|Reviews for Rooftops of Hong Kong|
| Written chapter 2 . 9/13/2007
aah. a serious piece. the flashbacks are working for me and the stuff going on in the here-and-now is fine too, although I haven't read enough to form an opinion of the story/plot or give some kind of analysis of it or anything like that.
so basically, I like it. I'd like to see more before I can really say more.
as for the panic attack part, I've actually been in a really similar situation, and it read really realistically. I commend you for that.
| Purple Uranium chapter 2 . 7/10/2007
I like the fact that you started this chapter off with a snippet from the past. It gives us more insight into what happened, into the situation, into everything, really. I got to see more of Rob and Sophie. I have to say I liked the way the first flashback scene was written. For some reason, it just seemed more eerie and out of this world. This second scene seemed more down to earth and realistic. The tone of the second scene wasn’t nearly as melancholy or angry as the first one, and I must say, you are the first person to ever write a scene that has made me go gaga over it. I love it. Nothing will ever compare from now on.
Now, I’m not sure what type of body type Sophie has, but this just has to be said. The fact that she took multiple ecstasy pills has me a little on edge. While it does give a rush and enhance everything, someone can get severely dehydrated from taking too many. When Rob said that they were like candy to her, I imagined her taking at least five pills at a time over the course of a night. If that’s the case, she most likely would have overdosed and died—but then I got to the point of her anxiety attacks and thought that her drug usage might be a cause of it. I don’t know. What I do know is that if she was taking them the way Rob described it, then she would have suffered from some serious dehydration, and in a severe case, she would have had a seizure and, most likely, died. So while this little detail freaks me out, I’m going to accept it. Rob was watching over her, I’m sure he wouldn’t have let her get too out of control… although the first scene in the first chapter might prove otherwise. He had a hard time controlling her then, what’s to say that he won’t have a difficult time controlling her while she’s poppin’ pills?
Sophie’s anxiety attacks are interesting. The way you describe her and the way you describe how she interacts with others is interesting, too. She seems so detached at first, but then at the end of the chapter, for fear of causing those strange, skateboard riding boys worry, she tried to reassure them. Whether it was to keep them away or just protect herself, I have no idea. But the fact that she even cared about how they reacted was something I wasn’t expecting. And the fact that the boy ran over her with a skateboard? My thought would’ve been something like “didn’t you see me lying here in the grass you idiot?” But then again, Sophie was having an anxiety attack.
And I so want to know the cause of it.
Overall, this chapter was short, sweet, and very enjoyable. I like how it’s written, how Sophie’s character is revealing itself in both the past and the future. I just… like everything. I want to learn more. I want to read more. And I sincerely hope that you reach your goal of having something completed before going to college.
And college! Yay! Are you living on campus or commuting? In any case, I hope it’s not too difficult (although I’m positive that you shall succeed) and that you’re not too swamped with work. Until your next update!
| The Poplocking Ninja chapter 1 . 7/9/2007
Surprisingly enough, the only thing my computer can process is Fictionpress and FileUpYours. No Livejournal, e-mail, photobucket, deviantart. It's sort of peaceful like this though. It's meditative even. But I think it's also because I vowed not to waste my time on stories I wasn't planning on reviewing long-term (ie: weak stories). I think that's why I burned out so quickly. I was just reviewing like, everything, you know? Even at the cost of leaving good writers hanging for months. I'm just saying this because I'm going to try and read as much as I can from my favorite FP authors before school starts (that means you, Nghi!); I'm hoping to stick with you for at least ten chapters of Rooftops (and maybe two more chapters of Quattrocentista? possibly? if you can?) before I disappear into a void.
Short chapters equal love for me. There's something in them that scars the brain; the first section was beautiful. I'm used to reading party scenes or scenes at clubs. I think, compared to your Tae scene where we first see him at a house party (his own, I think?), it doesn't compare to the one thoughtful paragraph you have about setting. The half-lidded eyes sound like ecstasy to me, whether figuratively or the actual drug. The snapshot quality of the character's point of view look like strobe lights. The neon colors feel like they're under black lights. The heat, the hair stuck to her neck, all that slickness must be from all the dancing and bumping up against everyone. You never see the word "dancing" or "concert" or "club", but the descriptions say everything. I know you said you're not into literary work, that you're more of a genre writing. But the first chapter is a literary chapter.
[I smiled lazily.] was the sentence that did it for me. It told me what I needed to know about Sophia. I could understand adrenaline, even euphoria in that sexual crowd, but someone who smiles lazily with all the shouting and heavy base seems, jaded. Or apathetic.
[The ride inside the car was really bumpy. I only know this because I fell asleep with my head against the window and woke up with a pounding headache.] This is so weird; I mean, I'm used to the Lia narration. But the details that this character chooses freaks me out in a good way. The work isn't loaded with a bunch of uniform-mood adjectives, but I already understand and groove with the character. There's magic here.
Fair warning: I have a feeling that I'm going to start getting ultra picky really fast with this story. I mean, it's starting off so well, which usually isn't the case with any story.
[I shrugged, wiping my mouth on my sleeve. The drool was disgusting.] I'm thinking that the second sentence is not as productive as it can be. Maybe a dry feeling in the mouth would work; it's still day, right? And, like, this poor character's been sleeping by the window, probably with the sun beating down on the glass. I'm thinking dehydration. Or a sick feeling in the mouth.
[Anne loved it there, the bustling Hong Kong mornings, the culture fusion in that city. Abstract museums by day, and metropolitan socializing by night, it was where dry martinis and takeout met, and trains and bicycles rode side by side.] Beautiful! I already said in a few forums that I'm totally into geographical details, landscape descriptions-anything about a place because it shows me mindset. In this case, I see two halves. This character loves the complicated-the light, the dark. The duplicity of Hong Kong, maybe even its mystery. But this character also loves that place where two extreme abstracts mix. I see depth and I'm loving it already; and maybe it's my imagination, but the prose has a different quality to it. I don't think it's better or worse, but it's definitely strong. And strong is good.
[It was the city equivalent of Anne, and she was too fast for where we were going, too furious for quaintness, and definitely way too much for this little hole of a place.] Hm. Too vague and clever for me. Especially following such an awesome description of Hong Kong.
[“Is this it?” I mumbled, licking my dry lips and looking outside te window.] Add an "h" to that "te" and we've got l33t speak lmao.
[“Aren’t you excited? It’s a fresh start,” she said, and I didn’t say anything.] The character's lack of commenting says something to me. A skeptic? A cynic? We won't know for a few more chapters, but I love it already! It'll probably take me a few days but I'll come back. I always do.
I'm pretty excited about this story-but not in the same way I'm excited about Quattrocentista. When I think about my excitement for Q, I think of my favorite animes and serial manga. This story has another kind of excitement for me. Have you ever read the story "Bombay Time" by Umrigar Thrity? If you have, you've probably felt it. It's a deeper kind of excitement.
It's writer's excitement, Nghi.
I'm just hoping that my comments now and in the future aren't offensive or debilitating; I already read your bio and I know this story has personal value for you. But I'm going to treat it like any other strong piece and analyze it like one. Just let me know if I'm starting to get too offensive. I can't always tell. I'm not always... reviewing-sober.
| Purple Uranium chapter 1 . 6/19/2007
It is official. You are, by far, one of my favorite writers. But you probably already knew that. I mean, when I'm available, I'm usually always squeeing to you and pressuring you about your writing, no?
But this was refreshing. So, so refreshing to read. It seems exciting too. I love how you started the story off and I especially love this line [and as I swayed from side to side, eyes half-lidded as the heat and slick skin and moanless breaths engulfed me, the lights continued to flicker constantly on Rob’s face. It was like watching a video through photographs—a glimpse of the feral anger, and then darkness, and then another glimpse of the burning eyes, and then darkness again.] Don't ask me why, it just captivated me.
I can't wait to see how you're going to develop this characters further. I want to see where you are taking this, where you are going, how everything is going to end up. Of course, I probably just said the same thing in three different ways, but whatever. I'm EXCITED. Do you know how long it's been since I've been excited about reading a story? Way too long, if I'm being honest.
Anyhow, it's not fair that you just posted this one chapter and then never posted another. But knowing you, you've probably been swamped with AP exams and homework and icky college stuff. Since, you know, you've always murdered yourself from school.
On a final note, I'm excited, I would like to see more, and I hope to get more. And oh, the angst. If this has angst, I would so verily love you without a thought. And it looks like it does. I'm tired of all the happy. I need variety. This offers variety. So I will enjoy. Um, whenever you update that is. XD
| bluecrowned2003 chapter 1 . 5/18/2007
I like your title.
| Yachtzee chapter 1 . 5/14/2007
Haha. All hoorah for Nghi's work. Even if it is angst.