Reading Reviews for Loose Gravel
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Miss Lily Potter Men and Women

11th December 2009:
Wow. This is beautiful. I normally don't read any type of slash, especially not femmeslash, but I was looking through your stories, being as you're one of my favorite authors on here, and I had to read it.

It was really well written. You got into Cho's mind so well, you made me sympathize with her and... Ugh. You're such a good writer. d:

The kiss was sweet. (: I love Luna, you got her spot-on.


Author's Response: Thank you! I normally don't write slash, especially not femmeslash =P But I wanted to try it out because there's really nothing left for me to try. Thank you so much! You flatter me.

Thank you! I really appreciate your review ♥

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Review #2, by SnitchSnatcher Men and Women

27th October 2009:
Hey Ilia, it's Molly from TGS (FINALLY!) here with your review. I'm so so so sorry it took so long to get this to you, but I've been extremely busy these last few weeks. Anyway, I hope this makes up for it.

I liked the stark contrast between Sam and Luna. The obvious difference between them being their gender, but it goes beyond that. In a way, you almost manage to make the reader forget which sex either of the characters are...if that makes sense. I suppose it's the way Cho thinks. Even when she uses "she" to describe Luna, and I know that Luna is a woman, there's just something so...I don't know. I don't want to say manly, because Luna is a far cry from manly, but there's...I really can't put my finger on it, lol. Sorry for writing such a mess of words that make absolutely no sense at all.

Anyway, I really liked it. The descriptions, particularly when you compare Sam to Luna and vice versa, are beautiful. The kiss itself was beautiful, even though I'm not the biggest fan of femmeslash. When you put the warning in my request thread, I was dreading reading this, but it was hardly noticeable, if you ask me. Which is kind of weird, but also very very cool and a marker of your skills.

Great job! 9/10

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry it took me so long to respond to this.

Thank you! XD That's not a mess of words. I understand what you're getting at. but honestly, I didn't PLAN it that way. It's one of those things where I found a deeper meaning in the work after I finished it, you know? I'm honored that you can find that type of meaning in my work, but I didn't quite do it on purpose =P

Thank you! I'm not a fan of femmeslash either. I actually don't like any type of slash. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it. You give such high compliments. I can't thank you enough. =)

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Review #3, by Unwritten Curse Men and Women

22nd October 2009:
Hey Ilia! :) Sorry I'm so late with your review. Life has been crazy.

So, your first femmeslash? It really doesn't seem that way to me! This was wonderful, and I just hope I can give you the review you deserve without rambling (which is all I feel like doing, haha).

Okay, so. I was a little confused at the beginning. Did Sam abuse her? My first impression was that he didn't, that he was merely overly controlling as opposed to violent, but then you mentioned scars on her face. Were you speaking figuratively? I was just a bit lost, there.

But oh my goodness did you get into your character's mind. Seriously, Ilia, this is one of the best characterizations I have read. I'm really glad you chose first person, because you are so incredibly talented at getting your readers to feel what your main character is feeling - and through first person, we feel as though she is speaking directly to us, conveying her emotions so palpably that we feel her pain. We don't know exactly what happened to her (maybe the vagueness is intentional?), but we know something was wrong with her former relationship. Something was very wrong.

The description of the bar quite literally made me squirm. You put her in the epitome of a shady bar, and I feel like that might have reflected where she was in her life. She was really downtrodden and not really taken care of. Gosh, I really feel for her.

I love the scene with Luna. LOVED. It was wonderfully written and wonderfully felt out. The emotions were spot on, and it was so tender. Gah! And can I just say that this sentence is beautiful: 'But she has the patience of a Saint, and she has what will make me feel like myself again.' It has such a flow to it. It's like poetry. And it felt like Luna. It's like your language shifted to reflect her entrance in the story. It becomes more poetic, more light and breezy. And it flowed a little more smoothly (was that intentional? if so, *bows down*).

I hate ending like this (I try to end on a good note), but the ending felt a bit quick to me. Especially this: 'We understand each other now. Actually, Luna has always understood me.' It's a bit too abrupt. And by throwing in the 'Actually' it almost feels like an afterthought. Like, "I'm done. Oh, wait, this too!" I dunno... maybe you could smooth it out a bit?

Honestly, this was amazing. Great job for your first femmeslash! I'm going to give you a 9/10, but if I could, it would be more of a 9.5/10. I wish this rating thingie had more options!

Keep writing,

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry it took me forever to get here to respond.

Thank you! I was scared to write this because I'm not a pro-gay person in real life, really. But I think that if I want to be a credible writer, I can't pretend it doesn't exist.

He didn't abuse her per say. He was overly controlling, like you said. And yes, the scars were figurative. Sorry that wasn't clear.

XD Thank you! I actually wrote this because I was thinking about it in my own life. It was easy for me to explore a character having this problem. The vagueness was intentional, because the physical actions of WHAT he may have done to her are not as important as the effect they have had on her and what place she is in now because of them. It's more important to me that you as the reader understand that 'something was very wrong' as opposed to explaining and showing the steps to get there.

Ooh, you squirmed? Sorry to make you feel uncomfortable, but I had to put you there because Cho was put there =P

It was important for me to make the narration flow like poetry (as you said) in that section because of the arrival point. I am a musician, and in music, this would be the arrival point after a crescendo. That's really the only way I can explain it. It was a climax.

Yeah, it was rather quick. To be honest, I didn't know how to end it. That's a good point about the word 'actually'. I'll see what I can do to fix it.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your reviews. I always do.

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Review #4, by RonsGirlFriday Men and Women

16th October 2009:
Hi Ilia! I'm finally here with your review! ^_^

Well, I thought you did a great job with this, especially for someone who doesn't normally write slash. I don't read a lot of slash, and I read even less femmeslash...90% of the time it seems like a torrid, passionate affair between Hermione and Pansy, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around it because I feel like sometimes authors just get it in their heads that they want to write slash, and they just grab some popular characters and throw them together in a controversial pairing without giving a whole lot of thought to why those characters might or might not work in a slash pairing.

^I don't think that made any sense. I'll stop ranting now. XD

Point is, I really enjoyed this, and I liked that it was Cho/Luna. I don't know if I've ever seen that pairing (maybe I have and I forgot), but I think it works nicely because of their characteristics. Cho has always seemed to me like someone who craved security and validation and the feeling of being wanted and loved -- so for that reason, I could definitely see her winding up in a relationship like the one she had with Sam. And Luna is a comforting, understanding person, so she is a good complement to Cho in this story.

I really liked the masculine/feminine dichotomy here, and I think that's part of what makes this a successful femmeslash. It's not just, "Oh, I thought I liked boys; oops, guess I like girls instead" (this is how most slash or femmeslash ends up looking to me). You made Sam, the male, represent certain traits in a relationship, and you made Luna, the female, represent opposing traits. It's really unfortunate...women too often find themselves in Cho/Sam-like relationships...but I'll nip that feminist rant in the bud before it even starts. ^_^

(Do you think a lot of relationships exist because of fear?) -- This line threw me off, because it seemed to be the only line formatted like this (addressing the reader, in parentheses). I wasn't sure whether it was intentional or whether it was something that got lost in editing -- but it stuck out in a way that had me wondering what its purpose was, and it was a little bit jarring for that reason.

I really like the ending, although I think you could do without the final line (Her patience is an immeasurable virtue.) Without that line, I think the ending would be lovely, about how Luna has always understood Cho and they match and everything. But with that last line, about Luna's actually made the fic seem incomplete, like something further should come after it. The line didn't really seem to wrap things up the same way as if you had just ended with, Actually, Luna has always understood me.

This is one of my favorite lines:
His words are kind but they cannot be heard over the uncomfortable scream of my body.
It's just fantastic, very poetic and vivid.

Thanks for requesting! I enjoyed reading this. I am also contemplating writing some slash, and possibly femmeslash, so this has been pretty inspirational, too. ^_^



Author's Response: I'm really bad at this answering reviews thing. Sorry it's taken me forever to get here.

No, that made complete sense. It was important to me to write characters who seem compatible on a deeper level, because I think that's what makes slash ships more tolerable to read.

Thank you. =) I actually had to fight with myself for weeks trying to decide who to pair Cho with because she's such a weird character. But I finally settled on Luna because I think they would balance each other well. =)

XD That's a great point. I would die if my femmeslash story was that shallow >_< But thank you. I appreciate your dissection of my story. I was hoping someone would see it as the bigger idea, the masculine/feminine roles.

That's a really good point. I had intended for that question to be in the story, but when I read it through, it just doesn't fit like I thought it would. I'll see what I can do to smooth it out.

Yeah, the ending was a struggle for me. I didn't quite know how to end it so I just kinda... stopped my muse. XD I'll definitely clean up the ending as well.

Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it. I hope you do write some slash! It's quite liberating, actually. =)

Thanks again!

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Review #5, by shadowycorner Men and Women

13th October 2009:
Wow, Ilia, I never expected I would enjoy a femmeslash story so much. The thing is, in femmeslash, authors usually aim for sexy, erotic, exciting, but this...this was love. Cho's comparisions were painful but nice in the way, because she found what she was looking for and what she needed in the end. Luna just knew what she needed, didn't she?

Your portrayal of Sam was terrifying. Subtly written, very simple, uncomplicated, and maybe that even doubled the effect. Cho was thinking about it all in this resigned, numb manner. That really got to me. You characterised her very well. She's a gentle person, but she's not strong enough, allowing Sam to trash her around. However, in the end she runs away and that's always a big step for abused women.

Luna didn't stand out to me as Cho did. I felt that Luna could've been anyone really, but still, she was gentle and caring, and all the things why Cho felt the way she did about her.

Don't say you love someone unless you really mean it. Because then, what will you say when you do mean it? ~ that's my absolutely favorite quote from this entire piece. It just stood out to me a lot. It's beautifully phrased.

Wonderful job, honestly. I love your simplicity.

Author's Response: Thank you! (Sorry it took me AGES to respond to this!) I don't think I could write sexy, erotic heterosexual stories, much less slash XD Thank you so much. This review means a lot to me.

Sam was an interesting character. Actually, this whole piece was an experiment for me. It was kind of like me thinking out loud. I have a lot of time to myself to think about these types of things, so I figured I would write about it. But seriously. Guys are just scary sometimes. And I think that really would be a factor for someone like Cho to leave and go to the other side. Thank you so much. =)

I will never get used to writing Luna XD She's so hard to write! But I see what you mean and I'll definitely work more with her. I won't give up on Luna. =P

Thank you! I'm so glad you like my style. =)


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Review #6, by Timechild Men and Women

11th October 2009:
This is a very moving fic. I enjoyed how you described the emotions that you wanted to be brought out. It was just the right length and the detail was nearly perfect. There is probably a way to improve this but I do not have any idea as to how. I also loved the ending

Very Good job

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. Femmeslash was kind of difficult for me and it's basically a miracle I could get this out. XD Thanks for your review!

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