Reviews for The Last Summer
Cinderella Is Dead chapter 18 . 3/9/2009
I began reading this story a long time ago before vanishing into a deep ravine I like to call life. I was unable to find the story again, until now, a year and a half later. How I missed it.

The ending was quite possibly the most beautiful way to close such a good story. Really. Words cannot begin to cover the, for lack of a better word, awesomeness the last sentence was. I have always found endings the most difficult to write and I respect your writing that much more for the ability to close with such a powerful statement.

This story has really brought on a different view that so few writers can achieve, the dead side of life. I have read stories where the author completely botches the deceased character's narration and/or opinion. You, I believe, were spot on.

Back to the very first topic I brought up: as I said before, I had read the first two chapters of this story a year and a half ago. Things came up and I was unable to find or read this again, until now. I can honestly say that I had, indeed, missed this story. Your writing is original and uncomparable that the characters and events seemed to take a life of their own, living or otherwise.

In short, brilliant story.
ddz008 chapter 18 . 11/24/2008
Wonderful story! Really original, I haven't read something like that before... Tilly was actually like the narrator of the story and I really can't explain everything I want to tell you. It was good, I liked your characters, the plot and the ending. We don't know what's going to happen in the future and life will always be like that. Thanks for posting this! :)
Arzim from Twilightsucks.com chapter 18 . 9/21/2008
So I read this story and then took some time to think about it before I commented. In short, it's wonderful. I enjoyed every second. Your characters were incredibly unique and well-developed and you didn't succumb to overt sentimentality like so many people would have had they attempted to write a story like this. Particularly Tilly's parents were so well-written and so relatable that I was super impressed. I'm not normally into slash or whatever, but you wrote it in a very believable, relationship way that totally shut down the stigma of slash for slash's sake, if you know what I mean.

In all, I found the story heartrending and beautiful and it has made an impression on me in the sense that I catch myself thinking occasionally, "...oh, like Tilly.." or whatever, which I think is probably the highest compliment I can pay you. :) Great job. :) I hope you work at getting it published.
knitted chapter 18 . 9/1/2008
"It was the way that our weird co-dependant friendship seemed to work- we smoked each other to stubs, we drank each other in and then, when we needed more, we injected each other into our veins and spent sticky hours in sheds and beds and up on the downs."

That was in like the first or second chapter, but seriously you are an amazing writer. the narrative is just so easy, but clever and funny and insightful at the same time. you have a ton of writing talent. this story was awesome and i really liked reading it :). Thanks!
KayBressi chapter 11 . 8/16/2008
I really, really love this story.
faerie-gumdrops chapter 2 . 7/4/2008
I am rubbish. Sorry I took so long to read on! And congratulations for your SKoW nomination; from what I've read so far you completely deserve it!

I will try to make this review good and be a grammar nazi to make up for being such a slowpoke.

'Canterbury is great, there’s something terribly ironic about taking chemical drugs and going to neon clubs whilst being surrounded by old churches and ancient cottages' This is a brilliant first line, but I think the comma should be a semi colon.

'they carried on their football games, for all my short dresses and smoking' same here

Totally agree with Jake. I have to be very very drunk to appreciate club music :)

'and milled over to the bar area, the music was quieter here' I think this is a run on.

'You know, you’re probably the best looking ginger person I’ve ever met' hehe the charmer

'“ Come one Jake, you’ve had me, multiple times in fact' Typos with the one and the speech marks.

'Owen spent the night vomiting into a bush, I looked after him for a good hour before getting bored and a little grossed out (I’m not proud of leaving him, okay) and Jake pulled the birthday girl' hehe sounds like a good night!

'“Martyr.” I teased, looking over at the boy with the glasses' I think the first full stop should be a comma?

'It was him, and he was forty five and he did actually shag him' hehe this was great!

'but Own looked terribly morose' weeny typo

'It was the way that our weird co-dependant friendship seemed to work- we smoked each other to stubs, we drank each other in and then, when we needed more, we injected each other into our veins and spent sticky hours in sheds and beds and up on the downs.' Wow this sentence is amazing! I love your writing to bits.

'“You didn’t need to do that,” Owen dug in his wallet to pay him back' I think the comma there should maybe be a full stop.

'the music had grown in volume, there were many people talking and a few girls (who looked suspiciously underage) shrieking so I had to lean very far into Mitch so he could here me.' I think the 'the' should be capitalised and the last 'here' is hear.

I loved the paragraph about ectasy. Seriously, your writing is amazing! You also got the whole drunkeness thing down perfectly. Your descriptions are so beautiful and I love your surreal metaphors like when Tilly's breth hardens into icicles. So good! Also, your characters are so three dimensional and interesting, like completely real people.

Oh yeah, and let me know if the grammar stuff bugs you. I know a lot of people like petty typos being pointed out, but it bugs some people so if it does tell me and I won't do it again (I'm pretty annoying at the best of times in my reviews, even when I'm not being all semi colon-happy).

Sorry once more for taking so long. I'm a really slow reader/reviewer so I'm way behind on just about everything. Will check back when I can, though- I totally love this.
ClickRed chapter 18 . 7/3/2008
I applaud you for your fantastic story. I had a feeling that it'd be typical and cliché and utterly awkward high school years. In any case, I got more than I bargained for; instead of a silly story I found moments that were utterly philosophical and others that had this amazing flow to them. Your characters were original and dynamic (both alone and with each other). Everyone was very well rounded and they all had their little niches and nuances. I don't know what else to tell you. Great writing! I hope to read more of your stuff later on.
Olivine chapter 18 . 5/18/2008
I'm kind of upset, well actually I'm *really* upset, because your story hasn't gotten the kind of attention it deserves. 150 reviews for 18 amazing chapters? That's *alright* but there should be about five times that. More, even.

KnittingKneedle, I'm telling you, this story is one of the best stories I've ever read on FP. Usually, the good romances you find are the high school romances where there's drama and he broke up with her and now she's angry and did that, and then he did this, and they end up together again at the end. You know. That. And to tell you the truth, that's mostly what my C2 is filled with. Because... well, that's the best I can find in the Romance category. But while those stories are extremely well written, they don't make you think a lot. Okay, yes, we all want so and so to end up with so and so. But then there's not much thinking involved there, is there? Heh. But now *your* story. It is unusual, indeed. I could clearly see the three of them, even Tilly in her death, changing through the story (which is mainly what this was about, and I liked that). Owen seemed to develop more of a backbone, and he's no longer a follower, Jake started to care (I got the impression in the beginning that he just did whatever the hell he felt like, and he probably still will, but now he has a heart), and Tilly was able to see the effect her death had on these different people and, just in general, matured. And it makes you think! I kind of wonder what people who do drugs and lead the kind of life Tilly and Jake did would think after reading the story.

And to tell you the truth, literally, I've never in my *life* read a story about two men falling in love. This was my first, and it was kind of an accident, but I actually liked it more than I thought I would. And I like how after Tilly died, she didn't go away. I like how, although she almost really didn't play a part herself in the story, she stayed and was our narrator. And it's like the show Ghost Whisperer (I don't know if you've heard of it), where for the ghost/spirit to move on, everyone else has to, too. And I like how you did that. I don't know, KnittingKneedle, to tell you the truth I'm really blown away. This is the type of story I could see on bookshelves, which brings something else up -are you considering publishing this? Because you really should.

I'm sorry that this was so scattered. The review and my thoughts and stuff. It's just one of those things where there are too many things going on in your head at once, and you can't pick which logical order they should go in, so you try your best to make it make sense and then you somewhat succeed, but will most likely leave the person on the recieving end (you, obviously) thinking at some parts "huh, well, that part was kind of random." So yeah. I have a feeling that will happen. But anyways. You really did an amazing job, here. Thank you for telling me about your story, and I'm sorry that I couldn't add it to my C2. You're right though, it is placed well in Young Adult.

Anyways. Good luck with your future works. I'm going to add you to my alerts.

Olivine.
firestar267 chapter 18 . 5/15/2008
this story gives me bloody shivers! its just perfect.

i wondered how you were going to end it, tillys final death - her moving on i mean, and you did it very well

id love to see how they live in the future, but i think ending it like this is just right

im so pleased for owen and jake! the characters just felt so real and you tied up all the ends really well too

i especially love how it was ended at the downs

one of my favorite stories, seriously. its makde me smile, gasp, laugh, cry...its perfect. everything about it - its written style and storyline

perfect :) thanks so much for writing it
firestar267 chapter 17 . 5/15/2008
Im sorry it took so long for me to review this!

Amazing.

I loved the image of death as owens shadow, and the ending where she realises how shes been acting, and she comes to terms with them moving on was just perfect.
B. J. Winters chapter 6 . 5/14/2008
I had time to give you a quick review on this chapter.

Initial impression is that you could probably combine this with Chapter 5 and keep the “event” the focus – so basically do all the funeral/wake in one swoop - reason being that you repeat some stuff. The photographs for example – you made that same point with the slide show in Chapter 5.

Dad vanished after a few minutes and came back with a red face, and Grandma Honura had introduced him to the priest, {why did he disappear? That word choice just struck me as odd and it was distracting}

Silently walking, almost gliding, through the room, I managed to catch snippets of conversation, some about me, some about irrelevant things like work and cucumber sandwiches and holidays to the Maldives. I don’t know whether or not it bothered me, did I particularly want to be star of my wake? Well, it was my wake, it wasn’t exactly unreasonable. {so did it bother her? Or didn’t it…sounds like it did – so I’m confused – I think it plays better if she’s indignant}

Grandma Moira nodded “If you say so, “she glanced airily over to the door. “ Must dash, I’ve just seen one of my sons, if you’ll excuse me.” {This dialogue doesn’t fit my grandmother image – too light/airy}

I gawked at her “Little accident?” It sounded like I’d gone and wet myself. {very cute!}

“We have guests. Would youthink about how uncomfortable you’re making them?” {typo}

The fight between mom/dad is effective – but Tilly doesn’t offer much commentary/reaction until the end. I’m not sure if I like that or not. It works, but it’s a lost opportunity to show how she feels and build on the judgmental calls. In my opinion the first real emotion we see is the switching “why couldn’t it be me” reaction to her mother’s proposal and that really caught me off guard. Given how ambivalent she’s been it was a real “WOW”

My father and I still weren’t. {fragment?}

I really liked the ending, and the wondering about how life would go on. Again, you started this process in Chapter 5, and repeated it some here. I like it more at the conclusion.
B. J. Winters chapter 5 . 5/14/2008
Flow: I liked that you marked the passage of some time, without beating me over the head with it. Nice transition through the funeral. I am however left with the same impression you likely got in Chapter 2 of my story – the “where exactly is this going and do I need all this information”. You might be able to delete some of this and focus your points better. I’m tempted to start skimming to the next character interaction with Owen.

Overall I found this chapter a bit predictable (again leading to the impression that you could shorten/focus). The “sitting up in the coffin wish” while cleverly worded, was expected. The girl hitting on Jake – again, saw that coming. Pick and chose what you want the reader to get out of this chapter. I’m left with an entertaining read, but I’m not left with any deeper meaning. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to – I got close with the “go after him for me” – and wanting to route for that – but that’s late in the chapter.

Example - This might need an edit:

It wasn’t tremendously packed- I was hardly Princess Diana. I had a lot of relatives, having Irish parents and all but, apart from Jake and Owen, very few friends. Surprisingly, all of my year at school turned up, there weren’t many (though I was friends with even fewer) and a few people from the year below that I chatted amicably to from time to time {you made the point about few friends, you could get this across in half as many words. You do the same thing with the pictures/slideshow at the funeral – tighten it up}

Characters: You were consistent with the character “drifter qualities” and the unflattering final photograph was a nice picture.

Description: Towards the end of the chapter – Jake/the cigarettes/hitting the wall – I think that could be reworded for clarity. It felt choppy and I couldn’t really visualize it.

I did like the unfinished feel the ending brought – it’s fitting to have the funeral be unsettling. I wouldn’t have wanted to walk happily off into the sunset

Language/Slang: “I don’t suppose I could nick a fag off you?” {fag means many things, you might want to chose differently}. You use some swear words for Jake – not sure you really need them.

I think you have a great deal of talent. I’d definitely encourage you to keep writing. I’ll be back again for more.
B. J. Winters chapter 4 . 5/14/2008
Characters: Mom: “a grieving Duracell bunny.” – I can picture this!

My poor dad stopped though. [awkward sentence – I’m almost left thinking “stopped what”, just thought I’d mention that]

Early in this chapter, you mention a lot about what the characters are doing – but it might add value if you share how things might have been. For example, she wants to comfort her father – maybe add an example of how she’s done that in the past, or just add a “like I used to”. I’m not feeling empathy, I’m more getting a catalogue of emotions. You did this with Owen’s house and the doorbell example, and I felt more connection.

Two agonizingly slow and confusing days after I died, Mum decided she had done nothing for quite long enough {but you said she was doing lots of stuff – so confusing conclusion. And rather than ‘after I died’ I would just chose the word “later”}

Again on the character front: Fate almost feels like a character, and I do like that “leaving you”, etc. Nice touch.

Dialogue: Very realistic parental discussions. I think I’ve heard these very same descriptions of my friends. :)

Descriptions: I liked the mirroring, how your lead and Owen “wince” at the same time. It shows good connection. I enjoyed the listening to the voice mail message – it’s more true than we think.

Spelling: {dialing, dialed – you have these with two 'l' a couple of times}
B. J. Winters chapter 3 . 5/14/2008
Descriptions: I enjoyed the opening paragraph – almost narrative style. Good question to engage the reader.

Characters: Let me ask this question – what exactly did you want the reader to feel at this point about the main character? I’m enjoying the read, don’t get me wrong – but I’m not particularly sympathetic. I’m left with the impression of a drifter, lacking in goals who’s made some BAD choices. If you wanted me to feel a bonding with this character, I honestly don’t. I’m more interested in the scenario and how the main character interacts with others/impact, than the actual heroine at this point. Even as she realizes she’s dead she doesn’t wish for things to be different for any particular reason (no hopes, no wishes). Don’t wait too long to win me back over to her side, unless you were making some other sort of statement (which might be revealed soon). If I stay in this ‘well, she deserved it’ frame I’m likely to lose interest. I identify with her – no one should die young - but that might not be enough.

Dialogue: Not too much to comment on in this chapter, but I like the shift to more description and thinking to move the plot forward rather than relying solely on dialogue to paint your pictures.

Note though in this example:

“Dad, what the hell are you doing?” I looked horrified for a minute and then forced a smile. “I haven’t woken up in invasion of the body snatchers or something have I?” {I’d remove the second section – it left me feeling flat, and it’s not necessary – she should say less, not more given the lack of response}

Other: I love irony. The fact that mom was drinking – LOVED it.

Grammar stuff:

I bit my thumb nail nervously and realised that I couldn’t even taste my blue nail polish as I nibbled at it. {I loved this image – but it’s realized – I think it’s misspelled a couple of other times too}

I thought about waiting around and finding an old biddy, no doubt dieing at this minute so I could pall up with her up that great golden staircase just to conform that I was dead. {again, loved the image, but it’s dying}

Flow: You have thoughts characterized in two ways. You might want to pick one – example below is confusing. Either keep all italics, or use quotes…it’s hard to read both depictions so close together and understand they are internal:

Oh God, God, God, capital ‘G’ God. [shown in italics]

If I was dead, I thought in my half catatonic state as I rocked a little in a paranoid manner, (not that I was entirely certain that I was) then surely I wouldn’t just be sitting in a hospital room? Wouldn’t I be in heaven or something?
B. J. Winters chapter 2 . 5/14/2008
Dialogue: Again, very strong both in choice of words and tone. I was able to follow the multiperson flow without lots of extra qualifiers. I particularly enjoyed the discussion with Mitch. It leads well into the next events as effective foreshadowing.

The ending: I loved the depiction of death. Most vivid imagery – particularly the dog chew toy. Very vivid and relatable. Makes me want to read on - because death is not the end...etc... :)

Flow: I’ll admit that I’m enjoying the English spelling, and depiction. Be careful though on over use of slang. This for instance: “You look nice tonight, Tills” said Jake seriously, staring at me with his cool blue eyes as his arm extended around mine. “You know, you’re probably the best looking ginger person I’ve ever met.” – {I don’t know what a ginger person is, or Breezers used a few sentences later. While I can assume on the drinks and the long term parking lot this chapter is very heavy with slang. Just be sure you are using this where it adds value, and help us poor ignorant souls from getting distracted and wanting to run off and use google so we can amaze our friends}

Grammar/Spelling stuff:

There was a large stark white bar area which was lit by bright white panelled lighting, {paneled}

“And you, Jake, what tantalising future lies ahead of you?” {tantalizing}

We drank more, we drank a lot more. {I’d use a semicolon}

You recognise them instantly; people flock around them, hoping to pick up some of that amazing buzz irradiating from them and into the atmosphere though they stand apart from any crowd and it can be the best feeling in the world if they ask you to join their dancing. {recognize. A bit awkward in phasing – maybe too many pronouns?}
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