Reading Reviews for Welcome to the Circus
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Cherry Bear Welcome to the Circus

10th June 2012:
Hey again! I've yet to read any of your writing that I don't like, and this is no exception. I think my favorite thing about this is how you use a circus as a metaphor for their family. It's incredibly original, it definitely fits, and you manage to pull it off almost poetically - especially in your summary (which, by the way, weirdly gave me goosebumps).
And beyond just the beauty of the metaphor, I love the idea you're exploring here: the cracks in their family. It's not only something that I can completely relate to, it's also something that's not really explored very much in Next-Generation fanfiction but that definitely should be. While it's nice to think that everyone just became One Big Happy Family and everything was perfect and la-dee-da after the war, that's not realistic at all. As messy and painful and devastating as this is, it is realistic. Of what I've read of your writing, realism seems to be a talent of yours. Much like in Uncage, you mix heart-wrenching moments with average activities here, and that contrast only seems to make everything more painfully realistic.
The only critique I have for you (beyond a few of the same nit-picky mistakes you made in Uncage) is that the ending seems a little bit rushed. I absolutely do not mean to offend you or tell you how to write your story, but I think that the ending would've been better if you had not tried to hurriedly conclude things and wrap them up with a nice neat little bow. Dom's acknowledgement that "life will still go on" seems unnecessary to me, and I almost think it would be more realistic if there was no resolution or acceptance of their family as a mess/circus - if they just kept painting without that semi-acceptance. But, as I said, it's definitely your prerogative as a writer and I still think it's a beautiful story, regardless.
I appreciate that you didn't go for the conventional cracks that most people see in the Next-Generation era (and, I'll admit, I'm guilty of a few of them myself). Instead of Dominique being secretly in love with Teddy and jealous of Victoire, she hates Teddy - which is definitely something that I didn't see coming and I don't think I've ever seen before. I think it would've been interesting if you had explored her hatred for Teddy some more, because there has to be a reason for it, whether or not Dominique wants to acknowledge it or not.
But, even more than Dominique's shocking hatred for Teddy, I loved the complexities of their family that you hinted at. That Dominique never heard about Lila, that Teddy would want to name their child Lila (which, honestly, makes me think Dominique has the right impression about him...and that's something I've never seen written before: Teddy as a slimy prat), that Hugo's parents would ride him so much about his grades - all of these little intricacies about their family that you manage to slip into your story so effortlessly I can't help but be impressed. And I think what makes this story such a great read is, as I mentioned before, the relate-ability factor. Because, honestly, who doesn't feel like their family is just a little messed up? It makes sense that their family would have this problem magnified because of their size (that there would almost be factions...those with Victoire and those with Teddy after the break-up). You've definitely made me sympathize with your characters.
I probably mentioned this in my review for Uncage, but I love how your writing has these lines that are just sporadically heavy (that's really the only word I can think of to describe them). I loved the line, "Roxanne asked, to break the thickening silence before it dried and hardened along with the paint." But I think my favorite was, "It was these little cracks in the family that had always gotten to her; they appeared out of nowhere when in reality they had been festering for years, widening despite the paint or plaster thrown desperately over them." In fact, the part where they acknowledge the cracks in their family - where Roxanne demands that Dom tells her what else is wrong with the family - was very well-written and I found it incredibly striking. You have a knack for including the perfect amount of drama and integrating it into the events seamlessly.
I think I've probably rambled on for long enough for now. I really enjoyed this and, as weird as it sounds, I actually want to thank you for writing it. You've made me see the Next-Generation characters in a whole new, imperfect light. Excellent work (:
Cherry Bear

Author's Response: Wow, once again, a huge thank you for such a long, detailed review. I really appreciate the time and thought you must've put into it.

Looking back on this story, I recall a lot of little pieces that accidentally came together to make it what it is. I remember wanting to start out with a different take on the interactions between Teddy, Dominique, and Victoire, and settling on something entirely different than a love triangle. That, paired with a few images of painting a room and the banner and title I found in the UFG section led to this circus show of the family issues. I'm really, really glad it went over well, though I do see your point about Dominique's anger, and I'm with you on that. I'd like to see if I could do more with it.

I also see what you mean about the rushed ending. These days, I find those in my stories which are running rather long and I want to tie them up before someone starts falling asleep. However, that couldn't have been the case here, if anything it's fairly short. ;) That's another thing I'll look into. There's a chance I simply didn't know how to end it, and so attempted to do so too fast. :) Thanks for catching that.

Thanks for everything, really-- I'm far too flattered by all your praise. It's not good for my ego to see you enjoying some of these things so much, or laying so many compliments on my writing style and realistic take on things. :P

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Review #2, by annaawakening Welcome to the Circus

6th March 2011:
I really truly loved your take on the Weasley family. Generally, they're portrayed as so wholesome. A bit off the beaten path as far as families go, but wholesome nonetheless. You however, tastefully shattered this image, and for that I applaud you. Not to mention I sort of hate Teddy/ Victoire. I don't know why as I've never read it, they just seem too peachy for me. I can't even say how much I loved this. It's not how I picture the family, but it's believable. So kudos for not being entirely cannon!

Author's Response: I see the Weasleys as a big, cuddly family in general, but they definitely have their bad spots. The Percy ordeal, for example. I have mixed views on Teddy/Victoire, but usually I stray away from them in the attempt to do something more original.

Why is this not canon, may I ask? It's not the usual view, but I think that, as Next Gens don't have many limits, it could still definitely have occurred. ;)

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Review #3, by Aiedail Welcome to the Circus

14th February 2011:

I’ll admit that I was cringing throughout most of this one. But the tension that you created for both Dom and me as a reader by witholding the reason that she was so grumpy was really great, and it kept me reading! I knew something was up. I tried guessing lots of times. I was wrong. But the explanation that you have makes sense, and when it all comes out you just feel the relief!

I like your characterizations here. I admit that they’re different, especially Hugo, than I’ve previously imagined, but I thought that it was nice because they all sort of retained characteristics of their parents, but still came into their own enough to be believable as characters that exist; with or without their parents. They still had enough personality that I didn’t need to think, “Hm, what is Percy like again?” or “Is Ron really pigheaded and obnoxious sometimes?”

I like that at the end, there aren’t really any squabbles. They love each other, and they know it, and everything dissolves easily. It’s very charming, and it’s different than what I believe is the cliché of the make-up scene in that it just happens. Not too much drama. Once they decide to band together as a family and accept their problems, they just do it.

The last line is fun, and the banner for this story is gorgeous!

Happy valentine’s day! ;)


Author's Response: Oh, phew. For a second I thought you were cringing because of the writing style! I hate cringing as I read, but as the writer here, well, I'm pleased. Muahaha. . .

I don't imagine the Next Gen characters any one way; at first I tried to keep them the same in all my one shots, but eventually you have too many plot bunnies for the same set of characters. So this is just one version of the kids that I see. But I like to think they're all still believable.

I still think the ending might be a bit too abrupt. . . I tried to show that they weren't mad at each other, so they could come together pretty quickly, but another part of me thinks that when you're that distressed, things aren't just perfect. I may have to add a line or two there. But thank you, once more, for the incredible reviews!

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Review #4, by TheProphecy Welcome to the Circus

6th February 2011:

From the blue and bronze thread here.

I saw this didn't have many reviews so here i am.

Well, i liked your portrayal of all the characters. I thought you provided a nice twist on things.

I like how you could see all the problems the Weasley's could have in the future and i liked you comparison to a circus.

I think the end wasn't very realistic though. I just felt they all recovered too quickly from their crying and moping spout. But hey, that's my only criticism. :)

I like how it's written and i like your general style. Well done :)


Author's Response: I agree that all the tension evaporated rather quickly, but that also has to do with the fact that the cousins really weren't mad at each other. They were mad at their situation, and the helplessness they felt. Their instinct in the end, however, was to band together and help each other out. So it's still plausible.

Thank you for the review! See you around the common room!

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Review #5, by maskedmuggle Welcome to the Circus

15th December 2010:
Well, I found this really interesting! I was expecting a typical Weasley circus with lots of happiness, jokes and family what nots. Instead, I get such a unique and original situation, where everyone is NOT happy, and Teddy/Victoire aren't the perfect couple that everyone loves. This makes your story really different, really original. I loved the ending, it was a good idea.

I really liked the characterisation of your characters here, especially Dom. She was a bit different from the usual portrayal of her.

On a completely different note, my name is Charlotte, so I definitely go for that over Lila! :P

But a good fic, really. Well written, quite an unexpected situation, but a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Author's Response: I always picture the Weasley family as a big happy circus too, but every family has its ups and downs and I wanted to focus on the downs for once. I also get some enjoyment from messing with the eternal Dominque/Teddy/Victoire love triangle. Even if it's not a triangle there are always untold stories involving the three of them. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reviewing!

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Review #6, by elegantphoenix Welcome to the Circus

27th November 2010:
Hi, again. It's boysof_p0tterfan509 from the forums here with your second promised review. :)

I quite liked the metaphor that was used in this one-shot between the Weasleys and a circus. It fits well, given the circumstances, and Dom's feelings toward Teddy near the end explained her weirdness at the beginning towards Victoire before she left. It's refreshing to see the Weasleys' chaos as something slightly negative, like more of a cacophony than a harmony (if you understand my metaphor).

A few things I saw that may need revising were:

- "...watching her Victoire grab her wand from by the sink and shrug on a coat." The italicized section should either be changed to 'her' or 'Victoire'. You don't need both. ^_^

- "But she couldn't remember anyone ever speak of painting walls by hand." Speak should be 'speaking'.

That's all I could spot. Overall the one-shot was lovely and nicely written as always. One of the most memorable lines, for me, was: "It was these little cracks in the family that had always gotten to her; they appeared out of nowhere when in reality they had been festering for years, widening despite the paint or plaster thrown desperately over them." For some reason, that line reminded me of Doctor Who. :)

- Nadhira

Author's Response: Thanks for another nice review! I will certainly fix those mistakes as well. I've always pictured the Weasley chaos as a harmonic thing, as you said, but there's something about Next Gen that I think may tip it over the edge. You've got a few legends having kid after kid, as well as the first generation after a war, and that's bound to create some tension. Thanks!

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Review #7, by Elizabeth_Black Welcome to the Circus

12th September 2010:
Hi! It's Elizabeth23 from the forums :)

First off, I really liked your characterisations. I thought you captured the next-gen really well, as well as the parents when they were mentioned. For a one-shot, you really developed them well, and their personalities really came shining through.

You asked for the pace, and I have to say it was perfect. Not too slow, not too fast, it just flowed brilliantly.

I thought the length was great, as well. You covered a lot for a one-shot, and I felt like that you really explored a different side to the Potter/Weasley family. I liked how raw you made the characters' emotions. I also really liked that how, instead of sugar-coating it, you showed that they were all still very much affected by the war. It made it all the more "real", as you would be kinda messed up after a war like that.

The last line...I understand why you think it's cheesy, but it fits, it works and it made me smile. I actually really liked it. :)

This was a really good read, and it was written very well, too. It was a pleasure for me to review it, so thank you very much for the request.

A well deserved 10/10 for this! I can find no fault at all!


Author's Response: My favorite part of a story is characterization, so it's so great that you think mine shone out so much in this story! As for the pace, I had each characters' individual story plotted out so carefully, and then when I began writing I had to mash them all together and omit Hugo's almost completely to keep things flowing. When I reread it, it seemed so different from what I'd originally planned, and I didn't like the way the fight broke out, so I was wondering. I was also worried about the ending because Dom's speech at the end sounds a little forced, but you seem fine with it. Thanks for the nice review. ;)

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Review #8, by LindaSnape Welcome to the Circus

9th September 2010:
This story was amazingly powerful, and I adored it. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but the summary pulled me in, and I was intrigued.

I thought it was beautiful.

It was certainly a meaningful one-shot and one with valuable insight. I especially like the line of their family being like a circus. Though, I do hope that the family gets repaired somehow along the way.

I also like that Dominique hates Teddy instead of being infatuated with him. At first, I was worried that she was going to like him, too.

However, her misgivings seemed natural after the whole Lila discussion. Though, I hate the idea of slime ball Teddy, I do like that he's not perfect, either.

I just hope he isn't cheating on Victoire. >_<

As you can probably tell from my gushing, I love your characterizations. I can understand now why Dom didn't want to paint the room. In the beginning, I thought she was just being a brat. Yet when it ended, I noticed it was something far more than that. I also loved Hugo and Roxy. They are definitely underused characters, and they also seemed realistic. Though, I think I prefer Hugo to Roxanne.

This was an interesting story, but one that I really adored.

Also, there weren't any spelling or grammatical errors that I spotted, so it makes it all the more lovely.

Great job!


Author's Response: No, there was never going to be a Dom/Victoire/Teddy love triangle in this. I figured there were other ways of getting the three of them in there together without secret yearnings or affairs. ;)

I wanted to bring together three characters to paint the room, all with different reasons for being there. Dom was just trying to help out her sister, although in the beginning I wanted to show that something was still up with her. As for preferring Hugo to Roxanne, I may have to agree. I realized after I finished it that she acts like a little kid half the time, but it did work with the story and there's nothing really wrong with a childish character, so I left her there. Hugo's a bit more understandable.

And yay, no grammatical errors! I wrote this in one sitting and then scanned and edited and revised for a long time, so I was waiting for my tired eyes to slip over something. I'm so glad it came through clean. Thanks for the lovely review!

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