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Reading Reviews for Less Than
  
12 Reviews Found

Review #1, by HomeAtHogwarts Less Than

12th July 2017:
Hi, I was also recently diagnosed with PCOS (I'm assuming that's what's being referenced, although it's likely applicable to other diagnosis of low fertility). I think the feelings expressed in this piece a very important valid ones to acknowledge but I'm also reassured by the response you had Neville give. In a sense I know I am lucky as I think I have a mild form and am not currently at the point of trying to have a baby but knowing that I may not be able to is quite difficult to adjust to. I'm sure you've ben told this by many people but adoption/fostering are both meaningful alternatives and don't be afraid to try hormones etc (if it is PCOS). I have a number of cousins who are adopted and if it is a loving home they come into then it doesn't make a difference (obviously the pregnancy experience is missed as you had Hannah mention). Anyway it's important to talk about infertility, particularly among young otherwise healthy women as it's not something may people are aware of, so thank you! On another note, I enjoyed your writing style. Remember you are not less than, just different!

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Review #2, by 800 words of heaven Less Than

16th December 2016:
Hey Meg! I won't be around on your birthday, so I'm popping in now!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

This story, man. I just. Right in the feels. The symptoms you've described lead me to believe that this is a particular syndrome, and if it is that syndrome, I also have it. I'm nowhere near ready to think about having children, but I know infertility is a very real possibility. I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. I can't even imagine what it's been like for you. I'm a med student though, and I'm super passionate about removing the taboo around talking about "women's health issues" like infertility (and miscarriage and pregnancy in general). There's a part of me that's cheering that you wrote this story because it's so so important to talk about stuff like this.

I'm sorry that I don't have anything to say about the story itself in terms of characterisation and dialogue and all those story craft things. I read this story yesterday though and I needed a full day to process my feelings about this before writing something. So I guess that means a pretty good story. I understand that this is a deeply personal story for you, and I feel really privileged to have read this. Thanks for sharing, and happy birthday once again.

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Review #3, by victoria_anne Less Than

14th May 2016:
Hey Meg!

Ugh I am waaay too spoilt for choice on your author page! I had to close my eyes and choose one at random! And it's led me here ♥

But oookay you're already breaking my heart. I know people who are like Hannah (not the infertility though) who have just wanted to be mothers, and that's all they've wanted to do with their lives, and it's wonderful because they make beautiful, perfect mothers. But if that was to be taken away from them, like it has been for Hannah, it would be the worst thing in the world.

Aw I can't imagine what she's going through, but my heart breaks for her and I think you captured her emotions and thoughts perfectly, and I'm so glad she has Neville to lean on. He's super sweet and Hannah will never be alone ♥

I'm sorry to hear you've been going through similar issues, but I know you are just as strong and beautiful as Hannah, and amazing things will come your way no matter what ♥

Love Bianca x

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Review #4, by looneylizzie Less Than

28th April 2016:
MEG!

Wow. You've hit me right in the feels with this one. I'm literally sobbing my eyes out at the moment.

First of all, the fact that you chose to write about such an uncommonly used and sensitive topic is amazingly brave (must be the Gryffie in you! ;P )! I'm seriously awed by the fact that you not only chose to write about this topic, but wrote about it because it's so personal to you.

I have so much respect for you because of this story.

Secondly, I love that you wrote about Hannah and Neville for this story - this has been my headcanon for them for a long time, and I've always been a bit afraid of writing about it because I wasn't sure how to approach it, especially because I have very little experience with infertility.

I also want to mention that I like that you didn't bring up (or have Neville mention) any 'other options' in this story. What Hannah is experiencing in this story is extremely difficult, and I feel like bringing up something like adoption is like saying: "Well, it's okay that you can't have kids naturally because you can adopt, so the end result is the same" which makes infertility seem like it isn't a big deal and completely negates what Hannah is feeling! Yes, they could adopt, but that doesn't take away the stress, worry and pain that comes with infertility! Hannah needs to be able to come to terms with what is happening before moving forward with something like that.

The fact that you left that out really allows the reader to focus on Hannah's loss -- because it truly is a loss! She has to properly mourn the loss of something that she always wanted, and we experience that with her, especially when she's talking to Neville.

The bit about whether everything happens for a reason is also really, really good. Her reaction to that is so true to real life -- I feel like I'd react that way (and have reacted that way in other situations) when something completely unfair like this happens. Sometimes things happen to us and there's no one to blame, and there's no way of knowing WHY we're the ones suffering. Maybe it happened for an unknown reason, maybe it didn't, but that doesn't make it any less unfair - ESPECIALLY if you don't know the reason.

It's just unfair, and whether or not "everything happens for a reason", saying something like that doesn't help, and you showed that perfectly here.

Then there's Neville's reaction - I love, love, LOVE Neville's line - “Don't let me ever hear you refer to yourself as less than again. You're everything. Don't forget that,”

I was already crying waayy before that, but I started full blown sobbing after that line.

All in all, this story is perfect. While I can't possibly imagine what Hannah (and you) are going through, this did an excellent job of allowing me to understand it a bit better.

You are SO strong, Meg, and not just for being brave enough to write AND post this story. You are one of the most amazing people I know, and the courage that it took to post this story is proof of it. I hope that as you are dealing with everything you'll eventually find peace and I hope you know that I will ALWAYS love and support you, no matter what!

I'm always just a PM (or DM or Skype or what have you) away! I'm always willing to talk or listen if you need anything!

Keep being the amazing woman that you are, and definitely keep writing my dear! *hugs*
Lizzie

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Review #5, by TreacleTart Less Than

28th April 2016:
Hey my sweetest, dearest Meg!

I'm here for our review swap!

So almost as soon as I read the title, I knew what this was going to be about. Infertility is such a tough struggle. It's like you feel like you've done everything right and somehow you're being unfairly punished. You'd love the child and care for it and give it everything it deserved, but for some reason you're robbed of the opportunity to do so. It's frustrating, angering, and unfair, especially when it's something you've longed for for so long.

All of those feelings come across so clearly in Hannah in this story. You touched on the struggles and explained the turmoil so perfectly. You did a beautiful job of making it relatable/understandable to someone who hasn't gone through it.

I personally have had issues myself. I don't know with certainty that I can't have children, but I was married for 5 years and had no success. Around the time I was considering starting the process of being tested was right when my divorce started, so I figured there was no point in putting myself through it at that time. That being said, I think I've sort of made peace with the idea of not having children, but if I'm honest, it was never the end all be all for me. Not to say that the idea of not being able to bear children doesn't hurt, but more that I wasn't someone who grew up dreaming of them either.

Either way, know that you aren't alone love. I can think of several people off the top of my head on HPFF who are dealing with similar issues, so know that there is a whole community around you to embrace you and support you when you need it.

And like Neville says to Hannah, don't let me ever catch you telling yourself that you are less than, because you are an amazing, wonderful, special beautiful human being and I'm so glad I had a chance to get to know you. Sending you all the hugs.

~Kaitlin

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Review #6, by pointless_proclamations Less Than

26th April 2016:
Meg, bestesthpffbffsoulsisterbraintwinfrand,

Again, I must express that I am so proud of you in so, so many ways. I sincerely hope that this story not only helped you in that release, but also helped and will help anyone struggling similarly. That being said, I think the story also serves to help those who do not understand the physical and emotional manifestations of infertility. I have no doubt that it inspires empathy, comprehension, and compassion in such individuals.

The flawlessness with which you write is beyond me. Your style of narration is unparalleled, but this story is breath-taking not just for the writing prowess it displays, but the honesty of it all. There is something so refreshing about this kind of genuinity in fiction. With this beautiful piece of writing you have put your heart and soul into, you have, no doubt, inspired many, many tears. It was just so easy to connect with Hannah because, again, it's so honest and you spared readers no physical, mental, nor emotional detail. This story is candid and poetically so. I admire the genuinity of the lack of a completely happy ending. Even more so, I admire that, although there is that lack of a veritably happy ending, that does not mean that things don't 'work out' in some way or other. In this case, we see the indubitably unconditional love Neville has for Hannah. That ending served, I am sure, only to bring on more tears--perhaps even wailing; MY EMOTIONS. . . MY. . . . .EMOTIONS. Conclusively, one can gather from this story, that Meg is evil and that, I believe that to be the ultimate take-away from all of this.

So much love,
Em

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Review #7, by Gabriella Hunter Less Than

25th April 2016:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums here with your review and it's been awhile! What's up with that? I would totally like to hear from you more often, I've missed your work! :D

Hannah! I don't read enough stories about her and I certainly haven't read enough that feature her and Neville. That's a real shame because I think you could do quite a bit with their characters, which is nice to read.

This is a pretty upsetting topic to write and I've never read anything like it before. Infertility is something that affects millions of people and I'm glad that you actually wrote this, it makes the magical world feel so much more real. I was always curious about how issues like this were handled in the Wizarding world and you've done a nice job of exploring it.

I don't think that it was too gritty or dark, it just fit well in this world. You didn't need to elaborate on Hannah's pain because you've written her feelings just so beautifully. You can feel how much it hurts her and the emotions you convey were just so amazing to read. Denial, anger, sadness and envy for that one thing she would never have.

I don't think a lot of people really think much about how that affects women. Hannah so clearly wanted a child and to be unable to have children must have hurt so terribly. I can't even imagine the pain but I think you've done a great job of showing that inner struggle of trying to be all right when you just want to crumble.

I could understand why people wouldn't want to read this story but I have to say that you've done a great job of bringing this issue to light. It was written with empathy and tact, which is something that is sorely lacking when it comes to these sort of issues.

Hannah's worries about Neville possibly leaving her felt genuinely raw. I wasn't sure what would happen when they were able to talk but I'm so happy that she didn't keep it a secret from him. Neville was understanding and upset by the news but he's still there for her. He's ridiculously lovely and I think that Hannah needed to hear from his own mouth that he was there for her no matter what happened in the future. :D

So, upon reading your AN I have to say that you are very brave for speaking about this. It's a personal story written from your heart and that is the most precious thing of all. Thank you for writing this and just know that I'm wishing you all the best. :)

Much love,

Gabbie

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Review #8, by Startafire Less Than

24th April 2016:
hello, here for our review swap!

Words really can't describe how this story made me feel; sad, angry and downright frustrated for Hannah. For she had to go through was absolutely heartbreaking that even myself wanted to cry for her. I can relate to the want for children as I'm personally looking to have my own hopefully soon but the thought of having that option ripped away from you is horrible. Especially as it always seems to happen to the good people! I couldn't agree more with every thought that ran through her mind and I truly wanted to jump through my computer screen and hug her.

When I came to your authors note and read this chapter was based on something similar your going through, I can say I really felt your plain through your writing and this is definitely not a bad thing. I'm so sorry for what you must be dealing with right now, you're not alone though and hopefully your writing can help you deal. The raw emotion in your description and words really captivated me and shows you have one hell of a skill for writing!

It has always made me curious why Neville and Hannah never had children as JKR has never revealed if they did or not. But your piece here feels so real that it could really pass off as a true backstory for the couple. Neville was just a complete sweetheart and the way he comforted Hannah was heart melting! With all those thoughts running through Hannah's head that he might leave her, I'm sure when he told her he would always be there for her, it really helped. It's definitely true as well, as long as you have the love of your family and friends, you can most likely make it through anything.

I really am glad I read this, not only was it a fantastic and emotional read, but it opened up my eyes to situations people in real life go through every day. I applaud you on your bravery to write this, it was beautiful, truly!

Ella

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Review #9, by Penelope Inkwell Less Than

23rd April 2016:
Hey Meg. It's Penny, here for our review swap,

First of all, let me say that this story--it's really well done. I could feel Hannah's heartache and Neville's insistent love, and how his heart broke for her loss. It was wonderful to see their love--a love that could absolutely survive this hurdle.

It's good to see this feeling represented. It's so much harder to face this sort of thing when you've never seen it--it makes you feel so much more 'other'. But I think it's really brave and wonderful of you to write about it.

I don't normally like to mention things this personal, but since you've been so vulnerable and open I think you deserve to be backed up. I completely understand. I've faced something quite similar. A few years ago, in college, I was told that I could have trouble getting pregnant, if I ever wanted to. Not that it was absolutely impossible, no, but even just the knowledge of the problems I could face--the possibility that, if I decided I wanted it, the answer could be no. That there were problems. The possibility of a miscarriage. The possibility that someone could decide he didn't want me, because maybe I couldn't have a child. It put me in absolute tears, even though I had barely cried at all in years. I'd never even really liked the idea of pregnancy, even though I love kids and everyone's told me for ages that I'd be a great mom. Pregnancy itself hadn't seemed that appealing, hitherto, but I was young and viewing it as a very distant future. When I had to face the idea that there could be problems, I absolutely broke down. Suddenly I wanted it so much , and I felt like something had been taken from me.

I kept it a secret for a solid year, too. I only told my mother. I didn't have a boyfriend at the time, and honestly if I look back I think it made me hang back from dating, just a little. I didn't want to have to tell that truth and be rejected. I was caught between being a feminist and knowing that I should be valued as more than a walking uterus, but still being afraid and a little ashamed, and then ashamed of being ashamed, you know? It was a year before I told my best friend. She was studying to be a nurse, and had been ribbing me good-naturedly when I said maybe I'd just adopt--I'd turned it into a joke about not wanting to deal with getting pregnant and fat. And she was sort of poking at me in a very well-meaning way, telling me the cool things she was learning about all that, until I couldn't take it anymore and I had to tell her. And she held me together, really. I don't know what I'd have done without her. She was my (platonic) Neville, and when you have something like this, you kind of do need* someone who can support you and help you be alright.

So I know what it's like. But now I've had a couple years to come to terms with it. I know that there are options. I know about all the children that already need homes. That helps. I've had a friend a few years older with the same problem who did manage to get pregnant. So some positive stories. It makes it a great deal better. But that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes hear that voice whispering "less than". You captured this so powerfully, so well, that there are actual tears in my eyes as I type this. Thank you for writing something like this. Thank you for being so brave.

Everything about Hannah's fears--the knowledge that Neville really loved her, of course, but that maybe this would be too much. Even knowing that, from his perspective, that was ridiculous. Even then, she still felt it. The way she was fighting to keep from breaking down in public. That was so familiar. It was so well captured.

I was so happy to see Neville be so firmly in her corner, so insistent that she could never be "less than". Not only was it true to his character, but it was also just frankly comforting to see that in this story. It was good to see that love and support could get her through such a thing.

I just think you did a great job with this story. Even though it made me sad, it also made me happy. Whew. What an emotional read. But good job, girl. I'm really glad you did it.

Lots of love ♥

--Penny

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Review #10, by marauderfan Less Than

23rd April 2016:
Gah, this story is heartbreaking. Especially so after reading the A/N at the end. I definitely understand writing as a kind of catharsis for emotions though, as this is something I've done as well when going through difficult things, so I really hope that writing this helped you process things. I'm so sorry you're going through this *hugs*

It's so sad to read Hannah feeling like less of a person, or defective. I can understand why she does, because this one thing she wants that most women are capable of biologically and she's unable to. I can kind of relate to her in a sense, in that for me, depression and anxiety are what make me feel like a defective person, like I'm not the same and not as worthy as a person as someone else. I think it's only too easy to see ourselves just in terms of our flaws, when as Neville points out at the end, there's more to a person than that. After all, who decides what makes a person 'whole'? I know it's a cliche saying but no one is perfect, and just because Hannah happens to have that particular flaw doesn't make her any less of a person, because no one is really 'whole', in one way or another. Poor Hannah, though. I know it's all fine to just talk about flaws being a small part of a whole, but it's never easy to see that right when you're going through the worst of it, and I feel so bad for Hannah as she tries to process this information and how it affects her and Neville.

And it's not just her feeling like less of a person, I can tell there's definitely themes of her feeling like less of a woman, as well. But the ability to have children isn't what defines a woman. And of course Neville sees this - I just love Neville in this story, and how he is supportive of her and loves her no matter what, with the large flaws and the small, and still wants to marry her. Because for him, their love isn't about whether her reproductive system works properly, it's about the fact that the two of them care about each other and work together through the hard times. Despite how sad most of this story is, the end section with Neville has so much hope. Things may be rough, but it's easier to face difficult things with loving people by your side, and that's what she has. I just love Neville, and I'm so glad Hannah has him to help her through this hard time in her life. That ending section just shows why they're such a wonderful couple.

sorry this review partly turned into a philosophical tangent about feminism. I think honestly there's a lot more I could say but I do want to bring it back to the story :P I do like that you made me think about these things though. You can always tell good writing because it leaves you thinking afterwards.

Last but not least I want to say bravo to you for writing this story. Wonderfully written and heartbreaking story, but still so positive at the end. I hope things start looking up for you *hugs*

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Review #11, by EnigmaticEyes16 Less Than

21st April 2016:
Meg, this is such a powerfully poignant story. I truly felt for Hannah throughout reading this, from suspecting, to knowing, to fearing losing the one she loves. I especially love that Neville was able to quell most of her fears, and that her inability to have children didn't change the fact that he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. This was a very bittersweet and well-written read. I can't possibly know what you're going through at the moment, but thank you so much for sharing it through this story.

xxNix

Author's Response: Thanks Nix *hugs*

I thought of Hannah immediately when I planned this. I don't remember hearing anything about them having children, so I started to think that maybe she was like me and possibly couldn't. And I can't see Neville being the type to leave her over it. He's way too loyal, almost to a fault. (Like when I confronted Voldemort).

I'm glad that Hannah's emotions came through, because her thoughts were all over the place. I was worried that this might have been too scattered. I'm happy it wasn't.

It was really therapeutic writing this, and I'm hoping that others who are in a similar situation will feel the same way after reading it.

Thank you so much for reading and the lovely review. I really means a lot! ♥

Love and hugs,
Meg


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Review #12, by Potterhead1994 Less Than

21st April 2016:
I love this story. I have PCOS. I was diagnosed at 15 and it had been a pain for the last six years. I struggle with the fact that I may or may not have children. That I have to shave under my chin and that I'm overweight. It's hard and I feel for you .

Author's Response: I'm so sorry to hear that. I totally feel you there. It's tough. You feel so, not to quote the story, but it's the truth, defective. At least, that's how I feel/felt. But it helps knowing there are others out there and that you're totally not alone. I just wanted to write this hoping it would make someone, at least one person, feel a little bit better by knowing they're not dealing with this alone.

Thank you so much for reading and sharing your personal experience with me. It truly means a lot. *hugs*

xoxo Meg


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