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16 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SilverMoonFairy 

9th August 2016:
I'm not crying... Really... my husband is rubbing chopped onions in my face.

I knew it was coming. I saw it. You warned me. Clemence warned me. I warned me. It doesn't make it hurt any less. And I'm mad that Potter doesn't hurt more. At least there's hope for Pickett.

I can't believe you burned the newsroom... I don't think I'll forgive you that one.

It's not funny anymore and I'm seriously depressed at the moment. I feel like you're the George R.R. Martin of hearts...

Still reading...
-Liz

Author's Response: Baww I really am SO sorry for the rollercoaster (as a writer, still steepling fingers). I realized when i was writing the last chapters, "Gee, this is veeery different than the beginning." I remember putting up alll the possible warning signs after the Valentine's Day chapter - "shippers are gonna wish I stopped here!" But it's just too fitting for Clemence to fall after a false happy ending that she prophesied.

(I appreciate that you want Albus to hurt MORE, despite the existing angst.)


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Review #2, by Penelope Inkwell 

20th May 2016:
Wow. Clemence is straight up fractured. She's always been very ~in her head~, but ever since she sort of lost her identity in A Kingdom for My Name, she's been crumbling. It's like she makes less and less sense with each passing paragraph, constantly contradicting herself. Even she can't work through who she really is. I can't even decide if she's just more honest about her motivations than most people, or if she's internalized a lot of self-hate and casts herself as a villain because she's lacked many positive relationships. Probably a mix of both, I guess. But when she said, "It's me, isn't it?" I say, lip shaking. "The crazy oneóit's me." I was just like, weeell...

kinda, yeah.

She might not be as crazy as Appy. But she's still lost a lot of her stability here. She's flashing so quick back and forth on what she believes about people, about love. She wants it; she never wanted it. She's heartless; she has a heart. Scorpius is pathetic; Scorpius is admirable in the purity of his love (so pure that he considered removing Albus' ability to consent to a relationship? But alas, that is a discussion for another day. I'm writing a story about Merope slipping Tom Sr. love potion, so I can understand a certain amount of well-meaning self-delusion, I guess). She can't decide if Albus is lovable and she's terrible for not loving him, or if she's really worth more than she has to offer. And the girl has no earthly idea about herself. She's a mess.

I hated everything, trusted in nothing, and in the absence of real purpose, it had been enough fulfilling this myth of myself. I wasn't happy but I was triumphant and that was almost the same. AND I didn't have enough heart for my prince and too much heart to play villain...
--the combination of these lines is basically everything I've been thinking about Clemence. She's been so consumed with the myth of herself, so stuck on whether to cling to it or admit that there is more to her.


CC:
He might not wait, but if Albus ever felt the same, he wouldn't hesitate if only to undo the hurt since then.
--I was a little confused by this sentence. To undo the hurt since when?


Even amidst all the angst, you keep the humor, which I appreciate. And honestly, I was glad to see the newsroom burn. It seems the best possible outcome for her, really. It's like she's been wanting to let it go, and destiny or fate or some angry girls finally made the choice for her. And I think it's going to be for the best. The real question is where on earth she'll go from here.

I wasn't really sad about her breakup with Albus. I'm about as confused about their relationship as she is. How good a guy *was* he, really? I go from being sad for him to tired of him and back to sad, but either way, they were a toxic pair. Nothing good was ever going to come of that, I don't think. Her crazy-dream Appy was right. Whatever mixed motivations she may have had, her relationship with Albus was really all about her rivalry with Appy. She has a lot to say about Scorpius, Rose, and Dom, but really her situation has been terribly similar. The whole lot of them were using each other, one way or another: Albus used Clemence to take down QGA and to be his reformed villainess, and he used Appy to strike out at Clemence. And then both girls just used Albus as a kind of tug-of-war piece. Really, it makes the situation between Dom, Rose, and Scorpius look positively healthy!

I was glad to see her finally cry in the end, finally open up to all her confusion. I don't really know where she stands--I still think Clemence is more than she believes she is. I think she has more capacity for kindness and affection than she realizes, but she's been in a toxic environment for a long time. She still has a lot of growing to do. I'm curious what this epilogue is going to be like, and I'd be very interested to see what Clemence turns into down the road. She's still trying to deny it, up till the very end, but by the time she's outright sobbing, it seems like she at least understands that she has the capacity for emotion, and that she isn't the heartless person she's pretended to be for so long. She's so prideful, but really she's tearing herself down all the time, and even at the end, she doesn't quite understand why anyone would care about her. She still thinks they're fools for it. I really do hope she finds some real self worth, outside of just being a successful writer.

I feel like Clemence's journey hasn't really been about finding herself so much as about admitting that she *doesn't* know herself in totality, that she doesn't have it all figured out. And that's okay, because she's young. She *should* still be growing and changing, not just clinging to this artificial image she made for herself at 14, when she wanted to take over the world (or Hogwarts, at least) and needed a persona to do it. I mean, I always appreciated her confidence, but it's been interesting to see her contradict herself more and more until she finally just kind of shatters.

I'm just hoping she can put herself back together--maybe with help--in a way that will make her happier. That she can have a chance. Because as long as she was clinging to that persona, how could she ever be happy. At least with the shattering, there's hope of rebuilding better.

Clemence has been a fascinating character with so many contradictions. I just can't wait to see how she ends up in the epilogue! It's always a pleasure to read your work. :D

--Penny

Author's Response: Leave it to Clemence to have a bildungsroman that ends in fire.

Don't remind me about the contradictions! Trying to describe them while making sense was the absolute worst :'D Unorthodox as some of Clemence's story is, this really is her quintessential growing-up-teen moment. She has irrevocably changed over the past months and she is trying to go back to a version of herself that is no longer who she is. She's grappling with becoming someone she does not recognize, unsure of whether it's because it's who she really is or who the world is telling her is normal, and this is probably the first time she's ever had to face this, at this scale. She contradicts herself because she thought she knew who she was; she was so sure! She's always sure! And maybe she was right months ago, but not anymore.

I love the bit of darkness to Scorpius' secret, and also how it's sort of an unhealthy relationship on both ends, with Albus being relatively aware of how Scorpius felt about him. I think Clemence is mostly amazed that someone like Scorpius, who seems pure, could feel that strongly obsessive about Albus to rationalize love potion. (Also, oop, I can see why that line is confusing; I meant to show how Scorpius is functionally over Albus and isn't waiting for him or anything, but if Albus returned his feelings, Scorpius' feelings would come right back just to undo all the emotional torment since his crush began)

I asked myself many times how the newsroom should burn, as the impact and meaning changes with who lights it up. I could never see Clemence doing it herself, but if she saw it burn? I think, at that point, she would finally let it burn.

One big question I've asked from the beginning is, does love justify the means? Because so often in fiction, love is a cop-out justification, and I really wanted to address that in these relationships that are unhealthy but everyone is pretty honest and aware of it and manage to love and care at times despite that. There was good and bad - it was not all for naught! - but at what point does it become a romanticization?

And it's so great to finally see her cry - finally, a catharsis! It's the most hopeful crying I've ever written. Growing up, I had a hard time connecting with other people because I didn't have a large capacity to care; it was just who I was and I would assume other people were like me. I put a lot of that into Clemence's disbelief that anyone would care for anyone let alone her like that. It was really important for me that Clemence didn't have some tragic backstory that "justifies" her personality; female characters rarely get to have this emotional range without explanation.

Thank you so so much again! I can't wait to see what you think of the epilogue c:


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Review #3, by pinkpanther16 

1st May 2016:
Wow, I can't believe this story is petty much over. Its definitely been a wild ride, and I've loved every second of it. One of my favorite stories on this entire site. Thank you for writing this amazing story and actually pulling through and finishing it. I'm glad Clemence finally had some realization and found peace with herself.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! c: It's taken a long time, but I'm finally finishing it!

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Review #4, by Jessica 

14th April 2016:
Excellently written chapter. I was Cheering for Clemence all the way. Waiting for the epilogue!

Author's Response: Thank you! c:

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Review #5, by HarrietHopkirk 

28th March 2016:
Lots of things I enjoyed: dream dementor Appy, parka-adorned Pickett, flower crowns, and 'poor top-heavy thing'. Looking forward to the epilogue!

Author's Response: I can totes see these in an aesthetic post, "poor top heavy thing" in hipster font and all.

♥ thank!


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Review #6, by Slytherdor18 

24th March 2016:
Holy crap you just took me on a roller coaster of emotions!

I want to first apologize for not reviewing (that I remember) this story at all, even though I've read it very thouroughly and even more than once... Sometimes I just forget or get too excited and go to the next chapter without thinking "hey maybe she wants some feedback" T_T so yeah, I'm terribly sorry about that!
I found this story when you were about, eh, say in the mid teens chapters? And I've been following ever since! I believe it was in my junior or senior year of HS because I destinctly remember telling a friend about it in class! That's been, what, three and a half years? Dang! So you could say I'm committed lol.
But that doesn't mean you're not an incredibly and awesome author! I really adore your vocabulary, imagery, and tone of this story. I have read a good amount of stories here and there (maybe too many than I would admit), but Etc. is by far one of my favorites.
Not only is your grammar really great (seriously, I've only caught a couple typos - and I am a grammar nazi - considering the context of what I'm reading), but you capture Clemence's relationships throughout very well and I feel like I can really relate to her. I've always thought myself as kind of cynical and more pessimistic in the past years (not anymore though), but I really get her, especially when she asks why she doesn't feel the same feelings others do - or something like that. I completely understand. Also, in the middle of my high school years I would say I was even a little manipulative and not well liked because of my bold personality and telling others what I think, like Clemence. A lot of her experiences are similar to what I have gone through (and was currently, when I was reading this in the past). When she constantly has that empty feeling, when she feels like she needs or can have anyone in her life, the feeling of not being able to express emotions by not crying, etc.
Also, I really love the whole Dom/Rose/Scorp triangle you made and I appreciate how it has unfolded over time. I love a good Sco/Rose but when you can do something different and actually make it work, it's really interesting! I never even thought about putting Dom in the mix. I've never been a big Dom/Sco fan, but this played out well.

And seriously - you broke my heart with the whole Scorpious-loves-Albus thing. Ugh, killed me. I actually cried while reading most of this chapter (although I do have to admit I've cried a good lot throughout it all tbh). So perfect, yet so heart wrenching... It's like I love it but I hate it, but then I love it because I hate it!

This chapter has been really great in unraveling everything that's happened, I applaud you! It has a great ratio of dialogue to monologue. The Appy nightmare was crucial and I basically dropped my jaw when reading because, now that I think of it, everything that happened WAS because of Appy. Like why didn't I see it while reading? I mean, I'm totally for the thought of her and Albus together but it didn't seem right, the way your writing it. I did ask myself over time, "why is she doing all this?" and "if Albus just left her or didn't have any interest, would Clemence even care?" The mood of the whole story was really good in that area because it stuck with me for a while.

Even though I was sad that their relationship ended, it just felt like the right thing yknow? Of course you know. I find it kind of funny how you said you flipped a coin for them. I guess it really was meant to be! Still kind of sad though, I cried during that part too.

Speaking of crying, when Clemence cried into Henry's arms...it gave the story a lot of closure I feel like. Like all her pent up feelings and emotions that she had to go through and endure finally spilled out and she could just let it go. I approve! Crying really does help, even for someone like Clemence!

What else... Oh yeah! The whole thing with the newsroom being set aflame...brilliant. I find it very powerful because it has a lot of symbolism in it where we really do see how far Clemence has come. My only question is how...

The whole relationship with her and Pickett makes me so happy, I mean at least Clemence has one person right? I was scared that they'd just fall out... There's so much to this relationship hat makes it more deep and amazing once really read into. I'm so glad that you reunited them!

I am so excited for the epilogue, I know it'll be great, just like the last twenty four have been! This is definitely a story that I always think back on and will probably give it another go once its status is completed. You've done a great job on this novel, and the others on here, so please don't give up writing! It seems like something you're very passionate about and I really encourage you to keep at it!
The only question I can think of right now is are there going to be any future stories including Clemence? Like a sequel, prequel, or maybe a parallel to it? I mean I don't know what all is included in the epilogue, but maybe a story with one of the supporting characters? Just wondering :)
I will seriously read anything you put up, even if it has nothing to do with Etc.!
Okay, I'll go now, you're probably bored reading all my comments since I've basically written a whole essay about it.
Thanks for giving me an entertaining, emotional, funny, and heartfelt story to read over these past few years!!
- Morgan

Author's Response: Another oldie!! This fic has seriously changed so much over the years, I'm so glad you've stuck with it. It's taken forever and I feel like it kind of had to, with how I grew along with it. I'm just so glad to hear that people read this fic and can relate. I couldn't find enough protagonists who were sure of themselves, who attacked the world first, who were honest with the nasty thoughts they had. And Clemence isn't just these qualities either--she is unsure and vulnerable and scared, even if she won't admit it, and I love the destructive way she reacts to these feelings. I wanted to show these feelings in someone who'd never admit they feel this way.

Bahaha, Rose/Scor/Dom ended up so wild. But of course, what better to gain popularity than to create a shipping war? Fandoms have perfected this. Scorpius and Albus, that's also a bit of a toxic relationship; I love how it's really a touch dark--there's Scorpius with his intense crush and Albus who let it happen because he's not willing to lose Scorpius as a friend. And they both just sit on this ambiguous relationship like they can last like this forever. Sound familiar?

I'm glad you felt something was a little off! I kind of did some foreshadowing but wasn't sure how well it came through, without it all being read at once. I kept throwing out these very paradoxical metaphors. Clemence is in love! But... sarcastically. Clemence is intimate with him! But... the imagery is so cold. I didn't actually flip a coin for them, aha; but I did flip flop between two kinds of endings, and this one always felt more right.

THE CRYING. It really is a catharsis.

I won't write any sequel of length, but I might write a few short things; depending on their length they might only be posted on my blog :) I do know what happens to Clemence and the gang in following years, but there's just no conflict to drive a story, you know? I'll always answer questions regarding the fic ofc.

♥ thank you SO much for this review! I love all your comments :D it's so exciting to know what's going on in my readers' minds!


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Review #7, by Kai 

19th March 2016:
wowowowowowowowow. wow.

clemence is such a good character ohmygod i love her - and while i hate you for pushing the plot this way, i love you at the same time - but why'd you have to put in feelings i cant deal with this ahh

just - this is so good. so, so good.

Author's Response: ahh thank you! I've been really pleasantly surprised with the 'not what I wanted but rolling with it' kind of response I've been getting, it's better than I could've hoped for! ^__^

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Review #8, by randomnickname 

14th March 2016:
Well, I didn't see that coming. It's been such a while since I've checked on this story that I didn't remember some of the statements and situation, so this ending did came as a kind of shock. I was like: " Appy-nightmare?...Isn't that a bit a cheap way of justifying this one urge to having Al?" I just didn't find it so believable at first.

But it gave me the perfect excuse to reread the last 5 chapters in search of clues of Appy being the motive of that crazy V-Day. And...yeah, when you look at details, it totally makes sense. She doubted her "love" for him from the beginning. And Appy was always quite central to her feelings. And I finally got the answer to one of your statement in the comments "So why did Clemence fight for Albus on Valentine's Day?" that buggered me a lot back then.

The more I reread this chapter, the more I enjoy it, and the more love Pickett gets from me for being stuck with someone he likes a lot but can't really help. (I know that feeling from life and stuff)

So, well, this is a rather chaotic review, but as always, thanks for you writing awesome characters and scenes that get to you and won't leave your head for a few days.

Author's Response: It was always weirdly clear to me that Clemence was... never interested in Albus, romantically. I didn't consciously know it, but subconscious me kept them a foot apart. She's charmed, intrigued, touched by certain gestures, and knows deep down that he's right about a lot of things he says. But almost every time she's pushed to care about him and the things he says, it comes from a source of spite or anger. Her feelings are never rooted in trust and choice. Which is why every time she admits her feelings for Albus, they carry an addendum, a "but".

I think the most telling thing is that Albus never really has the ability to hurt her. Not in the same way that Dom and Pickett do. I asked myself, as I reread each chapter, if in any of these moments Clemence would be sad if Albus left her suddenly, and the answer was no. Except for Valentine's Day, because she was humiliated. Because it was Appy. And I think that day fooled a lot of people; it fooled Clemence! Because she does have these two sides to her feelings: she cares, /but/.

And the 'but' wins.

♥ I'm glad you went back to read the old chapters, because I know the time in between them made it hard to catch the details. Thank you so much for reading!


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Review #9, by stardusts 

13th March 2016:
This chapter was so so important and moving to me. I'm not gonna lie, I was semi-crying while reading it. Clemence, throughout this story, has been the character I've related to the most. I think we're the same on quite a few things, sans the people manipulation and stuff.

"What is it that you all feel that never feels real for me?" -> by far the quote that has spoken the most to me throughout this whole story because that's exactly how I feel with regards to quite a few things. And it kind of made me feel better that maybe I'm not the only one that feels that way? (I mean I know Clem isn't real, but surely this means that there must be other people that feel the same way?)

Also, as much as I am kind of disappointed that she didn't end up with Albus, I do think that story-wise and given what she was going through it makes complete sense? Like it was a pretty satisfactory ending to be honest. And the fact that she didn't try to save 'Witchy Business', I think speaks volumes of how she's grown as a person, really.

Honestly, this is one of the best stories I've read in a long time and one of the few to which I've connected to in such a powerful/meaningful way. So I just want to say thank you for writing it (even if I'm a bit sad it's pretty much over). I look forward to see what epilogue holds :)) xx

Author's Response: Ah, this is such a touching review! I wrote Clemence because there wasn't enough characters like her, like me out there. I was frustrated with female characters always getting the emotional roles, who led with heart and moral counter to the male character, as if it's some innate quality; the reverse is hardly explored. I wonder if Clemence's self-perceived heartlessness would be less frustrating if she were male, just because they aren't expected to be emotional and have role models who are stoic and lead their life by their own rules.

Thank you so much for reading and responding :) I'm glad you liked the ending and I hope you'll like the epilogue!


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Review #10, by happyanon 

10th March 2016:
And here we are. The last chapter before the epilogue. I gotta say, it's been quite a ride with this fanfic. Sometimes I find myself thinking, if there ever will be another of this kind of writing in here.

Our Clemence can cry after all. Only took her 24 chapters and Pickett. Yup, thats her for you. There's just something so incredibly relaxing to reading her cry. Its like, after everything that she's endured and had to deal with and not a drop of tear in a way it was almost suffocating you and then she cries and i was like breathing well for the first time lol.

So what happens now Clemence? Hmm? Where do we go from the ashes of the burned newsroom? From the emotional outpour? From the breakup?

I hope she finds a good career and i know she says shes never happy but I hope she finds something close to it. I really adored clemence as a character.i really really, did. There's none like her so far and I dare say there wont be one in a long long time. You made her well Gina. Well done to you!!

I look forward to the epilouge but im also kinda sad-ish. I hope you end it worthy of Clemence Fitzgerald.

Much Love!!! Xoxo

Author's Response: Her finally crying is so cathartic! She /was/ literally suffocating from it--panic attacks and all. She had to prove it to herself, in this totally messy way, that she felt and hurt and cared and it /mattered/, no matter how hard she tried to stifle it. She might not care a lot still, but it's a huge difference from pretending she's utterly heartless; and I think she cares immensely in selective ways (re: hurting friends long-term due to her personality).

I'm so glad you've enjoyed reading her, and I think the epilogue coming up will be fitting for her :) It's a breath, finally, after all these chapters.


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Review #11, by naughtforreal 

7th March 2016:
(I think I just missed the whole Review-a-thon. T^T)

BUT GINA.

Well, I'd really start off with your CI because Appy. Really. It's pretty pretty *u*

And then I would calmly tell you how I am holding my collected tears rn and dropping them on my burning cauldron of sacrifice because even if I had to go through:

-Sad Scorp (I have to say, this was the saddest part even though Dom and Rose were just ridiculous. Amazing. But ridiculous.)

-Sad ClemClem (She's just a girl!!! Really.)

-Dementor Appy (Have I told you how I love this part? Fulfilled Clappy dreams.)

-Sad, Desperate Albus (I step back. "Come on, Potter. You're just sad now." --> I'm pretty sure that broke every Clembus heart and I felt so sorry for Al. It was a little pathetic but still, he just wanted to be a hero. Hero Complex is genetic. Tsk, tsk.)

-The rejection. (Henry, how dare you?! But I understand. I almost screamed when she slipped that paper under the door, though.)

And yet! CLICKETT LIVES. Thank you for not entirely cracking my heart!!! I really can't think of anything to say except that thank goodness Pickett forgave her--did he? Because I know I would really be hurt but Clemence is Clemence and I know she won't want to hear this but I feel so sorry for her. With all the "not feeling love like the way others do". Still, I'm glad she chose the ending she wanted.

Even though the consequence was the burning newsroom.

Still, letting the newsroom burn was really symbolic--I love it. It's like her walk through fire and coming out alive. For all I know, she could do a Daenerys Targaryen and burn in the newsroom only for others to see her there, after the fire, standing triumphantly on Ol'Bessie.

But still the question: what could possibly be next? Absolution? Revenge? Well, whatever it is, you know I'll be here, brewing.

Author's Response: DIANNE. Is this chapter not exactly what I warned: a lot of sad but not ALL sad? There's a leeetle island of hope, which is, well, Clemence breaking down... but... hopeful breaking down?

SCORP SAYS IT'S NBD. Don't be sad for him, he insists, even though he looks very sad.

From Glitter Appy to Dementor Appy, oh how far we've come. And from golden boy Albus to sad pathetic Albus, oh how far we've fallen.

But of course I had to made you reaaally sad about Pickett first before I untwisted the knife. I think Pickett did that thing where he was mad but not "really" mad but... really mad. Ya know? I love their never-discussed friendship because the two people who don't trust anyone... trust each other unconditionally. She's sorry and he knows (a regular Han Solo there), and neither of them wanted to face it because it means being vulnerable *again*, when both of them have just been burned for it.

A PHOENIX RISING FROM THE FLAMES. this metaphor has not escaped me... but for something else!

WHAT COULD COME NEXT? Sunflowers. :D



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Review #12, by heyluchie 

7th March 2016:
Kind of reminds me of this song: bridges by the broods

Author's Response: I like Broods! I think a few of the songs fit the melancholy of etc :)

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Review #13, by mcdash 

6th March 2016:
I can't believe this story is almost over. I've been keeping up with it since somewhere around the sixth-ish chapter (then I fell off the HPFF wagon, hopped back on a few years later, and started reading at chapter eighteen), so this feels equal parts sad and happy. So far, I'm loving the ending. Of course I was rooting for Clemence/Al the entire time because, honestly, who wasn't, but with regards to the nature of the relationship, this denouement makes so much sense. They're destructive people, Clemence far more so within this story, and I think their relationship had an expiration date from the beginning.

I loved the scene with Dom and Rose's peace treaty/flower crown offering. Such dramatics are so suited to that pair.

I've loved reading this story, and I can't wait to read the epilogue!

Author's Response: FIVE YEARS LATER WHO WOULD'VE THUNK IT'D COME TO THIS. Not me.

Probably odd but I never rooted for Clemence and Albus much, although I did dally in just about every other possible ship. I always knew they were a fast-burning flame--they can't resist a game of chicken and they'd push each other too far every time, which makes for a very fun month-long affair but... not really relationship material. If Albus had changed over the course of the story as Clemence had in a way that matched her growth, they'd have a chance, but he hasn't felt deep enough losses to push him to do that. Until now, maybe, when it's too late. But Clemence never really loved him in the first place, so it was probably already doomed. Oops.

On a brighter note, the epilogue is quite breezy :D


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Review #14, by thegreatcatsby 

6th March 2016:
This chapter- wow. It was brilliant, razor sharp, evocative writing, a total dream to read.
I'm a little pressed for time right now (writing this at lunch hour before a meeting), so I'll just make some quickish notes- I still couldn't not review this.

-Eternal love to the way you write your characters. They're so complicated and dynamic, and full of contradictions. Clemence strikes me as someone who's so self aware and delusional at the same time, knowing she's not in love but trying to convince herself that this is it, and I think everyone's been a bit like that at some point in their lives.

-A+ death of Clembus and subversion of that ice queen cynic trope, by the way. You are chewing up and spitting out fairy tales and the traditional storytelling structure, the way we are supposed to view heroines and love stories, and it's beyond amazing to read.

-Random note: Clemence also reminds me of Halsey's "Badlands" album.

-Dom and Rose! Romance/shipping, girl power/#squadgoals as a tool for power...they're so whip smart in the way publicists for celebrities know how to cultivate their public image and attract fan interest using these techniques and I love them for it.

-Scorpius is a cinnamon roll. A cupcake, one may even say ;)

-The Clemence/Appy dynamic is one of the most interesting character relationships I've ever read. There's something so potent about it. One could argue, I think, that they're the primary relationship in etc.- much of the fic is about their (perceived) differences, similarities, adopting of tropes to set themselves apart from the other, their struggle for power. That war for dominance, that kiss. I kind of get Sherlock/Moriarty now?

-The falling apart of Clemence and her house of cards, her showing her cracks to Pickett: there was something so visceral and intense about it, and I love it. It broke my heart a little.

-oH MY GOD THE NEWSROOM IS BEING TORCHED. I obviously did not see it coming AT ALL, but now I can't imagine any other way of it all ending. And that final twist. And Albus was right in a way, but she's more complicated than he anticipated.

-All in all there was something so visceral about this chapter. Weird comparison, but it reminds me of the dreams in Inception (fave movie forever) and when I tried on a prototype virtual reality headset at first (tech worker best friend for the win). Something was just so real and visceral about this chapter that in real life, I felt more than a little disoriented (In a really, really, good way) by the emotional statis of real life in comparison. Your writing and the way you think that comes across in it makes me kind of wish I could talk to you or something in real life (hopefully that isn't creepy sounding), because of that je ne sais quoi and spirit intellectually that reminds me of friends.

And of course, this review for the HPFF Review-a-Thon. Now, I must meander off to the forums and figure out how enabling posting and stuff works, something I am apparently awful at. As the digital age progresses, thegreatcatsby beats on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Side note: my work internet is being weird and keeps refreshing the page (curses upon the rainstorms this week [except not really, because we're in a drought], so sorry if you get a double review or something.

Author's Response: I'm naming this the "visceral" review. I struggle so!! much!! with angst that I'm so happy I could write something as visceral as you describe.

I can never describe Clemence succinctly, because she's full of all these contradictions between how she presents herself, how she thinks she presents herself, what she believes, what she thinks she believes, what she judges others for, what she thinks she judges other for... I have to stop and think sometimes, 'am i showing all of these things in some way?' so the unreliable narration comes through.

#aesthetic marketing

There's a cupcake in every story, and I always smoosh them ;-;

Clemence + Appy is the secret central relationship of the story! But of course it takes a weird dream for Clemence to admit it (possibly took a page out of Sherlock's trippy dreams). I never actually intended this and only started running with it midway through the story--I even questioned myself why Clemence was doing things when she didn't want to; I was only sure that she would. She wasn't doing it for Albus, she wasn't doing it out of the goodness of her heart, so what then?? And it clicked.

And I like that Albus was always right about her, but it doesn't matter. Clemence doesn't trust his opinion in anything anyway; she has to prove it to herself in this ugly breakdown and by losing everything. Him being right doesn't justify their relationship more, either, nor his manipulations. He was right, and that's it.

Not weird at all! ♥ I think people who read this story know me quite well in a way, already. I'm such an outward Bea though--weird juxtaposition, I know! I flip between total peppy fangirl and loud snarker.

♥ thank you so so much for all of this c: one more to go!


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Review #15, by hufflepuffbeater1799 

6th March 2016:
I have really enjoyed the ride so far, and I'm sure the epilogue will be great. While I wish that they ended up together, I can totally see why it had to end up this way, especially the room going up in flames. Thanks for a great story.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! :)

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Review #16, by GubraithianFire 

5th March 2016:
I keep forgetting that this is the last full chapter (epilogue notwithstanding). You know I can't keep track of, well, anything. But !!! I should have known. I really should have known, mostly because you've been trying to write the last like 2 chapters for the last 2 years at least, so we must be reaching some sort of endpoint. And we're getting there - right? Not that it feels real to me, since it's taken so long to get here lol, but I know it's coming, and after this chapter... dude.

I remember where I was when you showed me the I believe in love as much as I believe in the scarcity of it section. I almost dropped my phone because how? To deal?? I reread it like 10 times, because I know you can write the crap out of a horrid love story, but until I see it before my eyes, it's easy to lose track of the intensity and the specificity of it all, and how you do it. I maintain that it's probably the best thing you've ever written. Your diction is so laser-sharp and precise and perfect it makes me angry sometimes. How do you make so few words do all these things?

That part is matched only by Clemence's breakdown in Pickett's arms, which is not as howlingly precise as are her exchanges with Albus (and Appy, and dream Appy) but hits all the harder for it. Fairy tales aren't forgiving to those who defy their endings. No, no they aren't, especially when you're writing them, or deconstructing them, or burning them to the ground, and letting us wonder just how much of it can be rebuilt before the end. I respect the hell out of what you're doing with this story, with these characters, with these arcs (I'm even a little surprised at how visceral and soul-rattling the breakdown is for Clemence; it's a lot more than I kind of expected, somehow), these ships (... one ship in particular), which shouldn't surprise you at all. But I really truly love how you're doing it.

So... take a breath. You did it. The hard part is over. Now get started on that epilogue, girl.

And please don't leave us (read: mostly me) hanging for too much longer.

I'm writing this review only partly for you, but mostly: For the HPFF Review-A-Thon.

Author's Response: I can't even imagine what it's like to be a reader of this story, after five years and suffering my updates and story whiplash. Also exhausted??

You know I love when you point out the nice stuff because I have zero idea what parts actually resonate. And it's almost always with sentences I never think twice about. I might agonize over the passage around it but the sentences you point out--I can't remember writing them. I can't imagine writing them again (that particular passage--I know I wrote it that one late night but what inspired it??? no idea. plain endurance??). Whatever past!Gina was doing, I'm glad of it.

And I like you mention the part of Pickett being *less* precise, because I was aiming for her breakdown to be a MESS--a culmination of all her repressed thoughts/emotions all trying to push out at the same time. There's no purpose or intent to anything she's saying, except that she wants someone to know about what she's thinking and react to it. Crying is pure catharsis. When she breakdowns, there's only crying, only fears, only this very very vulnerable side to her; she's completely lost her footing from her world and there's no way to regain it, because in truth, she doubts even her own beliefs--they've only ever been backed up by her own confidence, so what happens when that's shattered? Her personality and worldview is not impossible to sustain, but it's such a fragile thing.

Phew. Taking a breath. But a short one.

Sunflowers incoming ♥


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