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Reading Reviews for falling.
10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by cherry_pop94 falling.

4th March 2016:
This story is so so beautiful.

You have captured the anguish of hogh achieving students wonderfully. The sense of being trapped by your own perfectionism. Unable to sleep, unable to eat. Lysander doesn't take care of himself but because he's reached such high academic success, no one realizes it except for Xeno and Hugo. It is a tragic situation, but all too common. No one notices when the perfect one is breaking.

I realized at the end that this shows Lysander's OCD. He is compulsive in how he acts and eats. You showed this OCD really well woth the food. I think because Lysander's compulsion revolved around food or more likely because of my own experience with eating disorders, anorexia is the first thing I thought of. The way he doesn't eat and yet maintains the sense of absolute control over his life reminded me so much of anorexia. Though of course, these kinds of neurological conditions frequently overlap.

I really liked that Lysander's compulsion, whether its OCD or anorexia or both or something else, revolved around food. Back to the topic of eating disorders, the condition is so often feminized. But neurological disorders can affect anyone. The use of food as a control tactic, as a part of perfectionism, is common and not just in women.

You portrayed a very troubled character absolutely beautifully here. Wow.


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Review #2, by Secret Slytherin Snowflake falling.

30th December 2015:
Happy Holidays!

My, my. What a sad little tale. I want to cry and hug Lysander. And Hugo is so brave and strong and sweet for being there for him. You write "issues" so well. You really nail them. And your descriptions are just wow. Like your writing is on such a spectacular level, I literally worship it.

I loved how Lysander was a workaholic (for lack of a better word), that he wouldn't eat, and all. And the references to Xeno were interesting. And through it all, Albus being there, pushing him to eat, to take care of himself. You portrayed it all very realistically and in a moving manner.

Really, another superbly written one-shot. It tore at my heartstrings. Such beautiful writing. Much love.

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Review #3, by Dojh167 falling.

15th September 2015:
FSF Award review #3

Hello again, Erin!

I love it when next-gin pairings focus on less written about characters, so I couldn't resist when I saw a story you wrote about TWO such characters!

First off, I absolutely love that you rose to the A-Z Challenge! It requires such a creative way of approaching a story, and I think you did a really excellent job with it. However, I did feel that because of this limitation you did see to combine what would have otherwise been separate sentences, leading to a cluttered sense of run-ons.

I was unclear by your us of him in "Does it mean an overwhelming need to take him upstairs, to peel him away from those pages which cause the pink tinge to fade from his skin?" If you meant Hugo, using "himself" may have helped.

I think you do a great job here capturing the inner anguish that is often overlooked about high achieving students. Particularly in the paragraph beginning "Quills and parchments" it becomes clear that Lysander is trapped in this world and tortured by it.

I really like that you chose to make Hermione's son the one to counter Lysander. I imagine he knows a thing or two about workaholism.

In "knowing thereís nothing he can say to get Hugo of his back" of should be off

I love the line "Dry lips latch onto the soft bread"

It seems odd to me that you say that Lysander's eating habits no longer provoke a response from Hugo, and then go on to describe his reaction. I get that you mean he doesn't respond verbally, but it still is an odd structure.

I also really liked the sentence "for Lysander was like a wary animal, needing to be in control, restrictive when it came to personal space, and Hugo was the only one he let in." It is extra poignant because there is this underlying sense that even Hugo will never be let in completely.

Ack, more things I love: "but donít you dare fade away from me." "love cannot involve watching someone wither away" "This is what it has come down to, a ritual, a dance of sorts, a rhythmic movement of evasion"

Good idea incorporating Xenophilius to get those Xs in ;)

This was a really interesting story, and I applaud you for tacking such intense subject matter so intimately.


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Review #4, by LadyL8 falling.

21st August 2015:
Hello Erin.

So I'm reading my way throught the dobby rec fics, and now I reached this one. I have actually read it already, but I don't know why I never got around to reviewing it. I'm sorry I didnt', but better late than never right.

First of all, I knew this was for the A-Z challenge before I read, so I noticed that of course as I read. However, I don't feel like it was obvious for people who didn't know about that; they probably wouldn't actually notice that each sentence start with a new letter, at least I think so.

Now this was really beautiful. You know I love your writing cause I've said that many times, but I actually think this might be my favourite story of yours EVER. I get why it was recommended, cause it really is good.

I especially love the vocabulary, which feels more advanced than in your other stories (I might be wrong, though, but I've read so many stories from other writers since I last read something of yours so I could be mixing you with another author or just remembering wrong). At the same time it wasn't too advance; it didn't feel like you were just trying to find synonyms without really knowing how to use the words. So that was amazing. Good job on that!

My favourite part is without a doubt the description. You have so many beautiful descriptions, and it really gets across Hugo's desperation, love and how much he wants to help Lysander. And you have small/short sentences that says so much, like the "karma" one, which is just one word, but it says a lot. And I just love the almost lyrical tone to it, your writing style and how wonderfully the story flows. This is a really good story, Erin. I've fallen in love with it.

Now I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself, which you already know from my review on the challenge entry, but fortunately not to the same extent as Lysander, I've never had OCD thankfully. I still felt like I could relate to him, though, because I too feel like I get to lost in myself, I suppose you could say. I'm too strict on myself and only accept the best of me, and I don't give up or even take a break until I have achieved that. Like Lysander I'd lock myself up, isolate myself from everyone that could distract me from my work. And I too actually - and this comes from other issues I'll eventually share with you guys when I'm ready for it - stop eating when I work on something. I can't eat when I work on making stuff perfect, and I can't break that habit no matter how bad I know it is for me. Because it really isn't easy.

Hugo breaks me heart in this story. You can see how hard it is on him, having to watch Lysander "wither away" to quote him. I could really feel how much it hurt him, how painful it was for him to watch, and my heart just broke for him. I'll love that he'll be there for his friend, but then again it's kind of bad because Lysander shouldn't be dependant on Hugo; he should get help so he can fix his own problems, and not have Hugo fix them for him all the time.

But putting that thought aside, the style in this piece is just amazing, You have such easy descriptions, a very beautiful (I want to say easy here as well) tone to it, and I love how different Lysander is from his mother, Luna. That's such an interesting contrast, and it really shows that kids aren't their parents, because they tend to be in fanfics. And that's not true at all. I'm nothing like my parents, I can't count on two hands how many times I've been asked if I'm adopted (I'm not, if you're curious), because I don't look or act like any of them. But no one is exactly like their parents, many people are actually really different from them. And your story really showed that.

I don't know a lot about OCD myself, but I think you portrayed it well. I want to applaud you for daring to write him like that, cause it's a very difficult topic. In my country it's almost taboo, because we never speak publicly about it. So I love seeing it in fiction, cause that's the only way to break the tabooness of it (yeah, I know. That's probably not a real word, but you get what I mean).

A really good story. I understand perfectly why it was recommended, and I'm glad I read it. You nailed the challenge, that's for sure, and it's going to get a favourite from me because I honestly think it's your best work. Really love the style and the flow, and I love that I can relate to it in a way. So yeah, 10/10 and a favourite from me. Good job, Erin. This is amazing!

Lots of Love


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Review #5, by crestwood falling.

15th August 2015:
hi Erin, I've decided to do your request before our swap for some reason. I might be a little excited to get my thread up and running again.

So, your language here is very pretty. It isn't necessarily lyrical, but there is a certain quality to your diction that feels well put together.

I'm not entirely sure if I'm correct here, but should 'those pages which causes' say 'those pages which cause'? Regardless, that was an excellent way to explain that he doesn't go outside often and show the extent of his obsession without flat out telling the reader as much. I wish I could utilize description in ways like that.

I feel a lot of emotions for Lysander early on in this story. I think that the shared experiences I have with both obsessive compulsive disorder and eating disorders help me to kind of zero in on those things. I don't think I've ever let something like that evade my attention in writing just because I know the kind of language one would use and the warning signs and such.

Lysander's characterization hits close to home for me. The constant perfectionism to this extent is really well done and the reaction of Hugo is even better. I've seen a lot of fics where being a perfectionist to the point of seeming like a disorder symptom has been a totally positive experience for all involved, so I'm so happy to see a story in which someone is actually worried that their boyfriend is too obsessed with their work. Just because - that's realistic and someone camping out in their study day in and day out is concerning to a lot of people, even if that person is doing things of genius in there.

There is definitely a warning sign of unhealthiness in the fact that he uses potions to revive his energy. I think that should probably tip readers off to the fact that this is a self destructive path, if they didn't already realize.

I can see what you mean about a certain subtlety here. I understand that having to be coerced into eating is a huge red flag, but it isn't immediately obvious or stated outright that there is a disorder here. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with that though. It's definitely not to a point where I "get nothing" out of this like you said in your request. I don't see how someone could finish reading this story and not see your intentions of presenting an unhealthy, troubled person. Not spelling out every single thing is kind of underrated in my opinion. I know that a lot of people like to understand everything at all costs, but I'd say that there's value in what you don't say - what you leave to the imagination.

The 'karma probably' line is something that I've actually said a lot. Crying a little bit about that one.

Also, I literally forgot that this is an A-Z fic until I saw the author's note!! Wow. That's really, really amazing how natural the language feels.

To address your concerns about this being 'anticlimatic' - I just don't think that's a real compliant to have about this story. It's a one-shot and it works great as a Slice of Life sort of thing. This feels like a glimpse at a person - a character study. I don't think you can apply the same dramatic expectations that you would a longer story to this. In some ways, I feel that the sort of open-endedness of this works as commentary on the lack of MAGICALLY GETTING BETTER that happens in real life. The conclusion is the Hugo goes through all of this and still stands by Lysander. The simple act of him deciding not to leave him to be alone IS a climax. And I think it works perfectly fine for this. And as for - 'keeps going in circles' - that isn't really something that felt like a drawback. Like, yeah the whole time Lysander is being difficult and Hugo is trying to get him to stop, but that's just kind of...how it happens? I think that some of that frustration that readers might feel is sort of warranted if the story is to be realistic in any way. Because caring about someone with such serious disorders can be emotionally taxing in a way that might make someone uncomfortable or want to say, like, 'JUST GET ON WITH IT."

But I ask - just get on with what, exactly? You know? Like, this is a story about someone trying to get someone to break an unhealthy pattern, so in order to write about that, the pattern in question must be described in some way. I don't think you did it in a tedious way or anything. In fact, you came up with a whole host of fresh ways of phrasing things here where I'd have probably just sounded like a broken record. Basically, I think that this might not be to everyone's taste, but in no way is that indicative of its quality. The more I sit down with this, the more I appreciate the nuances of it all. I think this is one of the smarter depictions of a mentally ill character I've read. Excellent work. Let me know if there is anything I didn't touch on that you wanted me to and we can talk about it on Skype. Thank you for requesting from me!

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Review #6, by EnigmaticEyes16 falling.

11th August 2015:
Hi Erin! I'm here for the Slytherin Review Tag!

This is an interesting depiction of this pairing. It seems a bit anti-climatic since the story doesn't exactly progress, the cycle just seems to keep repeating, but at the same time it speaks a lot of volumes on Hugo's part.

Lysander is this withdrawn person who only seems to focus on schoolwork and nothing else, doesn't bother to sleep or eat, and poor Hugo is the one constantly keeping an eye on him, making sure he eats enough just to keep from starving. And Lysander allows this because Hugo's the only person he's ever really let in, even though it seems like he still very much holds him at bay.

I'm very curious as to whether that's the extent of their relationship or if their is more. It seems like Hugo would like there to be more, but Lysander doesn't seem to care about anything but his work. This is such an interesting part of Lysander's personality though and I would like to know more about him.

But anyway, I thought was a great one-shot, and I really liked how you incorporated the challenge guidelines into your story.

Great job!


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Review #7, by TreacleTart falling.

10th August 2015:
Hi Erin!

I'm here for our review swap! Jeez. I feel like it's been such a long time since we've done one of these.

This was a really interesting portrayal of Lysander. It seems like he has a very bad case of Obesessive Compulsive Disorder. Everything from his never ending studying to his weird food rituals suggests it. By the way you describe it, it sounds like it's gotten way out of control too.

I know that Hugo thinks he's helping the person he cares about by forcing him to take breaks and eat even if it's just a little bit, but really he's enabling him. THe sad thing about that is that as long as Hugo is caring for him, Lysander has no incentive to get help.

I think that the writing style in this was quite lovely. It seemed very minimal. You didn't use a tone of overly complex words. Just nice smooth, easy descriptions. I had a very clear image throughout the story of what was going on. I could vividly picture Lysander scouring the books and staying up late. It was a nice bit of characterization and one that I haven't seen before.

I'm also really impressed that you managed to complete the A to Z challenge. I think it's super tough to get in each letter.

Good job!


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Review #8, by MuggleMaybe falling.

10th August 2015:
Hi Erin,

Wow! I am so impressed how you managed to make the sentences in alphabetical order like that. I thought about joining this challenge, but it seemed so difficult, and then you make it look effortless! Amazing!

This is a heartbreaking piece. It particularly hit home for me, because I have an important person in my life who has OCD. You really nailed the helpless feeling of not being able to solve the problem, how you are desperate and angry and sad all at once. But also you love the person-- I don't think I can explain anymore. Too hard. I'm getting upset. But this is really a great depiction of those emotions, and I applaud you for it!

You've written beautifully. This line especially stopped my heart:
"there is nothing I can do, but donít you dare fade away from me"

and also:
"Now, tied together by invisible strings, they were planets attracted, yet set apart from each other."

Just gorgeous! I loved it!

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Review #9, by Frankie05 falling.

9th August 2015:
I think that this challenge was made for you honestly. This is the second story that I've read and you've nailed it. Also with the pain. You've gotten me with your beautiful words and carved parts of my heart out. What goes through your brilliant mind when you write stories. You are so creative!

I liked this story a lot. I think you focused on something that is often so hidden in young people. Lysander's desire to be something great in his studies is affecting his health and I can see how much it is hurting Hugo. Are they just friends or are they more? Either way, Hugo feels and sees the pain Lysander is putting himself through. Are you writing Lysander with a form of OCD too? Have you thought of a career in psychology, I think you would be great at it, if your written work is any indication of your knowledge and understanding of the subject.

I had to take the challenge mindset out of this reading, because I found myself curious of how you would use the letter x and I wasn't focusing on the story, and I'd hate to lose focus on something so beautifully written.

This made me want to cry, especially when Hugo cried. People would kill for friends like Hugo. Job well done.

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Review #10, by lilypotterfan123 falling.

9th August 2015:
hey Erin! I had to review this after you left a link in your status - I was kind of intrigued seeing as I don't remember reading any Hugo/Lysander.

In regards to the challenge I thought it'd be pretty impossible, but you mastered it really well! Every sentence I was like okay, how's she going to get in this letter - oh wow she nailed it!

I really liked the idea that Lysander seemed to be the total opposite to his mother, I usually imagine Luna's children to be somewhat distant and dreamy like she is. But the characterisation of both Hugo and Lysander was very believable! You captured Hugo's emotions really well - I mean in that position it would be so difficult because you'd want to love that person, you'd want to tell someone about their problems, but you can't lose them, and that was the part that I feel was written exceedingly well!

I gave this an 8/10, just because I would've loved to see more of Lysander's emotions. I know he was really engrossed in his work, but I feel like there could've been a little bit more. Otherwise this was brilliant, and very well written!


Author's Response: Hey Bex! thanks for stopping by!

haha thank you so much. this was so difficult and took me ages to write but i'm glad i somehow managed it. :D

i think one thing that people expect is for children to be exactly like their parents but that's not usually true. sure, parents influence children to a certain extent, but everyone is their own person in the end. and i would even say that lysander's personality is due to the way his parents are as well in some way. i think i might explore that further in another fic.

as for lysander's emotions not being revealed as much - that's because this is almost entirely from hugo's perspective and the way he views lysander. there are some hints of lysander's emotions like when hugo makes him go upstairs, but this is mostly a focus on hugo's feelings. :)

thank you so much for reading and reviewing!

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