|Reviews for Like Eiderdown & Disendowers|
| CapriChica chapter 1 . 1/18/2014
Hi! I'm from 'Labyrinth.'
I'm really glad I got a chance to read your story! This first chapter is very promising. You've got a good voice, good charecters, and a great plot idea. I guess this plot has been done before, but I've never seen one start as well as yours.
First of all, I enjoyed getting both POVs, and still leaving the story in third-person. Doing this well and still keeping a consistant tone of voice is something I see writers having problems with all the time, but you have written this extremely well. I'm very impressed - Dan sounds like a teacher and Rebecca sounds like a student and yet they're both very clear to me.
I was never confused while reading your opening chapter, which happens to be unusual for me (I've got dyslexia which makes me kind of mixed up). Thus, you should take this as a very high compliment.
Haha, I was a little freaked out there when he wrote 'your body' and then when he's like 'paragraphs' I went 'phew!' Good one! What an eye-opener.
Hmm, can't see many typos - only, when Dan is talking to Rebecca he says "Sure take a seat," which, if I'm not mistaken, should be "Sure, take a seat." Need a comma there, I think.
Great story opening!
| alltheeagles chapter 22 . 1/18/2014
I suspect some of the confusion you mentioned may be due to people reading a chapter here and there and not in chronological order. It wasn’t a problem for me.
The action/suspense scene was really well done, in spite of all the dialogue (voiced and internal) interspersed with the actual action. I particularly liked the line “She held the gun like it was loaded. He held the scissors like they were sharp.” I’m glad anyway that you didn’t have her kill Phelan. That would have been kind of a cliched ending. Leaving Phelan alive means leaving room for a sequel too, I suppose, if you ever feel like writing one.
Somehow, I get the feeling that Phelan was more of a protagonist than Dan, in spite of what you said in your summary. Dan is a really nice guy the way you’ve portrayed him, but I feel that he’s contributed much less to this story than Phelan. I mean, he could have nursed his hatred for Elise and tried to destroy her children perfectly fine even if Dan wasn’t in the picture (he’d probably succeed way better too), whereas if you turn it around, Dan would probably not have actually ended up with Rebecca (his vague attraction to her would still be daydreams) if she hadn’t had the extra pressure from Phelan. I’ve mentioned this somewhat before, but it becomes all the more pronounced in this chapter.
| boona chapter 9 . 1/17/2014
Salutations returning a review and thankful for the insight.
I really like this chapter with the internal battle "Dan's" going through at the beginning. It felt like you were showcasing that he's only human even if he's a character I like that he feels real. I even like that "Rebecca" was still in flight or fight response even after he tries to reassure her that he would not touch her. The flow and everything work really well, but I do have a question.
when you wrote "His kept his touch gentle" did you mean "He kept his touch gentle"?
That was all now back to reading this great story, ciao.
| boona chapter 8 . 1/16/2014
Salutations and what can I say that I haven't before. I love this story each time I read it, it gets hard to not stop reading and trying not to punch my computer at times.
You done a great job with your visualizations and characterizations making this story and the characters easy to visualize as I read. The characters are easy to emphasize and connect with because of your descriptions and the dialogue flows without having to reread it over again. All of this combined made rereading this chapter enjoyable.
I could go on with the praises till I turn blue, but seriously good job, god wish I was this good.
Ciao and keep up the good work.
| Vivace.Assai chapter 19 . 1/16/2014
I’m now subjecting myself to a more rigid form of reviewing to make sure I can actually construct good reviews (until I can set myself free again):
Opening: Will be commented on further when I answer your questions. That said, excellent first paragraph. There’s just something distinctive about it. You have an idea about what’s happening but there’s still a sense of mystery surrounding the paragraph. The description of her mother’s laugh was a great detail that really made the paragraph more powerful and set the tone for the rest of the section well.
Closing: Will also be commented on further when I answer your questions. The last sentence was very striking though. Hannah has been nicely used in this chapter to represent a time of innocence, a time that is clearly not available for both of them anymore (for different reasons). Even more so, Hannah has been set as a contrast to Rebecca in this chapter, in that Rebecca’s inadequacies as a friend (at least to Rebecca) are made clearer. Hannah has dealt with her own issues, but she’s still managed to always make invitations to hang out or offer comfort to Rebecca. It’s the opposite with Rebecca. But the last sentence expresses this wish (Rebecca’s) that they could return to that time of happiness, when their friendships were simpler and life was simpler too. It also represents this general regret that Rebecca has had throughout the entire story (at least that’s what my memory recalls)—a desire to return to her more innocent days. Sadly, it can’t be and as this chapter has proved, Rebecca has to make do and find some happiness from what she has, even if it isn’t as simple as back in the sixth grade.
Characters: I like your development of the main characters and the side characters. The scenes between Dan and Rebecca were well-written. I can see these two falling into a routine, a slightly twisted routine but the way you write it, it feels almost normal. It’s peculiar how much my perception of the two’s relationship has changed. I remember slightly being evasive to reading this story at the beginning because there was a weird factor to the student-teacher romance thing. But by now, I feel incredibly accepting of it, rarely considering how social norms deem this relationship slightly wrong. You’ve expressed the normalcy well. You’ve expressed how these two both need each other. Sentences like “There was a part of Dan like a docked ship, and Rebecca unanchored him” really characterize this relationship well. It’s clear these two help the other, alleviate their fears. And I think this chapter captured that part of the characters well. As for more minor characters, Hannah shone in this chapter.
Other Thoughts: With the last section, Hannah’s interest in rainbows makes sense, and it’s quite an interesting use of foreshadowing. And I like how you took that interest in rainbows further and described how it “merged with [Hannah] and made her glow.” It’s just a nice rounding out. A small detail but I appreciate it.
Now to answer your questions:
1) There were many high points in this chapter, but I most enjoyed the very first section. I liked the mood evoked from the writing and the repetition that held the part together (with how Rebecca’s mother wouldn’t know about anything that has recently happened because she is dead). There was so much grief, regret, and loss weaved into the words; the emotional impact was great (in that, it was really intense and also wonderful). I also liked how the writing was so simple but eloquent. In general, everything about the first section went together really well to create a lasting impression on me. The first section grabbed my attention and was very memorable for me. The weakest section in this chapter is Hannah’s speech. The scene was definitely powerful and I thought it was great development for Hannah, in that it also revealed more about Rebecca. However, the section just didn’t really stick out for me unlike the rest of the chapter. I’m not too certain why. Maybe it was because I expected more and the section felt slightly anticlimactic. It was well-written but just not as on par when compared to the excellent beginning.
2) The flow was good. I saw no awkward transitions and when you jumped between sections, everything seemed to fit well with the previous section. My favorite transition is probably when you jumped from the sex scene to the last scene. The talk of womanhood and how the assembly was for people who didn’t know their own skin was marvelous.
3) As always, I enjoy your writing. It isn’t too overblown, too laden with metaphors, but there’s something incredibly exquisite and mature about it. Every word feels carefully chosen and every word has quite an impression on the reader. The plot is going well. I’m not too certain where this story is taking me. I assume we’re getting close to some sort of climax and resolution, but I don’t know what to predict (I’m used to reading different genres than this). Pacing is also good. You’ve been taking the development of Rebecca, Dan, and their relationship in a realistic fashion. Things aren’t rushed. They occur naturally and in a way that doesn’t seem forced. Sex? I have no clue. I find that you handled the sex scene rather tastefully. Of course, I think the last time I really read a sex scene was back in eighth grade when I read Wicked under the impression that it was as children-orientated as the musical (grave mistake)? But I think that the scene fit well with your writing style, didn’t read awkward at all, and was handled maturely.
Once again, great chapter!
| Vivace.Assai chapter 18 . 1/16/2014
‘Allo. Long time no see (or rather review)!
Since it’s been so long I’m not entirely certain where I left off, but I believe I haven’t reviewed your newly added chapter 2 yet! So I’m going to put my review of that for my review of chapter 18 (that was once chapter 17).
[Rebecca watched her faint reflection in the window pane. She watched naked tree branches hurl through her other ghost face.] I am in love with this description because it captures so perfectly something I’ve observed whenever I do what Rebecca does.
[man-opausal mafia] Haha. First, I like this. Second, it’s amazing how a few words can give me a good impression of Rebecca’s mother’s personality. There’s definitely something edgy to a person who calls something a “man-opausal mafia”… something incredibly witty too. We don’t know too much about Rebecca’s parents, but I still got an idea of their relationship and attitudes, just from that brief paragraph about their retorts.
So once again, there were some brilliantly written moments in this chapter, and I wish I could have copied them and talked about how much I loved them (like I used to). It seems, however, that since the 4-5 months since I’ve been on here, FP has finally made it impossible to copy from a story (thus preventing plagiarism even better but making reviewing slightly difficult). That said, your writing always manages to captivate me because it is simple and straightforward but there is something incredibly exquisite and poetic about it. And this chapter showed this very well.
Another thing I found interesting about this chapter was how different Rebecca is here compared to later chapters. Here, she is a lot more trusting (her reaction to Phelan shows that much). She allows herself some enjoyment, despite the fact there is some pain behind her. She tries to be clever. There is something incredibly lighter about her. The Rebecca of recent chapters is a lot more mature and wary. Her cynicism (though I’m not sure that’s a good way to put it) is a lot more evident. To be frank, I never noticed her changes induced by recent events, simply because you managed to make her character development so natural and normal. Each chapter, she seemed the same as before when really she had been growing and adapting to recent events. It took me seeing a more innocent version of Rebecca to realize this. So I commend you on your character development.
Sorry this review is a bit short. I’ve definitely lost my reviewing touch. Hopefully my reviewing will get better as I work on the most recently updated chapters (and I’m also hoping to get my reviews in before this story is complete).
Thanks for the great read!
| Erarey13 chapter 3 . 1/15/2014
The first read through gave me more than one spelling error. For the life of me I can't find them again. I'd recommend a simple read through.
Anyways, moving on.
The shifting in perceptions and character traits are all in keeping with your style of writing, the 'reveal' style I mentioned before, but it gets steadily more and more like a law and order commercial. Dark...dark...dark...bright! Your sense of the people the characters are and the world they are in is very well conceived, but the way it is lain out here is more... I'm terrible at reviews... it is more, well cliched. Some of the characters are either bipolar in their descriptions or extremes of each trait hinted at.
It's not that it doesnt read 'real' enough, lord knows crazier and shadier shit goes down on a daily basis, but each encounter seems to be taking advantage of the young and uninformed nature of Rebecca instead of really developing anything beyond that point.
I'm rambling. As I've stated before I'm just reading the story, for all I know I'm just looking too deeply into what is still developing.
Looking forward to reading more.
| Erarey13 chapter 2 . 1/15/2014
The tone here was much more neutral, everything existing more as people among people rather than moving romantic novels. I was confused at the beginning bit with the brother. It went from extolling his greatness towards her to... him being an asshole for no real reason. Though it probably was owed more to the simple fact he is an older brother with plenty of responsibilities and some failures. As an older brother with both factors mentioned, I can relate. Anyways.
Your method of writing is very 'reveal as we go along', like with Mr. Phelan, I totally got the creeper element going on there, until the reveal, where it deescalated quickly. Plus you handled that little tidbit without either confirming or suddenly igniting a ton of stereotypes. Mr. Phelan remained a kindly older man and friend to her brother, instead of the flaming old queen, which is the direction some writers take with gay characters. Overt and otherwise.
Definite, definite improvement in almost every way from the first chapter, and the ending was far more... not satisfying but... complete? As in it left an opening, progression, instead of just kind of a chop off like the previous chapter.
Looking forward to reading more!
| Erarey13 chapter 1 . 1/15/2014
Hmm. First impression? The ending was stunted. There was some buildup, definitely on the part of the teacher, but so far just with this intro, it cuts off. It ends. That's it. There's no kind of rhyme to the ending's abruptness.
The language here is very... sunlight-drenched. What I mean is I get the (At times funny) sense of everything being lit by fresh sunlight from a window. Like a melodrama.
The end note to the reader helped clear some things up, but I have to say if you're telling a story, tell it, who cares what is though of it's intent. Read Naked Lunch and tell me if he gave two shits what the critics would say about it's morality.
At times it read like an old romance paperback, one that was well written, but fell back too much on the 'glamor' trope. Everything is unique, everything is rosy, even the ugly pieces, which are secondary to the 'beauty' of the emotions and situations.
Or maybe that is your intent?
either way I'll have to read on before forming a total opinion I suppose.
Looking forward to more.
| alltheeagles chapter 21 . 1/14/2014
There, I knew Phelan had a good reason to hate Elise. Ok, I’m not saying that what he’s doing is right, but his back story is just sad enough to take the edge off his unreasonable hatred for Rebecca and make him a victim as well,not just a sadistic psycho. Now it should be noted that I was sympathetic towards Phelan right from the start, so of course I’m biased. Hence this opinion is not to be taken too seriously.
As for your concerns over painting the LGBTs as villains, I don’t think that’s such a big problem because you don’t have scores of evil LGBT characters in the story (in fact I think Phelan is the only one, right?) If anything, the attitude of the other people involved (Elise and Brett’s father in particular) is even worse. I never did have a very positive view of Elise anyway, in spite of Rebecca’s love for her. In fact, I think the character I feel for the most right now is Dan. Poor guy!
| Infected Beliefs chapter 1 . 1/13/2014
Judging for all the literature references and the general style overall I would guess that you are a classics lover. I have seen LE&D around (and spoken highly of) for ages but had never wandered my way over to it. I think now is the time.
My first reaction to it is highly influenced by your story description. When I first started reading I couldn't help but think about those cases you read in the local paper: "High school teacher placed on administrative leave. Involved with students. Facing charges." The ones where every one goes "Well she WAS seventeen, she knew what she was doing," and everyone else goes "Yeah, but it's still sick."
I was still thinking that as I got through his (Dan's) section, especially with the part about "I wanted a little more from your body..." By the time I made it to the end though you have assuaged my fears somewhat through Rebecca's interpretation of Dan. I hadn't imagined him as old as he is when LE&D began. I had been picturing him more as you described the Latin professor, only more bookish.
With so little so far I can find very little to critique, and most of what I could say is simply opinion based anyway. Your dialogue was good, but more importantly, the exposition surrounding the dialogue was excellent, and that is where I really felt you shone (shined?).
Good luck! I will see you around the games!
| carlalegre chapter 3 . 1/13/2014
Phelan is getting creepier by the chapter. I still don't know how to feel about his character- obviously he has ulterior motives for what he does but then there's his unkindling generosity that makes me question which side he stands on.
I think this chapter was written well. I didn't notice any errors glaring me in the face and that's always a good thing because it makes for undistracted reading. Your story and your characters seem to have a lot of complexities that I'm looking forward to see fleshed out. I'm also still trying to get a feel for Rebecca's character and how her relationship with Dan with come about, if at all. I'm trying to not be so on board with the feelings Dan is depicting but I can't help but like him. He seems very gentle and caring and as shows that he only wants the best for Rebecca. At least there's one character who's looking out for her in a sense.
I found it rather off that Phelan would even consider taking in Rebecca. It suited his weird personality, which was great. But it was so inappropriate and infuriating watching him try to claim some part of her. I loved it lol
Also, I think you kept the dialogue between Rebecca and Ari very realistic (on the phone).
| Chiscribe chapter 3 . 1/12/2014
I really liked the writing in this chapter like the way you described the dance and the early spring air, simple yet highly emotive wordings that really stood out to me. Rebecca's interactions with her two "favorite" teachers was also well done as I get the feeling she's caught up in the big talking intimidation factor of Phelan while playing the emotional confidant to mr waters. Both guys seem to have a special relationship with Rebecca that is kind of...dare I say creepy in their own rights and I think that juxtaposition shined in this chapter.
| wisedec4u chapter 19 . 1/12/2014
I enjoyed the chapter immensely. I would say the strongest section that set with me the most was when she was looking for money for birth control pills. Not only did I get insight into her thoughts and feelings about the next crucial step she was about to take with Dan, but it also gave me more backstory on her relationship with her mother. I thought you did a good job meshing these to thought patterns together without being confusing. I also enjoyed the sweet moment after she and Dan consummated their relationship. I like the way you described her feelings afterwards. It was done very realistically though I'm not sure how she lost her virginity and didn't bleed a least a tiny bit. I would liked to have read a little more of that intimate moment between them rather than you just fading to black. It seemed like too important a scene to skip over. There's ways of writing love scenes without being over graphic, but still leaving your reader satisfied. I also would've like to get Dan's perspective or at least had him express his feelings to Rebecca regarding their first time together. Did he have any residual guilt behind it or has he totally thrown caution to the wind? Overall, it was a great read. I look forward to reading more chapters.
| wisedec4u chapter 18 . 1/10/2014
It's been awhile since I read this so I reading this as a a stand alone. I liked the convo btw Dan and Jen. Jen has a lively attitude that makes her ever likeable. She also not easily manipulated. She obviously likes Dan but it doesn't blind her to the fact that he may be crossing a line that shouldn't be crossed with his student. I also liked that she nearly got him to confess. The ending was the most heartwrenching. The push pull between Rebecca and Dan was so beautiful done. I sympathize with them. Nothing is ever perfect. I'm surprised that he gave in to feelings so quickly considering the trouble he put forth in getting her transfer from his class. Overall it was a great read.