|Reviews for Memories Worth Protecting|
| It's 2015 chapter 1 . 1/21
no this has received so many reviews and favs, why did you take it down?! now I'll never get the chance to read it!...
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 8/27/2014
Plot: The topic of suicide is always going to be a difficult one to deal with - I'd nearly call it taboo, because of few people really seem to understand it, and how often it gets hyped up to something very beautiful or I don't know what when it's not romantic at all, and leaves the people behind with a huge sense of loss and confusion. So what I mean to say is that you treat the subject with a lot of respect, and I dare say appropriate realism, since the narrator is going through the motions and reflecting on the boyfriend and how he touched her life. I like that there isn't any sense of order or logic in her reminiscences, but she is just caught up in various memories of what her boyfriend was like, how they would take pictures and how people reacted to his suicide. I thought it was all very natural, fitting in with the various thoughts that one would have during such a situation, and making the one-shot seem very honest. I like that the emotion was muted, somewhat subtle, making this not only seem more honest, but also avoiding any sentimentalism that you would expect in bad fic dealing with the subject.
It's a bit difficult to say more on the plot, because this is really more of an introspective, and we never really find everything out – like how she reacted to this letter. But that's not a bad thing: I feel that this piece does a good job diving into the thoughts of a girl who just lost someone she loved. It's not definite, and it's open-ended, suggesting that for her the struggle of coping with boyfriend's death is not over. It will take a while, and she will have to re-gather and re-group her memories several times, just like in this one-shot. I guess what I like about this piece particularly is how it shows that this is a hard fight, with people often not understanding or treating it like a generic subject, when for most it's something deeply painful and individualistic: it takes time, and your criticism aimed at all those people trying to make it some impersonal and something you can just file away after having attended one meeting is a point I really agree on. Okay, next category – I babbled a lot here ):
Character: I find it hard to talk about the writing, so I'll just dip into the characters now, if you don't mind :3 From what you're saying, the boyfriend seems to have been a very bitter, yet intelligent individual who saw the world through critical lenses. I like all those hints of how he was tired, even disgusted with living and the world – his being annoyed with everything, and his rarely smiling. I would not necessarily say that those are prerequisites for a suicide, but I do think that you captured some hint of bitterness well here (I will not say depressed, because ...well, I'm not qualified and I think it's not something you can just identify all that easily). I like that we never really quite find out what his issues were, but are left to speculate – just like the narrator herself. I have to say that I find it interesting how insecure and lost the narrator seems: you can tell her sorrow through how numbly she narrates everything – there is hidden anger there, especially when she says how the school delivered the news of his death. There is also sorrow when she says she asks herself if she was to be blamed for his death, if she should have seen it coming. It's very muted – just like I said in the plot, but it's obvious that she is very affected and upset.
Relationship: It's even harder to pinpoint just how close the narrator and her boyfriend were, because you only give us glimpses of their relationship, but I like to think that those glimpses show just how close they were. You talk of them watching TV shows and the narrator missing that, which suggests that they spent a lot of time together and had some common interests (I especially liked the hint of them wearing purple nail polish). They also seem to have been affectionate together, as you suggest him teasing her and her missing that too. I kind of like that you never dipped into mention of intimacies, because the little things seem that much more striking and important – like them taking pictures or just watching TV together. I also like how you sort of hint that the narrator was close to the boyfriend's family, as she attended the funeral and also spends time with the sister afterwards – even if they do not talk much. It's the proximity there that I feel counts, just the comfort of them being able to be this close to each other. I also feel that the sister confiding in her means that the narrator is someone that the family/or at least the sister feels that she can trust.
Ending: I liked the ending was summed up by her receiving that second letter, and how it ended with her saying she would read it later, once she was over this. I think it was a good conclusion to a story that very much dealt with her sadness at not understanding why he had done this to her, and I am glad that, for her, at least things have reached an understanding – he did care for, after all. I think, as a reader, that also seems like a fitting and even satisfactory ending to a very sad one-shot, because we know that, for the narrator at least, things are a bit clearer. It's difficult to explain really, but I feel she can move on – and so can we. I don't mind that you didn't tell us what was in the letter, because it's more the gesture really at this point that counts, rather than the content. I also like that it finishes off with the narrator saying that she will read it later, as she is not strong enough to do so now. It is sad, but it also suggests that she will find the strength to move on from this. And I find that to be bittersweet.
| alltheeagles chapter 1 . 8/20/2014
RG Depth Review
The opening was quirky and raised a question, so it immediately caught my attention and motivated me to go on. That ‘you’ is already dead was kind of given away in the title, so it lost some of its ‘twist’ quality, but then you may not have intended it as a twist anyway, so this is kind of a useless thing to point out I guess.
There are numerous scenes that struck a chord with me. The thing with the numbers in the beginning - using numbers as a running theme was a great way of tying everything together – I like the different ways in which you did so, which prevented the story from being repetitive. The entire story is about numbers, in a sense, so if this were also reflected in the title as well I think that’d be fitting too. The counsellor one because it so accurately presents how words lose their meaning when it comes to expressing how one really feels. The funeral one because she cuts through all the pretense to the pain underneath. The stealing one because of the flash of wry humour (making crime count). OH there’re just some many things to like!
This being a first-person narrative, of course the focus is on “I”, but the boyfriend is just as strongly present for us in her memories and musing about him. I think you showed brilliantly how their relationship is not a saccharine puppy love tale – they disagreed, they weren’t lovey-dovey, yet she understood him, better than all the other people who were supposed to be his nearest and dearest.
I like this piece very much. It’s a little strange to say that I enjoyed it, with its inherent darkness and heavy theme, but I just do. The understatedness of the writing, the almost clinical voice of the narrator – they work so well to convey the sense of loss. I had goosepimples by the time I was one third through, and frankly, by the time I reached the end I felt like having a bawl. I haven’t had that goosepimply/bawly reaction to reading a story for quite some time!
| Linh Pham chapter 1 . 2/12/2013
My boyfriend died 6 months ago. He committed suicide in the USA, which we often called "the other side of the world" because both of us were Vietnamese (he had been a transfer student for about 2 years before his sudden death).
He left me a note: "Just love someone who deserve you, when you're older". I couldn't stop crying and sending him messages for about several months. But now I've got over him.
Thank you for writing such a beautiful story!
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 2/6/2013
I hope you don't mind me reviewing one of your older pieces. I remember you mentioning in the OT you submitted this for a competition somewhere else, so I thought you might still like some feedback on it.
I'll be honest, when I figured out this was about a suicide I was prepared to be hit by a lot of sentimental emotions, but this wasn't the case at all. I think you do a wonderful job addressing this subject without coming across as emotionally manipulative. It's the humor, really, that pulls it off, I think. You give your characters so many funny quirks, and the narrator has some really amusing thoughts. Like the thing about George Lopez - that cracked me up. Same with her hair. At first I was like, "Why is this girl talking about her hair so much?" but then I saw the humor behind it and I appreciate the detail. It really helps define her and contrast her with her dead boyfriend. I think another reason this isn't sentimental is because this story isn't really about her boyfriend's death, but what he was like when he was alive. Sure, it's mentioned he's dead and he killed himself, and there's even a funeral scene, but it's all peppered with these past experiences they had together that makes me more attached to the living boyfriend as opposed to the suicidal one. The narrator herself is very composed about the whole thing, which is understandable since it's been awhile. It's nice that she's able to look back on him fondly and think of him more than just "my ex boyfriend who put a bullet in his brain."
I think this entire thing is just so well put together. The way you focus on specific moments and specific details makes me become so attached to these characters right away; I think my favorite is knowing her boyfriend hated the number nine and refused to call her when it was nine o'clock. It's so quirky and strange, but it makes him feel so *real* when knowing everyone has their own little superstitions and beliefs. When I read the part about him stealing gum, I freaked out because that exact same thing happened to me. The only thing I've ever stolen was a pack of gum when I was about eight years old, lol.
There are also a few rather cleverly put together scenes, like The Princess Bride moment, and the ending with Amy and the CDs. I really like this ending, because it's not definitive and leaves it open to a reader's interpretation. I remember my creative writing professor telling me that sometimes the best stories don't have a closed or definite ending, that there's not always going to be a little bow on the top of a story's package showing us it's "complete" - and this openness is what makes some of them so interesting and great. And I think you've definitely captured that here.
I really have no criticisms to offer, maybe some very minor things like omitting a word here and there, but it's really not worth picking at. Great job, I really enjoyed reading this, and I definitely think you deserved winning something for writing this, no matter if the piece itself is a few years old. :)
| Dandy352 chapter 1 . 7/11/2012
It's different, uniquely different, I can't figure out what term to use to describe it. Honestly I read it because it has so many reviews for a one chapter story. It makes sense, the story.
It brought out a whole new perspective in dealing with suicide letters, perhaps that's it.
God bless :)
But I hope as a person, you never attempt to commit suicide.
Jeremiah 29:11 :)
| mussed chapter 1 . 5/6/2012
You know, I kind of hate you for that ending. Ok no, I'm just kidding.
I don't even know what to say... I usually stay away from works like these on fictionpress because no one really gets it right but what you did is spot on. It doesn't make the readers want to bang their heads against a wall for one.
I was alternately laughing and crying after I read this. Ugh. I don't know. I really, really want to know what the letter says and UGH. UGH!
That was me venting my frustration. Well anyway, I loved this and I can't help thinking about the characters. Is the story based on something from real life?
| frouwe chapter 1 . 9/22/2011
I almost didn't want to leave a review, because you had 111 and it was just too perfect.
But God... this is so awesome. I love how you managed to write about suicide and not have it be really depressing or angst-y or tragic. I sort of want to cry right now, but mostly think.
I liked the style, too. I think it's a lot like his personality, for some reason. Sort of odd and random.
| Millersnow chapter 1 . 8/23/2011
It's beautiful and sad. But a little too abstract and distant for comfort. Thanks!
| SmilingSarcasm chapter 1 . 6/28/2011
You speak like me. This passage caused me to do a lot of thinking, and it sounded real, very very real. If it is true then im not saying sorry to you or feeling pity for you because for one, it never helps and for two, you don't seem like the type of person who would want such things. Anyway you gave insight to the slightly unimportant girlfriends in relationships such as this one. It was good.
| non.graceful chapter 1 . 2/18/2011
Sad story. Nice though; I enjoyed it. (I think i should insert a laugh there.)
| fickletrickles chapter 1 . 2/9/2011
| renate seline zaz chapter 1 . 12/9/2010
gah. this was like a slap in the face, but really really good and certainly very powerful. the ending was fantastic. so well written, but so depressing. ouch.
| Ellie Nelson chapter 1 . 11/27/2010
This story was so awesome. Awesome and sad, and I don't really know what else to say about it.
But yeah, you really captured the subject well. Good job!
| Into the Sunshine chapter 1 . 9/6/2010
I'm not quite sure what to say.
...Is it weird that I like the fact that Chris calls her at nine every night? Probably.
I really love your writing style, and reading this sort of made me want to cry, especially at the end. But then I didn't because I thought that not reading the letter was a very good idea, because this guy sounds like a bit of a tool. The only thing I liked about the description of him was when she gave hima CD he already had, and he didn't say anything.
So yeah. Good job. I really liked this.