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Reading Reviews for The Last Five Years
7 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Slide Still Hurting

2nd April 2016:
Sent here by the little blue birds of Twitter! Chose this one of yours 'cos I have a rather soft spot for Blaise. :)

Immediately I have questions and theories (aside from who 'she' is); with the keys issue, a Muggle-born? Ooh. You start to build the tension, along with these questions, the moment our narrator opens the door, and I rather enjoyed that. The delicate pace of it, going over the room inch by inch, builds up the lives of the two characters but also the apprehension as to what's coming - and, of course, the dawning sense of inevitability. Because it becomes so clear to us, the readers, that he's gone before she realises or accepts it, and that makes it all the more tragic.

So I rather enjoyed this as an introduction even before I got to the end and the author's note, and I think the idea sounds like LOADS of fun. I will absolutely earmark this for future reading, and see how the characters come together - and apart.

Good stuff!

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Review #2, by Musing Still Hurting

6th March 2016:
Hi Claire! I am finally here reviewing for the HPFF Review-A-Thon!

I didn't know what this story would be about when I clicked on it and I haven't seen The Last Five Years either, but I absolutely LOVED the start! I love the theme, starting from the end and finishing at the beginning. The story becomes so much more interesting this way.

It was clear right from the start that some sort of problem was waiting for the narrator at her home. (Now that I think about it, we don't even know the name of the narrator yet! It just adds to the appeal of the story.) "His keys should already be there, Hes always home before me, Had there been more books there before?"- The picture you've painted shouts of the tension palpable in the house.

Then all of it started becoming evident! The narrator finds out that Blaise has moved out. The way the character looks through every closet and every drawer made her desperation so much apparent. She couldn't believe that this was happening to her. The way she screams, throws away things at the walls makes her pain feel so real.

I'm really excited to know what happened between Blaise and his wife and why did he end things like this. What sort of mess did he leave behind? What sort of problems did they have that they used to fight a lot? I'd really love to read more about them when you update!


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Review #3, by dreamgazer220 Still Hurting

5th March 2016:
Hey there! Here for our swap and the HPFF review-a-thon!

So, being a big fan of The Last Five Years, this story was the first one to grab my attention, especially since it featured Blaise!

You have a really strong opening here. We don't know who this woman is - even her name - and all we know is that Blaise is gone, but you still manage to make us feel for her without knowing any details. It was heartbreaking reading as she threw everything around the room, screaming as she did and demanding answers from the walls around her.

I loved that she threw his ring away, but then you switched when we got to hers, and she carefully put it in a box - that's a big detail and clue right there, maybe there will be some hope for their future. It all, of course, depends on the details.

I can't wait to read more! Hope you update soon, and thanks for the fun swap!

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Review #4, by SunshineDaisies Still Hurting

4th March 2016:
Hello! I'm here for the review a thon!

I'm so excited for this! I haven't seen The Last Five Years, but I absolutely love non-chronological stories, and this is promising to be a good one! I love that you've started with the end. It creates so much drama and really hooks the reader. How did things get to where they are now? What mess did Blaise leave behind? What happened between these two people? And maybe most importantly, how did they get together in the first place? The death of relationships has always been really interesting to me (probably because I've never really experienced them, personally OR by proxy), how do two people go from falling in love, being best friends, sharing everything, to having nothing? How do you go from any form of intimacy to nothing? It's different for everyone and I'm so excited to watch you explore this.

I also have to mention that I love the details you mentioned here. The fact that she insisted they use keys instead of wands, the pictures she picked out, the missing books, the letter on the desk, it all pointed to a life that he was creating, but didn't seem to exist anymore. Right away, you get the sense that something is wrong, and that something probably has been wrong for some time. (They key part especially, like that is just GOLD.)

I'll be back for more of your AP this weekend :)

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Review #5, by NPE Still Hurting

1st March 2016:
Hi Claire,

No worries over delays etc for review swaps, life and all that. Apologies though for keeping you waiting.

This is clever, well layered, intriguing and quite visceral too. I like how you easily depict her emotions, I like your descriptions of the bed being empty, and furthermore the whole addition of Blaise is a fun one. An underused character with plenty of potential.

So, really I thought this was a rather cool start to your story.

One bit of CC:

This might seem like a somewhat frivolous point, but for me, there were too many uses of the word "she" in the first two sentences that I had to pause and go through it a few times - like an old tongue twister.

I know you aren't trying to reveal too much of the identity of the character etc, but the overall use of the word "she" so often, like as the starter of a fair number of sentences is quite repetitive.

I did really enjoy this for sure though,


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Review #6, by RavenclawFTW Still Hurting

26th February 2016:
Hey Claire! I'm here for the swap!

I was so excited when I saw your status because I also saw this movie, and it's really cool to me that you're channeling that into a fic. The style of the movie and the narrative structure were really interesting to me, and I can't wait to see how you weave that through this story. Also, I listened to the song "Still Hurting" to get in the mood, and I really love how you've woven the ideas and references through this chapter! Great job.

Gahh this first chapter is such an intriguing start! I really love how mysterious it is, but also the small details you've included that help clue us in. It's not like anything is exactly exposition, but I can still understand a lot: Blaise is a writer, they've been arguing a lot (the line about the neighbors was really great as a way to show more about this character and her self-awareness, but also the relationship between her and Blaise), etc.

This girl (I can't wait to learn more about her) is also a great character so far-- she seems so precise and detail-oriented, like noticing the key out of place and the books that are missing. The way she reacts also works really well with the fact that she would have likely lived through the War and know what it's like to be truly on edge.

At the same time, once she finds the letter, the way she procrastinates reading it seems to show that she's not totally surprised about what's happening. The mixture of her arguing with an absent Blaise and breaking down was really hard to read but has really developed a great combination of her as thoughtful/analytical and invested in this relationship.

It's always really hard to read stories about couples that are doomed from the start, but I'm really excited about how you've used the musical and the character you're beginning to develop here. Plus, Blaise! Blaise is such a fun character to explore-- I know there was a "Blaise Awareness Challenge" a while ago, and I think that's hilarious.

I'm really excited to see how you're going to tie in the setting/post-War-ness and develop these characters/this relationship! I hope you can update soon! :)


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Review #7, by UnluckyStar57 Still Hurting

26th February 2016:
Hey there! I'm here for our swap!

Okay, I saw The Last Five Years last year--the one with Anna Kendrick--and even though it was kind of cheesy, I absolutely loved the way it told the couple's story. It's so cool that you're basing a story on that format/plot!

Ouch. Starting with the breakup is really tragic and awful. I know that Blaise is the guy, but who's the girl? It's cool that you kept her name a mystery, though, because it transforms her character into a sort of Everyperson--like, everyone might go through something like this in their life, in some form or fashion.

I love that you're going with tradition and making Blaise a writer! He's a character on the periphery in the series, so he could pursue any career believably. I imagine that his flair for dramatics and style make him a perfect writer. Unfortunately for his wife, that also means that she gets to read a sparse note and deal with the sudden change by herself, with no sense of closure whatsoever.

The buildup of tension was really strong! First she was really clueless about what was going on, but she noticed that something was off, and then as she began to realize, she began to notice more things out of place. I can imagine that moving out as a wizard is easier than as a Muggle because you can just wave your wand and be gone, so the starkness of the empty drawers is very striking.

Aggh, so much raw emotion as the woman begins to throw things! I hate that she had to find out like this, and the normal reaction is to lash out. I could feel her fury, so you did such an excellent job of describing this!

There's also a hint of backstory, insight into their relationship. The snippets like "After all the ___ you did," and the neighbors hearing lots of arguments from their flat are very indicative of a troubled past! Great work on slipping those details in!

I have no CC for this chapter because it was quite compact and very strongly written! My hope for the next chapters is that they are longer so that I can see more into the story of Blaise and this mystery girl!


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