Reading Reviews for Bootstraps
  
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by long_live_luna_bellatrix Bootstraps

30th August 2016:
First off-- man, I am so sorry for being here this late! When I said that I was a slow reviewer, I didn't mean this slow. I hope you can forgive me! I'm really glad I made it here, though. This was such a moving story, and Betty feels like she could inhabit an entire novel, not just this short one-shot... You developed her beautifully. I've never been the sort of person to be put off by OC-only stories, so I have no complaints here, nor will I saw something like, "Wow, I liked it even though it's all OC's!" because, well, people don't need to be surprised when an OC-only story is good! But enough on that...

This was the first moment in which I felt like I just got Betty: "I wanted the easy way out. I wanted to work a soft, easy job and lead a soft, easy life complete with a cottage and a quiet husband and too many children. / Instead, I lived in a two-room flat in London and worked for the Auror office. And my Dad, I knew, approved of me." Juxtaposing what Betty's father wanted for her with what she wanted, and then showing us that she somehow ended up doing what he approved of, works so perfectly. The paragraph break is helpful helpful in making that moment feel especially powerful. For me, as a person who follows the characters in a story more deeply than plot or setting or anything, this was where I was really hooked.

In terms of dialogue, I thought there were a lot of effective lines. The way Betty thinks one thing and says another, or says something she knows is out of place, makes it feel so real. Her initial question of, "What healer did you go to?" to her mother's announcement sounded particularly good.

I was surprised at how quickly Betty's mother flies into a temper after Betty suggests they go to St. Mungo's. The sentence "What are you thinking, Betty?" added to my surprise, I think, just because the emphasis on the "are" sounds a little overdone. If anything, I'd imagine the emphasis to be on "thinking" instead. (Soon after, she puts an emphasis on "hell", which again, I found a little more distracting than helpful.) The "never, never," that she tacks onto the end of her big outburst also sounded a little unnatural, to me anyway. Perhaps if Betty could react to this outburst-- does her mother have tempers like this from time to time, or is it as shocking to Betty as it is to us-- I'd better understand if it's an in-character for the mother or not.

One last thing on dialogue-- I love the way Betty's father talks to her. It's got a perfect blend of fatherly love and protection and light-heartedness that comes with years of chatting. I thought you nailed it there.

There was one moment in the story where I felt like the flow was a little interrupted. It begins with the line "I pulled away from her, forcefully. Her fingernails scratched my knuckles" and continues for the next five lines or so. Here, where Betty is having her momentary lapse in trust, everything is conveyed in short, choppy sentences, and nearly every sentence is its own line. Since this is a big moment in the story, it makes sense that it's going to sound a little different than anything else. However, it jumped out at me as being a little too different. If a couple of those sentences were a little more complex, or if they weren't all standalone paragraphs, i think the moment would retain its shock and power without deviating too strongly from the tone of the rest of the story-- if that makes sense. By contrast, when you do the same thing at the end, I think it works really well. Here, it's the moment the entire story has been building for, and I was expecting it to come. So it feels more natural, I guess. Feel free to just call me contradictory and move on!

One general thing that I'll suggest to you, if you don't mind, is to keep an eye out for abstractions or generalizations in your story. This is one example I noticed: "Dad was just the same as ever. Strong, smart, a hero. Immortal." It's sentence that could be pasted into any number of stories or novels or essays and sound relevant. I'd love it there were more specific details in Betty's observation here, something to make us know, without a shadow of a doubt, that she loves her father in the one-of-a-kind way that everyone loves their parents-- similar to the rest of the world, sure, but for specific memories and habits that only they know. You're already getting at that in this scene with the notion of the father loving to work on brooms, but it could be pushed even farther in certain spots, like that particular sentence. There are other scattered in the chapter as well.

Overall, I found this to be incredibly moving, truly. It's not often that I get to read HP fan fic stories that are about real illnesses or conditions (as opposed to, say, Dragon Pox), and you handled this one really well. Even though I knew it was coming, you really sold the whole "He can't be sick, look how well he's doing... Oh my god, he doesn't know his own wife" scene. I think that's inevitable with a story about Alzheimer's, that there's going to have to be some realization at the end that the person with it is undergoing a permanent change. But the scene with her father was so sweet that I got completely pulled in, and then I was subsequently crushed by Betty's realization. You've done a really good job with putting such a shocking moment into words. I think you've achieved at least one of the story's goals-- to pull us completely into that moment and Betty's realization, and make us feel her pain.

Thanks for requesting from me-- and major apologies again for the lateness!

- Sarah

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Review #2, by ImaRavenclaw Bootstraps

18th August 2016:
Hello dear, Lily here with your requested review! This is the first time I've reviewed you, so I'll give you a quick explanation of how I review!

I tend to ramble about how amazing your story is, point out little errors where I can, jump around in the story, and repeat myself a lot. Without another waiting second, let's jump in to the review.

First off let me say that I loved your story. I don't usually read in the Pre-Hogwarts era (I'm a Next Gen obsessed freak!), but I think this is a good start for me to really get into reading this era.

I really liked your main character Betty, how she works for the order, and how her personality has this interesting depth to it.

Your descriptions are absolute perfection, and I can see exactly what's going on in your head/the story. It's vivid like a picture book! I especially love how you can really feel how Betty feels, see what Betty sees, smell what Betty smells, hear what Betty hears, and touch what Betty touches.

I love how basically everyone in Betty's family was an auror before her, and that she almost feels obligated to carry on the "tradition". I especially like how she describes that. "It became a family institution, passed down five generations like a noble title. "

Ooof Alzheimer's, that is tough. So many people suffer from it, and the way your character dealt with it was very interesting to read.

That was a nice bonding moment with her dad, and all together your story was really sweet, but realistic and deep.

This was really good, and I hope to read more from you. Congratulations on an amazing, awesome, fantastic story. You should be proud. As for grammar/punctuation, everything seemed in order, and your story was fabulous. Dialogue check, descriptions check, character development check. Check, check, check. I love it!

Yours sincerely,

ImaRavenclaw

Author's Response: Hi Lily!
Thank you for the lovely review! You are so kind and thoughtful. I'm truly pleased that you enjoyed this one-shot. Because it contained only OCs, I wasn't sure how it would go over with readers, but thus far, I've been pleasantly surprised by everyone's reaction.

I'm glad that you liked my descriptions. And yeah, I got the idea of Betty's entire family working as Aurors from other real life families I know who sometimes have career legacies. You know, the grandfather was a policeman, and the father a policeman and then the son a policeman and so on and so forth. I think it must be nice to have a family “trade” like that, although I definitely wouldn't want to be an Auror during wartime in the wizarding world. ;)

Yay! No grammar/spelling mistakes! I'm a bit obsessed with trying to keep my writing as tight and clean as possible, but sometimes I don't have a beta and no matter how many times I revise a piece, a typo or two will usually sneak through. Those little devils, haha.

Again, thank you for being such a wonderful reader/reviewer. I will definitely stop by your thread in the near future to re-request, if that's okay. :) Your positive and encouraging comments really made my day. Once more, thanks!

Best,
Lee Anne


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Review #3, by victoria_anne Bootstraps

10th August 2016:
Hello you wonderful person!

(First of all, what an awesome challenge prompt!)

BETTY LET ME HUG YOU!

I love the characterisation of Betty. I felt for her, becoming an Auror because it was expected of her, even though she's clearly suited for something else. The way you set up the time and place of the story was great too, you really captured the darkness of the First Wizarding War, and all the work the members of the Order did.

I think her reaction to the news is realistic. I'm lucky enough to not know anyone with Alzheimers, and I can only imagine the shock, and not having a clue what to do next, because what can you do?

Her mum is a bit of a funny one. I'd like to know more about Betty's relationship with her.

I love the detail of Dad working on a broom like a Muggle would a car ♥

And she's in that period where age is noticeable! I know how she feels, I can't imagine my parents as being old! Age can be a horrible thing, sometimes.
And especially since Betty's dad is such a strong, clever, brave man.

A petting zoo with a baby unicorn?! Man, I need to go to more wizard parties.

This is an amazingly original story and I think you did a fantastic job with writing a real human disease in the magical world. Well done, you.

♥ Bianca

Author's Response: Hi Bianca!
Thank you for the beautiful review! I greatly appreciate your kind and thoughtful comments. Actually, I have to admit, this story was originally written with Dorcas Meadowes as the MC, but then I decided to completely revise and change it for the challenge because it was just sitting in a pile of old writing files getting lonely, lol. I'm so glad you liked it, though. I'm really, really into writing OC-centric stories, so I never know how they will be received by readers who usually prefer the typical HP characters. Your review, therefore, was very reassuring. :) I am so glad I requested in your thread and I'll definitely re-request in the future. Thanks again for being such a wonderful reader!

Best,
celticbard


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Review #4, by LadyOrpheus Bootstraps

24th August 2010:
Wow. Is pretty much all I can manage to say right now. That was some intensely deep stuff and I am thoroughly impressed, not only with your writing style and skill, but with the guts that it took to write a piece like this.

It may be only related to the core Harry Potter stories adjointly, but it captured that 5th-7th book mood very well: kind of hopeless, dreary, and internally terrifying.
It borders on poetry because it's rather abstract. And yet, that's something I've always loved.

And better yet: your OC. I read in the Author's note that she was in response to a challenge, but she seems perfectly natural, like she's not conforming to anything. Well rounded and well developed I felt see fit seemlessly in the wizarding world without even any connections to main canon characters. She both hates and then loves her mother again in an instant and she is beautifully flawed.

Well imagined, developed, and executed; I applaud you and your original story.

Sincerely,
LadyOrpheus

Author's Response: Hello LadyOrpheus!
Thank you so very much for the lovely review. I was quite happy to receive your feedback. Your comments were very kind. I really do appreciate the time you took to both read and review this fic.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this piece even though it dealt mostly with OCs. I do love writing OCs myself, although I wasn't certain how this particular story would be received, considering it doesn't directly deal with any familiar canon characters.

And I'm very pleased to hear that you liked Betty. She was one of those OCs that started out as a bit unclear and then went on to grow with the story.

Again, thank you so much for this review! It was just great hearing from you. Take care and be well!

Best,
celticbard


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Review #5, by Galawen Bootstraps

19th August 2010:
I have a really random thing to say first. You know Pirates of the Carribean 2? The one with Will's dad; Bootstraps Bill? Thats what originally came to my mind when I read your title and in a strange way there are similarities in that he also suffered memory problems.
Anyway pointless observation aside I have to say I really liked this! The emotions expressed were very honest especially when you describe how her feelings towards her mother changed briefly upon learning about her father. Alzheimers is a terrible diease, not just for its sufferers but also for their loved ones. I'd imagine when her perception of her mother changed for that split second she felt like she was being trapped or caged in by this revelation. Caring for her father would be time-consuming and hard and it would be perfectly natural for her to feel fear at that possibility. But then again that might just be what I thought she felt.
The moment when he reveals the broom is very poignant and highlights the helplessness that she would feel very often from now on and I thought you expressed that very well in a simple and honest way. So overall I really liked this and congratulations on writing such an excellant piece especially when it isn't your usual style! :)

Author's Response: Hi Galawen!
You know, I couldn't help but think the same thing about Bootstrap Bill while writing this story. Haha, I thought it was quite strange that my mind kept referencing it, but perhaps I'm not so peculiar after all. ;)

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I honestly had no idea how this story would turn out. Even though I love writing OCs, I always worry that readers won't be able to connect them to HP canon. Also, the subject matter was slightly emotional for me. My maternal grandmother happened to suffer from Alzheimer's and although I was a bit too young to understand it exactly, I was still struck but the drastic changes that effected her personality and temperament.

And I'm so glad you liked the broomstick scene. It was actually quite different in the first draft of this story, more subtle, less obvious, but I decided to change it around while revising.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to read and review, Galawen! It was really wonderful hearing from you. Take care and be well!

Best,
celticbard


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Review #6, by lia_2390 Bootstraps

16th August 2010:
Hey celtic!

I really enjoyed this piece, yes it was different from what you usually write but sometimes it's good to be diverse. This fic was rather unique in that you hardly see HP-based stories which a muggle disease and it was interesting to see such characters tackle it. It was kinda sad too, actually. Especially when Betty went outside to talk to her dad and as he remembered her, she thought everything was fine but as it turns out, it really wasn't. This fic had this feel to it that I can't really put into words.

As a deviation from your usual style, I really liked it. I hope you try out this style more in the future!

Lia.

Author's Response: Hi lia!
Thanks so much for the thoughtful review! I'm so very glad you enjoyed this fic. I honestly had no idea what readers would think of it, especially since I didn't know what to think of it myself, haha. ^_^ And, I must admit, I always get a little nervous when working solely with OCs. I absolutely love them, but it is sometimes hard to have them relate to JKR's universe. And as for giving my characters Muggle diseases, well, I suppose that's a habit of mine, taking both "Consumed" and "Breathless" into account. ;)

Again, thanks so much for the great feedback! It was wonderful hearing from you. Take care and be well!

Best,
celticbard


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