Reading Reviews for Belief
  
19 Reviews Found

Review #1, by blackballet Christmas Dinner

12th August 2013:
Oh, this is so sweet and sad. Very bittersweet. I love how he said he doesn't believe in the war, almost in denial. He only believes in Lily, and I think you described his love for very well.

I'm so glad you wrote and I read this!

Author's Response: I think "bittersweet" is a great way of characterizing this story. It's great to hear that James's love for Lily came out as a major theme and you liked getting to see his perspective.

Thanks for another kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #2, by navyfail Christmas Dinner

18th July 2013:
This is a very short, cute one-shot. Reading from James point of view is wonderful. Usually people always write from Lily's perspective so I like the change. It makes sense how James doesn't believe in war since when it comes down to it he is a pureblood who hasn't felt what it is to be muggle-born. My favorite parts are when he notices Lily and talks about her(which is most of the story,lol). "I don't know if I believe in the war. If I believe in one thing, just one thing, I believe in her." That line has got to be my favorite. And I nearly cried when he said that his reason to fight is her and only her. And James' comment on McGonigall was funny. How Lily didn't get it until later was and then he almost laughs...that was an aww moment. Lovely one-shot and your portrayal of James/Lily was realistic with the right amount of romance.

~Sama

Author's Response: I did get a lot of comments when I first wrote this that people tend to use Lily's perspective, and I guess that's true. I did think it was cool to explore James because I don't like him much and I wanted to make him more relateable for me. This one-shot was directly inspired by a Doctor Who challenge and part of the quote you identified was the one I received, so that theme of fighting for love was one that really laid the foundation here. I did try to add in some lighter moments, though, like James's comment about McGonagall. I'm glad all of it worked well for you, and thanks for your lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #3, by CambAngst Christmas Dinner

7th November 2012:
Hi, Amanda!

I was looking for something memorable to read and review for my 500th review and Jami was bragging hard on this story. So here I am, hoping very much that I don't log in to HPFF and a few days and discover that my 500th review has suddenly become my 496th because somebody deleted a story. That would look pretty silly. ;)

Right out of the gate you throw me a fun little twist. I have never once thought about what someone who grew up in a pure blood family would make of a weather forecast. It must seem an awful lot like the forecasters are gifted with the inner eye when you don't understand anything about barometric pressure, radar and weather stations.

I adored your version of Lily's family background. So many fics portray the Evans family as middle class, which never made sense in a lot of ways. The past you give her makes her close friendship with Severus more believable, and also adds to the contrast of her love for James. It lines up perfectly to Petunia's obsession with the trappings of middle-class, suburban life that we see in the books. I know it's an odd thing to be thinking about in this story, but I also like the parallels to Ginny's upbringing and her eventual marriage to Harry. All in all, it's a splendid idea supported very well by so many small details like the origin of the table.

Your physical descriptions of Lily are gripping, and really emphasize how completely smitten James is with her. All of the other details of the room seem to melt away from his point of view when she's around. It's perfectly done.

Oh my god! Do you and Jami get together and synchronize headcanon? (I mean, aside from the part where she thinks that pairing Snape and Lily is a very bad thing. ;) ) The idea that Sirius would be acting as "surrogate son" for the Potters so that James can have Christmas dinner with the Evanses sounds exactly like something she'd come up with for BTF. And it's a heart-warming thought, besides.

I know how much you love to pair Lily and Snape, and James's thoughts about his former rival were actually a great way for you to avoid what probably feels like a touchy subject. Knowing what an amazing thing he has in Lily, it's really easy to imagine James feeling a bit of pity for the angry boy who let his obsession with the Dark Lord's ideas cost him Lily's friendship. But the protective side of his feelings is what makes this perfect. He can't abide the thought of Severus being around Lily because he knows the company that Severus keeps and he knows their agenda. And he'll do absolutely anything to keep Lily safe.

He's even moved on just a bit from his single-minded loyalty to his friends. It's not that he doesn't care about them, he just cares about Lily so much more. I think it's a very realistic way to age his character, something that a lot of fics don't do. She is his reason for fighting in the war, and that's a beautiful sentiment to me.

Your writing in this was lovely. Everything flowed perfectly and James's inner monologue was broken up just enough by his interactions with Lily to give it a nice rhythm. This was really beautiful. You should write James and Lily together more often. (ducks before Amanda throws something at me...) ;)

Author's Response: Hi Dan! Thank you again for coming by!

I wanted to play with the lighter aspects of Lily and James, given that the background of this story (and indeed, the time period) is so dark. I did have fun imagining what a pure-blood would make of a meteorologist (imagine Arthur Weasley!) and talking about the Evanses humble household. I don't think Lily, with her kind, giving heart, could have grown up with a large measure of privilege.

You pinpointed it--I wrote this from James's point of view because it was least threatening to me to imagine him through the way he sees Lily. I can appreciate Lily, and it helped humanize him for me to imagine him doing the same. I'm so glad I wrote this story, because it made it much easier for me to write Jily in later work, like Post Scriptum. Shameless plug alert, but you should give that one a try if you want to see more awkward James and Lily fluffiness.

Hah, no, this one was penned before I even met Jami. But I agree that it would fit well in Before They Fall. Maybe that's part of why she recommended this fic to you? Haha.

I just felt like Severus shouldn't be left out. I don't know that James could forget about him, since he was a big part of Lily's life and the source of much James-Lily conflict initially. I wanted to use his feelings about Snape to show that he'd grown a bit in this piece. I like how you said that he can identify with Snape and yet feels the need to protect Lily from him, knowing what he now is. Very true.

My idea of James definitely cares a lot about his friends, but yeah, Lily wins out in the end. Strangely, I would think Severus would feel the same way, given a second chance.

Thank you so much for this lovely review :)

Amanda


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Review #4, by Cleopatraa Christmas Dinner

25th June 2012:
Slytherin Review Tag :)

I admit Iím not an huge Lily/James fan but your summary just lured me in, despite the pairing. Well Iím kinda glad I read it it was really beautiful. I think you portrayed James and Lily in a very realistic way. Especially James because people have the tendency to write him in such a way which makes me annoyed at the character. The way he was talking about the war made me for some reason think about Harry so that was nice to see. A really great story!

Cleo

Author's Response: Hey! :)

I'm not either, which is what made this tough, but I'm glad it worked for you and that you thought it was pretty. It's great that you felt like both Lily and James were characterized well.

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #5, by adluvshp Christmas Dinner

30th May 2012:
Here for slytherin tag!

This was a beautiful piece of writing, just like your many others. I think, even though you're a hardcore Snape/Lily fan, you did a superb job with James/Lily. I could literally feel the love and affection James has for Lily. The story flowed really well, and I loved the dialogues and thought processes. It was all perfect. This was really a sweet little piece and reading it made me smile.

You're such an amazing writer, you inspire me :)

Great work!

10/10

Cheers!
AD
~Recenseo~

Author's Response: Aww, thanks, AD! :) I'm glad the affection between James and Lily came through okay. I had a really good time playing with James and trying to imagine how he and Lily fell in love. It was meant to be sort of sweet and fluffy on top of a darker backdrop, so I'm glad that came through.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #6, by slytherinchica08 Christmas Dinner

13th May 2012:
Oh this is such a wonderful oneshot! I really enjoyed this piece and thought that you did a great job with your characterization! The way that James thought about things throughout this whole piece was just so well done and it was beautiful! I loved the thoughts on Snape and his friends and then in the end when he helps her with the seating chart it was just so sweet and wonderful! Really I could probably gush for a long time on how wonderful and original this piece is! I could see the originality in this piece from the very beginning until the very end and for someone who loves to read james/lily but it always ends up being the same I absolutely loved the refreshing take on the two! I hope that the challenge goes/went well for you! Great Job!

~Slytherinchica08~
Rescenseo 2012

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks for coming by :)

I'm really glad you felt like this piece was original and that I did a good job of blending the darker stuff (the war) with the lighter stuff (the wedding). I'm especially glad that you liked this as a Jily shipper, because I'm really not one so much and I wasn't entirely sure about it when I first posted it. Unfortunately, I don't think the results of the challenge are going to be posted, but I appreciate your well wishes and I did enjoy working on this a lot.

Thanks so much for your kind review! :)

-Amanda


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Review #7, by NaidatheRavenclaw Christmas Dinner

31st March 2012:
Hello! Here with your challenge reviews :)

I really wanted to read this one shot because of the quote, really. That's one of my favorite Doctor Who quotes and I wanted to see the way you incorporated it into the story. I also love James/Lily (though unrequited Snape/Lily is lovely as well) and I think you did pull off both their characters perfectly. Definitely one of my favorite James/Lily one shots.

One of my favorite parts of this is how it was written from James's point of view. The story always seems to be in the PoV of the girl. I guess, at least for me, it's harder to get into the head of a guy, but you've done that really well here. His thoughts weren't overly gushy, and his proclamations of love were more direct. Most guys aren't going to describe the girl like they were writing a poem, yet they do in a lot of stories. Here, James seems /normal/ and that's really important.

I also love how all the worrying and the heavier parts were offset by humor. The seating chart was hilarious. "Well, I suppose itíll be okay, as long as you donít put her next to me. I donít want things to be awkward between us after all of those long, secluded detentions." That line was my favorite in the story. I also liked it because it made James seem more like the easy going Marauder. I think people sometimes get caught up in fluff and forget that James is a Marauder. He would say things like that.

And the DW quote was integrated perfectly. I really liked that part in general. Of course he was fighting for Lily. Of course he believes in her. I think that part was more adorable than any amount of actual fluff.

An excellent one shot! I'm so glad I get to read so much of your work :D

-Naida

Author's Response: Hey! I appreciate you coming by :)

I also love that quote, and so I was super excited when I got it for the challenge. As you can see by the author's note, I really don't love James/Lily, so this was kind of tricky and fun for me to experiment with. (Naturally, I couldn't resist throwing Snily in there, even if it had to be unrequited in this case.)

You know, I've gotten that comment a lot, and I was a little surprised to hear that most people only use Lily's perspective. I love Lily so much, but James was interesting, and trying to get into his head was easily the most challenging and interesting part of doing this. I definitely wanted to make him seem real, and I agree that I can't see him reciting poetry to Lily. He's still a Marauder, after all.

Yes, haha, that was one of my favorite parts. Again, like you said, he's a Marauder, so I could only make him so fluffy. But I also wanted to include the war and the gravity associated with that, and it's good that you felt like the two were intermingled well.

Oh, good, the romance came out well. Since I don't ship Jily for the most part, I was trying to figure out what Lily could have seen in James that would make her change her mind about him, and this sort of real, deep devotion stuck out to me when I received the quote. In spite of all his flaws, James is a good person on the inside, and he's got his heart in the right place. That's what I figured she saw.

Thanks so much for your very kind review! :)

-Amanda


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Review #8, by In The Shadows I Dwell Christmas Dinner

19th March 2012:
Hi,
It's InTheShadowsIDwell from the forums here with your first review! I'm really sorry about the length of time it has taken me to get around to posting these for you, I wish I could have sooner, but I'm here now. Okay, I don't read a lot of James/Lily, probably because I really do love Severus/Lily more, but I really like how you've managed to capture their relationship in this piece and how the world is for them during Voldemort's first rise to power. It's interesting seeing Lily at her family home, probably because of the way Petunia seems to be reacting to everything, and how James sees this. It's also very interesting seeing things from his perspective as he was brought up with magic while Lily was not, the differences, and the comments he makes really were a nice detail in this piece.

I really loved the first line, although I don't know what it's like for snow to be a day late, it immediately gave me as a reader a sense of the time that the story was taking place in, and the first thing that came to my mind was Christmas. I also love the attention that you give James to Lily, although it seems like a simple line: "She is so beautiful." Alone and just there really in it's own way captured how much he truly cares for her and it was just a lovely way to show this. I also like how he speaks not only of his friends, but also of Snape and how close he lives to Lily, the fact that he's not running off to hex him really showed that he's more mature and I suppose ready to marry her.

I also love the detail you've given to James's thoughts, particularly about the war and how it relates to his life and his marriage, in particular the line about him not knowing whether he believes in the war, but rather he believes in her was just beautiful, but also sad as it really showed how confusing these times would have been for the characters who just happened to be in the middle of it all.

I absolutely love your writing style for this piece, you've managed to portray James in this entirely unique way where he clearly has more to think about than just getting or keeping Lily, or making sure his friends stay out of trouble. The fact that I noticed no grammatical or spelling errors is also great as well, and the story just flowed so beautifully from start to end, I almost wish it never ended. Well done on this lovely one-shot, I cannot wait to read your others!

~ In The Shadows I Dwell

Author's Response: Hello there! Thank you for coming by!

I'm definitely a Snily shipper as well, and so this was a challenge, but it's gotten a positive reception that I truly do appreciate. The Snape/Lily relationship can be so dark and dynamic, and it was sort of nice to explore the lighter side here, even with a grim backdrop.

I'm happy that you liked my portrayal of James. I wanted to show how much he cares for Lily, and how much he has changed as a result of that -- the old James probably would have rushed off and given Snape a few preliminary hexes just for being at home at the same time that Lily was at home. James's affection for Lily is simple on the surface, but it has caused him to explore some complicated feelings and truths about the world, and I admire him a little for facing those things in an attempt to win her heart.

That line about believing in Lily sparked the entire piece, and I do think that canon James probably did a lot of fighting because of her. I wanted to focus on that, because I think the Snily shipper in me can at least appreciate that a man who works that hard for Lily deserves to have her, in some sense at least.

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed this! :)

-Amanda


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Review #9, by Elenia Christmas Dinner

8th March 2012:
(Tag!)

Ooh, this was such a beautiful one-shot. It was so brilliantly written and so full of emotion. Awesome work.

I think you made James and Lily seem very true to their character. I really liked it how James was constantly amazed about Lily and how much he loved her, you made his feelings seem so real.

All the little details you managed to slip here were also great. I especially liked the beginning where James was concerned about muggles learning Divination and his joke about McGonagall. I think they fit his character really well along with the concerns about Snape.

Good job! You're a really talented writer (:

~Elenia

Author's Response: Oh, thank you! It was definitely a challenge for me and I've been happy to hear how well people think it turned out. I apologize that my response took so long!

I don't think I'd ever really written James before this piece, and I was surprised by how easy it was for me to get inside his head. Lily, of course, is an old favorite. I never get tired of exploring the nooks and crannies of her personality :)

It's great to see that the small moments of levity worked for you, too. I wanted to use them to lighten up an otherwise dark piece.

Thanks again so very much!

Amanda


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Review #10, by Violet Gryfindor Christmas Dinner

31st December 2011:
This is lovely, Amanda! I didn't expect you to write from James's perspective, but that perspective is what makes this perfect with its more limited point of view on Lily, their relationship, and the war - you dig more deeply into his complexities than a third person perspective is capable of, all of that emotion and confusion, his inner quarrels, particularly regarding his belief in the war. I liked that repetition because it emphasized how much Lily means to him and how afraid he is of losing her and losing what he has with her. His loyalties are pulling him in multiple directions, and he's not old enough to know how to deal with that - no one would be able to deal with it that much.

There's a lot that I could list of things I liked about this story. The Christmas dinner at her parents with their Muggle ways; the wedding seating plan with the joke about McGonagall (OMG! that made me laugh out loud); his worries over Snape (he's so paranoid - spending too much time with Moody, to be sure); and the portrayal of his love for Lily. You capture the L/J pairing wonderfully, and not only for a Snilly shipper - so often L/J stories are cliched and overdone, but this one has the perfect amount of fluff, well-tempered by the realities of the war. Excellent work, all-round! :D

I'm sorry for having taken so long to get to this, but I do hope that you're able to write more L/J if you can, as you've done a wonderful job with this and I'd love to see more! Your stories are fabulous, and anything new you write will be a treat! ^_^

Author's Response: Hey Susan! :)

People have said before that choosing to write through James was unexpected, but it just kind of made sense to me. I guess it's because of my perspective -- I'm so used to writing about Snape being so enamored with Lily, and so it just felt like a natural transition to write from James's view and describe his own adoration of Lily. I don't know if this is good, but she always seems to come across as this figure of light and pure goodness compared to the other characters I write.

I'm glad the McGonagall joke worked for you! People have praised the way I handled the Snape situation and James's feelings about being a young man in the midst of a war, but I don't think anyone has mentioned that, and it was my one reference to "classic" James. Anyway, I did want to make sure I treated the war appropriately, as you know how much it bugs me when people leave the war out of Marauder-era pieces. He's just a kid, and as you said, his loyalties are being pulled in so many directions, and he's being asked to become someone so much older and more mature than he should have to be.

As with most every time I've written something "new" for me, I've gotten a new appreciation for James out of this piece, and I don't think I'd be so vehemently opposed to writing him again in the future. Of course, I'll always wish my dear Severus had gotten the girl, but I can see a bit of the beauty in James/Lily now. I guess you never know :)

Thanks for your fantastic review! I love them.

Amanda


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Review #11, by EverDiggory Christmas Dinner

22nd December 2011:
you did do James and Lily justice(:
I did enjoy this,despite my distaste for James/Lily...
Strong points were definitely James dislike towards Severus and his concern for Lily.

I think details could have been added to this one,unless it was supposed to be that James was so lost in his thoughts. I think there could have been a bit more on the setting as well.

This was pretty good,which is definitely something to be proud of(: Im sure this story was enjoyed and appreciated by the lot! 8/10

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad to hear that. I'm sorry that you didn't think I added enough details, as I really tried to describe the dinner table and the house adequately. It was written in such a way that James was kind of supposed to be lost in his thoughts, though, rather than focusing on the present.

Thanks for your kind review :)

academica


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Review #12, by Singularity Christmas Dinner

1st December 2011:
Hello :) Thank you so much for entering my challenge! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get to your review. I think I'm a bit awful at hosting challenges...

Anyway, this was a very lovely one-shot. I don't read much marauder's era, but I really liked this story. I think you portrayed James and Lily in a very realistic way. James is a character who often gets on my nerves, because (in my opinion at least) we don't get to see a whole lot of his good points. So often he's full of himself and obnoxious and kind of a bully, but that's obviously not all there is to him. I liked seeing a more contemplative and mellow James. You also made his love for Lily very clear. The little details that he notices about her, and how he's so caught up in looking about and thinking about her that he doesn't even realize that his sleeve is in his food. Very sweet :)

When James was talking about the war and how he wasn't sure he believed in it, I was strongly reminded of Harry. Both of them are just these kids who get thrust into the middle of a war that they don't necessarily want to fight, but they both choose to fight to protect the people they love. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I thought it was really great.

I also thought it was a really nice touch that you added in James' conflict about how he felt about Snape, especially the similarities between Snape and Sirius.

You incorporated the quote flawlessly. If I didn't know you were quoting DW, I don't think I would have noticed that you slipped that in there. It fits perfectly with this story and the placement was perfect.

Really amazing job. Thanks again for entering my challenge!

~Singularity

Author's Response: Hey! I'm happy you got a chance to review :)

I'm not usually a huge fan of James either, as I explained in my author's note, but I really gained a new appreciation for him in working on this piece. I'm glad that you liked how I characterized him, particularly with the emphases on his reaction to the war and his love for Lily. I definitely do see a comparison between Harry's experience in the war and his father's feelings in this piece. They were all thrown into something they weren't ready for.

Yeah, I find it hard to write things without mentioning Snape in some capacity. I'm fascinated by his character, and I thought using him would be a good way to show James's growth and maturity in this piece.

I'm happy you liked how I used the quote (which I loved, by the way) and the piece overall. Thanks for your very kind review! :)

academica


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Review #13, by EnigmaticEyes16 Christmas Dinner

19th November 2011:
This was a lovely little one-shot. I must say, while I normally don't read James/Lily, I keep coming across little treasures like this that make me happy.

This was wonderful bordering-sad story, although I like how you add some humor at key moments. Like at the beginning with the weatherman, and at the end with Sprout. Those certainly light the mood just enough to keep the story from being too dreary. Really, I love the idea of James and Lily worrying about the war before it's really happened, and while planning their wedding no less. And you portrayed a nice little window into James' mind, and I liked how he didn't really believe in the war, but was doing it for Lily. To protect Lily because he loved her more than anything else. And I enjoyed his comments about Snape, because neither he nor Lily know what we know, and that's how much Snape really did love Lily, even though he worked for a man who wanted to get rid of people like her.

It was all very good and very well written, I think you really did do both characters justice.

-EnigmaticEyes16

Author's Response: Hey! :)

I'm glad you liked the little touches of humor. I know James grew up a lot, but in designing his character here, I felt like it would be essential to include a little bit of lightheartedness in there.

Yeah, the war is an important theme for me when it comes to James and Lily, and all stories that occur in the Marauders' era. Though these piece was about both of them, I worked harder to get into James's head than Lily's because I've written Lily before (in a way). I really do feel like the people closest to him are the reason he fights in the war, and I like the parallel you drew between him and Snape. I'm glad someone else can appreciate the value of the love Snape had for Lily! :)

Thanks for your kind review!

academica


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Review #14, by forsakenphoenix Christmas Dinner

19th November 2011:
I think I'm just overly emotional but the end of this story had tears pricking my eyes. This is so beautiful, Amanda. I'm so happy you've done one of my favorite ships justice. I know how hard it must have been for you to write this, considering your disdain for the ship, but you have honestly done such a wonderful job with these characters and the strength of their relationship.

I love how James sits at the table, with his elbow in food, totally encompassed by this one girl. You reiterate the fact throughout the story how his life revolves around her, that she's the only reason that he's fighting in this war and the only thing he believes in. It's powerful and it just makes me sigh happily. I love your James, here. His quiet contemplation, the small observances he makes about her - the furrow of her brow and her green eyes. It's perfect.

I love the contrast between his anger and his sympathy for Snape in this. The backtracking thoughts on how Snape is nothing like Sirius, but really, he kind of is. It's sad that James doesn't think Snape deserves a happy life like Sirius does, because of his actions with Voldemort. The contrast is nice just because I would find it hard to swallow if James kept spewing off evil things to say about Snape.

I love how Lily's trying to come up with a seating plan as a way to forget about what's going on, what they're missing out on. Though, I have to admit that my first thought when he talked about X's and familiar names, I thought Lily was writing up a battle plan or something. It's obvious the war is something at the forefront of my mind as a reader, so it was lovely to see her doing something so trivial while still worrying about the war outside.

I think my favorite part of this story, though, besides the relationship you've written between James and Lily, is James's thoughts on the war. It's interesting because usually James is seen as this leader and everyone automatically assumes that he was gung-ho about the war and willing to throw himself into the midst of it. Here, he's more reserved, more like the scared young adult he should be. It's something I see so rarely in fics written about James, and a characterization I find fitting for this story.

The last line killed me and caused me to tear up. It's just such a beautiful way to end this perfect piece. I love how he's just so consumed by her. Perfect. :)

Author's Response: As usual, I'm speechless! I'll try to form a coherent response, though :)

I'm not so sure 'disdain' is the right word anymore. I've really gained a new appreciation for them after writing this, which of course is the point of challenging yourself, right? I still lean toward Snily, but now I can read stories like Amaranthine and Lost in the Dying Light and not feel those pangs of guilt for being able to understand James/Lily. It's a nice feeling, the diversity I've got now :)

Really? James was perfect? Oh my. Thank you! I did want to convey his maturity here for sure - his thoughtfulness, his appreciation for the little things, his serious wrestling with his thoughts, and his grown-up attitude toward Snape. The last part was especially important: I wanted him to critically evaluate his feelings toward Snape and realize that the world must be viewed in shades of grey, that he must understand why he hates Snape if he's going to.

A battle plan... interesting. It makes me wonder, if she looks back at it later, how many of those names will now belong to dead people. She's trying so hard to focus on the positive and the normal in the midst of chaos, poor thing. I wanted James to help her here.

It is kind of an interesting characterization of James, or so my reviewers have told me. I do agree that he's a scared kid, barely old enough to Apparate, though my perception was heavily influenced by the aforementioned Jily stories.

I loved writing the last line, so I'm glad you liked it. Sometimes things just fall into place and you wind up writing the perfect finale :)

Amanda


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Review #15, by hplover987 Christmas Dinner

16th November 2011:
hplover987 here with your review.

Strengths
This was a truely beautiful chapter. Most Lily/James are written in Lily's p.o.v. or in third person. For somebody who normally writes Lily/Snape this is mind blowing. You took James's p.o.v. and really showed that true love that he has for his wife to be. There was a point in there when you refured to him getting her and him saying that he'd agree that she'd come to him in the end but inside be full of doubt. This connects with James's confident, winning, egotistic attitude from Snapes worst memory (OoP). This chapter really connects to the reader because of James's emotions. James questions himself and the war and asks himself why am I fighting? I don't even believe in the war. This is true not just in the books but in real life, people in the army, navy and RAF fight every day without understanding it and just taking orders, but they fight for those back home and stop their loved ones from getting killed, like James said. It was interesting to see James's attitude to Lily's family and to Snape and the death eaters and then comparing him to Sirius before hating himself for doing so. We also saw that loyalty James is know for with his friends and his guilt for not being there with them. The characterisation of James was spot on e.g. him and his love and trying to lighten the mood with an attempt at slight humour, Lily was good e.g. the way she felt the need to help, Pertunia e.g. how cold she is to James and that is how we would imagine her to be. The flow, pace and inner thoughts are perfect. Well done.

Weaknesses/improvments
What to say? This is the first story I have reviewed where I really don't know what to say here. Britpicking wise you were spot on. I didn't see any grammar errors. Good job.

Summary
The idea for the christmas day wedding planning was great. The flow, pace and the characterisation was very good. Just the dialog from the characters and James's inner thought and feelings were brilliant.

My opinion
I completely loved it! I really connected with this and felt that it really rings true for every war and soldier out there fighting a mindless war for their loved ones and following orders. As you can see I don't know how you could improve. This is your first Lily/James, well done and be proud of yourself. A complete pleasure to read. Truely beautiful writing and I feel blessed to of read it.

Thank you for requesting! I hope you benifit from my review, if you have any questions just PM me. Feel free to request anything that you want my opinion on and thank you x

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for leaving such a great review :)

I don't know a lot about James, both because canon is limited in describing him and because I've always been a little resistant in getting to know him because of my Snily prejudices. I did try to explore his emotions a little bit and really get at the root of what makes him who he is. I perceived that to be his loyalty to his friends, his unequivocal hatred of the dark side of the war, and his love for his fiancee. The Snape-related bits probably came from my prejudices, but I did think they were a good way of showing that he'd grown up a lot here since the incident back in his fifth year, that he'd become the man Lily deserved. As for his thoughts about the war, I do think he does sometimes come across in fanfiction as being very macho and all about fighting, and I wanted to emphasize here that he's just a kid like all the others and likely has his doubts and frustrations about what he has to do. Anyway, I'm happy all of that worked for you!

I'm really flattered by your comments and so pleased that I seem to have accomplished my goal: writing a ship I don't totally agree with. Still, after having given it a try, I can see the merit of James/Lily, and I can understand why so many people hold the pairing in high esteem. For me, it just goes to show that JKR created such wonderful, rich characters that they can be seen in many different lights and still appear beautiful to an appreciative reader.

Thanks again for your awesome review! I have a feeling I'll be re-requesting in the future :)

academica


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Review #16, by The Wizard of Potterland Christmas Dinner

14th November 2011:
It was really cute :) I think the characterization was pretty good and the quote was integrated really well into the story.

Author's Response: Hey, thanks! I'm glad you liked the characterization and how I used the quote.

Thanks again for your kind review! :)

academica


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Review #17, by Roots in Water Christmas Dinner

12th November 2011:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

This was beautiful. I really enjoyed it.

I think that you used present tense to great effect here. Usually I don't like present tense because I feel it makes writing description harder but the gentle simplicity of this story makes heavy use of description unnecessary.

As well, I think that you described James' love for Lily very well. There was nothing to suggest that you don't like this pairing and I liked the way you inserted Severus in the story. James seemed more mature here, calmer, and his feelings regarding Severus really showed this. He dislikes him because of the harm he and his cause could do to his Lily and I find that very understandable.

I also really liked the way you weaved his affection for Lily throughout the story. It wasn't awkward or out of place or plunked in the story like a big speech. It was very real and you could tell from the casual way he spoke of her beauty and his love for her that he really meant it, that he really felt it because it occupied his every thought.

I also found his attitude towards the war interesting. I don't think I've read a story before where he felt such dislike towards it- usually he is more passionate about the cause. However I think that his attitude worked very well with your quote, which, by the way, you did a great job of integrating. If I hadn't known it was from the Doctor challenge I would have thought that you wrote it.

All in all this piece was thoroughly enjoyed and I really do think that you wrote a convincing James/Lily story. Great work! I hope my comments are helpful and thanks for requesting!

Author's Response: Aww, thanks for taking up my request and coming by to review! It means a lot to me :)

I'm glad you liked the present tense. I think sometimes you can kind of feel from the outset which tense to use for a particular story, and this one just begged me for first person perspective and present tense. I sometimes find that the emotions come through a little more raw in present tense, for some reason, and so I wanted to use it here.

Oh, thank you for commenting on my treatment of Severus from James's POV! I tried so hard to make it true to James, but true to the mature James who finally wooed Lily in the end. I also made a great effort to make James's feelings for Lily seem genuine and grown-up, and if I accomplished that, great! It seems like the story came out exactly as I intended it to, which is of course a huge compliment to any author.

Yes, the war -- I kind of like the idea of James and Lily being very disillusioned with the war, and because I wanted Lily to seem sort of innocent here by contrast to the fighting, I put the focus on James's feelings about the war. Weaving in the quote did have a lot to do with that, but I'm glad that it worked nonetheless.

Thanks so much for your wonderful review :)

Amanda


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Review #18, by CloakAuror9 Christmas Dinner

11th November 2011:
Hello!

Okay, I love love love James/Lily and for you to request a review for a story shipping them, is like being given a million dollar cash.

I remember you mentioned you were a Lily/Severus shipper? If you are, I'd like to congratulate you for making such a wonderful story. I know how hard it is to try and write something you oppose, I've tried it once writing a Severus/Lily one but it just didn't work out because I always gave James the good side. (I'm a disrespectful Slytherin.)

Rambling on...I love the story, the characterisation was lovely. I wish it wasn't a one-shot tho :( sad sad.

Your story was amazing! 9/10,
CloakAuror9

Author's Response: Really? Aww. Thanks!

Looking at your previous reactions to getting James/Lily stories, I thought you might enjoy this piece :) I am a hardcore Snily shipper, that's for sure, and this piece was my way of challenging myself to explore James, a character I usually hold in very low regard. So I suppose I'm the opposite of you :) I did get a greater appreciation for him in working on this, though, and I'm pleased that it seems to have come out in the way I wrote this story.

Thanks so much for your kind (and quick) review! :)

academica


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Review #19, by ThatPotterGirl Christmas Dinner

11th November 2011:
You did a wonderful job portraying the characters. I really like it.

Author's Response: Oh my goodness, a review already? THANK YOU! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and felt that I did James and Lily justice in my characterization.

Thanks again for your kind review! :)

academica


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