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Reading Reviews for Dear Myrtle
  
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Sushmita Dear Myrtle

23rd October 2017:
brilliantly written!

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

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Review #2, by quill2parchment Dear Myrtle

17th May 2017:
Hello!

I just wanted to stop by and tell you how much I enjoyed this one-shot!

Olive is such an interesting point of view, and it (she) really captures what was going on in the rest of world while the chamber of secrets was being open.

There was something very profound about the idea of Olive admitting that while one is dead and the other is alive, they are both entrapped by regrets of the past.

But eventually Olive does grow up, and Myrtle - as we know- does not.

You did a fanatistic job of weaving third person with letter format. Honestly, it flowed so beautifully together.

Great job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

I'm glad you like the way the story focuses on the world outside Hogwarts during the opening of the Chamber of Secrets - there was so much history going on in the Muggle world at that time, stuff that was so big that it would have impacted even magical folks, so it seemed important to include it.

Thank you! Yeah, despite how different they both turned out, they did end up both dwelling on the past and kind of stuck there (figuratively for Olive, literally for Myrtle)

It's great to hear that you enjoyed the combination of third person and letters and that it flowed well, thank you so much!

This was such a wonderful review, thanks so much for reading and for you kind comments! ♥


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Review #3, by Flower n Prongs Dear Myrtle

9th December 2016:
In all my years of reading fan fiction, I don't believe that I have ever read another story about what happened to Myrtle or Olive Hornby before or after making fun of Myrtle's glasses. And yet, you made me realize just how much potential this has: WWII, Dumbledore and Grindelwald, and the Chamber of Secrets being opened the first time in living memory. All of these events have so much potential to be tackled, but they also require so much creativity and a strong desire to take them on.

Even though we only get to see short snippets of life for the two girls - later ghost and woman - this is very powerful. You have managed to show so much in such a short story, it is remarkable. I also must say that it was brilliant to draw a parallel between Olive and Myrtle with the glasses. The difficulty Olive had dealing with needing glasses later in life, even going so far as to chose poor vision and headaches over being forced to think of Myrtle every time she looked in the mirror, was well done. The impact of little things and of a single, momentuous event in somebody's life really show in this story.

Author's Response: Aah, thank you so much! This review was such a wonderful surprise. I'm so glad you found the story to be original. Before writing this I'd never seen a single story about Olive either, despite that I thought her story could be so interesting - after all, she was the last person to talk to Myrtle before she died, and what she said was immature teasing - that's sure to weigh on a person for years, especially if they'd been friends once. And yes, there's so much historical stuff going on at that time, both in the muggle world and the wizarding world, it really is a very eventful era!

Thank you so much, I'm glad you thought this was powerful in its little snippets. And that you liked the glasses parallel (I'm so cruel to my characters :P) In writing this I really set out to explore the effects one moment can have throughout life and I'm so glad that's what you took away from this. Thanks so much for reading, and for your review! I appreciate it so much! ♥


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Review #4, by adluvshp Dear Myrtle

17th May 2016:
Hey =) I'm just here to shower you with a little review fairy sparkle.

I really liked reading this. It tugged at my heartstrings and almost moved me to tears. Your characterisation of Olive is very well done. Most stories portray her as a bully but you've shown a more humane side to her, have even shown that she and Myrtle were friends once, so that's a very interesting and real perspective to go with here.

The inclusion of the world war and the Nazis was an interesting touch. I liked how you meshed the wizarding and muggle worlds together here, and it was definitely interesting to see Olive's character evolve with the events around her. At the age she was, her wanting to fit in with the other two girls made sense, and I felt awful for Myrtle when she teased her and hurt her. Still, this stuff happens in real life and you showed the situation well.

The ending bits were very saddening. How Myrtle continued to haunt Olive, how despite after being restrained, the guilt and thoughts of Myrtle kept haunting Olive, and ultimately the irony that she got glasses too. I'm glad Olive came to accept what happened, 'grew up', and ultimately managed to forgive herself. It was well-written. I could connect with her and felt for her.

Your descriptions overall were great and I really enjoyed reading this. The dialogues were great and the writing style was perfect. The best part was the theme/concept though. Great work =) Glad I could stop by! Don't hesitate to drop off more links for my review fairy project.

Love
Angie
(Lost Muse)

Author's Response: Angie, you are the sweetest! ♥

Eep, thank you so much! Almost moved to tears?! wow, gah, I mean I'm sorry about that but also it means so much to me that the story evoked so much emotion. Thank you. I'm so glad you like the characterization of Olive. She is only seen through Myrtle's eyes in the books and gets maybe one or two lines of a mention - certainly not enough to make her seem three-dimensional. So she's just 'the mean girl who teased Myrtle about her glasses' but no one is ever that one-sided and I loved the opportunity to show a different angle to her.

I think with something as huge as the second world war, even wizards would have to be at least a little aware of it as a lot happened in Britain and buildings were bombed down and stuff - even though it was a Muggle war, it'd be pretty hard to not notice that. And pretty much the instant I realized Olive would have been ten at the start of the war, I knew I had to include it as it would have been pretty important and going on in the background throughout her Hogwarts years.

It's really wonderful to hear that you liked the way Olive's character evolves throughout the story, thanks! The bit about her and Myrtle having once been friends and then growing apart was so real for me, and it was that that made Olive a relatable, more human character, at least to me while I was writing it. Especially as that age is so difficult, social pressures so much more intense, so they're both hurt and confused as they grow up and grow apart. I'm so glad you enjoyed that perspective.

Myrtle mentions in GoF how she left school to haunt Olive, which she presents as just a funny joke, but it kind of just made me wonder how bad it was for Olive, who was the one to find Myrtle dead, and then was still being haunted by her years later. It must have been horrible. The bit about Olive needing glasses was just me being unnecessarily cruel to my characters because I loved the irony :P but yeah, I imagine it was hard to recover from what surely would have been a lot of guilt. As you said though, she grew up and forgave herself, and Myrtle didn't.

Thank you so much, it really means a lot to me that you liked the dialogue, descriptions, writing style, and concept - I'm blushing now after all this praise! Seriously thanks for the review, and for doing this whole review fairy project, it's incredibly kind of you. ♥


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Review #5, by NPE Dear Myrtle

10th April 2016:
Hi there,

So this was a long delay, and I am so sorry for it. RL has put me behind in so many reviews and swaps.

So, on to the story:

This is a really intriguing concept, and a classic example of a small narrative thread and its relation to the canon being more interesting than any attempts at an epic.

The dialectical, reasoning nature of this story, and its series of letters isn't new to HPFF but it felt very contextually appropriate, along with the foreboding narrator.

Olive Hornby is pretty much a blank canvas to go play with and I think you did a decent job of adding narrative flesh to the bones JKR provides.

For me, and this is a very subjective view, the dialogue felt too pointed. It felt too focused to the narrative rather than depicting the relationship of the two characters. Sure the gist of this story is they are mates, they fall out, and then the "bathroom incident". I certainly enjoyed your canon compliancy and references to Grindelwald.

However, to me the interactions between her and Myrtle felt a little artificial rather than authentic.

A really interesting read though, so thanks for the swap.

Nick

Author's Response: Hello Nick! Thank you, I'm glad you found the concept of the story interesting as well as the character of Olive Hornby. She is reduced to a few lines in the books and I've never seen any stories about her that paint her in a positive light, but I wanted to show there was more to her (and Myrtle) than what we see in the books. I'm also really glad to hear you liked the canon compliance and historical setting in the magical world.

I'm not sure which dialogue you mean - I'd love an example, because looking back at it I don't really see it. They're all meant to be just short snapshots, and the nature of their dialogue to each other changes as their relationship changes, but I don't see where you mean about it being artificial and too much about the plot. I'm sorry :S I'd love to know what specifically stood out to you.

Thanks for your review!


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Review #6, by PaulaTheProkaryote Dear Myrtle

3rd April 2016:
So I completely loved this. Every single bit of it.

The historical context really makes the story for me. It never even occurred to me how those major events like WWII would impact the magical community.

"War? But everything feels the same as yesterday, only without Spot."
Sometimes as an adult, the world still feels this way to me. Great, here's a very real global problem that I should be severely concerned about, but I'm too wrapped up in my own problems in my own little world.

My heart is broken at the thought of children, not yet teenagers, worrying about having to protect their families from a tyrant. War makes kids grow up too fast.

Reading this makes me really have Myrtle's character. Knowing all of the hardships that Olive has had to face, you're going to come back and haunt her? Ridiculous brat! All Olive wanted was to fit in. Everyone makes mistakes. It's hardly worth holding such a long grudge. I guess that's what happens when you die before you get to mature though. I think she'd still be dreadful grown up too.

I think Olive is a very mature young woman and I want her to learn that it really wasn't her fault. She had no control of the situation. She said something she didn't mean, but that doesn't mean she did the killing. The only person that can be blamed is Tom Riddle.

I loved the story and I really loved your characterization of the childish, obnoxious Myrtle. You gave her a good, believable backstory and made her complex enough to enjoy without 'breaking' her character. Excellent job!

Author's Response: Hi! Ahh, thank you so much for such a wonderful review ♥

I'm so glad you enjoyed the historical setting of this. You know, I hadn't even thought of incorporating the war until I realized that when Olive was ten, the year I wanted to start the story, was the first year of WWII and from then on I really wanted to include it. I think something as huge as that would impact the magical community in a lot of ways, even if they weren't as involved in it.

I'm glad that comment of Olive's was relatable, even as an adult. She is kind of naive here and doesn't fully understand what's going on, but since you mentioned it I am pretty sure I can be the same way too as an adult. So yeah, like, I need to be thinking about serious things like how to stop ocean acidification but first lemme find that earring I lost. You're sooo right!

yeah, war does make kids grow up too fast. Doesn't give you enough time to just be a kid. But I honestly love that you pointed this out given that one of the main themes in this fic is growing up, and how you mentioned Olive has to grow up too fast, as compared to Myrtle who never grows up at all.

Myrtle really isn't a sympathetic character, I'll agree. For that matter, neither is Olive. I attempted to give Olive's behaviour some explanation with this fic, but honestly I think they're both villains and they're both victims, which is why the relationship between them is so complicated and layered. Myrtle feels lonely and jealous when the only person who's been nice to her starts to change and to have other friends, and Olive gets annoyed about Myrtle being childish and petty and trying to keep her for herself. And while what Olive said was just a mean remark without much behind it, it hurts Myrtle and makes her feel even more alone. As for the long grudge, I think that if Myrtle had been able to grow up, maybe she wouldn't have held the grudge so long. As it was, she died at a time when she was vindictive and resentful of Olive, and thus remained that way as a ghost. :(

yeah, it takes Olive a long time to realise it wasn't her fault. But after something that horrific happening to her friend right after Olive said something mean, she does blame herself. Of course, Myrtle's ghost doesn't help matters... but yeah, given enough time, she does come to terms with what happened and accepts that it wasn't her fault.

I'm so glad you liked the characterisation, and the story as a whole! Thanks so much for reading and for this lovely, thoughtful review!! ♥


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Review #7, by Roisin Dear Myrtle

31st March 2016:
! OMG THIS STORY !

Okay, first off: GAH. The idea that ghost's get stuck in the /mindset/ they had when they died is SO striking and heartbreaking and brilliant and CONVINCING. I feel like it actually provides a whole new dimension to Myrtle. In canon, she was such a ridiculous caricature. Realizing that maybe she's stuck that way, because she happened to die at a moment when she was feeling immense self pity, is just so heartbreaking!

As for the story in large, I really loved the way you switched between letters and narrative. That brought a really interesting pace to the story, and worked really well with the passage of time. I also loved that we only ever saw Olive's letters, and how you leave their conflict more or less implied.

I'm pretty weary of the Mean Girl archetype, because I feel like there's always other stuff going on, so I really like what you did here. Olive and Myrtle were friends, Olive was going through a lot, stuff happens. That's so very true to life!

You also did a great job of getting the tone of the era across without making it seem belabored. It all felt very natural and on point.

And throughout, I was really impressed by the quality of the writing. I wish I'd reviewed while I was reading, because there were a lot of lines I thought were amazing (the thing about bloody lipstick stood out especially).

Major kudos on this story! I'm not surprised at all that it placed highly in the duel :)

Author's Response: Roisin!! ♥♥♥♥♥ Where to start?! GAH. This review was the best thing ever. *hugs*

I'm so glad you liked this interpretation of ghosts and how they're stuck where they are in just about every way. And it means a lot that you thought it brought a new dimension to a character who is kind of a joke in the books. Because yeah - it was a time of her life that she wasn't that happy, and rather than lasting a couple of years like it does for most people, for her it ends up lasting forever, basically. I never thought I'd feel sorry for Myrtle until I wrote this.

Thank you, it's wonderful to hear that you liked the format as well! This was kind of an experiment for me in terms of that mix, and I'm so happy to hear that it complemented the pacing and passage of time. I'm glad you liked seeing just Olive's letters as well. It was kind of surprising to me just how much of a story it's possible to tell with half a conversation.

The Mean Girl archetype is one I'm very tired of as well, and one I really wanted to avoid, because that's the way Olive is portrayed in the books (of course, by Myrtle's biased account). And no one is ever that simple. Myrtle was more than just the wailing ghost, Olive was more than just a mean bully - here, they actually have quite a lot in common, and then they grow up and grow apart. It's something that I think most people can relate to, and honestly my favorite scene to write in this was the one where Olive sides with the other girls somewhat rudely and then feels bad about it, just because it's so complicated. Neither girl is really at fault there, but neither one is entirely innocent. I'm so glad that rang true to you - thank you!!

Aw, thanks, it's wonderful to hear that the tone of the time period was conveyed well. I especially love that you said it felt natural. That's definitely something I try for, so ahh thanks!

I know I've said thanks about 100 times so far in this response but seriously - eee! Thank you so much, I'm just thrilled that you liked the writing and the story in general. Thanks for such a thoughtful review!! ♥ ♥


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Review #8, by dreamgazer220 Dear Myrtle

22nd March 2016:
Hi there! Here for the Hufflepuff March Review Exchange! :)

This was absolutely incredible. I'm not surprised at all that this won second place, it was definitely deserved.

You pulled me in right from the beginning, hitting me in the feels with the death of Olive's dog. That alone makes her a relatable character, and you continue to do that throughout this entire piece. Your flow and your style kept me intrigued the entire time, and I loved the structure you took of showing the years go by, occasionally broken up by letters.

The letters were such a great touch. They were a nice break in the narrative, to get a closer look at what Olive was thinking and feeling towards Myrtle as time went on. They were just the right length; not too short or too long making it overwhelming, but enough to enhance the story.

And the relationship between Olive and Myrtle is so well done. It's so easy to picture an eleven year old girl struggling to make friends and clinging to the one who has a similar background as her, and then looking for ways to fit in. One of my favorite parts of this piece was when Olive overheard the news about the party, just because it's something that girls do. They'll say anything to fit in, but you really had Olive's emotion on point for that scene.

This story was also so unique on so many levels. I loved that you pulled in the history of the war and the Nazis, I can't even imagine what Olive must have been going through when her grandparents disappeared.

I really don't have any CC for you. This was an amazing piece. Thank you for a great read!!

~Jill

Author's Response: Hi Jill! Wah, thank you!! I'm so glad you liked this.

I'm glad to hear that was an effective way to pull you in, despite how sad it was to start the story off that way :( But it means SO much to me that you found Olive to be a relatable character. Above all that's one of the things I try for most in my writing so it means a lot that you're saying that - thank you.

I'm so happy you liked the style of the story as well, particularly the mix between narration and letters. It was a bit of an experiment for me so I'm glad to hear that it worked out!

Thank you so much - I'm glad you liked the relationship between Olive and Myrtle. I thought it had to be more complicated than the way it was told in the books by Myrtle's bitter ghost, and honestly that scene you mentioned was my favourite one to write, just because no one is really right or wrong there, it's complicated and full of emotion, and one that many people have experienced as teenagers themselves.

I really appreciate your saying this story was unique and that you liked the historical aspect as well - this was just such an incredible and kind review, thank you so, so much!! ♥


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Review #9, by Gabriella Hunter Dear Myrtle

20th March 2016:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums here with your review! Thanks for the lovely one you left me for TFT. It made my day!

This was a very unique story, I have never seen a story like this before. I have heard a lot about Myrtle and she's never painted in a very positive light. I like that wr get not only a very well-done character in Olive, but some understanding of Myrtle.

They both seemed like lonely girls and it was an interesting parallel between them. Olive latched onto her because of loneliness and I liked how that closed the chapter as well. Growing up and losing the perception yourself and a friend is hard and it's even harder when a friend dies.

Olive's guilt and her letters were poignant and sad. Myrtle can't forgive and has an eternity to never forgive but Olive's last letter tied this up on a bittersweet note. Life moves on but memories last forever.

Thanks for the swap!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi Gabbie! Aw, thank you so much - I'm thrilled that you liked this story :) It means a lot to me that you thought it was unique, thanks!

Honestly, neither Myrtle or or Olive are painted in a positive light - Myrtle is annoying and Olive is just a bully, but no one is ever that one-dimensional which is why I was excited to write this. Thank you so much, I'm really glad to hear that you thought Olive was a good character and that the story provided some understanding of Myrtle!

It was a really interesting dynamic to explore between them and I'm so glad you liked the parallel, and how they became friends because they were similar and lonely, and then drifted apart as they grew up. I think that's a common thing that happens, which is why I really wanted to include it in a story about two characters who otherwise aren't that relatable to a reader.

I'm so glad you liked her letters - this was a new style of writing for me! I love your analysis of the ending.

Thanks so much for the swap! ♥


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Review #10, by Felpata Lupin Dear Myrtle

20th March 2016:
Hi, Kristin, my dear!
Here for our swap! :)

Well, I can totally see why this story won second in the Writer's Duel! It's just amazing (just as your writing always is... By the way, I must check out the other two Hufflepuff K's... Isn't it funny that the three winners are all Hufflepuff with a name that starts with K? :P)

Anyway, this... This was AMAZING!!! I loved the concept of the story, showing Olive as she grows up, the different stages of her life, and how her relationship with Myrtle keeps affecting her life as the years go by. Beautiful!

The first scene was adorable. Aww, childhood innocence! "War? But everything feels the same as yesterday, only without Spot." Isn't this simply perfection?

And then she meets Myrtle. I loved how they immediatly bond over the fact that they are both muggleborns, a very nice touch! I'd never imagined the two of them being friends, for some reason I've always imagined Olive to be a snobbish girl with a too high opinion of herself, but I love your version better!

So Olive has Jewish origins, which gives the story much more depth. I really don't want to think about the destiny of her grandparents... But I love that you included this in the story. It really gives it authenticity.

So, Olive wants to be accepted by the cool people and "betrays" her friendship with Myrtle because of that. I can totally see it happening, I think it's quite normal among adolescents. Poor Myrtle, though. How painful it must've been...

And how shocking for Olive to find her dead! I think I would feel so horribly guilty, other than horrified! But then Myrtle's ghost appears and gives Olive a good scare... As much as I'm sorry for them both, it is quite amusing... :P

I loved the concept of Myrtle being stuck in the moment, unable to simply move on and forced to weep over herself and blame Olive for eternity. I never thought about it that way, but it does make sense.

And Olive being stuck too, because she can't forget her guilt about Myrtle, but maturing as well, as she realizes little by little how that day had changed her life, and finally learning to let go. I loved the fact that she wrote the letters, even if Myrtle would never read them, and how you showed her vision changing through them. Beautiful!

This was such a great story, my dear!
Thank you so much for the swap!!! :)
All my love,
Chiara

PS #TeamUnreliability4ever (it was a bit I didn't say that...)

Author's Response: Chiara ♥ ♥ ♥

Gaahh, thank you so much! I was SHOCKED to see that it placed, honestly - given the amount of time I had to write it after I saw the announcement. By the way, huge thanks to you for pointing me in the direction of that announcement or I'd never have written this fic at all! (and yes, I was also amused by the three Hufflepuff K's haha!)

Thank you, I'm thrilled that you like the concept of the story! I'd wanted to write about Olive for /ages/ but never figured out what story to tell about her, and then the prompt for the writer's duel ended up being exactly what I needed because it made a lot of sense for a character that changes a lot, especially in comparison with Myrtle who doesn't change at all.

Aw, I'm glad you liked that line and how innocent she is at the beginning. As depressing as it was to start a story with a ten-year-old reacting to her dog's death, I thought that scene was important in setting the tone.

From canon we really don't have anything that tells us exactly who Olive is, apart from Myrtle's testimony about Olive bullying her. And of course that's not exactly a glowing assessment of Olive's character, but considering they were 14 or so when this happened, which is such a messy time socially, I thought it was maybe a bit more complex than that. After all, Myrtle is bound to be biased. So I wanted to explore that relationship without making either one of them seem like they were the innocent one treated unfairly by the other. They're both victims and they're both villains. Which only makes their past friendship sadder :( but thank you so, so much, I'm thrilled that you like this version of events!

yes, Olive's Jewish background - once I noticed that the year I wanted to start the fic coincided with the start of the war, I knew I had to include it.

Olive abandoning Myrtle to be accepted by the 'cool' crowd - this was one of my favorite scenes to write, actually. Although it's kind of sad what happens there, with her trying to find her place and avoid being an outcast among her peers and ends up hurting her friend - I think this exchange is one that makes her so honest and relatable, because most people, as teenagers, ended up on one or both sides of that spectrum at some point - I know I did.

The scene where Myrtle's ghost first appears and totally scares Olive - I'm glad that gave you a laugh, haha, I'm sure Myrtle was laughing for days :P

Thanks! I'm glad you liked the interpretation of Myrtle's ghost and how she never changes. Given her kind of obnoxious and immature nature in the books, it didn't seem like she'd grown up at all since she died. And in comparison with that, Olive's letters - I'm thrilled you liked those as well! That type of writing was totally new to me and it's lovely to hear that it worked out :)

Thank you so, so, so much for being an amazing reviewer Chiara! Thanks for swap ♥


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Review #11, by pathfinder Dear Myrtle

5th March 2016:
For the Review-a-Thon

I’m not surprised at all that this won second place...it could certainly have won first. This was an amazing story. I loved the foreshadowing with Spot and then with the still-living Myrtle. Also, your dialogue flowed incredibly well and I could quickly get into both characters’ state of mind.

The story develops well - even with the significant time transitions, and I really liked how you progressed into epistolary writing once there was no one left to talk to. It continued to carry the narrative well even beyond Hogwarts.

I read in one of your other reviews that you had to limit this to 2500 words, but that you might come back and edit it later. If you do go back, I have just a few recommendations:

It wasn’t clear that Olive’s grandparents were still in Europe and not in Britain. It took me a while to puzzle out that they were on the continent.

Minor historical point - nylons were scarce during WW2 and Olive probably wouldn’t have been able to get them - all of the nylon was being used to make parachutes for D-Day. If you wanted to change it, you could have her putting on makeup or high heels instead (or drawing a line on the back of her leg to make it appear like she was wearing stockings...which was also done back then).

As your other reviewers mentioned, I’d like to hear more about Olive’s progression to get over Myrtle: How did she transition from ‘killing’ Myrtle to ‘letting go’ in those three years?

This was an oustanding story - even if you don’t get a chance to go back to edit it. Thanks for writing it!

-Drew

Author's Response: Hi Drew! Aah, thank you so much - I'm flattered. I'm so glad to hear that you liked this story, particularly the foreshadowing and the dialogue. It's also really wonderful to know that the story flowed well despite the jumps through the years and the different formats - I had kind of worried about that while I was writing it, so this is so great to hear!

Wow, you know, I never even thought about that regarding nylon - I was in kind of a rush to write this story in the three days I had before the deadline and totally didn't even consider that nylon was used for parachutes during the war instead of for stockings. I'll definitely be making changes to that sentence, I'm so glad you pointed that out - thanks!

And yeah, I could definitely add more to that second-to-last letter. I had edited some more in, but I don't think I did enough. :P

Your review was so wonderful and encouraging. Thanks for stopping by and reviewing, I appreciate it so much!


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Review #12, by my_voice_rising Dear Myrtle

3rd March 2016:
Hey you!! So there you were, months ago, kind enough to lend me a hand with writing my fic and then I just go and disappear. I'm so sorry about that! But I'm back to give this story a good R&R-in'.

First of all, I LOVE the name Olive, so I'm already hooked. The first scene is great! I love the mother's uneasiness at Olive's questioning about Spot in the afterlife--we can learn a lot about her character through her bluntness of speech and inability to talk to her daughter about things like dogs going to heaven. And the forgotten crumbled ash on the cigarette, and Olive's childlike inability to comprehend the state of the world. Wonderfully done!

The second scene is nice in that the reader knows that Olive is Muggle-born just from the fact that she can't take her eyes off of the ceiling, and her wonderment that the candles are floating on their own. Lovely job of "showing, not telling," as they say! Hehe.

Ghosts aren’t the same, even the Hogwarts ones. Grow up. Ooohh, foreshadowing!!

Ohh, I love your mentioning of jazz! It was called "degenerate music," right? By the Nazi party? That's a nice juxtaposition. Your mentioning of Olive's jewish heritage is very well-done, too, and laced in nicely with the story in a way that isn't expositional.

OOOHHH CREEPY!!! "Are you sorry you laughed at my glasses?" Gah!!!

One suggestion--what if you wrote a little more about Olive's confusion. She opens the door to the bathroom and her friend is lying there on the floor. Maybe she's confused about why Myrtle would just be lying there for a moment? Does she touch her and realize how cold she is? Or is there blood, etc.? As readers we know that Myrtle is going to die (and what terrible timing, with trouble with a friend!) but Olive wouldn't have been expecting it and probably would have been slower to figure it out.

The relationship between Olive and Myrtle is really interesting--yes, Olive was a bad friend to Myrtle before her death, but it was done out of the pressure of dealing with her grandparents' disappearance. She was a bad friend, but does that mean that Myrtle is right in (literally) haunting her?

Oh gosh, and the scene where she refuses to get glasses--brilliant!

One more teensy suggestion: what was it that made Olive able to forget Myrtle? What happened in those two years? Was it simply the passing of time, or did she devote her time to a career or her family or something else? I'd love to know! :)

This was very well-done! I enjoyed reading it! Thank you again, so much, for helping me with my fic :)



Author's Response: aw no worries! real life does that sometimes! Eee, thank you for stopping by though! ♥

I like the name too! But I can't claim credit for it - Olive Hornby is a canon character (albeit very minor). As sad as it was to start off a story with a dog dying, I wanted to set a precedent of Olive trying to hang onto things that are gone, which ends up haunting her (literally!) later.

And thank you, I'm so glad you liked the introduction of her Muggle-born heritage through her fascination with floating candles :D

Once I realized that a sizeable portion of this story would take place during the second world war, I really wanted to tie that in. Despite the separation between magical and Muggle normally, there's no way wizards would be unaffected by everything that was going on -it was just a really interesting time period to work with, and I loved approaching it from that historical angle. And small things like popular music of the time are so effective at really grounding something in its time period, so I'm glad you appreciated the mention of jazz! And thanks, it's wonderful to hear that Olive's Jewish heritage was woven in well.

Truth time: As for the sparseness of the scene where Olive finds Myrtle, and the rather abrupt ending where Olive lets go - in fact, both of these are things I wanted to expand while I was writing it, but the word limit for the Writer's Duel was 2500 words - and as is, this story was BARELY within the word limit :P Now that the writer's duel is over though, I've been thinking of going back and editing the story to get those two scenes the way I like them. I'll definitely keep what you said in mind while I'm working on those sections, thanks! :)

I'm so glad you liked the relationship between the two girls - Olive comes off as a sort of villain in canon but all we get is from Myrtle's very biased POV, and one of my favorite things to do in writing is dig into back story and put a different spin on it. I'm really glad you enjoyed the complexities of their friendship.

Thanks so much for stopping by to read this! I appreciate it so much ♥


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Review #13, by princesslily_36 Dear Myrtle

21st February 2016:
Hey Kirstin!

I have to say I LOVED this story! The idea was so unique, I'd never imagine anyone writing about Olive Hornby! There's just something so refreshing about reading a story that seems so real on so many levels you know. Your writing is so real!

From Myrtle in the books, we imagine her to be a female - James Potter, you know. But I love how you've showed a softer and more wholesome side to her.

I loved watching her grow up... starting out as the shy, insecure muggleborn girl, and striking a friendship with someone she was comfortable with - and as time went realizing that they were different, or that she wanted to be popular - such natural teenage responses to growing up. We have all been through those feelings at some point. I loved that you showed popular girls and bullies are born out of extremely sweet and normal children!

And then, watching her grow older... up to the point of needing glasses of her own - constantly feeling guilty about that one slip up that Myrtle will never let her forget - you managed to portray all the emotions she must be feeling into those few words.

And Myrtle - I know she was the victim here, but was it because we were seeing her through Olive's eyes or because she was Myrtle, I didn't like her any more than I did in the books. You have managed to keep her so wonderfully canon - and though Olive was mean to her, I think she was ten times more mean to Olive. She never grew up, did she?
My favorite part - interspersing the story with the World War II Events - giving Olive a jewish background - I was completely blown over.

This is easily one of the best stories I have ever read!

Good luck with the Writer's Duel! Rooting for you!

XOXO
~YSh

Author's Response: Hi Ysh! Thank you SO much for stopping by this story - it was such a wonderful surprise to see this review this morning.

I'd actually wanted to write about Olive for a while, and never really found the impetus until the writer's duel, as I realized the change over time theme was perfect for her, especially in relation to how Myrtle doesn't change at all after she dies.

Gah, thank you! That is just about the most wonderful compliment there is - that my writing feels real. I do try for that and so it means a lot, thank you.

I'm glad you thought this showed a softer side to Myrtle as well! She's pretty annoying in the books and honestly neither she nor Olive are portrayed in a very positive light, but both of them went through so much.

aah, yes! I'm so glad that this resonated with you watching Olive grow up, and even though she was mean, it was kind of relatable, in a way. I think that age is probably the hardest, as people can be mean sometimes in all the pressure to be a certain way and fit in (whether it's actually there or kind of imagined up) and that's when Olive and Myrtle branch out and become different, but each wants the other to be more like them. I'm so glad they came across as natural emotions - I was hoping to portray it being much more complicated than just "Olive was mean", because it is never that simple. So thank you, it means a lot to me that you could really understand her here.

I felt so cruel writing the part where Olive needs glasses. I can't imagine how awful that would be after everything that had happened.

Ah, thank you, I'm glad Myrtle seemed canon - and YES, a huge part of this was about how Olive grows up and Myrtle is stuck as an angry 14-year-old and the ways both of them still look back on their history. I wonder if Myrtle had lived, maybe she and Olive could have reconciled. But yeah, I think they were both victims. Having to live with something like that on your conscience, I don't envy Olive at all.

I'm really glad you appreciated the war snippets and Olive's background. Once I realized that Olive would have been ten just when the war began, I knew I had to include it, and that really shaped my perception of who she was.

As for the last bit wakjehkjflhsdja, you've just reduced me to incoherent keyboard smash. gah, thank you SO much. I'm flattered.

Thanks so much for reading and for this amazing review!! ♥ ♥ ♥


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Review #14, by Willowjay16 Dear Myrtle

21st February 2016:
Superb Story!

Very well written!! I was totally engrossed in the story, while reading. What I loved the most was how you began the chapter, from where Olive's dog Spot dies, it was very touching and sad. You portrayed Olive's character very beautifully!!

The story was extremely different and fresh from what I usually read, so I enjoyed the story very much. Trust me, my eyes were glued to my computer the whole time, your writing has this great ability to reach out to the readers so well that they find themselves playing a part in the story! In short, LOVED IT!


*Willowjay16

Author's Response: Eee, thank you so much! This review was the best surprise ever, and I'm so glad you stopped by to read this story.

Thank you, it means a lot to me that you thought the character portrayal was beautiful! Olive is such a minor character and probably not often thought about, aside from being 'the girl who teased Myrtle about her glasses' - she's definitely not a sympathetic character but there was so much potential with her. So I'm really glad you connected with her in this story and that you liked her portrayal!

It is so wonderful to hear that you found the story original and enjoyable and that you felt so involved. Wow, and that is such an incredible compliment - this review just made my day, thank you SO much ♥


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