Reading Reviews for Money Can't Buy You Love
  
10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by quixotic Instability

15th November 2013:
Here again from the Ravenclaw Review Battle!
Aw, this was such a moving story. It really shows how much influence out parents have on ourselves. Blaise seemed like a really interesting character. Despite having an upbringing full of unstable relationships, he seems to be a pretty balanced guy. Until he falls in love, of course.

The nice characterization of the mother brought to light both her faults and her virtues. I actually ended up feeling a bit sorry for her in the end.

Interesting story!

Author's Response: Hello again quixotic :) Sorry for such a late reply to this review!!

I am really glad you found this story moving and that it showed how influential parents are on their children. From the little we see of Blaise in the books, to me, he appears quite aloof and keeps himself to himself. I thought the fact that his mother had been married so many times was a good reason for this! Mmm, he was more balanced by this point but it took him quite a few head-healer sessions to get him there ;)

I'm glad you liked the characterisation of his mother. I have her back story worked out in my head and am planning on writing a one-shot explaining why she ended up being married so many times and why money meant more to her than love.

Thank you for the lovely review!

Haronione ♥


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Review #2, by milominderbinder Instability

6th October 2013:
Hiya! Maia from team blue here :)

So, this was really, really interesting. Blaise is a really interesting character to explore, because what little we know of him from the books (his mother's marriages, pretty much) is so interesting and must have so clearly shaped a lot about him, and I thought you explored that really well. An especially beautiful line along that theme was "He had always seen the row of many wedding photos lined neatly upon it as his mother's resume, each wedding as a promotion, a pay-rise". This might actually have been one of my favourite lines in the whole fic.

I thought you explored his desire to not be a death eater REALLY interestingly. His reluctance to be around death because of his upbringing was a very powerful idea, and it showed a more vulnerable side to him than is often shown in fic - that he's not just this tough rich Slytherin who'll flirt with anyone, but that he's vulnerable, and affected by his childhood just like everyone else is. His mother's marriages haven't just given him money, they've given him insecurities. You portrayed that side of him subtly and really well here.

It was also sweet how you used his reflections of his past to make him realise he wanted to propose to Katrina. That he would finally get the stable family life he hadn't had growing up, and that he didn't need all that money and all those material possessions to be happy or for her to love him - it was a very sweet message and really spoke volumes about their relationship even in relatively few words. I thought that was lovely, and really what Blaise needed. His doubts were interesting and very realistic too. I liked this line: "Hadn't he always thought that marriage was a sham, something that caused heartache and pain?" It really reflected how he was affected by how he grew up, even when he knows that he loves Katrina and wants to be with her.

One thing I did notice is spelling/grammar wise, you struggled a little with homophones. For example, in the fourth paragraph, you used "roll", which is a bit of bread, and in the context it should be "role". However, there weren't many mistakes and they didn't take away from the story too much, I would just suggest you give it a quick edit when you get a chance :)

Overall, I thought this was an awesome look at Blaise. Well done!

~Maia

Author's Response: Wow! Thankyou for such a fantastic review :) You just made my day!

I am so glad you found this one-shot so interesting! Before writing this fic I had never really thought about Blaise as a character, he was just another Slytherin. But when I was given him as my character for the challenge and had to really think about him, I realised what an interesting character he could be. It's good to know that you thought I explored his character and past well! Ah, that line! I am very fond of that line so I'm so happy that it was your favourite in this :)

From what we see in the books, Blaise never became a death eater and didn't seem very impressed with the idea so I thought I'd combine this with the fact that his mother had been widowed so many times. It's so great to hear that you found my explanation of why he didn't become a death eater to be a powerful and interesting one :)

I wanted Blaise I have a happy ending of sorts and I felt it would be great if despite everything it was his mother who made him realise what he should do to be happy. After all, she did love him and although what she did was wrong, she did it for Blaise (in her own warped way) I am now considering writing a companion one-shot to this exploring why Ms Zabini became who she was in this fic ;)

Thankyou so much for pointing out that error! What a stupid mistake, I changed that immediately when you pointed it out! I'm going to re-read to check for any other errors like that one. Thank you!

Again, Thankyou for the amazing review :)

Haronione ♥


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Review #3, by nott theodore Instability

26th September 2013:
Hello, I'm here with your requested review!

I really enjoyed this one-shot. Blaise is one of the characters who has always interested me, especially since that mention in the sixth book of his mother having married so many times. I love the way that you took that brief mention from the books and expanded it into a whole story in which you explored the effects that upbringing and childhood might have had on Blaise.

The characterisation of Blaise was great in this story. You've clearly thought carefully about the sort of issues that he might face having experienced that sort of childhood. I really liked the fact that you didn't make this black and white; it would be hard for Blaise to see it in a clear-cut way. He can see why his mother did the things she did - for the right reasons, even if it was wrong - but it has also caused him problems with the way he is now. His fear of abandonment, having watched step-fathers come in and out of his life, is really understandable.

I also like the fact that while you've explored the issues that Blaise experiences from his childhood, you've made them real by showing how that affects his life at the moment. It makes perfect sense to me that he'd worry about marrying Katrina because marriage has been the kiss of death (pardon the pun!) for all of his mother's husbands.

One thing I'd have liked to see - and this is just a personal opinion, so feel free to ignore it - is a mention of how and when Blaise's mother died. Just out of interest, I'd like to know how long after his mother's death Blaise began to work through his issues and things like that. That's really the only thing I can think of to suggest though!

Hopefully you've already realised that I think this is definitely a very interesting and enjoyable story! Some of the description you use in this is brilliant, particularly at the beginning when you described the room that he was in. I think my favourite part of this is probably when Blaise sees the photograph of his mother and father and realises that they did truly love each other, and marriage doesn't have to be what he's witnessed through the years.

I think it flows well too, because it explores the themes and issues logically and is paced right for the sort of story that you've written. With regards to it working a one-shot, I think it's fine. It definitely could be expanded into a longer story if you wanted to, but the way that you've left the story fairly open-ended works as well, leaving us to fill in the gap and wonder what's going to happen afterwards.

I think you've done a great job here. I really enjoyed this one-shot and I hope this review was helpful for you!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian, thanks for the great review! I have seen people on the forums raving about your reviews, I can see why! This one was fantastic :)

I am so glad you enjoyed this one-shot and thought the characterisation of Blaise was great. The challenge was to write about how family had influenced/affected the character, and when I got Blaise I thought about his mother's many husbands. How could that not have affected Blaise as a person?! I'm glad you liked the conflicting emotions he felt about his mother and situation. I think that kind of childhood would definitely have made him wary of getting close to people, especially romantically. I'm so glad you found these issues and the effects of them to be realistic.

Thanks for the suggestion. I did wonder about including those sort of details, when and how she died but I couldn't fit it in effectively. I may go back and revise this to include that kind of information, but I am also debating whether to write an extended version which will address these details ;) I am a little bit obsessed with Blaise now! But, to answer your query, I pictured Blaise dwelling on his grief and becoming quite morose for a while before he decided he needed help with his issues, a few months maybe. This fic is based about three years(ish) after his mother's death.

It's good to know you thought the description was good :) Im glad that's your favourite part, the photos on the mantelpiece was the first scene I thought of when planning this. I wanted Blaise to have a happy ending, and I wanted his mother to help him get it! So it's really good to hear that was your favourite part :)

Thanks again for the great review. I found it really helpful and encouraging :D

Haronione ♥


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Review #4, by academica Instability

15th September 2013:
Hello, I'm here for the Ravenclaw Review Battle :)

Wow, I really loved this story. You did a great job giving a lot of depth and heart to a character that we never got to know very well in canon, and on top of it I feel like your characterization fits in great with what we did find out about Blaise. I like how you took what might have been considered an off-color comment or legend and turned it into a serious motivator for the way Blaise led his adult life. It's really touching that he did manage to fall in love and learned from his mother's long marital history how to tell the difference between a real relationship and one that's just for show. It was also nice to watch his progression as he got help for his issues and learned to give Katrina a chance. That build-up made the conflict depicted in this story seem realistic and tangible.

Your imagery with the photos was really stunning. I loved the bit about how the one with Blaise's father was the only one where the bride really looked like a woman in love. I also liked the line toward the beginning about the wedding photos being like promotions at a bizarre job.

Great job! I'm glad I read this :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hi Amanda, thank you so much for the lovely review :)

I am so glad you liked it and thought the characterisation of Blaise was good. I didn't think I'd be able to write Blaise when I first got him as my character for the family challenge, but the idea for this story hit me and now it's really got me thinking about his story!

I felt that after having such an unstable and lonely upbringing Blaise deserved to have some happiness. I'm glad you found the conflict Blaise goes through to get his happiness was realistic and tangible, and that you found his story touching :)

It has made me so happy to know that you found the imagery with the photos was stunning!! That was the first scene I thought of when writing/planning this fic and it is my favourite part, along with Blaise thinking of them as a resume :) So it's particularly great that you have commented on it!

Thanks again for the great review, it made my day :)

Haronione ♥


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Review #5, by patronus_charm Instability

7th September 2013:
Team Blue here!

Wow, I really loved this one-shot, it was just a really great analysis of Blaise and as heís not a character I come across very often it made it even better. I never imagined him to be such a complex character and I loved how you built up the complexities throughout the story as it allowed me to see how each event in his life lead him to feel like that.

One thing I really liked was the positive portrayal of Blaiseís Mum and her many husbands. I always assumed it to be a negative one due to the hints in the books but I liked the little twist here as it made for a more interesting read. It really touched me to see how much Blaise had observed all of their relationships and how he had loved how his mum and whatever husband loved each other which made the thing about Alistair even more horrible.

I loved the background to Alistair Ė he was the perfect pompous, snob :P Even his name and what he ate and drank tied in perfectly with it all. The parts in where Blaise thought about his mum and him really saddened me, and the death scene was really moving. You built it up so well that I almost thought that Blaise was going to murder his step-dad as revenge, but I liked your ending more as it still left Blaise humane. The part when he just ushered his mother out of the room were really moving and it was such a potent mix of emotions it worked really well.

Katrina was a really lovely addition to the story. I liked how she saved him in a way but you didnít overstate and put her on a pedestal. There was just something very natural and lovely about her characterisation and I really loved it. I thought this was a really great one-shot and Iím glad I got the chance to read it :)

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hi Kiana, thank you so much for the wonderful review!

I am so happy you thought this was a good analysis of Blaise. I too had never thought his character to be so complex, he was just another Slytherin to me before I wrote this story. But then I was made to really think about his character for this challenge! To me he was always quite aloof in the books, and given the fact that his mother had been widowed so many times (and under suspicious circumstances) it made me think that this could be the reason why!

In my head, the only husband she truly loved was her first, Blaise's father. I see her as a very glamorous woman and entranced these many men, loving the lifestyle they gave her rather than them as a person. But each of them truly loved her, and this is what Blaise sees - that they made his mum happy.

Apart from Alistair! He is (was) a vile man - I'm glad you liked his background :) He wasn't going to be in here when I first planned the story but he just kind of came into being as I wrote. He was the catalyst to his mother's downfall ad eventual death. I did consider having Blaise kill him, but it didn't fit with the personality I'd given him. Also, I wanted him to stay humane and not be a bad guy. Too many Slytherins are portrayed as bad guys ;) I'm glad you found the part with Blaise ushering his mother out of the room moving and that it worked well.

I'm pleased you liked Katrina and her characterisation. I see her as the total opposite of Blaise's mother - quite plain, down to earth, honest, caring and loving. She was definitely a Hufflepuff at school ;) She is the perfect woman to help Blaise see the true meaning of love!

I am really glad you enjoyed this one-shot! Thank you again for the great review, it's really made me smile :)

Haronione ♥


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Review #6, by TearsIMustConceal Instability

5th September 2013:
Hi, here from the review battle!

This is the first time I have ever read something about Blaise Zabini so I was immediately intrigued as to how you had portrayed him and I was not disappointed at all.

The first thing I felt for him was pity. Growing up, flitting from one father figure to next and not having that proper role model to look up to must have been tough. The instability he has dealt with explains why he would be so confused, so in two minds over his own relationships. Abandonment is something very hard to deal with and his issues about love and everything else are completely founded.

For a one-shot based on family, it's particularly good because you've gone down a different route. Instead of looking at the perfect, loving family, like The Weasley's or looking at not having family at all, like Harry, you've looked at a family that people can relate too. Sure, not everyone's mother has had eleven husbands but a lot of people, including myself, can relate to having to let someone new into their lives. It's a hard and confusing time so to do it eleven times must really mess up your emotional stability, something you have really shown here and done it well.

His doubts about marrying Katrina fit perfectly with what he has been through. After seeing marriage after marriage being only business deals, rather than for love, of course he would have some doubts to as whether true love can actually exist. I love also that although his mother is to blame for his issues, she is also the one to help him in the end, to show him that once upon a time, she did believe in love and I think that's really nice that she can make him believe that a true love does exist.

Anyway, I absolutely adore this. Your writing is amazing and for something that is out of your comfort zone, you've done a really great job.

Good luck with the challenge!

Author's Response: Hi TearsIMustConceal, thank you so much for the fantastic review! Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond!

I've not read a Blaise story before either, and I certainly wouldn't have thought I could write one! I was very nervous about posting this so I am so happy you enjoyed it and were not disappointed with my portrayal of Blaise :D

When I got Blaise for the family challenge the first thing that came to mind was the fact that his mother had been widowed (under suspicious circumstances) 7 times by the time Blaise was in 6th year. As the challenge was to explore what family meant to the character and how it influenced their personality/character, I thought this past was perfect! How could the instability and inconsistency of having so many stepfathers not have an impact on someone?! As you said, having to let one new parental figure into your life is hard and confusing enough, let alone eleven ad most of these at such a young age! I am relieved and glad you felt I portrayed Blaise's emotional instability well.

I am so happy that you loved that his mother was the one to help him in the end. The wedding photos on the mantelpiece and the one of his mother and biological father's wedding day was the first scene I thought of when planning this fic, and the rest was written around it. I wanted Blaise to have a happy ending and I felt that knowing his mother did once know how to love would help him make the right decisions to get that happy ending :)

Thank you so much for your review it has made my day and put a massive smile in my face :D

Haronione ♥


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Review #7, by AlexFan Instability

5th September 2013:
You left me such a lovely review and I'm hoping to return that even though it is a little bit late (I was out all day being busy).

Anyway, I don't think I've ever read a Blaise Zabininstory before so this was new for me. It seems that a lot of Slytherins seem to have broken family's, or at least dysfunctional ones. All of you authors seem to make it work though so kudos to you for that.

I completely missed the fact that this was written for the family challenge and I actually thought that it was written for the fear challenge. It was Blaise's fear of abandonment that made me think that really because it was one of the things focused on in the story and it had a lot to do with the whole family aspect.

I feel incredibly sorry for Blaise though, to move from father to father so quickly would be hard on any child and I'm actually surprised that Blaise didn't turn out with something more than just abandonment issues.

It did make sense though, his fear and I like that you explained why he was the way that he was and why he had his doubts about marrying Katrina. He didn't have the best role models to look up to when it came to relationships.

And on a completely less serious side note, Blaise's mother could give Ross Geller a run for his money.

I would squee more but I'm on a touch screen and copying and pasting it difficult, not to mention autocorrect keeps switching words.

As always, this was brilliant and for a step out of your comfort zone, I'd say this was a very successful step. Good luck on the challenge!

Author's Response: Hi AlexFan, thank you for the lovely review :)and thanks for offering up the review swap - I love reading your stories and your reviews so it was a win win situation :D

I have not read any Blaise Zabini stories either and I certainly never thought I'd write one! Ha, yes A lot of Slytherins are portrayed with dysfunctional families - I think they are more fun to write :) Blaise has a particularly dysfunctional family thanks to his mother's numerous husbands - which is about the only thing we really know about Blaise from the series.

I'm glad this story made you feel sorry for Blaise, that was my intention :) Having that many step-fathers, and the fact that there is the possibility his mother murdered them must have been very hard and confusing for Blaise as he was growing up. That's enough to mess even the strongest of characters up! I'm glad you liked his doubts about marrying Katrina, how could someone not be dubious about marriage with that upbringing?! I don't think he's totally over those doubts yet though ;)

Haha! That comment really made me laugh! I love friends! If I'm not relating stuff to Harry Potter I'm relating it to Friends :)

Thank you again for the great review :)

Haronione ♥


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Review #8, by Illuminate Instability

4th September 2013:
Hi! Ravenclaw Tag!

This is a really nice oneshot! Blaise is a character that gives a lot of creative license, and you certainly give him a very interesting backstory!

The idea that his mother was a trophy wife and had eleven husbands must surely have been a really tough thing for Blaise to take, especially not having a firm father figure. I think you wrote his journey and describing his innermost thoughts very well.

I think it would be a good idea to maybe continue this story in the future- it would be an opportunity to lengthen the story and really deepen Blaise's character. Sentences like "Blaise had then worked through his issues with abandonment, commitment and trust" is something that could be worked with over many chapters, and even an entire novella! If that's something you would want to do I would say you could do it quite well!

All in all, very good prose and a nice style which is easy to read, and great descriptions. Good job!

Author's Response: Hi Illuminate, thank you so much for the lovely review :)

I'm glad you liked this one-shot and found my version of Blaise's backstory to be interesting. I am a stickler for canon and the only canon facts we really know about Blaise is that his mother had been widowed 7 times by the time Blaise was in 6th year. So this story grew from that fact, and that he always seemed so aloof in the books. I felt these two facts tied in well together!

I was originally planning to write a short story/novella for this challenge but it became a one-shot for some unknown reason. I am now seriously thinking about writing an extended version of this fic. Thankyou for your kind words, it's really encouraging to know that you think I could do it well :)

Thanks again for the wonderful review!

Haronione ♥


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Review #9, by blackballet Instability

2nd September 2013:
I'm here from the review battle!

I think this is a really lovely one-shot. I didn't know where you were going with it at first, but I like how it ended up. I think, at times, it almost felt too much like a first chapter to me. That was mostly in the beginning when you were introducing some of the healers. The first sentence is also a bit jumbled and full of words.

Now to the fun stuff! Blaise is so well thought out in this, it's crazy. Going through the marriages helped explain why he's been this way and it's a great addition to the Family Challenge. I felt a bit of a Sirius and Blaise parallel with the ending, but that's just because I am obsessed with Sirius Black.

The best part for me was definitely when he noticed the picture of his mother and biological father. I loved how that changes his mind. It was bittersweet. Like, even though his mother is dead, she's still teaching him things.

Awesome one-shot, and I'll look forward to seeing you in the review battle!

Author's Response: Hello again blackballet :) Thank you for the lovely review!

Originally this fic was going to be a chaptered fic rather than a one-shot. I will be going to edit, so will see if I can make it seem less like a first chapter and more of a one-shot (or maybe I'll end up adding more chapters :-0 but I doubt that!) I'll also have a look at that first line, I see what you mean about it.

I'm so glad you thought Blaise had been well thought out :) I was worried about writing Blaise for the family challenge but then I thought about how many times his mother had been married. It struck me that this instability in his childhood would have had an affect on him and his decisions in life. And haha, I too am obsessed with Sirius Black, he is my favourite character ;)

I am so happy you liked that part with the picture :) It was one of the first things I thought of when planning the story and the rest of the plot came from that, so it is really great you liked it :)

Thank you again for the great review!

Haronione ♥


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Review #10, by LilyLou Instability

31st August 2013:
Hey hun!

So, I read your authors note. How can you not be pleased with this story?! I thought it was very well written. You made me feel for Blaise, as if I were him. You put me (along with every reader) in his shoes, showing him his past, with all the step fathers and his mother. You showed us the relationships, and how they didn't mean anything but money- except the first one. You left the readers with the thought "Did Ms Zabini really murder them?" And I love having questions for a story. It leaves one interested to read to the end. And when those questions are left unanswered, it gives the reader room to imagine their own version. That's how many authors leave their books. Like in 'The Giver' if you've ever read that.

Back on topic, this story was very good. Blaise is such a difficult character to write, in my opinion- JK doesn't touch on him all too much. Don't feel as if this story was no good- because it was.

Thank you for entering my challenge!

-Janelle

Author's Response: Hi Janelle!

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging review :) I was really nervous about posting this one-shot as it was written in quite a rush (even though I'd had plenty of time to get it written before the deadline, but real life just didn't want me to write it;)) I felt it was a bit forced and needed more emotion and exploration so it is so good to hear that you thought it was well written and that it made you feel for Blaise.

When I first got Blaise for the challenge I thought 'argh, I'll never be able to write Blaise' and was going to pull out. But then I started thinking about how having so many different father figures in his life would have affected him. And so this story was born :)

Thank you again for the review, and also thank you for setting the challenge and making me step out of my comfort zone!

Haronione ♥


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