Reading Reviews for Without You
9 Reviews Found

Review #1, by marauderfan A Very Special Delivery

30th March 2016:
Hi Jayna, you star chaser! (meaning that you were a chaser on the quidditch team and that you were a star, not that you chase stars. I'm sorry, it's late and my brain is mush.)

This story was lovely! Right from the beginning I loved your OC Genevieve and how she interacts with her brother. The fact that he told her she wouldn't get a letter, and the fact that she yelled into his ear and made him congratulate her on her letter... Siblings haha. These two are just so believable and it's perfect. It's also great how well you've managed to get Genevieve to sound her age. She does sound just like an eleven year old here, from her fierce determination to prove her annoying older brother wrong, to the fact that she still thinks her parents are the greatest and wants to share her good news with them and hasn't gotten too cool for that yet, to her thoughts about her father away at the war and how it affects her. She's such a perfectly portrayed eleven year old.

What a wonderful birthday surprise for Genevieve ♥ that's so wonderful that her dad was able to come home and be there for such a special occasion for her. I know that isn't always possible with military families (or at least I don't think it is) so that makes it extra special that Genevieve was able to share that with her dad. You wrote the reunion so well, and I loved how you built it up so the reader sees the surprise unfold through Genevieve's eyes.

This was great. Well done Jayna :D

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Review #2, by PaulaTheProkaryote A Very Special Delivery

6th March 2016:
If my review seems disjointed, it's because I'm typing notes as I read.

“Trenton, wake up! I got my Hogwarts letter. And you said I wouldn’t get one" Older brothers, right? My brother loved making me anxious by telling me crazy things like that. Despite my grades and resume, he'd tease that I wouldn't make it college, grad school, or marriage. Even after I was married, my brother kept telling me I'd never move out (I was already moved out, but that didn't stop him).

I think your characterization is absolutely fabulous. Definitely one of your strong points.

Being a military wife myself, I'm really glad that you brought up the struggles of those that go off to fight wars. There's a lot of sacrifice involved, not just for those fighting, but also for the families left behind. I imagine it would be excruciating to have the capability to instantly be with your loved one, but not being able to for security reasons.

What I wouldn't have given for apparation a few years ago when my husband was gone.

NO. I did not sign up for these feels! Oh no. Oh no. This is why I don't watch those military reunion videos. You've got me crying!

This is very, very realistic for me. That feeling when you finally get to be back together after not seeing each other for months. I can't even begin to describe it. It's like finally being whole again. Not just for the family, but my dog tried to do literal backflips.

I love, love, love, love, loved this story. It's now in my favorites list. You've reminded me to go hug my husband extra tight because I never know when I won't see him again for awhile.

Author's Response: Hey there! Okay, so first things first, this review really made my day. I was really worried about making sure this story was as accurate as it could be, and I wanted to make sure that those who've actually experienced this could relate to it. I was kind of scared that I would get something wrong and end up offending somebody, so it was amazing to get this kind of validation from a military wife.

Hah, I don't have a biological older brother (I'm the older sibling in my family), but Trenton was based off my cousin, and it's good to know that other people could relate to it too.

Wow, I'm glad you think that my characterization is good, because I remember when I started out here, it was one of the things that I had the most trouble with. My characters were flat and felt unreal, so it's especially nice to hear that they've improved so much (and on my one-year archive anniversary too!).

Wow, I'm really honored that you liked this story enough and that it made you feel so much that you favorited it, and if it made you go hug your husband, than I'd say that's bonus points. So thank you so much for all your kind words, for the review, and for the favorite, and thank you for everything you and your husband do.


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Review #3, by dreamgazer220 A Very Special Delivery

6th March 2016:
Hey there! Sorry for the delay, but here for our review swap and the HPFF Review-a-Thon!

This was so adorable!! I was so relieved to see where you brought the ending of the story (don't want to give it away just in case!), because I thought it sounded like it was going to be a slightly darker turn.

I really loved this. It was short and sweet, but you still had strong voices for your characters. Her mum was adorable, and I loved the line, "What, the bill from the potions place?" because it's such a typical Mom response. And same thing with her brother, teasing her about the school being closed.

And her reaction to her letter was so wonderful too. I could feel her excitement coming off the page, and you had some really great language in here as well.

Thank you so much for another great read and swap!!

Author's Response: Hey there Jill!

Thanks for the swap, and for all the kind words! I'm super glad that you could feel her excitement, and I'm also glad that you liked the mum so much. Once again, thanks for the great swap!


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Review #4, by maraudertimes A Very Special Delivery

6th March 2016:
Hi this is for our (late) review swap (I guess I missed your post on my initial status update) and for the HPFF Review-a-Thon!

This was so cute! I love watching videos of soldiers coming home from war to their dogs, wives, or children, and this was like a little mini version of that in story form!

Genevieve seems like such an upbeat and happy little girl and I'm happy for her that she got her Hogwarts letter! She acts the way I think I would've acted if I had gotten mine, and it's very true to how little girls get excited! The fact that she is just kind of bouncing around everywhere and can't seem to keep the smile off her face is very cute!

I love that her brother kind of had her going about Hogwarts being closed. I understand it's because of the war, but it's also just a brotherly thing to do, I think, to just kind of get a rise our of younger siblings. It added a bit of je ne sais quoi to their relationship and just kind of subtly showed the dynamic of their sibling rivalry.

Ah and then of course the sadness that comes with her father being away. I wouldn't personally know anything about that, but when thinking about it, you've really answered any questions I would've had about why wizarding soldiers wouldn't be able to come home to their families. So kudos on that!

Oh and the ending! As soon as I read about the footsteps I knew what was going to happen and I got so happy and excited and then he was there! Aw, that scene was so cute and I absolutely adored it!

This story was so cute and I liked how your writing brought the characters to life and just kind of made the story come alive! Thanks so much for the review swap (again, so sorry it took so long to get to!).
Lo :)

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Review #5, by princesslily_36 A Very Special Delivery

6th March 2016:

Ahhh the opening line killed me. Because I never recieved my Hogwarts letter *sniff*

This was honestly a feel good story! The first thing that jumped out at me was the perspective. You have indeed shown the emotions of a 11 year old so perfectly. I can feel everything that Genevieve's feeling - her ecstacy, missing her father, wanting to impress her brother who keeps picking on her in such an older brotherly fashion. Everything in the fic imparted such a homey feeling.

I haven't lived in a military lifestyle, but my father would travel a LOT for work, and he would shift base so often, so a lot of mine and my sister's milestones were celebrated without him. I don't claim to know what army wives and children go through, it must honestly be 100 times more difficult for them, and they're doing something so noble, but from a child's perspective I should say you've written the conflicting emotions down to pat.

Also, I liked the mother's characterization, as the army wife she must be battling with so much worry, since you also mentioned that it's been a while since they heard from their dad. She is ever so loving and sweet, and yet we can see the hint of worry in her.

That part in the end where her father surprises her was such an emotional moment. I think that must have meant to Genevieve as much as getting the letter meant to her.

Another lovely story from you Jayna! Thank you for the wonderful read!


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Review #6, by Dojh167 A Very Special Delivery

6th March 2016:
For the HPFF Review-A-Thon

Thanks so much for leaving me a review yesterday - I'm here to return the favor!

I was drawn into this story right away. Your use of second person works very effectively to that end and immediately placed my in the world of the story and the MC's mindset, before I even knew who the MC was.

You mix up tenses a bit here: "It only happens once in a lifetime, and it changed your life forever." Most of the opening is in present tense, so "changed" doesn't fit.

You do a fabulous job of capturing a wide range of emotions here. I can very clearly picture and feel Genevieve's unbridled joy as she receives her letter and shouts through the house. But then, at a sharp change, the sadness of her absent father rings on a whole different emotion, and within time the two opposing feelings meld together.

The line about falling out of bed onto furniture is quite funny.

I suspected from the time that Genevieve's mom told her to wait in her room that her father was returning, but it was still very satisfying when he did.

This chapter was very short, but that felt fitting as it really embodied the compressed intense emotions of a young girl quite well.


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Review #7, by ScarletSnidget A Very Special Delivery

3rd March 2016:
First of all, you write really well. I really like this fic, and to address your concerns: yes, it's believable, and yes I can relate to the character; I think that, unlike some authors who either write children as too childish, or maybe too mature, you get it spot on with capturing the innocence of an eleven year old.
The only concern is that the chapter is perhaps slighly too short, not that there's not good pace; it just feels unfinished.
I can't wait for more. :D

Author's Response: Hello! Wow, that was an incredibly fast response to my request! Thank you so much for dropping by! Anyway, I'm glad that it's believable and that you can relate to the character. In addition, it's really great to hear that the character is a good in-between, not too mature and not too childish.

Oh, well this was a one-shot and there isn't anything more to it, but it's good to get some feedback :)

Anyway, welcome to the forums and archives!


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Review #8, by Felpata Lupin A Very Special Delivery

22nd February 2016:
Hi, Jayna!
Here with your requested review! :)

This was lovely! You wrote Genevieve's excitement at receiving her Hogwarts letter so well! It was such a cute image, her running around the house screaming excitedly and breaking into her brother's bedroom waking him up to give him the news! You really captured the eleven year old excitement and the siblings' relationship so perfectly!

Then the sad part... her Dad not there, out risking his life to fight for justice and freedom... (I read the review Andrew left you and I have to agree with him... I think your story would've worked better if you gave us a temporal setting. It's not necessary, but I did wonder which war was it, where does this family locate into wizarding history.) Anyway, you really convey the sadness of his absence so well, too. It was like a shadow over her original happiness and I loved how she still tried to keep her excitement despite of it.

And finally the surprise! How lovely! How sweet! Bittersweet, actually, because like Genevieve we know that the visit can't last long and that the war is still carrying on out there. But anyway, you made me smile. :)

I don't know much about military families, but I still think you did a great job with the theme! I can totally picture everything you wrote happening just the way you wrote it! Wonderful work, my dear!

Just a tiny little grammar note before leaving you. At the beginning, when you say "It only happens once in a lifetime, and it changed your life forever." I think it should be changes, in present tense. Right?

Great work, and good luck in the duel!
Much love,

Author's Response: Hi Chiara! Thanks so much for dropping by!

Since I lean towards angst and moodiness rather than light and fluffiness, it's good to know that Gen's excitement came through. I was hoping to lure people into a false sense of happiness and then BAM! make them sad again. :P From the two reviews I've gotten on this piece it seems like I succeeded. :)

Yeah, I'm mostly still trying to figure out when to set it. I'm not all that familiar with Grindelwald, but I don't want this to be set during Voldemort's return. I was thinking about setting it during Voldemort's first rise to power, but I guess some of the things I mentioned Gen's dad doing wouldn't quite work for that war, so I might just go with Grindelwald anyway.

I thought that she probably would have learned to try and stay happy without her dad because, I mean, that's what military kids have to do.

I'm glad I made you smile! I originally thought of this idea when brainstorming for the Short and Sweet Challenge, which is why if you look it says it was originally published way back in September or something of 2015. I like to enter all my ideas into the archive so that I don't forget about them. Anyway, I never ended up writing it and did something different instead, but I was cleaning out the aforementioned story shells when I came across this one and realized it would be perfect for the writer's duel. So yeah, the point of that long ramble was basically that that part was intended to make you smile, so I'm glad it did.

I'm glad you think it's accurate as I would hate to offend anyone if it wasn't. You're right it should be in present tense! I must've missed that one. I'll make sure to fix that when I go back and add which war it's set in.

Thank you again for dropping by, for your suggestions, and for all your kind words!


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Review #9, by oldershouldknowbetter A Very Special Delivery

20th February 2016:
Hello there, another little tale to celebrate the HPFF birthday.

You do so in a strange way. Because, though this is a birthday, it is a sad and poignant one. The young girl is so excited to not only receive her acceptance letter, but is also so happy that Hogwarts will be continuing in the face of the hostilities. Though the girl is not as worried about that as she was about being accepted at all. You convey well the anxiousness that must occur to a young person in a wizarding household; even if they have exhibited some stray magics in their young life, they must always be trepidatious that they will have enough magical talent to be accepted into the ranks of Hogwarts.

The relationship between the girl and the older brother is well handled and the one with her mother is just so true. Her mum, happy for her young, excited daughter, but with the weight of pressing concerns weighing her down. Not the least of which must be the fact that she is sending her only daughter away from her side and her protection in such desperate times. The absence of the father, though, and what dangers he must be facing have to be the uppermost on her mind.

Speaking of the father, the lack of his presence resonates throughout the story, casting a pall across all the members of the house. Until ...

I must say that I am not of the armed forces, but from all that I've seen or read, your scene fits in with what I know of the return of service men to their families. It's heartwarmingly done.

There was one point of confusion for me, just exactly when was this set? I assume that it was probably with the magical adjunct to the forces of either the conflict of the First World War or against Grindelwald in the Second World War. Most probably the latter. Dropping a name, like Grindelwalds, or a time would serve to place it in history.

Also if I may a small cc which made me laugh along the way. If you envelope someone you put them in a folded paper device designed to convey letters with a modicum of secrecy. On the other hand if you want to wrap someone up, as in a massive hug, then you envelop them. ;)

A good little story that rings true to this reader at least.


Author's Response: Hello! Thanks a bunch for dropping by and for this great review!

Yeah, I tend to lean towards angst and sadness, so most things I write end up being like this, not so much happy and fluffy.

I'm glad that you thought the relationships betweens the characters were good, and it's good to hear that all those things that the mother was feeling came through.

To try and do research for this scene I watched some videos of service men returning to their families because I was nervous that I wouldn't do it justice. I'm really relieved that it seemed accurate to you.

It wasn't really set in any time period. I mean, usually there is always something going on, but I guess something big enough to shut down Hogwarts doesn't happen every day. Anyway, that seems like a good idea, adding one small piece of information to place it at a point in history. I think I'll use Grindelwald. Thanks for your suggestion!

Haha, oops I guess I missed that one!

Anyway, thanks again for the review, for all your kind words, and for the CC. I'm glad you liked this and that it seemed accurate to you. :)


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