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Reading Reviews for The Best Brother Ever
  
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTart The Best Brother Ever

23rd May 2015:
Hi Sian!

I'm here for the Gryffindor Review Battle! Go Team Red!

I was immediately attracted to this story because I just adore anything Fred and George, plus the idea of them buying each other birthday gifts sounds like it has a lot of potential.

I must say there was something very ominous in both twins reaching out to Molly to help them each plan a present for the other. I know it's not really meant to be ominous, more thoughtful, but knowing what Fred and George are capable of, I couldn't help but wonder if they were up to some sort of prank on their mom. That same thought seems to occur to Molly as well.

As the story progresses, we learn that the twins are indeed being sincere, which in itself is a touching thing since there are so few sincere moments from them. I like that Molly sort of allows each of them to come up with the idea for the present because she knows that if she tries to control it too much they will end up doing something crazy. The relief she shows at the ideas come up with had me really intrigued. At first, I couldn't possibly imagine what it could be. Once I figured out that they were each baking a cake, I thought it was really sweet although somewhat ironic that they were each doing the same thing.

The family birthday party was lovely. It's amazing how much characterization you were able to fit in for each sibling just based on the gift that each of them gave. I could just see Percy picking out some super dull book not fit for a child. On the other hand, Bill and Charlie always seemed like the type of brother's to encourage the twins shenanigans, so it also seems fitting that they would get them joke stuff and candy. Each person's gift seemed really well thought out and based on each of their individual characters. Kudos for that.

It was nice to see a few moments of each twin without the other. I always wondered how the dynamic would change with each of them when you were dealing with them on an individual level. It actually seems to calm them down a bit.

I also love the idea that Molly allows the boys to pull pranks on their birthdays. To the twins it must be bliss to be able to get away with whatever they want for one day. I could imagine the Weasley house being in total turmoil every time April 1st rolls around.

I really enjoyed reading this. It flowed nicely and really did a good job of painting an accurate picture of the Weasleys. I know in your author's note you mention that this isn't your normal style, but you wouldn't know it because you've done it so well. Good work as always!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin!

I really love Fred and George too! They're such brilliant characters and I always love reading about them - writing them is a bit of a challenge, though, but I'm glad that you enjoyed this story!

Haha, I'm glad that you picked up on the fact that there was something ominous about them taking Molly aside to plan a gift for the other - I wanted to build it up that there could be something really crazy but then have the reader realise that in the end, there's actually something really sweet and thoughtful about their present. I definitely think Molly would have been wary of that too, at first!

I imagine that the twins never really thought that they'd need to be truly sincere - the words didn't come out often because they were so in sync and knew how much they meant to the other. It just makes what happened to them so sad :( But I really wanted to show them both actually doing something sweet for once!

I'm really glad you liked the characterisation of the Weasleys! It's always so difficult to write so many of them at once, particularly when they're a bit younger than what we see them in the books, but I'm really happy that their characters managed to come through in the individual gifts they gave.

Haha, I really imagine the Burrow would be chaos on 1st April! It's their birthday, and generally you treat kids on their birthday and don't tell them off, but since it also coincides with April Fools', I imagine that caused a lot of problems and in the end Molly and Arthur just decided to give up and let them wreak havoc for twenty-four hours before trying to get things vaguely back to normal. I'm really glad you liked the idea too!

Thank you so much for your lovely review!


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Review #2, by The Basilisk The Best Brother Ever

7th January 2015:
Why hello again, Ssssian!!

(Is it creepy that I know your name? Nah. I'm the Basilisk. I see everything!!) :P

I've read your Aunt Muriel story and you clearly just have a knack for writing the Weasleys. This was so perfect and so in character and I'm just in awe at your Weasley talent. :P I loved how the twins kept interrupting Molly in that fragmented style, it was so sweet at the lengths they went to in order to keep the present secret from the other one.

All of the characters were defined so clearly even at this young age. I loved how Fred could be a little mean sometimes in his pranking, how Ginny was more angry than afraid of the creatures, how Percy got the twins books as presents... it was just all so nicely in character. :)

I loved the feeling of family from the HP books that is shown through the Weasleys here. They may not have a lot of money but that doesn't matter. Molly really is the best mama and so caring, and it was great to read about her internal thought process throughout the whole story. The cakes at the end were just adorable, I loved how they thought of the same thing! Also, the foreshadowing with Ginny drawing them owning a joke shop was great. :P

Lovely job with this awesome story!!! :D

♥ from the Basilisk

Author's Response: Hello again, dear Basilisk!

I really don't feel like I have a knack for writing the Weasleys - in fact, writing them absolutely terrifies me - so I'm really happy you think that I wrote them well in this story! The twins were cute to write here though, trying to come up with a surprise for the other.

One of the things that I was worried about here was trying to write them so they're younger versions of the characters we all know and love, so writing a few of the more recognisable traits was important for me - I loved writing Ginny in particular. I think she would have been so tough because she always seemed to stand up to them (much more than Ron did, anyway).

I'm really glad you liked the sense of family! I wanted to show that they did their best to make birthdays and similar occasions special even if they didn't have much money, and that was the important thing (why Ron turned out so differently to Draco, for example).

Thank you so much for your lovely reviews!


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Review #3, by monstrosity The Best Brother Ever

13th December 2014:
Well hello there!

I have to say that stories that feature gifts are my favourite to read, during the spare moments when I'm not hopping down chimneys. Why? Well, I feel that gifts, however inexpensive they are, are like those pensives that my friend Dumbledore always goes one about - they hold memories. The best gifts of all are the gifts of the heart and that's exactly what the twins did.

[Oh, and incase you were wondering, Albus Dumbledore and I are chums, really. We like to compare the lengths of our beards. Unfortunately, he always wins.]

The plot reminds me of another short story I read in the past, which is also beautifully written. It's called the Gift of the Magi, I think, and it's about a poor couple who each sacrifice what is dearest to them to get the other a gift, but the gift is for the thing that they sacrificed. I guess that coincidences become even more endearing when it involves giving gifts.

I think you characterised the twins really well, showing a little bit of their softer side through their quest to make the best gift for each other, while still showing their naughty side. From what I've seen while making my naughty and nice list, pranking their family like that is just the sort of thing only the twins can do.

The flow of the story is nice and easy to follow, with the perfect balance of description and conversation to keep me intrigued. The level of suspense when it came to what exactly the gift was was wonderful and that really help hold the story together. Lastly, despite using several short and separate incidents to tell the story, you managed to weave it together really well.

Those cakes sound scrumptious! Much better than some of the cookies I've tasted in my escapades. One of the households I visited last year was going through an organic phase. Did you know that broccoli cookies actually exist?

Anyway, thanks for the lovely story!

Merry Christmas!
Father Christmas

Author's Response: Hi Sathya/Father Christmas!

I agree that stories about gifts are wonderful - there's something so magical about giving presents to people, no matter what age you are! And it's so sweet that my story reminded you of that one, because I hadn't even thought of that connection.

I really wanted to show the softer side to the twins. Even though they didn't show it often (I mean, they're boys in a family of boys, it's not likely they would), Fred and George loved each other so much and they really were best friends - I liked the idea of them both trying to get a present for the other and then the coincidence with what it was, because they're so alike.

I'm really glad you liked this story! And I didn't actually know that broccoli cookies exist, that sounds... interesting?

Thank you so much for the lovely review!


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Review #4, by BellaLestrange87 The Best Brother Ever

21st October 2014:
Hi Sian! I'm here for our review swap!

First of all, I really enjoyed this. I haven't read any of your stories before and I'm beginning to wonder what was wrong with me.

This is really cute! I like how Fred and George want to surprise each other with what they call the best birthday present ever, and how you build up what it is they plan to do for each other. Also cute is how Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny play with each other during the older children's absence at Hogwarts, even despite the age difference (although I have to admit that two/three years isn't that big).

You've characterised everyone's younger versions really well. I especially like how Fred seems to be throwing the Quaffle at Ron. From the way he is portrayed in the books, they seem to tease him a lot. Also, if I remember correctly, Fred is the one that triggered Ron's arachnophobia.

I like how Molly is supportive of Fred and George's desire to make something for each other, while being wary at the same time. It sounds exactly like it could be portrayed in the books; encouraging her sons while trying to restrain them from anything too foolhardy (especially at eight).

That prank that Fred and George pulled on everybody was amazing. I particularly like how you replaced Percy's books with worms. If Percy was as uptight at 10 (which according to HPL he was if F&G are 8 here) as he was later, then books would've been the first thing that Fred and George would've targeted. And the toilet brushes... that sounds like exactly the kind of toilet humour (pardon the pun) that a pair of 8-year-olds would find funny.

The gifts are extremely realistic. I can see Fred and George brushing off Percy's gift of a book. Part of Ginny's gift surprised me and part of it didn't. I didn't see her as artistic (but then again, I'm pretty sure that a lot of girls drew as a kid. I certainly did, even though I had absolutely no talent for drawing), but there must've been some indication that Fred and George wanted to open up a joke shop. Or maybe everybody was merely focused on the fact that they'd just been pranked? Fred's comment about how he was glad she drew him more good looking sounds familiar. I can't remember where I read it - I haven't read the books in a while *shakes head* - but I think Fred said he was the better-looking brother.

Molly worrying about whether Fred and George would care whether or not their presents were second-hand is spot-on for me. Even though I feel like I'm making her out to be an excessive worrier, I know that she's hoping for the best for her kids and trying to give them the best possible with her limited resources. Of course, Fred and George were just happy to get brooms, which is a typical 8-year-old response - "I got stuff! Especially stuff I wanted!"

I definitely didn't expect gigantic cakes for the other twin. Knowing Fred and George, I thought that maybe they would go for a harmless prank for the other person. Their surprise at the cakes, and then realisation at what happened, was brilliantly written.

Even though you said in your author's note that it's different from what you usually write, your writing sounds easy, not forced.

I really enjoyed reading this, and I feel kind of guilty for leaving a review shorter than yours, even though this is over a page long in my word processor. If you want another review swap later I would definitely be up for one!

~Olivia

Author's Response: Hi Olivia! Thanks for the review swap!

Aw, thank you for the lovely comments on my writing! This was definitely out of my comfort zone, although I've written one Weasley family Christmas story before, but I'm glad you liked it!

I loved the idea of Fred and George wanting to surprise each other with a birthday present from the other, and I'm glad you liked it too. I can imagine Molly torn between being pleased at their thoughtfulness, and the fact that there's a lot of potential for disaster as well :P

The pranks! I'm really pleased you liked them, because I find it so hard to reflect Fred and George's humour in my writing because it's not at all the sort of thing I'd come up with usually, so it's great that you thought they were in character!

I'm pleased that you liked the gifts, as well. I wasn't sure what Ginny would be able to give them, but I always picture their gifts at this stage - to each other, at least - being homemade, because I doubt their parents would have had enough money to give each kid money for presents for the others (if that even makes sense). So the drawing was the next substitute - and I think in the books, they comment about being better-looking when they take the Polyjuice Potion to become Harry - I kind of wanted to make it into a long-standing joke between them.

I always thought Molly would worry about what she could afford to get the kids for their birthdays and Christmas. That family's never been short of love, even if they can't afford all new things, and I'm certain most parents worry about what they get for their kids!

I think I could have put the explanation about why cakes in, but it didn't seem to fit. In my head, they always have a shared cake, so this way they each got one like all their siblings do on their birthday.

Don't feel guilty at all at leaving this review - it was fantastic! I just kind of ramble a lot, anyway. Thank you for this lovely review!


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Review #5, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing The Best Brother Ever

19th October 2014:
Sian! Oh you! *hugs tightly* This. Wow, I can't even tell you how grateful I am. I honestly love this so much. Thank you. You're so so sweet to write this for me.

The twins. Who wouldn't love them? Reading them in this was just so perfect. They were spot on character wise and the story just was just so heart warming. It put a massive smile on my face. I love how proud Molly was of her boys too. Her worrying about the presents and what they think just all so canon.

Honestly Sian, I really loved this. Thank you so much, it was a perfect present!! Sorry this review is just really a ramble of my thanks but yeah. I'm just a pile of mush that you wrote this for me.

Thank you x

Author's Response: Hey Lauren!

Ah, I'm so pleased that you liked this! Seriously, you don't know how hard you are to write for... like, I know /what/ to write, but the actual writing :P

I'm really happy that the twins were well characterised and written! I wanted to get them write so badly because I know how much you love them, and that you liked Molly too.

And yay, I'm so happy you liked it, I can't even tell you! I wanted to write you a good present and you completely deserve it! ♥


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