Reading Reviews for What Makes Me smile
  
36 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BookDinosaur Prologue

29th August 2013:
Hi...yes, I know it's been a month since you requested a review from me. I'm sorry!

The indents your story at the beginning was a bit odd - if it was meant to mean something, that meaning completely missed me, and it disrupted the flow of the story a bit for me. Just my two cents. ;)

I liked how there was no introduction, you just plonked us straight into the action, making us want to read more. I thought that the way you used short, sharp sentences to build up the suspense was good, but in my opinion it turned out a bit too choppy, and it disrupted the flow too much.

The dream served as a pretty good introduction to the story, it set the tone very well and pulled the reader in, made them want to read more. I found myself wondering if the dream was just a dream, or a vision, or something reflective of her real life?

You asked about the believability, and I think you have a pretty realistic story here. It wasn't too dramatic and there was just enough description to let us know what was going on. Your lack of description also added to the tone and mood of the story, I think.

My CC for you would definitely be your spelling/punctuation/grammar. For example, towards the end of the chapter, in the last paragraph, you say 'The man was riving in fury', but riving means 'to split or tear apart violently', and I hardly think he was ripping his wife apart...? Anyway, there's spelling errors here and there, and some grammar/punctuation as well, so I'd recommend you get a beta-reader. :)

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this chapter, I think your story has a lot of potential.

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Review #2, by AlexFan The Last Time I Smiled

22nd August 2013:
Since it's such a short chapter there's not much I can comment on so this will be pretty short (by my standards at least).

The first thing that I noticed was that the beginning was choppy. The sentences were short and that's what made it choppy, you could combine several sentences together to make everything flow better.

There were also a few grammar mistakes that stood out to me, like in this part for instance:

I know it seemed stupid to go back,

But the choice was my own,

and that is what I had long ago agreed to.


There needs to be a period at the end of the first two sentences or you could just combine them to make one sentence, that works as well. The first word at the beginning of the last sentence needs to be capitlised.

The thing that I noticed though was that your writing became smoother as the chapter went on and there was more description put in there. It was loads better than the beginning of the chapter.

I would suggest reading over the chapter out loud to make sure that you've gotten rid of all of any mistakes that you can come across.

Anyway, not a bad chapter and definitely an improvement on the last chapter.
-Grace

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Review #3, by missclaire17 Surprise

16th August 2013:
LOL the ending was so hilarious, despite everything. "Scruffy was hot."

Wait, I'm lost! Hold up a minute! Why is she running from the authorities? I mean, running away from home technically isn't a crime, right? or is it the whole magic in front of a Muggle, if she hexed one of her mom's boyfriend?

This is why I said Cora needed human interaction though! In a situation that she should have gratefully accepted her situation, she was instead being ridiculously stubborn and angry. Lack of human interaction will do this to you! (in my opinion xD)

Author's Response: It is not a crime but if you are underage and there is nothing wrong with your home life the Police have an obligation to bring you home, at least in the America's I imagined that her father would have asked her tutor for help having the "magical police" look for her as well.

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Review #4, by missclaire17 Monsters in the Dark

16th August 2013:
Mr. Howard and Coraline having somewhat of a working relationship with each other is nice. Although Sirius really is a human, Cora still needs human interaction.

Ah, bad guys (LOL my name for them is just so... kid-ish). They're bound to come sooner or late, and I'm glad that Scruffy was there to protect Cora at the end. Honestly, those men disgust me. And hitting a girl? Really? As if your character wasn't bad enough already!

Author's Response: Don't worry I call them bad guys too!

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Review #5, by missclaire17 Secrets

16th August 2013:
I love how Cora went to work so hard to buy her sister a card. If she had been put in a House, I'd put her in Hufflepuff based on that fact. (of course her courage for standing up to her mother's boyfriend is very Gryffindor but running away for her own safety can be seen as very Ravenclaw or very Slytherin).

HMMM! SCRUFFY LEAVING! I mean, obviously Sirius is going to return to his human life. I'm still curious as to what point in his life Sirius is at. I love that either way, he's staying with her. He knows she needs him and instead of doing something like try to take her in, he just stays and be a loyal and good companion.

I think it's interesting that Cora has an inclining that Scruffy has secrets. In the end of the day, even though Sirius is an Animagus, he still a human and bound to human emotions, etc. As much as he may act like a dog, his humanness just comes out of him!

Author's Response: Thank you for making house suggestions, I've been agonizing over this for the longest time. I've been really torn with putting her in Slytherin because Coraline on the run really fits the bill, but when she's in a normal setting she's much more of a gentle Hufflepuff, I'd be interested to know what you think as the story progresses as to where she should go.


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Review #6, by missclaire17 An Unlikely Friend

16th August 2013:
Hi! Claire here! (:

First off, We humans philosophies and over analyze everything.
It should be "We humans philosophized and over-analyzed everything". Just the spelling and keeping everything in past tense! ^^
And, Mummy can neither flu nor apparate me to London, it should be "Mummy can neither Floo nor Apparate me to London." (Both should be capitalized (in my personal opinion) and Floo is spelled with two O's instead of an U) ^^

Second of all, I'm really curious as to what year this is taking place. Why a black mangy mutt with grey eyes (that I'm seriously taking to be Sirius xD) is out alone on the streets, hurt, and sounding to be worse for the wear. I suppose, though, that this is after the Marauders graduate from Hogwarts.

I'm surprised that Cora's mum's familiy didn't just cast her off as soon as they found out she was a Squib. Based on what Sirius said, it sounded like that was the general practice. Irregardless, I can see why magic is such a sore spot with her mum. I suppose this explains why Cora never actually went to a Wizarding school.

And also, I'm curious as to where her mother and her siblings live. Since her dad lives in England, I'm guessing that maybe her mother and her siblings live in Ireland, Wales, or Scotland? Because Luther got accepted to Hogwarts? I'm STILL curious why she left her father's place, though her father leaving her mother doesn't give me the best impression of him.

I love how Scruffy/Sirius out of the little bits that we've seen him already has hints of Sirius's personality. Not to mention, I love how he's just staying with her, acting like a loyal pet.

Author's Response: Thank you again for the review, especially the grammar bit!

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Review #7, by missclaire17 The Last Time I Smiled

16th August 2013:
Hello! This is Claire again.

Something I did want to ask for clarification. It made sense when Cora told her mother she wasn't going to return home because she was with her Muggle father in England. However, why did she leave her father's house? Why doesn't she stay with him during the summer rather than live on the streets?

I find it interesting that she went to a Muggle school and got tutored in magic rather than attend Hogwarts or a magical school. Perhaps the reason for that will be explained in the future? A home-schooled magical teenager is very rare, I think.

It's hard, being a teenager. It's even harder to put up with a dysfunctional family and running away. I feel horrible for Cora, and honestly, I hope her life turns for the better soon.

Author's Response: Yeah she later finds out that he wants to fight for custody of her and she is torn between choosing to live with her Dad or her Mom so she runs away.

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Review #8, by missclaire17 Prologue

16th August 2013:
Hello! This is Claire, for the Gryffindor Reviewing of the month! ^^

Before I get started, just one piece of advice: format the paragraphs so that 1) they aren't indented and 2) nothing is centered. It looks slightly out of place and makes it slightly harder to read. Just my suggestion.

Now! It's very intriguing the correlation between Cora's nightmare and what was actually happening to her mother. I'm wondering whether it's foreshadowing and whether Cora has some ability or another to be able to tell the future. OR perhaps the nightmare is a product of her worst fears, translating into her sleep.

The man obviously isn't Cora's father, or else he would have been addressed as such. I take it that he's some sort of step-father or her mother's boyfriend. I think either way, it's horrible that he's so violent to her. It does make the summary more understandable though.

Another advice: look over your grammar. It's nothing a re-read or a beta wouldn't be able to fix. For example, "Coraline now knowing an intervention was necessary, stumbled out of bed and in to the hall. She forced open the door to the room across from her own." You should have a comma between 'Coraline' and 'now'.

^^

Author's Response: Oh thank you so much for the review and for the grammar thing, I always miss really simple mistakes like that one, and I will make sure to follow your formatting tip!

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Review #9, by adluvshp Prologue

13th August 2013:
Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums.

This is certainly a very interesting story. Your plot seems original so far and the prologue has set the scene quite well. Coraline seems like an intriguing character. The dream was quite vivid and nicely described. You have done a good job to start your story with this as it absorbs the reader's attention and asks them to read further, which is good.

I don't have much CC for you except for the grammar of course. It's not too bad here but there're some small mistakes. For instance, there is one place where you've written "dark hooded finger" instead of "dark hooded figure" which sounds really funny btw xP So, I'd suggest giving this a thorough re-read whenever you get the time and fix the errors to make it a smoother read, or get a beta.

Apart from that, I can't comment much on the believability yet since it's just the first chapter, but indeed, what you've presented so far seems realistic as such instances like those of Coraline's mother and the man do happen. Your writing style is also good, and has its own originality which is nice. I would suggest adding in a bit more description about the scene and even about Coraline herself to make this a more comprehensible and enjoyable read.

Nonetheless, this was a good start. You have loads of room for improvement. Feel free to re-request.

8/10
Cheers
AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review especially for correcting that part, I don't know how I over looked that, I will most certainly re-request!

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Review #10, by naflower05 To Be Here

12th August 2013:
good couple of chapters! but what about Mr. Howard? She just left work one day and never came back! Update again soon, I'd like to see more interactions between her Sirius and James! =]

Author's Response: Thank you, will do!

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Review #11, by marauderfan The Last Time I Smiled

9th August 2013:
Hello, back with your RR from the forums.

The way you present this chapter is really interesting - the way each short phrase is its own sentence on its own line. I think it works effectively for the thoughts of a runaway though because I imagine she's not thinking clearly after such a hard life for so long, she's just going through the motions and trying to make it one more day, so the descriptions are fittingly empty.

As for flow, I'm a bit confused as to the timeline. I understand that Coraline isn't keeping track of the days or anything, but what I can't tell from the way its narrated is when she lived with her father. Was that before she ran away from her mother's house? I assume it was the previous year, but what it leaves me wondering is why Coraline didn't run to her father's house when she left her mother's. If she was so happy there, why not go back instead of living on the streets?

It's still kind of hard to tell who Coraline is in terms of characterisation because this is still just tings happening to her, but she hasn't really done anything, if you know what I mean. I can tell that she is accustomed to hardships but I don't really know her personality yet. Maybe that's coming in future chapters though - this still seems like another introductory chapter so I don't really mind that we don't know her yet.

Grammar - Sometimes you use the word "Their" instead of "there", and there were a few other spelling mistakes. Also the first sentence of the actual narration (about the owl) reads really awkwardly. I'd switch the wording around a bit, maybe something like "I tied the two letters onto the leg of my scruffy barn owl, Derrick."

You're doing well though - keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. You're right I need to be more clear about the timeline. Coraline actually ran away from her dad's. She didn't want to choose her own happiness over her mother's and brother's.

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Review #12, by MC_HK An Unlikely Friend

9th August 2013:
I believe I had already brought up the grammar, punctuation, and spelling issues, so I won't go into that too much.

I feel like there needs to be more about Coraline's personality in this. You have a lot of background information, which is good, but it takes up most of the chapter. I think once you find the happy medium between background info and description, you'll be golden. You've got good pacing, and I don't have much else to comment on.

Until next time, MC_HK

Author's Response: I see, thank you I'll take a look at that. Thank you for the review!

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Review #13, by Lady of Tears The Last Time I Smiled

9th August 2013:
I'm back with another review!

I enjoyed learning a little bit more about Coraline. I thought I got a better glimpse into who she was/is. I especially liked your descriptions in the end.

I thought some of your sentence structure was a little too short, and all of the white space was a bit disorienting. But in a way I really liked some of the choppiness, especially when it came to Coraline's thought process. I'm sure as a runaway that that is how it would work in her mind. I think you balance it with more description of what she sees in the world around her. Her location, more on the setting, the taste of the air, things like that.

I think you do a good job at giving short, but meaty chapters. I feel like you say what you need to say in the chapter, and it's a full thought and idea. So in that way I'm not left wanting. I hope a little more is revealed soon!

-Lady of Tears

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review!

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Review #14, by AlexFan Prologue

6th August 2013:
Hey, I'm here with your review!

I know that you said the spelling was bad so I'm not going to point that out, you probably already know where the spelling mistakes are. I would like to point out however, this part:

'Till she made it to the clearing.'

Till could either refer to a cash register or preparing the land for harvesting. I think what you were looking for was either 'til or 'until.' Both mean the same thing, the former version is just the shorter spelling.

The thing that I noticed was that you told more than showed. Don't tell me that Coraline was frightened, show me that she was frightened by showing me what was going through her brain, what was she thinking?

The other thing that I noticed was that the dream was a little bit choppy.

'Coraline was in a forest.

The full moon was peeking out over the shadowy treetops.

Coraline was alone.

She was frightened.'

My suggestion would be to combine all of that so that it flows better.

I don't know much about your characters but I have figured out that Coraline lives in a house with an abusive man. Clearly this man has trouble controlling his rage and hits his wife. It's totally believable of course because there are people in the world who are this way.

I hope that in later chapters you go into more detail about the man that was hitting her mother (is he her father?) and what the relationship between him and her mother is.

Author's Response: Oh I was completely unaware of the till versus til thing, thank you. The choppiness has been a common complaint, I will take try and take your advice. Thank you again for the review!

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Review #15, by MC_HK The Last Time I Smiled

3rd August 2013:
Your grammar is fine, there isn't really anything wrong there. The beginning to the story is fairly interesting, but I guess I just don't really see the main story plot happening yet. Then again, this is a pretty short chapter. The way you have the spacing kind of throws me off when I'm reading. Like I got confused when you talked about her being on the streets but then suddenly she was at her dad's house all fine and dandy.

I think it kind of lacks in believability. If she was having a good time at her father's house, then why would she ever go back to her mother's house? If you wanted to keep that detail in, you'd have to explain it more as it is kind of confusing. And if she's underage using magic on muggles, the Ministry would DEFINITELY come for her, no matter where she was. So she couldn't constantly be on the run.

You do have a good story that has a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing where you take this. MC_HK

Author's Response: Thank you for the review!

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Review #16, by marauderfan Prologue

2nd August 2013:
Hello! marauderfan here with your requested review from the forums.

I like that you've decided to start off your story right in the middle of the action. That's a good way to pull readers in - no frilly introduction, just a tense, scary introductory paragraph.

Since you said you're not concerned about the grammar, I won't point any of it out. But you might want to think about getting a beta reader, if you decide to go back and edit.

As for characters, I really can't say much about your MC as there's not much about her character in here, although it seems she's got a pretty rough family life. I'm wondering if the dream in the beginning was just a dream, or a memory.

One thing I think could make it stronger would be those first four lines. I think it seems kind of choppy, going from Coraline's feelings to the description of the woods and then back to Coraline. I think the sentence about the forest and the full moon could go later, in the first full paragraph, when you're describing the forest. Your first line of the story could then be "Coraline was alone." I think that would make the opening a bit more cohesive.

Often with prologues it can be difficult to tell where the story is going, but it sets a mood. I think that applies to yours as well. I can't really make much sense of what is happening, or what the dream was, but you've effectively set the tone for the story, I could feel the despair. Good work on this chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I've changed my stance on grammar. If there is anything you caught, and you still remember, I would always appreciate a friendly pm stating what it was, if not then no worries. I understand where you see the choppiness, that seems to be a constant complaint about this story, thank you for the suggestion I'll try it out and see if it works. Do you accept re-requests I'd be interested to know what you're feedback is on the other chapters. Anyway thank you again!

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Review #17, by Lady of Tears Prologue

1st August 2013:
I'm here with your review!

This is a very gripping opening. I think that your writing lends well to the suspense and thrill that I'm sure is going to come in this story. It makes me want to keep reading, for sure.

You asked about the believe-ability, and I think you've given your readers a good grounding in this chapter. There's just enough description so we get a view of these characters. They're obviously in a very intense situation, but I didn't think things were overly dramatic. That's a really good thing with such a sensitive and serious topic.

The thing that I wanted to see more of was description of the setting so I was more grounded in the world. Your character description was good, but I wanted more about how Coraline saw her world around her.

I think you've got something gripping here. I hope you pick it back up after all this time.

- Lady of Tears

Author's Response: I think I've picked it back up I'm on the 9th chapter. Thank you so much for the review, description is definitely one of my weak points. I plan to go back and rework the first few chapters soon after I've caught up with writing. I will definitely re-request, thank you!

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Review #18, by Pixileanin An Unlikely Friend

1st August 2013:
Hi there. I'm here from tag in the Gryffindor CR.

I started reading your story from the beginning, and I thought here would be a good place to give a review, since the previous two chapters were so short and didn't give me a lot to comment on. First off, like your other reviewers, I am loving the premise for your story. You have a lot going on with your MC. She has a big pile on her plate and she seems to be handling it the best she can. I really like how you're sticking with her POV and keeping everything simple. For her, the main thing is getting through each day, so I wouldn't expect her to waste her time mulling over too many things in her head.

I thought this chapter was where your narrative finally settled in. I love the introduction of "Scruffy" and how she immediately starts talking to him. It feels right for her to do this, and the simple explanation that she does the same with the owl cements it for me.

It was an interesting choice to keep Coraline in touch with her brother, who is still at home and owls her, I assume, from time to time. It's neat that she gets to see glimpses of the life she left, and I liked how you handled the brief explanation of her mother. I commend you for giving us just the right amount of information here. Of course I want to know more, but I am enjoying your pacing as far as letting the back story tell itself where appropriate. Great job!

Back in chapter two, your opening with the letters to Coraline's parents was a great choice (and I really appreciated the tie-in to chapter three when she received a letter) At first, I didn't mind the sparsity of the narrative, but along the way, I got a little confused with exactly what you wanted to say. I think if you focused her thought process just a tad more, it would be a firmer read. Here's the section:

"But this would soon end.
I was going back.
Back to the life, that had in the past sent me in to a wave of despair where the idea of ending my existence seemed like the only way out.
I know it seemed stupid to go back,
But the choice was my own,
and that is what I had long ago agreed to."

I was good up until the "I was going back" bit, after she clearly stated that she was not. If you were trying for the process that she went through to decide not to go back, and then made her decision, that's okay. But I would have appreciated you making that point clearer for me. I think I understood it when I got to this next part:

"Anyways, it was too hard of a choice.
I could try to save my mother, or I could save myself.
So I took the easy way out,
I ran."

Then you got half into a narrative, half into the previous choppy lines. Style is a choice, so I won't judge you on it, but I have to say that as a reader, I preferred the narrative in chapter three to how chapter two was written.

So, for some comments on chapter one, all I can say is that it's short and to the point. The main thing that was missing for me was that you never gave us the full impact of the final scene. You did a great job of showing the catalyst (I assume) that drove Caroline to leave, but it felt unfinished. To really make this pop, to make it crack the story open, I'd have expected you to allow us to see the change in Coraline and why this scene made her want to leave and never come back. After Caroline reluctantly got out of bed to "intervene", I wanted to see what she did next - whether she tried to help her mother and her mother refused, or if her mother's boyfriend began to abuse her too, or if Caroline just couldn't take seeing her mother accepting the role of a punching bag and went back into her room to pack and leave for her dad's. It doesn't have to be long and drawn out, but all I'm saying is that if you include a line (or maybe two) at the end to show how the scene changed her, it will hook us neatly into the next chapter.

Overall, you've got some great imagery in this and a fantastic array of issues for your MC to work through. I love that Caroline is still sensitive to her family issues and she still questions her decision to leave . My favorite section was this:

"I stared at the letter in my hands; reading and re-reading it again. I folded the parchment so that only the beginning was visible. My brother was doing well. I repeated over again in my head."

That was a great way to highlight the fact that she is a caring individual and hasn't blown off her entire family as a bad deal. It will be interesting to see what, or if Coraline will be able to do anything for Luther, since he's gotten his letter to Hogwarts and is magical like she is. I know I said it before, but this was definitely the perfect place to explain her mother's experience with magic and why she'd be doubly worried for him and the little sister that she'd never met.

Oh, and keep updating!

Happy writing,

pix

Author's Response: Thank you for such a lengthy and thorough review. I understand exactly what you're saying and I really appreciate you pointing out the parts that were unclear to me, because I know the story so well that I miss it when I'm being vague. I'm currently half way through the ninth chapter, right now I've limited my editing to basic grammar, but soon, after I've caught up on writing I want to go back and rework the first few chapters. Thanks again for the review it was very helpful!

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Review #19, by MC_HK Prologue

29th July 2013:
You've got an interesting start to your story. The dream/nightmare beginning really grasps me, and it makes me want to read more. You also have some good imagery in there that, with a little bit of tweaking, can be great.

You have a lot of repetitive words in there. And with how short your chapter is, those stick out like a sore thumb. I don't really get the exact plot in this chapter, so I can't really comment on that, but judging by your summary I would like to read more. You've also got a few disjointed areas that should be looked at.

This shows great potential, and I look forward to reading more. MC_HK

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review! Quick question when you say disjointed. Do you mean the story's not flowing, or is it a formatting thing, is it too jumpy? Anywho, thank you again for the feed back!

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Review #20, by 65ashben Surprise

1st December 2011:
That was hilarious. :) Is she going to stay with the Potters? The chapter was fantastic. I can't wait for the next one!!

Author's Response: Yes I think she is, she has no where else to go. Thank you for following the story!

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Review #21, by SLytherinqueen Surprise

27th November 2011:
wish you would update sooner has been forever

Author's Response: It has, but I finally did it!

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Review #22, by naflower05 Surprise

27th November 2011:
good chapter! update again soon! =]

Author's Response: Thank you!

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Review #23, by Roots in Water Monsters in the Dark

23rd August 2011:
This is such an interesting idea! The idea of running away from home and then meeting Sirius in dog form (I do hope I've guessed correctly) is a very interesting one and something I've never seen done before.

The pacing of this story is great- you keep her story progressing with short chapters and it flows very smoothly from part to part. And the cliff hanger in this chapter... Please update soon! I want to know what happens! Will Sirius reveal himself to her in order to save her? Will he stay in his animagus form? Will she rescue her siblings from her home? So many questions, so many interesting possibilities.

Coraline is a very interesting character. I think you've created her well- she's brave enough to leave her broken home life and yet regrets it, for she had to leave her brother and newest sibling. She cares deeply for her family, but still put herself first (which isn't a bad thing- it is realistic and adds depth to her person). I wonder how she got the letter from her brother- does he know which city she's in and just sends the letter there? Does she have a box at a post office? Or do they use the magical way, sending the letters via owl?

All in all, I just love the idea you have for this story. I hope you continue with it!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a lengthy review. Coraline's brother contacts her Via Derick. It's been two years since I last updated this story but I haven't been able to write since I abandoned it, so yes it will finally be continued and hopefully finished.

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Review #24, by 65ashben Monsters in the Dark

30th July 2011:
What happened? The chapter was great. Will she still have her belongings? I can't wait for more!!

Author's Response: Thank you so much, you'll just have to see what happens though!

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Review #25, by naflower05 Monsters in the Dark

27th July 2011:
Ah!! Great couple of chapters!! I can't wait to see what happens next! Update again soon please!! =]

Author's Response: So it's not soon but I finally did update!

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