|Reviews for Like Eiderdown & Disendowers|
| tstul006 chapter 4 . 4h ago
Funny story, I started reading chapter five because I thought I'd already read chapter four. Needless to say, I was super confused. lol, I figured it out though.
I agree with Rebecca, no one wants to be the bad guy. I've had the same thought about Abigail myself. The poor girl was so bored, oppressed, and ignored. The fact that her stories got her attention is the reason she kept them up.
Okay, so now obviously the start of chapter five makes more sense to me.
Rebecca is a great actress. I knew that her and Tom weren't getting along but I never would have guessed that he was abusing her. I feel better about her living with Mr. Phelan now that I know. The poor thing, she'd been through so much.
Again I didn't find any edits. So this is just another review filled with praise. Sorry. You just write so well. Your characters are so real. You're dialogue is well thought out. And the fact that you're using the Crucible in your writing is so nice cause it's my favorite classic.
It reminds me a bit of that movie Easy A, I mean in the fact that it's compared to a book. Easy A used The Scarlet Letter. There is a book series that does the same thing. Though I won't say which because so many people don't like said series while many love it too much. So in that aspect it has joined politics and religion in the discussions you don't have with mixed company.
Anyway, I can't wait to read chapter five.
| Smonorkith chapter 3 . 3/8
So it's been a long time since I've checked this story, and I had to go through the first couple of chapters again to refresh myself. This chapter was pretty much immaculate when it comes to spelling/grammar!
I knew there was something I didn't like about Mr. Phelan. He's so slimy and eugh. You've done a really good job with that character. The plot is moving along nicely and I don't really have any complaints to make about this at all really. It's not the kind of story that I'd usually go for, but then again I'm probably not your target market haha! Even still, I do genuinely enjoy reading this, just for the sheer quality if nothing else.
-from the roadhouse.
| tstul006 chapter 3 . 3/4
I didn't see any edits in this one. Which means it was perfect or I was just too immersed in the story.
Your imagery is amazing. I really feel like I'm watching a movie rather than reading a story.
I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. You analogies are epic.
I felt Rebecca's pain at having her friends force her to go to the dance. I'm an introvert myself, and the idea of dancing in pit of people is rather terrifying. (cring)
So Mr. Phelan is rather creepy I've decided. While a part of me is more trusting of Mr. Waters.
I'm wondering what Rebecca thinks of Mr. Waters. Does she realize that he has this little crush on her that he's trying to deny? She doesn't seem to have time for crushes it seems. She has too much else going on. Her brothers financial problems, dealing with the death of her parents, and on top of all that trying to keep her grades up.
I know one things for sure. I don't want to go back to high school. It seems even worse than I remember.
| Ventracere chapter 2 . 3/2
The way that you portray Tom is curious, but it brings out the problems in Rebecca's life. I'm curious as to whether or not this is going to draw Rebecca to Dan. In a sense, it seems as if Dan is safe. Mr. Phelan comes across as a sketchy character. Mr. Phelan is nice of course, and once you mentioned it's just the way he is, it placates the worry a little bit. In a sense, I'm hoping he will appear later on in a few chapters; after all, Tom does owe him money. The question is, will he turn out to be an minimal antagonist? Tom right now seems to be the biggest mountain that Rebecca has to get across. And while you write Tom as the main "challenge", you do it well enough that it doesn't detract and become the main focus. You successfully still bring it back to Rebecca and show that she isn't completely a mouse, that she does have her own thoughts and isn't completely overpowered by a brother who is so focused on himself. In a sense, Tom reminds me of Percy Weasley - in a good way! Great job!
| tstul006 chapter 2 . 2/28
Hey, me again.
Okay. So a few things I noticed: The first line. When Tom 'keyed the ignition.' I've never heard it said that way before so I'm unsure if I'm just unfamiliar with the term or if it was a typo.
[So Rebecca got to figure out sooner than later...] I was thinking this should have a 'rather' right after sooner.
In the sentence about Mr. Phelan's sexuality you have the word 'liked' and I think it's supposed to say had.
As I said before, grammar is not my thing so if there were any mistakes other that the wording ones I didn't see them.
I loved how you likened The Market or Religion. It was a out of the box analogy that made sense. It wasn't just a normal: 'it was to this like this is to this,' thing. It was an entertaining thought that made me laugh out loud.
I loved the scene at the French Restaurant. Mr. Phelan is a fun character. It's is amazing that Tom lost him so much money and he still took them to a restaurant. Though it makes me wonder if things are really what they seem.
Now Dan is a man I can't quite figure out, but I guess that's the point. It's obvious that he likes Rebecca but I don't think he's particularly out to bed her.
And the last thing that really is just a comment about me. The Crucible is one of my favorite books. :)
| tstul006 chapter 1 . 2/27
I like how developed your characters are. The way Rebecca remember leaving the milk out reminded me of me. I once put milk in the pantry. But, I digress. Well, actually I don't because really the characters and the back story are the best thing going for this story. And characters are really the most important part to a story. Anyone can describe a tree, for instance, and make it believable. But, creating a person takes a lot more effort. It's my favorite part of writing though.
Only thing, at first I thought Rebecca was in college and then as I went on I decided she must still be in high school. So, if you could maybe make a reference in the first part just to make it clear. Whichever it is High School or College. I'm still not sure.
I would love to give you feedback on grammar, but I'm terrible at it. In my (unprofessional) opinion it looked grammatically perfect to me.
I found your story on Roadhouse. (I'd love a return review.)
| macidee chapter 1 . 2/24
Okay, I'm going to be straight with you. The first few paragraphs weren't all that gripping. Then I got a little more into it. Your writing is intelligent and descriptive, without being overly so, and that's always nice. Grammar's good. No issues whatsoever with spelling. Formatting is no issue here.
I'm taking a wild guess at the premise already, but I'm assuming that the professor/teacher and the student are going to fall in love? (That or he's going to murder her because he's secretly a serial killer who murdered his wife.) Okay, just noticed the AN and I figure he probably isn't going to kill her. Probably.
I had a brief pause and had to scroll back up and read again to be doubly sure that Dan, mentioned earlier, was actually the same person as Mr. Waters, mentioned later, but I figure they are. I guess it's obvious enough, if your reader is astute, but if they're tired and it's late in the evening (which is the case right now for me), it can cause them a little bit of a pause. That said, sometimes it's a good thing to expect a little spark of intelligence from your readership!
| carlalegre chapter 7 . 2/22
I didn't know what to expect when Dan entered the room. I mean, of course he wanted to save her… that was a fact from the get-go. I was just hoping it wouldn't be the typical knight in shining armour scenario.
I really enjoyed the POV changes like this simply because it was easier to discern between the two voices now that I've grown accustomed to your characters. However, for future chapters (and lengthier ones), I would suggest marking the POV changes just so that it doesn't become confusing.
What I really liked about this chapter was the sense of realism that both characters held. Even though Rebecca was under such physical and emotional strain, she still managed to think logically in regards to contacting the authorities and getting the public involved. She looked out for her best interest as well as Waters', and I think that was smart to do. Rebecca is a smart girl and you remain true to that. It would have been a shame if you did like many other writers do, and taken this scene and rushed it; if you would have had the characters too caught up in the events rather than the moments. If that makes ANY sense (it's 3:30 AM where I am now-so my brain is a little jumbled).
Anyways, another great chapter. Shorter than your other ones, but I have no complaints. That's why there's a 'Next' button ;3
| K. Avarice chapter 1 . 2/20
I've already read most of this story so that may color my analysis of the first chapter. These types of relationships have always interested me, not just student/teacher per se but anything that delves into tempted authority and gray psychology.
I enjoy the poetic flow of your writing, all the metaphors and descriptions. It's a little more flowery than what I would normally read or write, but it creates an atmosphere and I feel like flowery language can suit this type of setup and evoke nostalgia. I can remember high school with a rosy old-fashioned tint and blot out the cheapness of it when I read things like this, but still feel the potential of a sordid underpinning, and I really like that effect.
Your characters seem real, which is great. For me, Dan is more compelling in the first chapter because you get a sense of him; lonely and likable and self-aware. Rebecca is like people that I took AP with in school and I don't relate to her quite as much. She's lost in a flurry of test scores and college plans and institutional validation. But I was a truant/slacker AP kid, so that might just be my own bias.
To deliver the strongest punch, a first chapter needs a few elements working together in harmony. You pulled of most of it here - you have your two main characters introduced, you get the reader intrigued and establish style. The main thing I could criticize about this intro is that there isn't much action or foreshadowing to create a hook for the reader. You have Dan paying tug-of-war with himself about his interest in Rebecca, and that adds some tension, but their interaction doesn't really accomplish anything. It's just kind of a mundane conversation between a student and teacher regarding an assignment, and the chapter doesn't end with any promise of action to come. That wouldn't be difficult to fix, to make it feel like you're starting off with a bang in the middle of an awkward interaction, instead of trickling slowly into a more relevant point.
As I said, I really do admire your writing style, and when I first found this story I would have guessed you were older than you probably are (after glancing at your anecdotal other story). I know that when I write, I do what I can to hide evidence of myself, especially when I write about older characters, so I'm not sure if that's something you aim for. Something that sticks out to me is that you name-drop a lot of classic literature, starting here in the first chapter and beyond. This is the type of thing that can lose a reader's connection to the story. I'd venture to guess that you as the author probably have a taste for classic literature and that you probably paid close attention in class and had a good GPA and that these are things that are still resonant and recent for you. But it doesn't add 3D to the story itself.
This is an excellent story and you definitely have some skillful, intelligent writing here, much higher-grade than what I'd expect to find on FictionPress. Hopefully I don't sound too nitpicky in my comments, since you said you like deeper concrit that can help you improve as a writer. That's an admirable approach and I applaud you for taking your craft seriously.
| thenutrunningthenuthouse chapter 25 . 2/18
Okay, wow, thank you for the acknowledgement. I'm honored to have helped you, and inspiring you! Truly, you are one of my absolute favorite authors on FictionPress, or anywhere for that matter. I'd buy your book in a heartbeat, and if I end up becoming an English teacher, I'd teach your book in a classroom in a heartbeat. Your book, I've now come to realize, is literature. Like, the definition that goes to the classic novels. (and I'm not just saying this because I loved the book, truly) For that, I applaud you. As much as writing literature is a matter of style (my struggle with prose length may just be an indication that I should write TV and movies...)
Now, about your wonderful, wonderful book.
Besides your writing style, I think the strongest element of your book was definitely your characterization, and then the unique way you twisted the student-teacher romance. I know absolutely that I will never read another student-teacher romance like yours. Like you mentioned, you didn't write the book with a "right" or a "wrong", which I think is a major flaw in so many student teacher romance books, even the ones I really like. This book just seemed to be the most honest about this, and it was...it was real. So often these stories are about these hot girls and smoking 20-somethings having sex and getting caught or not getting caught and ending up together (ugh, I now realize how much I didn't like an ending in a certain book I read...) For so long, I was reading this trying to figure out your slant on the situation, but by the end, I got what you were saying in your note, and I applaud you for it. It worked. It truly worked.
I now realize that I loved Dan and Rebecca. They were people. They had their flaws, their likes, their dislikes, their mistakes, and their triumphs. You had their interactions together cover the necessary amount of awkwardness and time to develop their relationship. Like I said, it's realistic, and it's amazing. Although Rebecca wasn't the most spunky, interesting protagonist I ever read, she was developed extremely well, and I love the fact that she wasn't this student that stood out in terms of personality and looks. She's relatable. Dan is sympathetic, and I love how much we got in his head, and understood him and all his choices. I loved the all the side characters. I loved Phelan. I loved Jen. I don't think there was any character that wasn't either something more than the typical side character and/or did something awesome for the story. Your characters were all so 3D, and it was a treat to read.
Like I mentioned, the plot line was well thought out, and unique. I love how you combine everyone's backstories and how they play off each other. I can still remember the chills from when Phelan tried to use Rebecca as a sex slave, and it's all so crazy to think how this story progressed, and how awesome it all was.
I think what really stands out in this novel was the amount of care you put into it. You truly are an amazing storyteller, and I hope you make it huge one day with this.
Honestly, I don't have any huge revisions you should make. There were a handful of scenes throughout the book that could use some clarity, but it might be just that your prose distracts with its beauty. XD
Alright, you're awesome. Keep writing.
(I also apologize for my spelling errors in my previous review - I was excited)
| thenutrunningthenuthouse chapter 24 . 2/18
Hello! Sorry if I’m late on this – I can never seem to keep track of when people update but, here we go.
I really loved the disjointed feeling of the opening – the focus on the lemonade really helped capture the innocence of it, but also establish this sense of an underlying issue that’s so much bigger than just the girls talking and drinking lemonade. Your story just really comes alive when it comes to the writing, and I love how you pay so much attention to little details, like how Rebecca has to replace “he” with Dan or some other word in order to mask her emotional connection. It’s very clever and very effective.
Wow, that set of little vignettes was powerful—honestly you’re so great at picking out exactly what to say, and what little scenes to highlight in order to get Rebecca’s emotions across. It’s perhaps in your brevity that the true poignancy comes out. I loved the bits about her nightmare, about the sex, and about the robins’ eggs. Poor Rebecca.
Honestly, I don’t have anything but praise. I LOVE the scene with Dan and the angry parents. You have this ability to make even the most common of scenes profound, and I had never thought about parent-teacher meetings in the way you described it. You’re making me want to write a few teacher scenes myself, and let me tell you, there are few books great enough that they make me want to write.
Holy crap, that ending! Whoa! I never thought we’d see Jen in this position, and okay, I’m going to give you an overaching review for chapter 25 (might as well write something for it, right), but this amazing. This truly is. I really enjoyed the ambiguous ending (is that the right word?). Gotta say, I don’t love that Dan and Rebecca were caught, but I like that Jen ended up playing such a significant role in the story, and that we didn’t truly understand it until right now.
Now, to answer your questions:
I enjoyed the introduction to all the new stuff. It’s interesting, because although it’s new, it still feels right for an ending. I love ending my books with little tidbits extra about the worlds/characters woven in, so it feels like the characters are always evolving, and don’t go static by the ending.
I get the cuts for the most part, but I do think I was a *bit* confused. Maybe a bit of revising, if you ever want to? But, like I said, I love the section.
Okay, I’m going to leave this review here, and write more for chapter 25/the acknoledgements.
| sophiesix chapter 24 . 2/17
Ooooo ok my gut reaction is that it’s a perfect ending - spoiler alert – them being found out. I like how you set up the potential Williamstown/Williams college future, the way that let the reader picture a rosy ending if they wanted to. Aah, [sits back with a satisfied sigh] its so good to have an ending! Not that its ended, because it hasn’t really, and anyway I can always go back and reread, but that it’s a complete entity, and not, like haemorrhaging chapters and … get what I mean. It’s a nice feeling.
I thought the Lindens were good. I did get confused about when where that was happening, I guess about what was the present: being in a chapel in Willamstown/Williams college, meeting with the Lindens, or something else. I thought at first that he was meeting with the lindens in the chapel, which seemed an odd place to meet, but there you go, maybe it was calming. Then I figured he was in the chapel thinking about the linden meeting, but then later it seemed more like he was back at school thinking about the chapel.
The first half I got confused with the he’s (phelan has a brother, but dan does too? My third thought was hey, a random guy with a brother X) I’m a spaz), and I forgot that someone had an Arielle doll. It didn’t matter heaps, and it’s probably just me forgetting, but on the off chance it’s not just me, I’d like to have remembered it from something else, just coz its the last chapter. Lindens, though, that’s fine introducing them: that’s part of the realism I think, that you still have to constantly deal with shit like that, randomly, unexpectedly, despite having offered other options, despite having your own issues to deal with. So yeah I liked that. The first time I read the first sentence I thought they were three different locations that she was going to be referring to, but I figured that out pretty quick that they were one and the same. I guess commas would have signalled that more clearly to me, but then her mood comes across slightly differently with commas too.
By the by, I like how the eiderdown came into play but I’m still not sure who got disendowered?
This is going to sound funny, but I like how consistent the characterisation was throughout – I mean yes, the characters have been through hell and that’s changed them in certain ways, but also they are still the same people, deep down, that was kinda satisfying and comforting. We got to know them better, deeper I guess. So overall I adored Dan and Rebecca – she’s such a balanced little munchkin whilst at the same time being so unbalanced: I guess what I mean is her extremes of thought or mood kind of balance each other, and I think that’s both realistic and interesting. I missed seeing that early awkward part of their relationship – yeah I still miss that. In terms of improvements, it’ll be no surprise to you that I’m nominating Phelan for polishing X) The rest of the story is so strong and in contrast he just doesn’t feel properly real to me. He definitely needs to be there to spur Dan into action and so forth, but he needs threshing out, to me.
I’m sitting here so smug satisfied that the last chapter is up at last, lol! Congratulations! It’s wonderful, and I hope you’re ridiculously proud.
Also… Happy Birthday! :D
| addicted to lit chapter 3 . 2/17
Great chapter. There were a few grammatical errors, the wording on certain sentences was a little off, & there were a few run-ons once again but other than that this chapter was really good.
I thought the slight flirtatious banter between Rebecca & Dan was fun. It was also a little unexpected. They went from unsure in the last chapter to very open in this chapter. The transition almost seemed too sudden but then you made up for it in the courtyard scene when Rebecca says that she's very good at looking happy. I know that feeling & it's depressing but more than that it's scary... How good you become at seeming okay when you're a total wreck inside.
I may have judged Tom too quickly by calling him pure evil; he's not, he just has his own issues. Their relationship reminds me of Viserys & Dany in Game of Thrones if you're familiar with the books or show at all. Dany is like Rebecca in the sense that her brother can be awful, but he's the only family that she has so she loves him regardless.
& Mr. Phelan is getting creepier & creepier by the minute but it reminds me of that movie Wonder Boys where Katie Holmes' character is a student living with her teacher. It makes for an interesting premise him propositioning her that way. This chapter was great because it really makes me wonder how this is all going to play out.
Favorite quote is the one that begins with "now eyeshadow slid, the way the student body..." It sums up a school dance PERFECTLY.
| carlalegre chapter 6 . 2/17
Wonderful chapter. I read through your story with so much ease. It flows wonderfully and it's so captivating that I don't realize how far along I am until I hit the end.
Lucia's actions lead me to believe that this has happened before with Phelan. That he has used other young girls as escorts-though I could be wrong. Lucia seemed completely unaffected by the events taking place and even had the will to turn away from a young girl desperately asking for help. I understand her reasons for it, I understand that Lucia was looking out for her children, and that's really the only shred of hope I have for the woman.
I'm surprised that Phelan, or even Lucia, would overlook Rebecca's novel just laying about, especially when everything would be so pristine as the guests arrive. I was literally overjoyed when Dan came across the books and how quick he was able to connect the dots. I can only hope he gets to her in time.
Very well done.
| carlalegre chapter 5 . 2/17
I don't know how to feel about this chapter.
I mean, it's magnificent. The writing is superb and still consistent. It's one of my favourite stories. But what's with Phelan and his daddy issues, per se? Why is he so intent on Rebecca referring to him as such?
I'm very interested in how this entire affair will work out. I'm even more curious to see how Dan will react when-and if-he sees Rebecca being raffled off.
To answer your questions: I think it became a little unclear following Andy and Dan's conversation, when he states that there's a party at Phelan's with a raffle afterword.
I feel like Rebecca may entertain a sense of debt towards Phelan for helping Tom so much in his business affairs, but I truly don't comprehend the extremity of why she feels so strongly about this, while still resenting the idea at the same time. It's kind of like she's stuck between a wall and a hard place.
Good job :) It's getting interesting and I love the fact that it's starting to delve into such dark topics. It adds a lot of depth to the story