Reading Reviews for Searching for Culprits
11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CherryBoom The Game

27th July 2012:
Hi! I'm here for the Pass the Parcel!

I really liked how you got the story going right from the start without any dawdling. In the beginning I wasn't actually sure whether the main character was a boy or a girl, but happily that cleared out soon.

Idea of Lily being Slytherin is pretty fun. The only problem that I have is thinking that Albus as a sixteen year old boy would weep because of the spider. Sure an Acromantula in a bed must be scary, but crying over it doesn't sound very Gryffie like.

That said, I really liked your story's flow and dialogue. Lily was quite a snarky little Slytherin (how old is she btw?), but there's a fine line between snark and being a right royal pain.

But all in all, this was really fun to read and when I have more time, I will most certainly come back to read more of it. Great job! =)

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Review #2, by daliha The Game

26th July 2012:
Passing the parcel! :)

I've read alot of next gen but this is the first time I see Lily in Slytherin so kudos there :) I love to see her act like the class clown though I'm not sure if I missed it but you don't mention her age here (I'm just curious to know.) I love her interaction with James and I'm wondering what kind of punishment is Ginny about to dish out :) I loved your writing especially since managed to make her a believable teen :)

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Review #3, by blueirony The Station.

23rd April 2012:
One day, one day in the future, I will actually begin a review without apologising about the lateness of said review. I'm so bad at responding quickly to them. I'm so sorry this has taken me almost six weeks to get to! Well worth the wait, though, I really did love this.

I'll go through the points that you wanted addressed in your review one by one and then I'll add in a few things of my own if I see fit to do so, yeah?

1. Believability. This is definitely believable. What you have is a pretty ordinary family, the Potters could easily be my next door neighbours. But don't think that them being ordinary means that they're boring. It just means that you've done a really good job with them. They're just your average family, each person has their own personality and I can tell that they have spent a lot of time together. I know that sounds weird because that is what families do, but sometimes family scenes in fics are a bit forced. None of that happened here.

The actual plot itself also seemed believable. It could easily happen to anyone I know, the fact that Lily wanted to prank her older brother and was grounded for the next few weeks afterwards. It's a simple idea, but I think that that's why it works so well. You haven't tried to overdo anything which makes it believable, real and easy to relate to.

2. Flow. I think this flows well. The way I normally judge flow is that if I can't remember any obvious issues with it, then the story must have flowed well. Which this did. The scenes work well together, you're not jumping around all over the place, any lapses in time are smooth, any transitions are also smooth, no scene drags on and the entire story gels well. It's one story, not a bunch of scenes put together. So your flow is definitely not something you should be worried about.

3. Humour. I think that this is funny, but in a light-hearted sense. It's not straight-laced and serious and I wasn't cracking a rib laughing after every sentence, but it did definitely make me smile at different places and it's very likable in that it is light-hearted and is funny. I think that is largely to do with Lily's personality. The things she does and the things she says lend well to humour, and her voice comes through really clearly in this.

There are a few grammar mistakes, here and there. You said that this hasn't been beta'd so I don't yak on about them, but I think a quick read from someone else might do you some good. Nothing too major, just a few punctuation issues and the like. Don't get stressed over it, it's just fine details.

Other than that, I really liked this so far! I'm not sure where you are going with the plot, but I am intrigued. The title, especially, is interesting. It alludes to something having gone wrong or a crime or prank and that does sound interesting. And fun!

Good job on this!


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Review #4, by louise_loves_hp The Day Trip

12th February 2012:
Hey there
I think that the flow of Lily's thought's really do run like your own thoughts would but not like they are random, you can see them running and turning. I like that there is this small divide with her family because as she puts it she is a Slytherin after all. But you can still see that family bond. Rose and Hugo was just like her just being there with James, like you can see the friendship was almost sibling like. It was very believable, its a good story and I find it a very different Lily than I have read.

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Review #5, by Beeezie The Game

6th February 2012:
Hey, this is Beeezie, finally here with your review!

First off, I want to make a few mechanical notes.

Your dialogue formatting was sometimes a bit off. In the fourth paragraph, for example, it should have been, "Mum!" he screamed, not "Mum!" He screamed. Having "He screamed" capitalized the way you do indicates that it is a separate sentence, but it's not; a dialogue tag ("he said," "she cried," "I called," etc) is always treated as being part of the section of dialogue it's attached to. I would recommend heading over to the grammar guidelines section of the forums and reading through the post on dialogue formatting as a quick review. :)

There were also a fair number of typos. You once wrote "Godric Hollow" rather than "Godric's Hollow," for example, and I saw a few random spaces that shouldn't have been there (e.g., In the paragraph starting, Explain? Isn't it obvious? you have a space between the first quote and "Explain?"). I also saw a lot of words that were randomly capitalized, and I didn't really understand why (e.g., the word giant several times, red head).

I also felt like there were points where the way you put your sentences together were a little bit awkward. That was especially problematic around some of the dialogue, Ginny's in particular. Things like, "Lily, this isn't a funny mater," or "Are you really wanting him to become an insomniac?" just felt kind of unnatural, you know? That's not really how anyone I know talks - it's just a little stiff.

Those aside:

This Lily is very different from the ones I've read in the past. That's not a bad thing; putting a different spin on your character can be good, especially for next-gens, because it helps your story stand out from the myriad of other next-gen fics. I think that there's a lot you can do with this interpretation of Lily.

However, I felt like you were a bit heavy-handed with her characterisation at times. For example, It would work on anyone who wasn't a Slytherin and actually cared for other's well being on a regular basis. Pity she got the lovely Red head cunning Slytherin daughter instead. This, along with other references to Slytherin, felt really awkward to me for a few reasons.

First, it was a very simplistic view of Slytherin house in the first place, which kind of bothered me as a reader. Slytherin is more complicated than apathy for others' feelings (which isn't really part of the house at all). Because there wasn't real depth in how you were presenting it, Lily came off feeling a little shallow as well.

Along those lines, I had trouble connecting to Lily. She just wasn't a very sympathetic character in general, and that's important in making your readers like her and want to read about her. She was basically just thinking about how much she didn't care about other people. I didn't feel like I really got to see any side of her that I could identify with, which made it difficult for me to like her as a character.

I don't want to come off as hypercritical, because I think that you've got a very promising start here. You've done a nice job portraying Lily in a way that I don't think I've ever seen before, and I think that there's a lot you can do with it. However, there were also points where it was mechanically a bit awkward, and I feel like your characterisation and dialogue could use a little work.

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Review #6, by louise_loves_hp The Game

31st January 2012:
Hey Steph
Here for you review!
-I love that I was drawn in by the first paragraph and then the "Next house." just makes me what to know who and what the scream is all about. It made me have to laugh at myself for when I found that it was about something much less than I thought and this was good how you did that. It was very believable to me, as it would be me doing the screaming.
I enjoyed that you didn't give away that this was from Lily's POV until I was drawn in and you had made her voice so that if I had my own voice for her I wont have make you Lily join into it. Also that there was a moment of mystery.
The story comes across different than what I have read of Lily as having her in Slytherin, you can see the realness in her character. As well that it is Lily that is in the most trouble its different.
The relationship with Lily, Albus and James makes me see a real life brother/sister relationships that I have seen. There is the love but there is also the fighting and so much more that comes with it.
With the way you have played out Ginny makes me think a lot of Mrs Weasley but you can still see Ginny in her. Its like its still Ginny but she has grow up with a little Mrs Weasley thrown in.
I really enjoyed the way that you ended this, its very much life like. I feel that this has come from your own experience or even something that you may have heard of. I loved the way you have written this, the voice that you have given Lily. Its very real and believable, strong voice that you have here.

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Review #7, by Giola The Day Trip

14th January 2012:
Hey Steph!

Yes, it's taken me months to get to this, and I am so SO sorry. Without further ado, your review.

I'm going to start with the thing that most intrigues me, and it's not really written into the chapter. Hugo. I love his character already, and I'd LOVE to see him stand up to his older cousins in the future. He sort of has the potential here, in his remarks to Lily, but they all see him as the baby. I think he's already got a lot of depth as a character, more than most of the others, and the most potential for growth. Lily, of course, has a lot of growing to do as well, as she's more immature than her younger cousin. That gives you a lot to play with there :)

I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I am envious of your skill to write as a younger character. I can't for the life of me do it, and all of my characters get progressively older as I do. You've done a good and convincing job here.

One thing I would say is be careful with Lily. I know it's her characterisation, and it's deliberate, but I find sometimes her selfish attitude to be a little abrasive. You make the point very clearly, but some of the internal comments of hers seem a little too brat-like. It's not quite to the scale of a Anti-Mary Sue, but it could easily slip there, so just watch out for that. I did love the mention of her wanting to burn pink clothes though, and how ten minutes to get ready was not long enough, and was therefore a disaster :P Classic tween girl.

Alright, I'm going to wrap this up here. Lovely chapter, as I told you when I beta-d it, and I look forward to more. You've already managed to write a unique Next Gen, purely based on your plot and Lily, so kudos for that, you've already done better than a lot of people here :)


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Review #8, by In The Shadows I Dwell The Day Trip

7th January 2012:
I'm back again with your next review. So as I read this chapter a thought hit me that I've never actually read any next-gen story from Lily's perspective and it's something I really like. I personally find that she's a particularly interesting character to read the story from the perspective of. As part of the Potter/Weasley family she has an insight that not all characters can offer and the insights you give into many of the other characters are excellent. Despite many of them just being mentions they add an excellent depth and life to the story, it's not just mentions of her cousins but of the relationships that Ginny has with other's, Lily's observations allow the reader to gain a picture of what life was like following the Battle of Hogwarts and how their lives have moved on and changed during that time. I like how you've shown many relationships in this chapter, not just between the adults and the friendships they've formed, but between the cousins and James and Lily themselves, it's clear that they get along better than she would with Albus but seeing them talking with one another revealed a lot about their characters, and the bribes in particular revealed quite a bit about their characters. James loves flying and it would seem Lily enjoys her privacy, although it's only natural.

Out of all the character's I'm going to mention, I'm going to talk about Hugo. I find his character interesting, particularly the choice to place him in Hufflepuff. I guess I always see the next-gen portrayed as younger versions of their parents and it's good to see you've actually made them their own individual characters. Hugo doesn't really seem to be like either of his parents if my initial impressions are correct. He is easily intimidated and I guess he's a lot different to his cousins who obviously know how to tease him. It's clear that there's a great bond between the cousins, and it's something I thought was lovely to see, particularly the need Lily has to protect him, because it's clear he's more sweet and innocent than his cousins and sister and it's good to see another side to Lily as well, a caring and concerned cousin as well!

I also want to talk about Lily again, purely because her character is interesting and I love the development's that take place in this chapter. I liked her talking about her appearance, I believe how a character thinks or talks about their appearance and how an author portrays this greatly affects a reader's perception. I like how you didn't linger on it, although you did prove that she does care about how she looks, but it's more to do with her reputation than anything else, I giggled a little when you mentioned that she felt she needed to look a little stuck up. It really allowed me to gain a better mental picture of how she would act at Hogwarts and potentially how she would treat others, although I hope we get to see this at some point!

Okay, I believe this chapter read really nicely, the flow was very good and there weren't many things I noticed in terms of awkwardly worded sentences or sentences that were perhaps a little too long or unnecessarily punctuated. So, overall it was a well written chapter which offered a lot to the development of the story overall, particularly with the introduction of so many new characters the focus still remained with Lily, and I certainly look forward to reading how this story develops in the future! The only suggestion I have is perhaps a little more description of the other characters, but aside from that it was another excellent chapter!

~ Ash

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Review #9, by In The Shadows I Dwell The Game

7th January 2012:
Hi Steph!
It's Ash here with your review, okay, to start off I'd like to say that you have a very nice opening to this story. The familiarity of the scene to me, being woken up by a sibling screaming about a spider was something I could picture in my own mind, but perhaps, most of all the most interesting thing about your opening was Lily herself and her attitude and personality which immediately leap off the screen at the reader. It's easy to gather a sense of her character from your writing, she is immediately portrayed as a prankster, organised and intelligent considering she has somehow managed to move an acromantula into her brother's bedroom. It would seem that she is much like her twin uncles and this is something I've never actually seen done before so this was an aspect of the beginning that I certainly liked.

The characterization of Lily is interesting, the next-gen is always interesting for me to see written purely because you are given the chance to do whatever you would like with their personality. I love how she appears to be much like James although the choice to place her in Slytherin seems to work well with her personality. She certainly is prepared to attempt to lie her way out of a bad situation which would make sense particularly as I often associate this sort of behavior with Slytherin due to Draco Malfoy. Harry and Ginny seem very much in character, there was a nice balance between them, Harry was neither weak nor strong compared to his wife and Ginny didn't seem to be entirely within control which you do sometimes see in fanfiction, so I think you have a nice balance here. I also enjoyed how you've portrayed Albus and James, their personalities are certainly different to Lily's but in a way which is unique and allows for the story to seem believable - I for one know exactly how different siblings can be so it's always great to see the Potter's represented as being entirely different from one another. I also like how Albus seems to share Ron's fear of spiders, a nice touch considering both were Gryffindor's and I believe it would be impossible for any single person to be unafraid of everything.

One thing I noticed which I have to point out is a couple of sentences which appeared to be worded awkwardly.
"Gives you a sense of hope for all those Slytherins out there." - This one just seemed to stop the flow of the story when reading despite it tying nicely with the sentence before it. Perhaps it would read better as something like: "It gives you a sense of hope for all those Slytherins out there." That way it would just flow on a little more nicely.

Another I noticed was this one: "Smirking I jumped out of my warm, green bed and slowly trudged into the bathroom so I could get ready for the call I was evidently going to receive once my parents went down stairs, to inspect and query Albus on why he woke the entire neighborhood up so early in the morning." It seemed a little long and I believe it could have been separated into a couple of sentences instead of a really long one, I noticed a couple of really long sentences which disrupted the flow a little, but overall your grammar and spelling were good and I have very little to talk about in this area aside from what I've mentioned above.

The flow of the story overall was good, it was easy to follow and the story itself was well written. The plot itself was believable and the overall idea of the story, while it is clear that Lily's existence is definitely concerned with pranking, the punishment makes it clear that there is room for her to improve with her actions and potentially learn from her actions. I particularly like how this chapter really set up the rest of the story, it's clear she may not have received that greater punishment for her pranks before and she's clearly going to learn that the hard way. I can't wait to find out what is going to happen in this story, particularly seeing as it is something entirely unique from all the next-gen stories I have read!

Keep up the excellent work and I look forward to reading more!
~ Ash

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Review #10, by Giola The Game

19th December 2011:
Hey Steph!

Right, well, it's been quite a while since I beta'd this, so I reread it :) You've got a great grasp on Lily's character already, her mischievous streak is clear :P

The dynamic between James and Lily is great as well, usually James and Albus are portrayed as allies, not James and Lily, but it works. Having Al as their opponent is classic, and works well. Poor middle child :P

You've got me intrigued for what happens in the future (though I partly know ;) ), as you've set it up well with Lily's pranking nature clear. Obviously she's going to run into trouble at some point.

Also, I'm jealous of how you pull off writing as younger characters. I used to only be able to pull off 16/17 year olds and older, now it's turning into the 18-21 bracket. Wonder why :P Anyway, it's amazing that you can write as someone many years younger, and you do it well :) Lovely job dear!

Merry christmas :)

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Review #11, by Parvati Patil The Game

17th December 2011:
Hello! Secret Ravenclaw here for the gift exchange ;)

I really enjoyed the first chapter of this story. First of all, I love the idea of Lily Luna Potter being in Slytherin. It's a nice refresher from all the stories of Albus being in Slytherin with James and Lily in Gryffindor, and with the way you've characterized her, Slytherin definitely does fit her personality in a lot of ways. I found it interesting, though, that she got so upset at her punishment at the end. Then again, Draco Malfoy got equally upset at punishments when he was in Hogwarts, so it does make sense, especially if she's used to being let off easily. I wonder if, since she knew she was going to be grounded before her parents said anything, they're going to find out about the special extendable ears xD

I'm also insanely curious to figure out how she captured the acromantula in the first place, since I wasn't aware you could contain them :P It'll be interesting to keep reading and find out!

I think you actually have Harry and Ginny done well here. In a lot of stories, I feel like Ginny's TOO headstrong, and Harry tries TOO hard to placate her, but in this, I think you have a really nice balance. Ginny wasn't screaming at Harry the entire time, and Harry didn't argue with her for everything either. And I found it hilarious that two weeks was a really long time for Lily. Makes me wonder how short she's usually grounded for xD

I do have a small criticism for you, however. Although your grammar is very good (yay for betas! :P), you tend to have some awkward sentence constructions. For example...

"It may not seem like it by his extremely high-pitched scream but it most definitely is him, after he finds a baby Acromantula in his bedroom."

There are a lot of phrases in that sentence which, on a whole, make the entire sentence awkward and hard to read. Something like "Based on his extremely high-pitched scream, it may not seem like it was him, but it definitely was my brother after he found a baby acromantula in his room." Or even breaking it up into two sentences would work. You do have a few other instances of that, so maybe mention it to your beta? I'm sure she'll be able to help with that.

Other than that, I think you have a wonderful start to a story here :) I'm definitely intruiged and want to read on, and I'm shocked that this doesn't have any reviews!

-Parvati Patil

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