful for that, just as she was grateful for his friendship as a child. I don't think you ever truly forget your childhood friends, either. There's definitely some intense nostalgia associated with one's youth and I think that's something Lily was bound to experience in her later years, even when she was married to James.

Again, thank you so much for this beautiful review, Kaitlin! It was absolutely wonderful to hear from you. I hope you're well!

Best,
Lee Anne


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Review #25, by TreacleTartGive Me a Sign: Give Me a Sign

29th June 2016:
Hey Paula,

I've been meaning to drop by your AP ever since you left me that stunning amount of reviews for my birthday. Seriously, that was so kind of you. I was just about in tears by the time I finished reading them all.

Anyway, work has been keeping me really busy as of late, so I apologize that it took me so long to get here. But now that I'm here, I'm going to try to leave you some reviews over the next few days.

I was immediately drawn to this story because it was about a deaf character and I don't think I've ever read a fic about deafness before. I actually took a semester of ASL once, although I only really remember how to sign a few basic things and fingerspell. I was really curious to see how you would describe the experience of being deaf and I'm so glad that you made the MC so confident. The handful of deaf people I know don't feel disabled at all, so I'm glad to see that you reflected that here.

At first when she mentioned her roommmates ditching her, I was really upset for her. I mean what a trivial reason to avoid someone. I know it could be hard sometimes to communicate since she and the other students speak different languages, but I have to imagine that some sort of spells exist to help and if not, just some good old fashioned patience works too.

But the ending made me really happy. I was touched by her friends effort even if they mixed up cheese and good. I think the fact that they put in the time to try is really the most important thing of all.

Thanks for a nice uplifting story!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Most of my story was based on my cousin who is deaf (and also an HP fan so I sent it her way). She's never felt disabled at all and because of her view point I was rather surprised when I discovered the rest of the world didn't feel the same way.

I'm so so glad you loved the ending. Cheese, good, close enough! ;)

Thank you so much for leaving me such a wonderful review!


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