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Reading Reviews for Don't Listen
7 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore A Ball

18th June 2016:
Kaitlin! Ah, you wrote a story about Hepzibah!!! You honestly have no idea how happy this makes me :D

This was all kinds of delicious angst (yes I know, there's probably something wrong with me) and I know you write a lot of this, so I shouldn't be surprised by how good this piece is, but it's really wonderful!

You probably know by now that I also love second person, and I think it's great that you used it here. It can be quite easy to feel disconnected from stories that are set in this period, so the use of second person really helps to reconnect the reader to the story and the characters. I have a soft spot for Hepzibah already, but I really loved the way that the second person helped me to connect to her in this story.

The idea behind this story is so simple but it has such a great impact. There was so much pressure to conform at this point (there still is, but the rules are at least a little more relaxed here) and I honestly can't imagine what it must have been like to be gay at this time. Life was hard enough for women without them loving other women and being cast out from society for it. It's so easy to be frustrated at the fact that Hepzibah couldn't even react to Seraphina in the way that she wanted to, but then you have to remember that it's still the case in so many places today :( Anyway, I thought you did a great job of showing how unfair that is and how difficult it was for Hepzibah not to react to Seraphina's touch, or behave in a way that might seem inappropriate.

I really liked the way that you created the atmosphere of the ball, too, and the pureblood prejudice that pervaded the whole event. I can easily imagine that some of the families would think others were worse just because, at some point in the past, there had been Muggles or Muggle-borns in their family. It's so pathetic but causes so much tension, and I think it's really brave of Hepzibah to stand up to that as well.

The ending was quite shocking, but I can easily believe that it would happen, and then be covered up. I liked the spirit that we saw from Seraphina, and the will to do the right thing, but it's so sad that she ended up marrying Burke and didn't get away from that. I was really hoping that Seraphina would hold on and the two of them would be able to have a life together :( This was lovely!

Sian :)
LGBTQA+ Review Event

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Review #2, by Chocolate Frog Card A Ball

6th March 2016:
Greetings, dear Kaitlin, the Sorting Hat is here,

To read this piece. Your challenge I do cheer.

Hepzibah Smith is a character truly minor,

But in your hands, no one could write her finer.

She is a witch that once I did Sort,

Courage, passion and resistance did she sport,

And now, I read, you have indeed captured this,

In how she begs from Seraphina a forbidden kiss.

And oh, the cruelty of those with pure blood,

Be not of their kind, and you’ll drown in the flood,

Of the hatred, the prejudice, the need to destroy,

At the elegant party, I see all this in Malfoy.

Told in second person, rarely do I see,

The talent of this writing I do sense in thee.

You had me weeping over the fate of the women.

Well, I would weep, were I not just a brim in,

A patched up old hat, so I beg you, forgive me,

But I must leave you to your challenge spree.

Should anyone ask for a story, I will tell them that,

You can trust my word in Kaitlin, for I am the Sorting Hat.

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Review #3, by maraudertimes A Ball

5th March 2016:
This is for the HPFF Review-a-Thon and also for our review swap! :)

This was really good! I normally don't find myself attracted to period pieces, more so because it's not something that I have much experience with, but I really liked this one because it took a lot of the things we might not understand in our time - dresses, corsets, mannerisms and the like, and kind of didn't touch base on them. Every so often something a character did or how they behaved, sometimes just their names brought me back to a point where I realized that this wasn't set in the present, but that's its charm - this story is somewhat timeless.

Hepzibah is somewhat of a woman way ahead of her time, and I really like that. I wish that this was longer, with either a prequel or a sequel, because she seems like a really interesting character and I would love to get to know her character a little bit more. I would especially love some background of her relationship with Seraphina, because their dynamic is really interesting.

I love how you've introduced the LGBT into canon characters that are forgotten about - it's a great way to show that LGBT characters exist, that they don't need to flaunt that they are LGBT, and in this time period especially, it shines light on the fact that LGBT was present in earlier times - it was just socially unacceptable and was kept a secret for safety reasons.

The ending saddens me, because Seraphina seems like a very strong woman with opinions and thoughts on serious matters, and a wit to boot, but she's kept quiet because she is a woman and a good wife is supposed to be subservient and bow down to the men. I know that something like that is to be expected at that time, and I am somewhat glad you added it, because that type of thing would happen and you haven't sugar-coated anything in this story.

This was a really good story, even though it did make me sad - although I suppose that's why it's good. Because it invoked emotion. I loved your characters and your setting, and everything about this was amazingly well written. Thanks for the swap - you did an amazing job!

Lo :)

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Review #4, by NPE A Ball

5th March 2016:

Howdy Kaitlin,

Here courtesy of both your wonderful idea of a review-a-thon and also just because I enjoy our swap so much.

Right, the way this started reminded me of the opening of Pride and Prejudice. Being male, Austenite, and sesquipedalian in my review style, I am all for that :)

The concept of this is pretty novel, as always, to the point that me praising your literary ideas or interpretations has become a cliche of my reviews.

This story has a great descriptive quality to it, and is pretty visceral, especially considering second person can often become too much focused on whomever "you" is doing rather than the world they are interacting with.

No such problems here, as there are pretty vivid descriptions. I think your enjoyment of descriptive prose shows here, in how well you write it. Somehow you achieve this whilst not being indulgent too. So all good.

There is a wit and flair in the interactions here. I mean, the actions and interactions of characters are where people tend to slip up and expose the cogs of their narrative to the reader, but this flowed really naturally.

My only critique is the wonderful dream feel that the story sometimes radiates causing the action at the end to feel a little rushed. Only about 250 words are spent on arguably the most dramatic part of the story. It doesn't fail as such, and is well written, but I'd have liked more there.

From an objective writer's perspective, I don't have much substantive CC. I think the occasional descriptive term reads cliched, but as 99% of them are great it is probably a personal foible of mine rather than anyone else.


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Review #5, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap A Ball

5th March 2016:
“For the HPFF Review-A-Thon”

His charisma disguises his rotten personality well.

You hit the nail on the head here. Sometimes it’s because I know the character and what becomes of them that no matter how I read them they make my skin crawl. However, just the way you introduced him and how the girls fawn at him made my skin crawl itself. What a lousy guy. That’s the only proper thing I can say about him that wouldn’t get this review deleted.

As the line of waiting ladies thins, you step forward cautiously, like a woman approaching venomous tentacula.

Ooo. I like this line. I like it a lot. Really rolls of the tounge and almost feels like she’s going after prey.

Unwanted prey.

“You are my fiancee and I will not tolerate you insulting my friends. If you are to be my woman, you will behave.”

Uh. They all disgust me. Each one is just as worse as the person before them. Such blood purity nonsense.

Wow. I really enjoyed this. I don’t normally love reading about characters I don’t have a connection to. Especially with one-shots because I don’t feel like they’re fully developed, you know? But this was great. I found everything to be extremely straightforward in a really good way. I think it fit the characters because they’re not about leaving anything unsaid. They’re all so haughty they’re just incredibly blunt. That works for me.

Oh, one more thing, I loved the description of Malfoy Manor. Though it was brief I thought you painted a beautiful picture of a place I only ever see as dark and dreary.

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Review #6, by Challenge Cheerleader A Ball

4th March 2016:
Hapizbah Smith? Your Minor characters are just so real! How do you do this?

I wanted to say that when i read your stories, I felt that quite a few of them coud have been submitted as entries for multiple challenges, but you still gave unique entries - that just makes you all the more impressive!

Over to the review now :D

I loved how you described Abraxas Malfoy. I could definitely picture him as Lucius Malfoy - perfect clothes, charisma disguising a rotten personality, which later shows as he sneers. He is such a sleek idiotic moron. And Caspian Nott, Octavious Burke are just plain morons.

Hepizbah as we know from Tom's memory seems like a silly old woman easily gullible and led by charming young men - but here she shows pride, self confidence and courage.

The ending was truly sad... but it does show why she was an old unmarried woman, who felt lonely and embittered by so many things - after having faced a life of ridicule and regret by those close to the one she truly loved, it makes sense that she turned out to be the person we see in Hokey's memory.

Cheering you on till the end,

A Challenge Cheerleader

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Review #7, by Dojh167 A Ball

29th February 2016:

Let's be real, I loved this before I started reading this. I loved that it was about Hepzibah, I loved your summary, the promise of the LGBTQA genre, and of course the breathtaking banner.

What really caught me about the opening (beyond your commendable choices for second person and present tense) was how matter of fact the tone is. It is very straightforward and factual in a way that really serves Hepzibah's detached attitude.

I like your phrase "pressed into perfection." By using "into" instead of "to" you make the phrase apply to Abraxas as well as to his robes in a way that I think works quite well, as it speaks to the fact that this is not his natural form.

I think that you do a good job of characterizing Hepzibah. She is clearly a very proud and principled woman, but that does not make her immune to anxiety, which you wrote well.

I really like that Abraxes is so cruel to her about her family's standing, but he has nothing on her much yummier secrets.

I found the word "feel" three times in a single line, do I get a prize? "Slipping through the crowd, you feel as if you are suffocating. The absence that you feel when Seraphina is no longer there makes you feel"

I think it is a really powerful choice that you had Octavious attack with his fist instead of his wand.

I like that Hepzibah recognizes she has passed the point of no return and her instinct is to take Seraphina and go. And then - NO!!!

Loving this awesome brave women. Not so much loving Seraphina's ending. =(

Thank you so much for this awesome story. I had never thought of a queer Hepzibah and I love it.


Author's Response: Hey Sam!

I'm so glad that you loved this! This was only my second attempt at femslash, so I'm happy that it worked out.

And yes the banner is so lovely! I found it in Branwen's Up For Grabs and couldn't believe that no one had requested it yet.

I love playing with different sounds/POVs for different characters. I've been enjoying present tense lately.

I so badly wanted Hepzibah to be realistic. I think that most people, regardless of how confident they are, deal with some anxiety, especially when they know they are walking into a bad situation.

Thanks for pointing out the too many feels. I'll fix it. :D

Ah. I love that you notice all my favorite details.

I'm sorry for Seraphina's ending. I wanted so badly for the two of them to be happy together.

Thank you so much for reading and for all of your lovely support!


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