|Reviews for Passive-Aggressive|
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 8/27/2014
Enjoyment: You've already received a lot of comments for this, and I don't know if mine in particular will mean anything, but I want to tell you that I genuinely enjoy your stories – this one in particular a lot. I think it's a combination of your writing style, your understated approach at emotions and your believable first person narrative. I just think that you manage to write those things so seamlessly well and enjoyably that I find myself drawn to your stories, because they make me a) think and b) reflect on certain issues. In this case, I really felt drawn to the realism of this fic: the unhappiness of being trapped in an unhappy relationship and b) the inability to escape, because you're just too tired and dependent to let go. I think you did a great job showcasing how hopeless such relationships are, and why they're so destructive: you don't value yourself, and the person who doesn't value you keeps hurting you, because they know you'll take them back. I must be a dark person, but I just felt that you did a great job writing about this, and I enjoyed reading about it – even if it didn't well, because it reminded me of people I knew or things I have experienced myself. There's just something very relatable about this story: the narrator seems more like a friend than a fictional character, and I've just always been drawn to stories like this. I enjoy reading about things that could have happened to me, and that – while they don't take me into a fantasy world – make it easier to understand the experience of living. It's nice to know that you're not alone.
Plot: I really like how you manage to write believable slice of life that deals with 'well-worn' topics, but still seems fresh because of your honesty and the way your emotions seem utterly tangible. I like how this fic, like your others, doesn't necessarily have a conclusion, but follows a moment in a young woman's life, and her one attempt at flight – or is it? I kind of feel that her relationship with Nick is like this all the time: they fight, she tries to escape, and he comes back to apologise – only to for them to start that horrid cycle again. What I am trying to say is that, while the plot is fairly straightforward, things are still fairly open to interpretation: it's anyone guess how this relationship will continue, and which direction her life will take. This makes the plot less fluffy, but more gritty and life-like: it's really a story that could happen to anyone. Anyhow, I like the themes of this story – not only the relationship issues, but how exotic and 'different' Angela is made to feel just because she happens to have a certain hair colour. It's saddening that people make assumptions about her just because of that, and I like how you touch upon issues of feminism as well, showcasing that women are – in the end – still powerless. I like that you don't make the fic seem too heavy though, even if it never loses its seriousness: I think that in first person prose there's a danger of moralising if you're not careful. So I'm glad you avoided that :) I also like how you touch upon college life, even if ever so briefly. I could especially relate to the issues of moving/unpacking and things like far too high rent XD.
Relationship: I'm honestly not too sure what Anne sees in Nick, but then she isn't too sure what she sees in him either, so we are even XD. I like how she's never too deluded about what kind of a jerk he is, and how he treats her horribly – it makes it clear that, one day, she might be strong enough to break off all ties with him. I feel like these two are attached to each other, because of some amazing sex, and because they have fun together, but it's also kind of evident that Nick seems to take her for granted and hurts her because he seems to think that's fine. It's, er nice, to see that he wouldn't hurt her physically, but then any guy who hits you is the worst of all. So yeah, I don't have much good to say about the relationship, but I feel that's the point. I liked that you gave us a bit of an insight into Anne's relationship with her friend Leslie: you could see how much Leslie cared, even if she was being blunt about it.
Character: Anne is clearly an intelligent and capable young woman, and I like how she never loses that aspect of herself even when she gives into Nick again. I like that and note it because I hate fics that do victim-blaming. I think it's really evident that Nick does have some charms – he knows when to be nice to her when she's about to back off, and I think that kind of emotional manipulation is hard to escape, no matter how accomplished or smart you are. So yes, I do think that you depict Nick as charming, though he never becomes too charming – he's still a dick and I felt an honest desire to slap him. Anne herself I liked because she's very aware of how wrong the world is, and you get a huge sense of self-hatred on her part on how she is always giving into Nick. It's heartbreaking to see her find the strength to escape him at one moment, but then to lose it because she is attached to Nick (even if she denying it). I do think she is very self-aware anyhow, and that one day she will break it off. She already knows how wrong it is.
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 4/25/2013
Similar to your other writing, this story has a really good narrative voice and I like that conversational tone, because it really carries the flow of the narrative and keeps me interested in what your characters might narrate next. I also liked the tension between Angela and Leslie and how that kind of mirrors the tensions between Nick and Angela towards the end. You did a good job characterizing Nick for such a short piece, and I also liked the honesty in the narrative because I think it gives an accurate portrayal of not only college life, but also different scenes within that.
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 3/5/2013
["I honestly cannot figure out why you waste your time with him." I smile. ]
I think putting the dialogue in this line by itself and making the "I smile..." and the exposition behind it another paragraph will help differentiate who's saying this. For a second I thought it was the narrator saying it because her action comes immediately after.
[("Your hair is extra nappy today," he greeted me once)]
LOL okay that's fucking hilarious. I'm so glad you popped that in there. xD That just made Nick's character for me.
["What are you wearing?" I frown and examine myself. Shorts, t-shirt, and my impulse buy suspenders.]
Same as what I pointed out before, might want to make the action after the dialogue its own paragraph.
Scene: lmao, the part where the Nick walks up to her for the first time and just shoves his fingers into her hair is hilarious. I'm just picturing some dude I don't even know trying to do it to me, and how I would've acted pretty much the same way she did... before I punched him in the face. And it's funny, because I don't even know who Nick is yet and I already know he's an ass (according to the narrator, so that opinion might be skewed), but I already like him just because he has the nerve to do this to a complete stranger. Shows he's either really fucking stupid, or really cocky.
Character: The following paragraph after Nick shoves his hands in her hair where you go into detail about the narrator's background and ethnicity is great. I especially enjoy the detail about how she's seen as some type of automatic hipster just because she's black, and I got a kick out of how she says she claims not to know who Cornell West is just to piss the hipsters off. I think this shows a lot about her personality, how she doesn't let her skin color choose how she acts. And I respect her a lot in that regard, because I'm the same way. Oh, and I tend to love to piss off hipsters.
Dialogue: You always do such a great job with your dialogue. Each character has their own unique voice, and I can totally hear their emotion when they speak without you needing to provide too many speaker and/or action tags, which is wonderful. You utilize your body language very well as well. And I especially enjoy your use of indirect dialogue, mostly in the second scene near the end when the narrator is hanging out at Nick's house for the first time and she's telling him about how she wants to be a chemistry major. Your summarizing of their conversation is done very well and smoothly, and it's easy to follow.
Enjoyment: I really liked this! I enjoy reading stories about ordinary days of life for people in unique positions, like the narrator and Nick's strange relationship. I also enjoy how you bring the whole "feminism" concept into this, and how the narrator wishes she could be more like Leslie but isn't. Leslie's appearance in the beginning seems to filter throughout the story, and I can see a central theme of feminism, definitely, so I think this ended up being a bit more literary than you originally intended. :D Which is a good thing, in my opinion. It gives it a special weight and makes it feel not only entertaining, but nutritious. It's definitely helped me see things in another light from someone who isn't as independent as they want to be, and it helps me understand their position and not judge them for being this way.
Sorry I don't really have any con-crit. I hope you still found this helpful. :)
| Adrenalin chapter 1 . 2/9/2013
I love your writing style, so neat and expressive. But my favorite part is, without a doubt, the character of Angela. She's perfect and really well described so that you can understand why she acts the way she does, even if you don't approve. Nick is a jerk too, but a believable one, the sort you can meet everywhere. I can't believe he tried to have Angela help him with his job...
Anyway, good job.
| Leech Lester chapter 1 . 2/4/2013
Well, this is only the second work that I have read by you, but I'm going to guess that your prefered genre is slice-of-life fiction. I really like your characterization. The natures of your characters are believable, relatable, and consistent, and that is great! "Passive-aggressive" certainly fits Angela's description.
I also like your humor. Sure, it wasn't die-hard funny, but it wasn't overdone and I understood it. Humor can be a hard thing to incorporate, and although some may think of it as "harsh", "tasteless" or "innapropriate", I thought you did well. It was realistic and character appropriate.
| Whirlymerle chapter 1 . 1/18/2013
Hi there! So the review you gave me for the Review Game doesn't count by RG standards (the like/dislike plus why format), but I'm counting your review as one outside the RG, so I'm here to return it.
[My pea plant rests on my lap, the ceramic pot is cold.]
I'm not sure if the comma splices are intentional for style's sake—and I do like this particular comma splice for style. If not though, I just want to point out that for this to be grammatically correct, the comma should be a semi-colon, period or you should have a coordinating conjunction after the comma.
[the three-fifths of a person joke] A joke about anyone being less than a whole person, especially with the origin tying back to slavery, is extremely distasteful, I think. I'm surprised that Angela can call it witty. It's a good show of her character, though.
I think you do a great job of making the reader feel strongly about what's going on. Mostly, I'm frustrated by your characters, but in a good way, because they are realistic and believable.
| Yuuenchi chapter 1 . 1/18/2013
Hello, I found your story through the Review Game, but I'm reviewing because I felt your story drew out a response. Please keep in mind that my review is a response to the tone of near hopelessness in the story, as much an analysis of what I found there. With that said, here are my thoughts.
Overall, I was disturbed (though maybe saddened is a better description) because I sense a lack of hope in the telling. The immediate feel of the story (knowing nothing of the author) is that it's less a piece of fiction, than a memoir. "[W]hat it's about" as the author wants to know, looks to be a slice of the frustration and aimlessness of life that sometimes affects young adults as they leave for college for a more independent life than they posses ed in High School or at home.
Angela doesn't consider Nick to be boyfriend material, but at the same time she is unable to simply drop whatever relationship she does have with him. It has the feel of a toxic, co-dependent relationship, as if she's afraid to find something better, as if inside -deep inside- she feels she deserves' Nick, and this is why she's unable to pull away when he is actually in her presence, even when she takes a petty revenge. Taking the keys and letting it be known where she is, she wants him to find her. Nick is not very accommodating in this relationship, he is self-centered, and demanding, and apparently used to getting his own way. His words and actions say that his only commitment is to himself, and Angela may know that inside as well, which is why she won't formalize the relationship.
Angela appears angry at herself for not standing up to Nick, but, from her actions it also appears she really doesn't want to, or doesn't believe that standing up will make any difference, which, to judge from the final scene is an accurate conclusion on her part. I would also deduce from the way she hangs on to Nick -or the idea of Nick in her mind, even when she rages against him- that her relationships in high school were either nonexistent, or wholly dominated by the men, by men who sought not a relationship of equals, but a way to pass the time.
It could be that she hangs on to Nick, because for her he represents the force keeping her separation anxiety at bay. I would deduce from the way the story plays out that she doesn't have anyone she can really confide in, that she lacks a strong support structure, that even if she had a church (or synagogue) family back home, she was unable or unwilling to find one around Ellery to counteract the peer-pressure.
Finally, as the story ends, Nick gets what he wants, and Angela, it appears, will be left feeling dirty for giving in. From the actions that take place in the final scene, I feel that nothing is going to change between them, that in the future, Nick will continue to beat down upon Angela, playing upon her emotions and (physical) needs -even if he doesn't physically assault her- , and Angela will take it, because she knows of no other way to exist. Naturally, things will only change if and when Angela is able to harden her shell, and steel herself to deal with the anxiety of separation, if she could actually accept the advice of Morgan, or if she had someone to turn to, but, though my heart goes out to Angela, I don't know if she has the inner strength to do what is right and necessary for her sanity and her future.
| Who Is This Girl Anyway chapter 1 . 1/18/2013
I think Leslie works as an interesting foil for your main character. Admittedly I preferred Leslie to Angela because she's more self-aware, more sensible and less self-destructive. I think it might be interesting to delve further into Angela's character as, at first, she isn't really as engaging as she could be and doesn't seem to have much sense of hindsight.
I'd like a little more insight into Nick, if possible, as I can imagine he might be an interesting character if explored. I'd also like Angela to gain a little more depth as I'm not totally sure I believe her getting involved with Nick. She seems a bit too confident for that.
| Kay Iscah chapter 1 . 1/18/2013
The present tense bugged me at first, but it separates the two time periods so it does serve a purpose.
Several places where you dropped a comma from a compound sentence. For instance [I roll my eyes and she leaves.] needs a comma after eyes.
Beyond that...it's hard for me to express how much I dislike characters like this. "I do dumb stuff, and I don't know why." It comes down to you (the narrator) like the attention and sex as much as he does, and you don't value yourself enough to demand respect as well.
It's a complete lack of self-examination. She's petty and foul mouthed, a willing accomplice to her own poor treatment. This sentence "I didn't even protest because I knew it wouldn't work." Honestly made me want to smack her. It's complete denial that she made a choice.
This is a snap-shot, but it's not really a story. There's no rising action, no resolution. It's just a situation and doesn't really shed any fresh light on the people in such situations. Okay, you wanted to explore the mundane...but why? to what purpose? Why as a reader would I want to experience getting used by (or using) a guy who treats me like this?
I'm not a fan of first person narration, but it seems to work best when the narrator is observant, self-aware, or extremely witty...and not really getting any of that here.
| Pione chapter 1 . 12/25/2009
You are made of awesome! I love your writing!
| exclamatorypoint chapter 1 . 12/18/2009
This is the second one-shot of yours that I've read and I can already tell you're fucking amazing
| madder red chapter 1 . 5/26/2009
I love your writing, possibly because of the mood? It's very bleak and city like, grey, sort of amusing in a cynical way ;]
| Pirate Bones chapter 1 . 5/12/2009
I've been reviewing on your stories, thinking that you just wrote everything this year or last year, but it turned out that you started about six flipping years ago... And your latest story was written last year. I feel like I was left out on some thing important. I'm extremely sad that you haven't been writing.
Anyways, I think you have matured in writing. :) I know that you probably hear a lot of that already... I read you previous stories over and over, and I just read this one now, and you seem to be good at describing things now. And you place even more emotions too, but you still keep things real. It isn't cliche, and it's a new story. I hope to write like you someday.
| Mascara is evil chapter 1 . 2/28/2009
wow. I don't think I'll ever allow a single white guy to ever fuck me if that's how it is. I love the line about Jay and how that's the only dreadlocked white guy she can't hate, I found that funny and endearing. This was a good one-shot. I hope you don't look back and hate it. I like that Angie doesn't do a bullshit 180 and all of a sudden grow a back-bone; I like that she takes his shit thorogh out the piece. It's realistic if she's taken it for that long. "I could go back to Atlanta. Stay away from white guys. Transfer to Spelman and learn to be a strong black woman or something." One of the best lines I've ever read, ever. Seriously that was hilarious, but it also had an undeercurrent of truth. That could be because of my own life stuff but whatever this is a good story don't hate it please.
| norma chapter 1 . 11/29/2008
i miss your writing! and then your last two pieces have been about grls who get screwed over by men which just leaves me feeling sad and disapointed. wont' you start writing again?