13 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BookDinosaur a series of trials.

8th November 2014:
Here for the BvB review battle! I was looking for things on your page and I saw this and I was all 'yes that's the really amazing story about Astoria' and then I realised that I haven't even reviewed this yet so now HERE I AM! :P

Honestly, this was amazing, and it definitely deserved to win Nadia's challenge. Your use of second person was just amazing, and the way you built so much around Astoria, a past and history and complicated relationships - I don't see Astoria that much in fanfics, and this is the kind of amazing story which makes wish that more people would think about her and write about her as you did.

Your quote for the challenge was used so perfectly, I honestly would not have noticed it if I didn't know it was for a challenge. Your writing style here is also so beautiful; the prose is perfect, and the narrative tone fitted each section perfectly, if that makes sense.

Speaking of sections; the dual storyline is amazing. The way you were telling two stories at once, you managed it so perfectly, and while it could have been very easy to get the readers mixed up as to which story was which you managed to pull it off perfectly, and it fit the story so perfectly. I know you said that this is a long oneshot, and it is, but the length never felt...unnecessary, if that makes sense? The story felt like it was long enough, not too long and not too short, so kudos to you on that!

Ahh, what can I say? The family interactions between Astoria and her mother and father and Daphne - I mean, by no means was it happy or anything, but it was really realistic, the way she just didn't comprehend it at first, the way that Daphne would just deny it to herself - it was all done so well, and so sensitively, and the end product is an amazing story.

Astoria's relationship with Lavender is something else that I want to touch on before signing off - the way the two of them met, in therapy together, the way that both of them are broken and how they helped each other so much, and Lavender's eventual death - I mean. Wow. I love Lavender as a character, you know that from my own story, and I love the way you portrayed her and Astoria here.

I have no idea whether this review makes sense because this story just kind of turned me into a flailing ball of feels, but this is an amazing, amazing story, Kiana! ♥

Author's Response: Hey Emily, thanks for the amazing review and hey again as I feel as if I haven't spoken to you about non-QTR tings in ages!

Aw, thank you so much, that really did make me smile. I think the fact that Astoria doesn't really appear much in FF is what inspired me to write about her here, as the quote just inspired a dark and twisted backstory to me, and obviously an unknown character was needed for that. Astoria seemed liked the natural candidate for that as her love for Draco has always intrigued me and I just wanted to know more about her as a person and what led her to know Draco.

Wah, wah, wah, that is all I have to say as those amazing compliments have turned me into a pile of goo and just thank you so much Emily! ♥

Aw, thank you so much as I was a little worried people might get a little confused with it but it's great that you liked it. Haha, it's also great that you didn't think it was too long because I have this weird habit of either writing extremely short or extremely long one-shots, there never is any in-between length for them so whoo for that.

I'm so glad that you found it was realistic, as it's fortunately something that I've never had to experience throughout my life so I could only really go on what other victims had had to say about it, so it means a lot to me that you said it.

I know, I am a little too mean to Lavender at times because whenever she never ever seems to get a happy ending and I always seem to rip her to shreds and make her life horrible but she's just such an easy character to do that to, I can't help myself. Whoo for destroying her life though.

Thank you so much for this wonderful review and hopefully the response isn't too rambly! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #2, by nott theodore a series of trials.

9th July 2014:
Kiana, I've wanted to read this since I saw that you'd posted it in Nadia's challenge, but stupid exams and revision were in the way and now it's taken me so long to get here, I feel like I've really been missing out. So many people have said wonderful things about this and it really deserved to win Nadia's challenge, because it was just perfect. Your writing manages to make me feel something every single time I read, and I just love every chance I get to read it.

The quote was used so well; it fit in so seamlessly with the story that I wouldn't have realised it was a quote if I hadn't read the book and known this was for the challenge. And your use of the second person was, as always, brilliant - you seem to master the point of view and make every tale you tell with it really come alive. Can I have some of your talent, please?

Astoria was such a brilliant choice of character for this story and this quote. I think what I loved most about the story was the fact that you chose not to centre it on her romance with Draco, and the way that she 'saves' him, which is normally the only way I tend to see her portrayed in stories. This was about Astoria, and her ghosts, and her past, and it was amazing to read about that - you shaped a whole character with a very real and painful history, simply from a name that we've been given in canon.

You also depicted that tragic past in a really sensitive way, which is something that's extremely hard to do, given how delicate the subject matter is. My heart went out to Astoria, and especially as I saw the development in her understanding of the situation. The fact that at the beginning, she was thinking of special 'paint', and the reader automatically knows what this means - until there's the transition to her realising what her father is doing, and then trying to get in the way so that she can protect her mother. It was heartbreaking to read about, but very believable. I can't imagine what it must have been like for her to grow up seeing her father treat her mother that way, as if she was completely worthless, and then beginning on Astoria as well.

The ending to their story as a family was awful. I can't believe that Daphne chose to favour their father, but then I suppose that she had removed herself from the situation so much that she could persuade herself that what was happening wasn't real, because she didn't see it. And then it was easy to blame Astoria when she came in and found the scene that she did. I kind of hope that they can reconcile in the future, though.

You wove the present day sections into the past so beautifully as well - often with those jumps I end up getting confused, but I didn't at all here. I loved the way that we first saw Astoria struggling, which immediately made me want to know why, and then we slowly found out what had happened to cause her to be there.

Lavender ♥ Since I wrote about her for this challenge, and her struggle with the effects of the war, I love the fact that she's included here, and the way that you portrayed chimes so well with my version. The friendship between them is really sweet - like one point of light between two broken people, the only thing they have to cling to - and that makes Lavender's end even more emotional and poignant. I couldn't believe the way that you managed to describe Greyback's effect on her - it was just magical; hypnotic, in the worst kind of way, because he was slowly killing her. And then how she died... *sobs*

The ending was so calm, in comparison; it felt understated, and I think that just made it even better. There was no big revelation, nothing huge to end on, but there was a little bit of hope reappearing, a circle coming to the end, and the hint of what might come in the future with Draco and Astoria. Maybe instead of her saving him, they'll manage to save each other?

This was simply beautiful, Kiana. Thank you ♥ (And there goes my effort at making this a short review :P)

Sian:)
Gryffindor House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hi Sian! Hahah, it's fine as you had to wait for this response too as I've been putting it off for ages as this review is just too lovely and it's only now that I've gathered up enough courage to actually get to it, so here I am :D And thank you so much for your kind words! ♥

Yes, the quote worked so well and it's strange how I came across it because my current one wasn't working so I was just flicking through the Kite Runner and stumbled on it and it just worked so I'm so glad you liked it. Bahaha you can, but I just find it starts happening and I let it, so I'm not sure how it happens really...

I'm really glad that you liked Astoria, because the little trio of them, Draco, Astoria and Scorpius have always interested me a ton mainly thanks to peppersweet and her original takes on them so I loved writing them here. As you said, she really does have no background which is partly why I chose her as I could create all her ghosts and fears and see how she battles them because I really wanted to explore the idea of whether you could be good again in a sense of your mental state and she was just the perfect character for that exploration.

Erm, yes, that was quite hard to do and if you do this too make sure you read the tutorials before so you don't get caught out on anything ;) Gah, I hated writing that part because in some ways I was like yay for childhood naivety it saves you and makes you feel better, and meant Astoria didn't know the horrors until later on, but then I always did wonder while writing this if she knew about it earlier would she have done something earlier.? I know, and even though in my headcanon she isn't a Gryffindor, she really could be here as she showed so much bravery, was so loyal to her mother throughout it was almost heart-breaking.

I know what you mean about Daphne. She was a difficult character here because even though I wanted to like her and make her nice for Astoria's sake it just wasn't happening. I guess we'll just be left to wonder if those two could ever be reconciled really.

I'm so glad that you liked that as I was worried people would be like, ah, what's she doing but yay for that!

Bahahaha, yes, I noticed that too but your version is a probably the one she would prefer to have because I never seem to write Lavender without her being depressed or killing herself. I'm not sure why as I honestly don't intend for that to happen, it just sort of happens. I'm glad that you liked her story though, because the idea of two victims clinging together was another which has always interested me and these two were such an unlikely pairing it was so much fun to write.

I'm glad that it felt understated which is an odd thing to say, but I think those small, rare moments of pure calm and happiness like Astoria had are so small it needed to be like that. Erm, yes, speaking of those two and the future just wait and see really as I can't speculate any more on that ;)

Aw, thank you for this amazing review and I hope this response is somewhat adequate! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #3, by lumos_knox a series of trials.

7th July 2014:
Hello! This is an amazingly powerful and touching piece of writing. There is so much emotion and sadness packed into here, I don't know how you did it.

As a reader, I found myself become really attached to Astoria. Everything she felt I began to feel too. Her horrible father, I think you did a fantastic job in making him the most vile and horrible man ever. I honestly hate him at the moment. Astoria's mother I feel so sorry for. Her real self was long gone and having to survive such torture so often would be so mentally and physically draining it would be very difficult to hold on.

Even though this is a long one shot, it definitely wasn't boring! I like how you chose to keep up the suspense, the interest and the emotion for the whole entire story.

I enjoyed the little beginnings of the Draco/Astoria pairing. This story could be canon, because in the war a lot of people came from tortured families and backgrounds.

What happened to Lavender was just devastating. Her life must have been extremely difficult for her to want to end it, and you got that across perfectly. Having her at the hospital and suffering from post-war trauma was a good choice because that way she and Astoria could bond and be there for each other.

It's a shame Astoria chose to keep her mouth shut- she feels as if nothing she has to say will help. I was so glad when she finally said something, because that meant that she might just be on the mend.

One of my favourite details about this story is the switches from past and present, from hospital to home. It really created a certain mood that worked toward your story very well.

I enjoyed this story very much. It's really powerful, and I think you've been extremely successful in getting across a very touching and heart-breaking story.

Until next time,

Lauren

Author's Response: Hi Lauren and wah can I just say it quickly here (and probably will continue to say it throughout this review) thank you so, so, so much for your lovely comments they really made me smile!

Wow, it means so much to me that you connected to Astoria, because her story is very dear to my heart as she really did have a hard life with that horrible father and what he did to her mother and then with Lavender, so it's so great you could understand the pain and fear she felt too.

Aw, yay it wasn't boring! I think that's always my biggest worry with long stories because I know how bored I get them so that means a lot to me!

I'm glad you liked the beginnings of Draco and Astoria's relationship, and I really did enjoy writing the little snippets here so it's making me want to write them again.

I know :( I'm glad you understood why she did what she did as I know it's quite drastic as reactions go, but I've always imagined Lavender as someone quite fixated on things especially her image hence why she ended up doing what she did here.

I know, but it must have been so hard for her to stand up to him and grow up really, as she was so young when it happened so I guess there was no other way for her.

I'm really glad that you liked the switches as I wasn't sure how they would work personally so it's great that they worked for you.

Thank you for this amazing review, it was such a lovely surprise and really was fantastic so thank you so, so much! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #4, by adluvshp a series of trials.

4th July 2014:
Hey! Finally here for the overdue review exchange review. I am so
sorry that it took me so long to get this done.

This was a truly beautiful and touching story. The pain and the
suffering was so raw throughout. I felt for Astoria, for Lavendar, for
Astoria's mother, deeply.

The whole plot was so sad and so well-written. I also loved how the
narrative switched between past and present - from Astoria's
childhood to the current state. The friendship she developed with
Lavendar was sweet as well, and I liked its gradual development.
The brief mentions of Draco were a nice touch and it all tied
together in the end very neatly.

The use of second person for this story was also very effective. The
emotions felt very surreal and the descriptions painted a great
imagery in front of my eyes while reading.

It was sad how Astoria felt like she couldn't save her mother, and
that she couldn't save Lavendar, but at least there was hope at the
end. I really am running out of words to express just how deeply
this fic touched me, and how amazingly written it was.

You're a marvellous writer. I am still a little emotional and still very
captivated with this piece.

Great job!
10/10
-AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Hi, it's fine, and I'm so sorry this took ages for me to respond to!

Aw, thank you, I'm so glad that you felt their pain as I really wanted to convey it in this story as it's such horrible thing and sadly one which goes on quite a lot. I'm glad the narrative switch worked for you though because it was important to me to show both sides of the story and how things like this never fade away and will always be there for people such as Astoria. Haha, I couldn't resist throwing in Draco as a bit of lightness was needed I felt.

Aw, thank you, I started off writing in first person POV but somehow I just slipped into second and just went with it as I thought it must be the best thing to go for!

Wow, I'm running out of words to say thank you and how stunned this review has left me. I really hope that Astoria managed to get over this in the end because I have a feeling it would leave dark and long lasting scars forever and ever, but maybe Draco will help her through.

Thanks for this amazing review, it's left me squeeing away! :D

-Kiana


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Review #5, by newgenerationlover a series of trials.

15th May 2014:
Wow! This story is beautiful! I loved the personal tone the story got with the second person POV (did your challenge make you start writing in second person or did you love it before it started?). I have to say I teared up while reading it. Yes, it may have been because my allergies are terrible at the moment, but this story also gave me the serious feels :P. I loved how you had the child Astoria not really be able to process what all was happening to her. 'The special paint." Good images. I thought it was a little twisted in a way that she saw Lavender's scars as beautiful. But at the same time it fit, you know? Well I guess you do know since it was you that wrote the story... Anyway, Lavender and Astoria's relationship was beautiful and tragic. They were each other's rock and that was what they needed. I hated their ending. Made my heart break. But, Draco. He is there for her and that makes all the difference to my somewhat patched up heart. Beautifully written story, you have done a great job!

Author's Response: Wow, this review was amazing and I'm still squeeing over so I'll attempt something known as coherency :P No, I've always loved second person POV and it was actually around this time last year that I fell in love with it, so I'm glad it worked for you here. :) I know what you mean about Astoria as a child and it was even worse writing her lack of comprehension knowing that within a few year she would understand everything. Haha, I know what you mean about Lavender's scars, and I think the reason why she's so drawn to them, is because her life has always been so damaged and broken up, it's the only thing she can really relate to. I know, but I had to break the two of them up, because in my head Lavender's always been too weak to fight her battles so she had to go like that. But at least Draco came along, and it was a fun twist for me to do as it's usually Astoria saving Draco but this time it was the other way around!

Thanks for this great review! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #6, by LightLeviosa5443 a series of trials.

4th May 2014:
Oh my gosh Kiana. (oh and I'm here for the BvB)

I am literally in tears. This was just. Wow. So, I wasn't really sure what I expected when this story started. But I could tell towards the middle that it was going to be sad. My heart is literally broken. Your descriptions, the second person, the way you've set everything up. You literally ripped my heart out with this. I just. Wow.

I really loved the way that you had it go from present to flashback and continuously flip flop like that. I think it made it really powerful and just. Wow. I can't even leave a coherent review. I'm just. Ugh. Your characterization of Draco and Astoria and Lavender are all so lovely. I just want to scoop Astoria up and hold her. How is she so strong?

And the ending, it's like the story is so sad, and heart breaking and you want everyone to have hope and get better, and then it gets worse. But that last section. That last section is just hope. And it's so beautiful.

Kiana, this is the most wonderful thing you have ever written. I am literally in tears and it's just beautiful. Amazing job darling. I also just noticed that you thanked me, you're welcome hon! Definitely worth the effort you put into it. ♥

xoxo Sarah ♥

Author's Response: Hi Sarah!

Ah, I don't even know how to respond to this as you are too wonderful and lovely and yeah, if I could squish you I would! I'm so glad that you thought it worked though as this was one of my most experimental pieces in a while so I was rather nervous about it.

Yes, that was definitely inspired by the wonderfully amazing Khaled Hosseini so check out his work if you haven't! I'm not sure how she's so strong, but I suppose with things like this, you just pull yourself through and hope for the best no matter what.

auhoeforef I don't even know how can continue to write coherent things, as you're just too lovely! ♥ There will always be hope though, and I think that's what kept Astoria going, so I'm glad you liked it too!

Wah, thank you so, so, so, so much, Sarah, I'm currently speechless and I don't really know what to say other than thank you, so, so much for cheering me on and this amazing review! ♥ You're awesome!

-Kiana


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Review #7, by The Misfit a series of trials.

4th May 2014:
Kiana ♥ I've missed your amazing work!

Can I just say, first of all, that this should come with a "WILL MAKE YOU CRY. DO NOT READ WITHOUT TISSUES" warning at the top of the one-shot, because I'm sitting here right now blubbing.

Having been in Astoria's position when I was very little, I could really empathize with her, particularly with the second person POV used here. Fortunately, my situation ended up differently to hers, but nevertheless I could really empathize with her as the story progressed. I love how you incorporated a childish and naive POV for Astoria as a young child, such as the special paint for adults, and then gradually built upon her understanding -- that was really well done and very clever of you!

I love how you incorporated the Khaled Hosseini quote into the story and weaved it into the prose and the plot. I've not read anything by the author himself, but I think you really did the quote justice from your use of it here.

Astoria's relationship with Lavender -- if it can be called a relationship -- is wonderfully flawed. You describe it so well, including the good aspects such as how Astoria helped to increase Lavender's confidence slightly (but sadly, not enough) and also the negative aspects, like Astoria comparing Lavender to her mother and using her as a replacement, in a way, as well as Lavender relying on Astoria to feel good about herself instead of finding the strength within. It's a very unhealthy obsession for Astoria, trying to save Lavender in a way she couldn't save her mother, and you wrote that beautifully. (I'm a little sceptical about the Healers letting them share a bed, since hospitals tend to be quite strict about their rules and regulations, but then again I've got no experience with mental health wards so they might be a bit more flexible with the rules :P)

You hinted quite early on that Astoria had done something bad that the Ministry weren't charging her for, and I had my suspicions that it involved killing her father. The scenes where she fought back was incredibly poignant and particularly heartbreaking when she realized that she'd fought back too late to save her mother. *goes off to cry in a corner*

*comes back five minutes later* I really liked the way you wrote Astoria's mother. To me, that's a sign that she endured verbal abuse before the physical abuse started -- that the cracks and ugliness of their relationship started long before Astoria became aware of the red paint and the screaming, perhaps before she and Daphne were born. And I love that, because it's incredibly realistic and it shows that we only see them in a certain time frame, and that beforehand, they might even have been happy and Astoria's mother could've been a confident person.

I did spot a few typos, but I understand you were in a hurry to get this up for the deadline! Normally, I'd re-read the one-shot to copy and paste the typos here, but I'm currently a puddle of feels right now :P You've evoked emotion brilliantly, making the reader feel incredibly invested in Astoria and wanting desperately to know the outcome, and I'm really happy that you left the ending open to interpretation -- she could've had a happy life with Draco (who, by the way, I'm convinced after reading this that he recovered but kept coming back to the group sessions to tell the other survivors "look at me, I was in your position once, and things are good for me again so if I can do it, you can too" and generally being a motivational figure in their recovery and why am I rambling?) -- anyway, yes, she could've had a happy life with Draco but there's also the possibility that this could go AU afterwards where she forms an unhealthy attachment to Draco and ends up falling apart and ugh. BTW, I was initially worried about the length but once I started reading I just lost myself in the prose and was torn between wanting it to be longer (because MORE PLEASE) and not wanting it to be longer because my feels are already mush. I don't know what it is about this one-shot, because I don't normally cry about a little (figuratively speaking) one-shot this much (and I've read stories with an abusive father so it's not my personal connection to the subject) therefore I'm saying that's a testament to your skill and wah.



PS: Dear any Ravenclaws reading this, GO NOMINATE THIS FOR A DIADEM BECAUSE IT DESERVES IT. ♥

Author's Response: ahahaha, Isobel, thank you for this amazing review, I honestly wanted to cry when I got it, and I still am squeeing incoherently and yeah, I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU. I will attempt to respond somehow, but how clear it will be is questionable :P

*massive hug fest* I am so sorry to hear that you had to experience something to Astoria, because I would never want to wish that on anyone, but I'm so glad that you managed to have a happier ending because I don't think I could ever wish a life like that on anyone no matter what they did. It means so much to me that you thought her mindset was fine and that it worked, because I've never had any experience in this luckily so it really was just guesswork of how someone could deal with something so horrible.

You really should go and read something by him as he is such a fantastic author and his work definitely acted a big inspiration for the story, so thank you!! ♥

Erm, I know what you mean about relationship because as you said it was so flawed, it couldn't really be called that, but perhaps fellow sufferer might be a better term for what they were. I love your analysis on their relationship though because it really is fantastic in depth and detail. I think Astoria has just spent most of her life living by obsessions as it's the only way she can maintain control on her world, so when she sees Lavender, it's almost as if she has to repeat her and her mother's relationship because it's only then that the world is rational for her and makes some sort of sense because otherwise it's just confusion.

I know, I thought about killing him, but in the end I didn't want Astoria to be the same as her father by being a murderer. I think the reason she always acts like that is because of the way her mother died at the same time, so it's some sort of twisted guilt inside that if she had done that before, she might have saved her mother, so that's why she has that weird silent thing about it.

The verbal abuse definitely did start before the physical because I think that would be the more natural way for it to happen. As for when it happened, in my head personally it was the gap in between Astoria and Daphne's births, and that's why her father always hated her anyhow, because she was born after he started hating her mother. Now, you're making me want to write a sequel though and explore their life before Astoria and Daphne were born :P

I know, the deadline did make editing more of a rushed job, but I have gone back and edited it now and hopefully it should be ok. Whoo for happy endings! I think it would have been a little cruel ending it on a low note, and I wanted Draco to have another cameo so it had to end that way. Whoo, you got the hint, because it's usually Astoria saving Draco from his troubled past, but this time it's the other way round, because Astoria really is in a worse off state than he is, so I thought it would be interesting to change it around. Wahahahaha, you are so wonderful Isobel, I don't know what to say. There may be a sequel sort of one-shot, because I do have an Astoria/Draco/Scorpius thingymajig in my head, but how directly connected it will be to this, I'm not really sure of, so there may be more (also, it means so much to me that the length didn't scare you, as it did really scare me :P). Wah, just thank you so much for this amazing review and the little shout-out, it's just insane and yeah, thank you!! ♥

-Kiana


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Review #8, by Infinityx a series of trials.

4th May 2014:
Oh wow, Kiana. I finished reading this ten minutes ago, and I was just sitting and staring at the grey box, because I couldn't process anything or get any words out. This was just unbelievably, astoundingly jsfndknwflmjr. I am stunned. Wow. Let me just wipe my eyes.

First of all, yay for second person! It was just perfect for conveying all those powerful emotions. Extremely effective.

I kind of got a little confused between each of the sections because the setting and Astoria's age kept changing, but then I got a hang of it, and it was just heartbreaking and beautiful.

Your imagery and descriptions are just. Wow, Kiana. I don't know what to say. This fic is just way up there, and you're on a pedestal. :D

I love how you brought Lavender into the story. The way she and Astoria comforted each other was really touching, and they were the ones holding each other together. I can't imagine how much more difficult it would have been for them if they didn't have that companionship.

Astoria's mother was just. I don't know what to make of her. It's overwhelmingly sad that she was treated that way and wouldn't stand up for herself, and at times I just felt like shaking her and telling her to get a grip. I mean, she's a witch, right? And she has two wonderful daughters who love her, but she's just taking what her husband gives her and isn't even fighting for her life! Ugh, that was just so frustrating. And that part about how Daphne's considered the golden daughter and Astoria's just the troublemaker broke my heart! :'( Especially after everything Astoria did for her mother.

I'm so glad Astoria went up against her father. There was that moment of rejoicing and then BAM. It was too late. :(

There's such a multitude of tumultuous emotions in this, and the descriptions with all the powerful memories just makes this such a heart wrenching read!

And the tears begin again. Why do you do this to me?

I love the way you've ended it as well. It seems so right that Lavender can't live with her scars and decides to end it. I've always felt her to be a really weak character. I like how you evoked all that sympathy towards her and made her a nice, supportive person though, before the final blow happened. And Draco was a nice touch. It's really a lovely way to signify the beginning of Draco and Astoria's relationship.

This was beautiful, Kiana!! I absolutely adore your writing and you've brought all the components of this story together in such a marvelous manner! This is definitely going into my favorites. :)

~Erin

Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much, Erin, it means so much to me that you liked it so much so when I saw this review I was just like erfhergorg so I will do my best to respond to it somewhat coherently :P

Whoo, second person! Yeah, I realised the sections could prove to be a little confusing, but I was just like fingers crossed, hope for the best :P Erm, as for your comments on the description just wspdowujefrg, I have no words right now, as you're far too way!

Yay for Lavender! I really do need to stop being mean to her though :P I'm glad that the two of them worked though, because initially it was going to be a Drastoria story throughout and then when Lavender appeared in the group therapy, one idea melded into the other and this story was born :P

I know, and I felt that about Astoria's mum too at times, but I think with people in those sort of states, it's just so hard to make them realise what they have and what they could do. She was just too broken to see or do otherwise, and there was really nothing to save her like with Lavender, so she just sort of gave up. Luckily Astoria didn't listen to them calling her bad the child too much, and she rebelled against them and beat her father so whoo go her!

Erm, sorry!! Have some virtual hugs/chocolate/etc!

I know, as bad as it is to say, I always thought the same about her too, but as you said, at least she had that side to her when she could open herself up to others and try and help them too. Whoo for Drastoria though!

Thanks for such an amazing review, Erin, I'm kinda blown away right now, so yeah, thank you!

-Kiana



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Review #9, by MissesWeasley123 a series of trials.

3rd May 2014:
Okay, I am here and just wow.

So, there were so many things I liked in this Kiana! Very well done! The use of repetition and your sense of imagery -- flawless.

This whole piece was so emotional. It makes me really, very sad. Everything, especially the paint. My mind is blown. I didn't understand what you meant by paint until... the purple paint and all that stuff and suddenly it came together and I had to take a moment before continuing. This is just so chilling, it gives me goosebumps.

The piece and writing itself was just so powerful and your descriptions flawless. That moment, with Lavender's bandaged face.. them sitting in group theory was so brilliant. That moment was for me so descriptive.

When Lavender died, that killed me. It was so sudden and you handled that beautifully. What really did it was the ending, because asdfghjkl; Astoria and Draco ♥ You have spun such an amazing spin on their characters I cannot express how impressed I am with your writing.

Brilliant work and good luck with the challenge. I am so happy you managed to churn this story out in the end, because it was a story worth telling! ♥

Author's Response: Whoo, hi Nadia! ♥

WHY ARE YOU SO NICE! Gah, I don't know what to say and I just want to type a bunch of random letters as my response but that probably won't be a very good one, so I'll try and make something.

Erm, yeah, the paint, I think that's the saddest thing for Astoria of how she had to figure all of that out by herself as her mother didn't say a thing so when it all came together it was just like whaat?

Aw, thank you! I have to say thanks to the Khaled Hosseini quote, I felt his writing did inspire me a lot and he's got such lovely descriptions, I wanted to show a bit of them here!

I'm so sorry, it just sort of had to be really because I just couldn't imagine her going, plus it would mean no Astoria and Draco and a world without them is a rather sad one indeed!

Wah, thank you for such a wonderfully amazing review, I feel as if I haven't expressed how much this means to me, but yeah, I LOVE YOU! ♥


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Review #10, by Veritaserum27 a series of trials.

2nd May 2014:
Hi Kiana - I'm here for the review swap!

Wow. This was really powerful. I was initially intimidated by the length of it, but it was told in such a way that the story completely drew me in and I just kept reading. I liked the way you separated the sections with the Roman numerals. I can't tell why, but it was a much better technique than using the horizontal lines or asterisks. Perhaps keeping it numbered gave the reader a sense of the story moving along. I know I'm spending a lot of time writing about this, but it was really brilliant and a perfect fit for this piece.

The second person point of view and switching between the two time frames also worked really well. Because of you and your stories, I am a huge fan of second person now!

I also loved the love story between Astoria and Lavender. You trick the reader into thinking that it will be Astoria/Draco, especially because he makes an appearance early on, but you keep us on our toes by going the other way with it. Clearly, Astoria needed Lavender to help her along the way to healing so that she can get better and, eventually love again. Great job with giving us a tiny taste of their future right at the end. Do I hear sequel?? Or, you can write a Draco story about his stay at the St. Mungo's ward and getting past his own demons and THEN write the Draco/Astoria piece! Listen to me, lining up all of your next one-shots!!

I think that you brilliantly captured the essence of the quote you were using for the challenge. You took a topic that is so laden with hopelessness and set it in the midst of the darkest time in all of the HP books and still managed to end up with a feeling that things could indeed be good again.

Another plot point that I really liked I'd that you didn't let on that Astoria's father didn't actually die until the very end. I was reading faster and faster just to get to that part!

The way you let the images and feeling tell the story made it even more powerful. When Astoria was young, having her only understand her mother's injuries and 'paint for adults' and slowing increasing her understanding and emotions as she grew up was clever and brought the story to another level.

Fantastic job!

Beth

Author's Response: Hi Beth!

First of all, can I just say thank you for this wonderfully amazing review, it completely blew me away! I'm glad the length didn't bother you after a while because when I do write something as long as this, I do try and break it up so it's less of a continuous prose, so I'm glad that it worked for you. Haha, don't worry about spending ages talking about it, I'm just glad it worked so well!

*squees like a flamingo* Ahahahaha, thank you so much, it means so much to me that you like the narration now!

HAhaha, I know, because at first it was going to be Astoria/Draco throughout, and then Lavender just appeared and I was like ooh, lightbulb moment, this could be a great sort of ship and then it developed from there. They definitely did need one another, but in a way, Lavender grew too dependent on her which led to her doing what she did. Ooh, I love those one-shot ideas! Well, I do have a soft spot for Astoria and Draco, so I will never say no to writing them again, though whether it will be linked to this story is something I'm not too sure of.

I'm glad the quote worked well, as Khaled Hosseini is the god of writing in my opinion, so I really wanted to do him and his quote justice! Hahaha, yeah, that was probably due to me toying whether to kill him or not, but I think if Astoria had killed him that really would have sent her over the edge.

Aw, thank you! That was probably the hardest part for me, as I've never been in that situation myself luckily, so having to gauge how much she would and wouldn't understand was rather strange.

Thank you for this amazing review, it completely blew me away!

-Kiana


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Review #11, by LilyLou a series of trials.

2nd May 2014:
Hi, here for our review swap!

Wow, what a dark story. It made me want to cry. I held it in, being in public, but I almost lost it. Your writing is so beautiful, and I admire this!

I love the idea of Lavender and Astoria coping together. Their relationship is so sweet, and important to the pair of them. It's what helps them through.

Her mother's story is so sad. It's horrible, and tragic. But you wrote it perfectly. You wrote the POV of a child well in those flashbacks, bring naive and unaware.

Draco smiling. I can just see it...

Great job! I really enjoyed reading this!

-Janelle

Author's Response: Hi Janelle!

Haha, reading this in public probably wasn't the best idea, but it means so much to me that you liked and that it made you want to cry because I never thought I would be able to do that :P

Yay, another Lavender/Astoria fan! It was never actually meant to end up as a sort of pairing it just sort of happened, but as you said, it was important to both of them so I can't imagine them without one another. I'm glad the child's POV worked too, because it's been quite a while since I was a child, so it was weird stepping into that mindset. Aw, Draco! ♥ It's strange thinking he was the one which made the happy ending happen.

Thanks for such a great review, Janelle!

-Kiana



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Review #12, by CambAngst a series of trials.

30th April 2014:
Hi, Kiana!

I saw you post a link to this on the forums and when you mentioned that it was a really long one-shot, I wanted to check it out. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing.

I loved the story-telling technique you used here. Alternating back and forth between past and present, on either side of the event that permanently changed Astoria's life. I could see some analogues between the moments that followed one another, small similarities in theme or substance. All in all, it was very well put together.

I'm trying a new technique here: constructive criticism in the middle, like a sandwich. There's some editing that still needs to be done on this. Nothing too egregious, especially considering the length of the piece, but I spotted a number of little things like you're/your, to/too and a missing word or two.

The actual story you tell is so heart-breaking. Astoria is trapped in one of these star-crossed lives where everyone she cares for seems to leave her. Her mother's story was the worst. I had a great aunt who lived a similar life with my great uncle, although to a lesser extent. She died a death of 1,000 cuts, having her self-confidence, her self-worth and eventually her self-determination gradually chipped away by his constant criticism and devaluation of her. He spent all their money, she made excuses for him. He had affairs, she pretended it wasn't happening. It's a horrible way to watch a person go, slowly but surely. I felt so terrible for both Astoria and her mother. When she finally puts her father in his place, I wanted to hug her and jump up and down and celebrate. But it was too late...

Poor Lavender never emotionally recovered from being attacked by Greyback, I see. It makes sense. It's also horrible to imagine that probably be bravest night of her life completely destroyed her. The way she finally succumbs is horrible.

This story was so sad, but I did see perhaps a hint of hope between Draco and Astoria at the end. I find myself wishing the best for both of them.

You did a really amazing job with this. It's long, but it's full of emotion and feeling throughout. Your descriptions are vivid and beautifully worded.

Good luck with your challenge!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! Thanks for stopping by it means so much to me, and yay, I actually found another fan of long one-shots!

I'm glad you liked the story-telling technique, as I felt inspired by the quote as Khaled Hosseini always tells it in a structurally different way, so I thought I would try my hand at it here and it was actually a ton of fun to do!

Thank you for pointing them out, it was sort of a panic edit as I needed to get it in for the challenge deadline, but luckily Nadia's extended it now, so I can sort them out after responding to this!

Yes, again, the story was influenced by Khaled Hosseini, as he always writes about the not so nice aspects of life which others tend to shy away from sometimes, so I really wanted to explore a life which never went well, and how that can happen to people too. I'm so sorry to hear about your great aunt too, I sadly have family members who do that to others so it's never a nice thing to witness, but writing this helped me understand how the victim felt a lot more. I know, I wanted to hug her too, because while we always think just fight back, it takes an awful lot of courage to do so, so I felt so proud of her for doing that, but then it didn't work out in the end.

I know, I am rather awful to Lavender because I never allow her to recover from the attack, but I think when you have physical as well as mental scars from an attack it just makes it so much harder to deal with, so you can sort of see why Lavender went down that path.

Yeah, I needed one bit of happiness, plus I love this ship thanks to Detox, so I had to include it, even if it was right at the end! Thanks for this amazing review, it's still making me smile so much and it means so much for me to hear you say this!

-Kiana


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Review #13, by marauderfan a series of trials.

29th April 2014:
ASJDFJHAWHFA

WOW

SORRY I CAN'T DO ANYTHING EXCEPT CAPSLOCK RIGHT NOW

I'm blown away by your writing in this. Each phrase is just so beautifully worded, and I can't see this being in any other POV but the second person, it's perfect for Astoria's state of mind throughout. The contrast between the beautiful prose and the rather dark content is what I like best about it, I think. The naivety of young Astoria and the paint, so sad - and then how it turns to her kind of noble intentioned craziness - she's really quite mentally ill by the end, but there's hope for her.

I loved the (almost)pairing, and how when Lavender and Astoria were together it was like they could escape from things they had done and things that had been done to them, but the real world came back when Lavender died and it was really devastating :(

It's a long one-shot and therefore I feel like I should have a lot to comment on, but there aren't specific things I want to point out. It's kind of like the whole story, despite the fifteen little sections, was just one really intense emotion. It's the kind of story that just grabs at your heart and drops a ton of bricks on it, and then removes the bricks. Gah, I just... can't. Brilliant work on this.

Author's Response: AHAHAha, Kristin, you are too nice and amazing and yeah I want to sit here and spend all day staring at this fab review!

Gah, how to respond? I'm so glad the POV worked for you as it was meant to be in first and then however it suddenly changed to second, and that seemed to fit so much better. Yeah, Astoria is kinda like Harry with this noble craziness, except this one was a little bit warped so kinda like she's fighting the light and dark within her own mind too, and probably has a mental illness too!

Aw, yay for the (almost) pairing, I think if Lavender didn't do what she did, it would have been a real one, but then I don't think it would have been a too healthy one, as they were sort of using one another to get over the fears and not really in love, but more in love with the idea of one another I think, so it wasn't too healthy.

Aw, it's fine, just hearing those comments made me all ewofjrgrg and not know how to respond properly because you are too kind, though I'm so sorry for dropping bricks on you, I hope it didn't hurt too much! :P

Thanks for such an AHMazing review!



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