Reading Reviews for To This City, A Love Song
11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by shoveitsunshine To this City, a Love Song

4th November 2012:
You are the master of all masters when it comes to one-shots. Really. I keep getting victimized by your utter amazingness. I've always held a soft spot for Snily, and you write them wonderously. I really liked how by the end it all came full circle, with Snape screaming in the field, like when he first saw Lily. And this line just killed me--The retort is poised on the tip of his tongue, frighteningly simple as it is: You left me first, remember?

Author's Response: Thank you. I love writing one-shots, more so than actual novels - I get sidetracked all the time, you see? So I am THRILLED to hear you love my one-shots :P They are like my dirty pleasures, where I can play around with my characters and test out new styles. SO THANK YOU SO MUCH. I'm so happy you liked it, thank you!

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Review #2, by Remus To this City, a Love Song

20th September 2012:
Hey!! Perelandra here from the forums with your review!! Sorry that it took a while...I had to rest my eyes last night. Haha! But I'm here now! :D

You know, I still can't understand why some people dislike Snape/Lily stories. The love he had for her, their entire story (whether the author has Lily be with Snape or not) is always so tragic! We know how its going to end, its a train-wreck, but we just can't look away.

Writing in present tense, I think, is what makes the story. The way it flows is just amazing making me ache for Sev a lot more than I usually would in a Snilly story. The line that impacted me the most was on the first part "This has always been about the end" ugh, I knew right there that this was definitely going to make me cry.

I liked a lot of stuff in this fic but what I liked the most is Lily's evolution from a scared and innocent little girl to someone who is not a goody two shoes like others paint her. She has flaws but Snape still loves her and will never stop loving her. Some might call it obsession...others true love and devotion.

Anyway! I have nothing else to say aside from the fact that this was a well written story and that I loved it!

Thanks for requesting a review!


Author's Response: hi there!

I'm really happy you liked this. Lily's never been a goody two shoes in my head, but that's just how my mind works. I'm so glad you noticed that. And I'm so happy you liked this. Thank you for all your kind words. It really means a lot.

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Review #3, by lia_2390 To this City, a Love Song

18th September 2012:
There's something about this that leaves me caught up in everything. Maybe that's what present tense does - it leaves you in the moment. Not to mention your enviable writing style - one which I always enjoyed reading.

I thought this was a bit sad even in the first section - it all ended before it began. It ended the moment he set his eyes on her.

I've seen writers approach this storyline all the time, in so many different ways, all leading to a similar outcome. You wrote a very convincing, young Severus Snape here. I realise the story is strictly dealing with him and Lily, but I like that you've included the mentions of his mother, their problems at home with his father, and his death eater friends, which makes me think that yes, he is in a different place, but not entirely out of the loop. If that makes sense.

Lily's characterisation, however, was interesting to say the least. To be fair, I haven't read much with her. Most of the time, she's the same person - few dared to venture past the clich Marauder era - Lily for the sake of maturity. Again, I've found yours believable. I'm not one of those people who believed she was such a saint, so I'm thrilled you haven't painted her with that same brush. She's a bit more daring here, and almost a bit selfish.emphasis on almost. For me, it looks like she keeps up appearances with Severus for the sake of it, but her heart really isn't there. I can't say who that benefited in the end though.

'You left me first, remember? - That's just it, isn't it? But then you have to ask yourself if she was really there from the start. That's why the last line of your first paragraph is so important.

I really enjoyed reading this, and I'm sorry I had nothing constructive to say.


Author's Response: Hi there! No worries :) I'm really happy you liked this and yes, you've nailed it: it all ended before it even began. I'm so happy you liked my Lily, I've never believed that she'd be another Hermione. She was rebelling against a force that was greater than herself, but as a Gryffindor you're passionate, loyal and frankly a bit stupid and rash at times. As for who gained anything from the relationship? I think they both kind of got burnt in the fire. They didn't ever walk away from it and it ate them up and destroyed them.

I'm so happy you liked this. Thank you so much for your wonderful review.

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Review #4, by Moonyxluna To this City, a Love Song

6th September 2012:
Hi! I'm here with your requested review :)

I love Snily.. and this was so beautiful! I think you grasped their crumbling relationship and Severus' life with such a certain sense of poise and emotion that it made this so beautiful!

You asked about flow. Honestly I don't think you have anything to worry about; the style of the story makes the abrupt transitions work. Yes, they are abrupt, but it tells a story and they all fit together in a lovely fashion as I read through.

I think you did a great job capturing Severus, and I thought Lily's characterization was very original and interesting. I'll talk a little bit below about the maturity, but I think you gave her an edge, and she was definitely... cool. She countered him, she stood up for herself, She was the strong Lily Evans that we love, but original at the same time. I liked how you slowly shattered things for them. I love the ship but it's always got that looming star-crossed doom and you worked that in very well.

As I said above, the only critical thing I could really find would be that Severus and Lily, they feel mature. And, I do think the style of the story makes it work better than normal, but there is still a sense that they are behaving well upon their age in their actions together for the first half. It's mostly the before "Snape's Worst Memory" incident that my concerns sit; If that pin-points it better. like I said though, the setup - reliving little blurs in Severus' life - gives it balance. I noticed a few missing words, but I don't think it's anything another read-through or a beta couldn't catch. By no means was it distracting from the flow.

Her smile is crooked, reminding him of the man he lost her to.
Regret's smart like that.
-my heart broke at this point. Out of all of the imagery, everything I think this stood out the most to me in the change that Severus saw go through her.

Your imagery is so spectacular. I love your metaphors and the way you describe things within the little moments is so fitting to paint the picture for the reader's mind.

I wish I could be more helpful! Seriously, this was such an enjoyable read, and I really don't think you have anything to worry about with the flow. It works; with this story, it works. Fantastic job with this! You really captured the ship so gracefully and reminded me why I love it.


Author's Response: Hi there!

I'm really pleased you liked this one! I've been a bit concerned with it, but you totally put my mind at ease! I've always had trouble writing from a child's POV and I think that was probably what shone through here. I mean, my imagery is just a bit too mature to fit into small kids' mindsets. I don't exactly know what to do about it, though, and I somewhat feel that it still reflects the two of them. But yeah, I guess I can see your point. They're very mature. I actually never gave it a thought before now, so I might have to be more aware of this when writing children's thoughts. At the same time, though, I know I thought and spoke like this when I was younger, so I guess it depends on people? No. I don't know. I definitely see your point, though!

I'm so happy you liked this. Thank you so much for reviewing, this was a great help!

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Review #5, by SilentConfession To this City, a Love Song

28th August 2012:
Hi! I'm here for your requested review!

I don't even know where to start on this kind of story! I just want to fall into mush and hug Snilly for all it's worth! I've never thought of them as an actual couple or ever had a notion that it was anything more than unrequited love. But you made me believe ever single moment of this. There is very few stories that i read that make me believe the pairing so full heartedly as this. Usually they're written in such a way that the characters fit well enough together but this just felt like you couldn't take one without the other. I think the fact that you haven't read many Snilly's actually works in your favour here because you haven't been tainted by how other people see them. It makes this story so fresh and alive like new parchment.

Your take on Lily is absolutely mind jarring and absolutely lovely. There is something about her that i really just like because she's so real. She's definitely recognizable in a weird way. She's different from a lot of Lily's i've read and i think you really executed her well and made me believe her. I think there are many people who try to break the mary-sue Lily who's both fire-y and passionate yet booksmart and good. I think this is is the best rendition of that that i've ever read. I'm not sure why and i'm not sure i can express my awe with coherent words but I like this version of her, a lot.

Severus too, i've never read something that's ever captured his emotions for her so fully. I haven't read many Severus stories myself which may attribute to that but at the moment i'm not sure if i want to because i feel like you really captured something really beautiful here. He just seems like Severus. So utterly and inescapably him. I love how you didn't make them just end when he uttered that word but made it drag out across the rest of their lives. It wasn't the end of a chapter of that life but rather it kept coming back, poking wounds into both of them.

The flow and coherency is absolutely stunning. I loved the disjointed moments you showed and how they all seemed to revolve mostly around his encounters with Lily. There were times that there was some break-up with the flow and i was confused at where some of his thoughts were coming from and where they were going. It was mostly nothing serious and i feel like it actually added to the story. People's thoughts are usually disjointed to an extent and they can be all over the place and sometimes they don't make perfect sense. So the fact that there was sometimes (and trust me, it was few and far between) a bit of confusion it does not hinder your story at all.

I'll point out one of them although it's not a big deal, but it was with the paragraph were the doorbell rings and and he's asking about difference and what would have made a difference. I think this was an important moment and showed something really beautiful in parts of it but it was one of those that it didn't hit me as hard as the others and i felt a little more removed from them there. I think i was waiting for something to put them in a specific time or location or give them something a bit more concrete to hang onto.

Speaking of some time and space issues, i suppose another thing i noticed was that there were times i felt like there was a bit of switching within the text itself between past and present and i wasn't sure what time he was speaking of. However, as i write this i still feel like it wasn't that big of deal because it does show this disjointed emotional train wreck he's on. I'm sorry, that's not helpful at all because it doesn't give you a thought of whether it needs work or not because in the end, i still would think it's a beautifully written story no matter what.

Another thing and don't think this as any means of a deal breaker and it's probably because so many people have used this as a plot device that it's started to turn me off a little. It's the use of the death of James' parents that suddenly makes him a better person. Although i understand death can make a person want to be better or that it can change their perception of life, i just don't see it as something that can suddenly make James a viable option for Lily. I feel like there would have had do be something else she saw in him that made her fall for him. I think this also seemed a little off for me because it was so glazed over in this story that it made it seem a bit superficial to why she chose him. But maybe it just made her see him better. I don't know. I'm definitely not saying go into more detail of how it changed him though because it wouldn't suit this story and i'm not sure if i'd even suggest changing it at all. It just made me frown a bit but it's probably just my own preconceptions of the use of death rather than anything wrong with the story.

I'm sorry, i don't feel like this is a very helpful review, i just wanted to do some mindless keyboard smashing because i loved it so much. Honestly though, this piece was so lovely all the way through. You had me drooling at your writing and i'm quite jealous that you were able to express this story using such beautiful imagery and description. I'm a legit pool of mush here! Bah! Such beautiful work.

Author's Response: Hey there!
I loved this review. I know you said that you weren't much help, but you helped me a lot nonetheless. I've edited the reason Lily fell in love with James now, because you're right. I never gave it much thought before, but now that I think about it that IS how many people think it happens. I think I was more focused on Lily's aspect of it; that she had lost a father. But I've changed it now and I actually think it's better this way. (James wants to change the world with her). As soon as I changed it, it just kind of fit into her characterization as a fierce girl, wanting to do a difference. I've been looking at the other part too, and I've tweaked it a bit, plus some new stuff just came out and it was added to the story - that's just how it always work out whenever I edit my stories...

I am so, so happy you liked my characterization of the two. I really wanted Lily to be strong-willed, fierce and loyal. But I've just had enough of her goodie-two-shoes image? That was me breaking that image, in case you didn't notice :p I also don't believe you just stop caring for your best friend/the person who showed you the world you belong to. I don't believe she would be able to let go of that connection.

So this review was absolutely a help, I'm really happy you liked it. And I'm happy it was a breath of fresh air to all the other Snilly stories out there. Thank you so much for reviewing and for those kind words.

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Review #6, by Aiedail To this City, a Love Song

27th August 2012:
skjdhflasdfjlasdf aksjdhflaskjdflasdjfh laskdjfhlasd my heart--

I have never, ever, been a Snilly believer until this moment, do you understand? I mean I believed that it could have happened but it never felt so raw and real and honest and it never broke my heart before now.

I have so many things to say about this so I will address your actual areas of concern before I go on a wild rampage because this is an amazing one-shot and I just don't know if I can contain the feels to be coherent for long.

Flow: I love what you have done with the individual sections. These are technically called "crots" which is something I learned in creative writing class and is a word that makes me laugh every time I use it or read it but I have rarely encountered a story that uses them more effectively than this. You've really made Sev's life seem like a string of his encounters with Lily, and you've chosen all the right times, and this is so sparse and so--so complete somehow. I hardly need to say that the circular nature of ending with the same images in the end crot as in the first is stunning and smart, and--this will sound horrible of me as a person, but it makes Lily Evans a real person for the same time. (If you can't tell, I think the flow is fabulous and I basically had to tell myself to slow down because I wanted to read all of it at once but actually slowing down to take it all in in its own time was so, so worth it!)

What I've mentioned about Lily leads me into characterization. I've read so many stories that try so hard to break out of the stereotype of perfect head-girl redhead Lily Evans so that they're more noticeably not this characterization more than they're actually a characterization of their own, but yours doesn't read like that at all, even though we really don't see any of that goody-goody Lily Evans here, either. I think--in a way she's not the canon Lily, not really, but I believe your version more, or like her better. I don't know which.

Severus--well, he's pigheaded and sensitive which somehow, you make go together as if they're not really impossible things, and oh my god what matters to him matters to me, and I can almost forgive him for hating Harry so much when I think about how this could have been what he had and lost, or never really had and always wished he had, or which he had and which he let go.

In a word: original, fascinating characterization. Which is three words, but I am reeling a bit so just forgive me please.

As for never having read a Snilly one-shot before, all I can say is that it must have done you a great amount of good. This reads as completely believable, if I haven't gotten that across already. As for dynamic, I think you must mean lively, because of course their relationship changes over time (which is dynamic as I understand it--), and I think their ups and downs or, rather, twists, turns, somersaults, etc, are well-done and energetic and heartbreaking and aslkdjfhalksjdf.

I think what's missing from this is only explanation of smaller things, but I don't want you to try to add anything, because there's this sort of mystique about it and some amount of drama gained from leaving things beautiful and lofty. It's not necessarily a trade-off, information for style--I think it's just an idiosyncrasy of the style you're writing that not every little thing is explained. BUT I LOVE IT. Don't feel like you need to add at all. This is so--fresh--it's like--the metaphors and descriptions you use are sometimes so striking to me in that, if I saw another author using them, I'd sort of be put off because they wouldn't have used them as well as you. I mean, grass and the field and clouds and flowers? I'd be gagging if it was another story, but somehow you make it work and I believe it and it means something to me. Which I would count as a huge, huge accomplishment. You should really be proud of this piece; it's excellent.

I'm sorry I can't let you know what might seem off about it. The only thing I could say is that sometimes, I don't know whether he's telling the story, even the crots set in the past, from that actual time or from sometime after the last crot. There's a bit of confusion with psychic distance, which refers to how far away in time the narrator is from the events that take place. That could be it, but I don't know, because your feeling could also just be that of a slightly self-aware and perhaps self-conscious writer towards her own work. If that's it, nothing I tell you will probably change that, though I can't stress enough how much I love this one-shot and how glad I am you stopped by my thread!

In summary: I think this is written masterfully, and you've made me believe in the Snilly ship, which is a new experience, but you've made it thrilling, painful, and raw, sparse, meaningful.

I have no idea whether or not this will have been any help to you, because I don't even remember now that I am at the end anything I said because it feels like I was just flailing all over it and I'm sorry if it's just fangirling but I hope that this is, even the tiniest bit, helpful to you. Sometimes it is harder to talk about things I like than things I take issue with, because all I want to say is "I LOVE IT IT IS GREAT NEVER CHANGE" etc.

Do not be surprised if you see me checking out your other fics and leaving just as flail-y reviews, because that is sort of just how I am.

Loved this. Incredibly impressed, and refreshed, and mostly impressed and also jealous.


Author's Response: djnbdfkfb gldlslsaama.

Seriously. Seriously -

Just. Gah.

You've litterally made my day, week, month? Year?
I'm so happy you know all the fancy words to what I'm doing haha Whenever someone comments on something, I keep on going, 'Oh, so THAT'S what I've been doing?' hahaha Crots. I'll have to remember that one. And sign up for some writing class. Soon.

I have the biggest grin on my face ever. Seriously. I look scary. I'm so pleased that you liked this.

Okay. Off to the things you mentioned.
Lily's characterization: I am so, so, so, so, so, so pleased you liked her. I'm just really tired of the goodie-two-shoes image people keep on giving her. I just. Don't. Believe. It. So her smoking? That was me rebelling. I may be slightly biased, having written this one myself, but I really do see Lily in this one. She's fierce, determined and ambitious. Brave. I just don't think she has to be another version of Hermione. And I never really believed she would be able to cut the ties straight away with Severus. He showed her the world she belonged in and helped her. You don't just walk away from that.

Hahaha and I like flowers and green fields :P hahaha I don't know why, I think it was also me channeling Severus who was in love? And Lily, who's a flower and has green eyes... It was kind of obvious wasn't it? :P hahaha

I'm so so flattered that you liked this and I'm so pleased. As I mentioned before I've been very self-conscious of this one. So this just made me incredibly happy. Thank you so much for fangirling! haha I'm so so happy you liked this and thank you for this uhhh-mazing review.

- Emma xx

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Review #7, by DespicableDetail To this City, a Love Song

27th August 2012:
How can you write that someone's story moves you without sounding cheesy? There is not one word in this that I would change.
Your writing is beautiful.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! I'm so happy you liked this. Thank you.

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Review #8, by Luna Dominique Potter To this City, a Love Song

15th August 2012:
Very haunting and beautiful. I love all your short little snippets, those really help the story along.
Excellent. :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words! That's so sweet of you to say. Thank you for reviewing.

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Review #9, by Rose_Weasley123 To this City, a Love Song

14th August 2012:
This is Becca from TGS ;). And you know I love your writing, so it's not surprising that I absolutely adored it! A secret liking for Snilly doesn't hurt either, though. This is amongst the best of them I've read.

One thing I love about your writing is that it really rewards a re-read. Partly because it's long and a lot to take in but also because it's just such rich writing - repetition, imagery, heartbreaking fragments of characterisation and just a shedload of raw emotion that means it takes a long time just to appreciate that. It's like the cream cake of the writing world, it really is.

As for your critique focus, I don't think you have anything to worry about from the idea of it being flat. It certainly has the kind of energy I associate with your writing, and I don't think it's lacking anything of that kind. I actually think the fact that it's jumbled is an advanage. It focusses so strongly on the point of view of Severus that I'd feel it was strange if it was very ordered - human thoughts tend not to be, and this style makes it feel more real. Especially the way in which Severus spends a lot of time on some moments, and little on others. It reflects how we dwell on some things and not on others, and it makes Severus feel a lot more alive somehow.

Speaking of which, I love your characterisation. Lily is recognisably Lily, but different somehow - the relationship with Severus, the smoking - it's all at odds with her goody-two-shoes image, and yet it never feels like it isn't her. At the same time, Severus is wonderful, and he's completely sympathetic. More to the point, he feels like Severus, which is something that often isn't the case in portrayals of him. I do, however, question that he'd be able to have a relationship with Lily in the holidays but not lapse in term time - he's a teenage boy, they have hormones!

The imagery and description in this was flawless, as always. I loved the circular beginning and end, I think it worked very well. And you managed to really portray the tragedy of Severus' end - it almost made me cry! I like how you didn't overdo the emotion as well, you stayed on the right side of overdone sentimentality, so well done!

In summary, I thought this was brilliant. I love how your writing is always recognisably yours, but you manage to use it differently as the story demands it. This reminded me of your Remus/Sirius, and I think the stories when you delve into a character's psyche work really well. I just really, really loved it. Well done!

Author's Response: Hahaha you made me laugh with the Severus bit haha. You're absolutely right. Teenage-boys have hormones and lots and lots of them, too. Hahaha I guess that's stretching it a bit far, isn't it? hahaha

Thank you so much for your review! As always you make me blush with all those wonderful things. I am thrilled you liked my Lily. I really hate the stereotype of her as a Goodie two shoes so I wanted to break with it. Because being with Severus (even as friends) wasn't very proper. Therefore I've never really believed she was a "rule-follower" like Hermione, but more of someone who stood their ground - a true Gryffindor; brave and loyal. But that's just me. Severus came oddly enough quite easily to me? I don't know why but he was just in my head and I thought that was how he should be - which was how this whole thing went. Two o'clock in the morning scribbles sometimes have their moments!

I'm really pleased that you're able to recognize my writing, that makes me really proud. You're so sweet always. Thank you so much for your review. This is awesome. xxx

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Review #10, by Rachel To this City, a Love Song

13th August 2012:
Oh. My. Gosh. This is amazing! It made me cry!! Keep writing

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! This really means a lot.

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Review #11, by academica To this City, a Love Song

13th August 2012:
Ugh. My heart. -collects herself-

This was positively stunning. I don't think I need to tell you that your imagery is awe-inspiring its in placement and flow, and the way you can paint large pictures and speak of grand things with small words. I wanted to try to pick out a favorite to prove it to you, but I simply could not decide. Whatever it is that you're doing, please keep it up!

The love story here - gah. I don't even know what to say about it, not with words, and I'm so honored to have gotten here in time for the first review (and first favorite, I assure you). I love that it's messy, that it's real, that Lily didn't simply stick her nose in the air and walk away forever from Severus and his awful word. No, she put the knives in him for years afterward and watched him bleed. And she bled too, a little bit, or so it seemed. I think the part that was most heart-wrenching for me was Harry, knowing that Severus could have said anything in that moment but could not take his eyes off of Harry and his mother's final gift.

I love the flow of your stories, too - I love how they're disjointed and poetic, and how they seem to have a non-chronological feel. It's this easy style that I've been envious of for a long time, and you seem to have gotten it down to a science, so kudos to you. I'm going to keep working to see if I can do it properly one day. Anyway, this one is no exception. You pretty much dragged me along on a leash just like Severus from start to finish. I don't think I missed a line eating it up, even so quickly.

I'm recommending this one. I absolutely loved it!

♥ Amanda

Author's Response: I just posted this awesomely great (lengthy) response and it was deleted. *grumbles*. Shall now try again (and copy paste afterwards, yeh be warned).


You are so sweet. I am a wobbly mess on the floor right now. I mean, holy schomozle. (that's not a word). Thank you so much for all those beautiful and kind words, dear. I've been so nervous and uncertain about this piece so it's amazing being told it's good. It's a lot more description-heavy than I'm used to, but I finally feel like I'm settling into a nice in-between between heavy description and minimalism.

Please tell me my imagery is awe-inspiring again? :P haha I've always been so self-conscious of my imagery and description so this is a huge relief, especially coming from you of all people who's mind-numbingly good at it.

I've always pictured Lily's and Severus's relationship like this. I haven't read a lot of Snilly one-shots, but those I did read were all very light and fluffy or... Snape was a wuss? And I do realize that it was Lily rejecting him in that scene and all, but he rejected her first?

You’re right: Lily bled, too. Because Severus showed her the world she belonged to, and you don't just forget the person who opens your eyes. I think he would always have a place in her heart, despite it all. This was really about the war she raged too, for the two of them. I wanted to show how naïve she was, thinking they could defy it all - or good? Good for wanting to do so. Snape had already lost that battle the moment he saw her on that field and he knew it, too. I just always thought it was mutual and the hurt on his side was a hurt on hers too, muted by James's brilliance and Harry's love, but still there. Their relationship is and has always been one I considered mutual in some sense. They were best friends. It was them against the world, until the world ripped them in different directions. That’s what the thing about the name is all about. That Snape was bound by blood despite it all. And I'm rambling. Sorry. I do that.

I'll wrap it up now, thank you so so much for this wonderful review, which is probably the best I've ever received. You're so sweet. Thank you so much. (and favorite author? REALLY?) :D I'm so happy. So thank you. You've made my day (and year).


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