|Reviews for Like Eiderdown & Disendowers|
| AppleCinnamon chapter 9 . 12/30/2013
I loved the build up of Dan's relationship with Sophie. It felt like a very natural development, and really gave younger Dan a hopeless romantic quality. His thoughts on "The One" also made for a very nice lead-in to the present.
I really appreciate how consistent you are with Tom. When he hasn't been drinking he comes off as just insensitive, but then when he's been drinking he turns into a complete asshole, which leaves me wondering if there might be some underlying plot for him, such as a potential road to redemption alcoholic story.
Given all that's happened, I was a bit surprised at first that Rebecca caved in with Dan, but thinking more on it I think you did a good job building up an "any port in a storm" mentality. I thought it was a bit naive for Dan to think insisting Rebecca stay in a stranger's bedroom was a good idea, but then I wondered if maybe his thought process was to ensure that she didn't take off and get herself into some sort of trouble. Maybe something to hint at his thought-process on this aspect?
Very good pacing and tension throughout the chapter. The confrontation with Tom seemed a bit slower than other tension moments, but I think it really helped to build empathy for Rebecca, and even Dan to a degree.
| alltheeagles chapter 18 . 12/28/2013
Right, so now I see the point of Rebecca’s interaction with Pete in chp 15, so that this (Rebecca applying for a job) could happen here. Only to be soured by Phelan’s presence. The guy is everywhere. What happened between him and Elise that was so bad that he’s making Rebecca’s life so miserable now? You’ve dropped plenty of clues, and I’m all for withholding some info in the interests of suspense, but it might be about time to give something more substantial.
I see my problem now. I’m letting my real life knowledge distort my interpretation of this story. I should just accept that this is a star-crossed lovers story, treat it like Romeo and Juliet, and get over myself. So in the light of this realisation, then No, I don’t find it strange that Rebecca is doing this. She’s decided to go over to the dark side, as I mentioned earlier, and act according to what her heart dictates the way popular culture and Disney cartoons encourage us to. Contrast that with the lesson learnt from roadkill in chp 11 on the consequences of ‘heart over head’, and... I don’t know what we get. Irony?
Your language is the usual delight: particularly loved the bit about people who don’t really know each other, the generic-ness of James, and that line: “That we want each other but can’t.”
| Jalux chapter 11 . 12/28/2013
The description of the squirrel was gruesome, I really liked the detail there. While I liked the roadkill bit and its significance for Rebecca, I think you made it too drawn out, keep the detail but shorten it somewhat. I felt this chapter really helped me better understand Rebecca as a character. Particularly the part where she reflected she shouldn't last out at Phelan because she was insecure and even simple things like her preference of mozzarella cheese. I also wonder how realistic someone calling Rebecca little lady is, I suppose it depends on the person but she's basically bordering on a young adult now and I feel most people wouldn't refer you her as little lady, maybe young lady would be more suitable?
| Shirin Madavey chapter 23 . 12/27/2013
"Now was when she should not say good" Confusing at first. Maybe it's the negative. I don't know. Consider rewording.
"Even though all she could think of were the slippery syllables in" I would take out the slippery syllables part out the sentence.
"The cold blades seeped into her skin" Is she stabbing herself with scissors in the middle of the guidance office? Maybe make a change of setting more clear?
"She wanted to know the difference between being a survivor and being condemned." You talked about being a survivor, but not being condemned. It's an interesting contrast, so it would be cool if you explored it more.
"As he reached for Rebecca...pull her out of the past." This was a great line, one of the most powerful of the piece. There were several really good lines. Overall, your writing is good.
"She could not believe it was hurting...because hair was dead." I think this line really brings the metaphor into focus. She is cutting out the dead parts of her, the past, and even if something is easily shed and forgotten, it can still be painful to lose.
"Because hair was the best bad thing to lose."
In the first part I got really lost in the setting. It took me about a couple pages in the figure out she was in the tub instead of in a guidance office.
Kind of a nitpicky thing. I don't know how I feel about the Sophia paragraph. It kind of read awkwardly and broke up the action in a way I didn't like. The first part was the strongest, the second part started off a little bit slow but picked up towards the end. I don't know, it seemed a little bit narrative heavy, but that's just a first glance.
Overall, it was enjoyable. It felt like an end. Like there were changes in Rebecca, but I'm wondering if Tom saw any of the differences in her, or if he was oblivious as always. Also curious how the abuse stopped, but you probably address this in previous chapters.
| Jalux chapter 10 . 12/23/2013
Opening: I liked it, it was a a good mixture of a dream and memory of her once going to the beach. I also like the fact you don't realize it's a dream until Phlean comes into it and just the general purpose the dream serves is unoriginal but still clever and well-done.
Ending: Poor Sophie, although I feel her death might have made a bigger impact if Sophie was a more interesting character but that might just be me not liking her character haha. I do think the emotion is there though and that makes the ending a solid conclusion although the line "How are you so nice" kinda rubs me the wrong, it could be worded better I feel.
Dialogue: Overall good, there were some patchy lines of dialogue I feel could be re-written and said aloud to double-check. But generally you get different voices from different characters and the emotion is there.
Enjoyment: Definitely enjoyed this chapter, it really nailed Rebecca's current emotional state and Dan as well (I prefer the former because we've been following her for 10 chapters). The writing was enjoyable to read as well, it flowed nicely and paced itself well. So definitely a strong chapter.
| The Littlest Mouse chapter 3 . 12/22/2013
Is the radio symbolism? I can see how it would work. You have to jostle and prod the radio to do what you want it to do. Hit to the right to turn it down, hit to the left to turn it down, twist the nobs twice to go up one channel...Some people are like that. You have to be that nagging, pushy person to get them to do what needs to be done. Since Rebecca is the one abusing the radio can I assume she's that person to someone? The annoying, nagging, pushy person that gets you to do what you have to do?
If not then...oops.
I think more symbolism would give the story more meaning. Right now this story seems to lack...emotion. It's almost as if you're bored with the story. As if you don't want to do this anymore. I suggest taking a brief break from this story and relax.
| Girlinblue24 chapter 11 . 12/22/2013
This chapters start was brilliant. It was a total change from the previous chapter’s end. It had ended sweet with a hug from Rebecca. But, then this chapter starts with two words: Road kill. And, then, the description of such a thing. The brutality in it, I feel anyway, matches Rebecca’s skewed mind set. She has been through so many things, and somehow, I feel that this road kill matches her inner turmoil. It could just be me, but that it what I think, and that it why I think this chapter’s start is so brilliant.
I’m enjoying the fact that their relationship is not at the student to teacher awkwardness anymore. Just having him talk about his family is nice. I almost forgot who he was for a second.
I think Rebecca is scared and emotionally scarred. I think she has the potential to be a normal high schooler but doesn't have that opportunity. She has a lovely bit of niceness and caring for others in her. She is very strong, emotionally. I like her. I have never not liked her. She is doing the best she can. I don't view her as hysterical or anything. I liked that random glimpse of her personality in this chapter.
| alltheeagles chapter 17 . 12/22/2013
In this chapter, I come back once more to the beauty of your expressions. Among the outstanding ones: the breezeless air captured and suspended... / yellow shaded infamy... / clung to her skin as plastic wrap... Another bit I liked was : the former was rational / the latter was impossible. It captures how, well, irrational, Dan is acting, and yet how there could be no other outcome to it.
Plot-wise, I thought at the beginning that it was going to be a one-sided thing ie unrequited love on Dan’s side, but now it seems it’s mutual. That doesn’t make it any easier for me to deal with the age gap, and yes, that’s very likely my prejudice showing, or examples of non-successes from real life getting in the way of suspension of disbelief, but more than the age difference it’s the whole teacher-student thing. I don’t know. Maybe by next chapter I’ll get round to accepting their relationship, but for now, it’s just... not a match I’d root for. And of course this that has nothing to do with your writing ability – it’s a very, very, personal opinion arising from my past experiences (maybe... :P)
-‘a’ missing from ‘squeezed shrug’
-Dare I say it? Phelan HAD corrupted. Ok, let me know when you’ve had enough of my past perfect obsession and I’ll stop, I promise.
| Jalux chapter 7 . 12/21/2013
I really like the internal monologue in this chapter, it really makes the chapter in my opinion. For example the part where Rebecca is thinking they only shared a drink together and he liked her essays is extremely well written and is an excellent display of both Rebecca's character and the desperation of the situation.
I also appreciate the characterization, especially how Rebecca seems torn on whether to go through or not? Phelan's dialogue is also excellent, he seems like a good person but flawed.
| Jalux chapter 6 . 12/21/2013
I enjoyed the dialogue in this chapter, it's been a while since I've read your story but I definitely feel this chapter had better and wellflowing dialogue. Really helps to characterize Lucia and Rebecca more especially I feel. The cliff-hanger was also clever, it didn't feel cheap and is what a good cliff-hanger should do, force the reader to want to read on and also to ponder. Also another thing I did like is the plot is picking up, it felt a little slow in previous chapters.
| nut anonymous chapter 2 . 12/21/2013
I believe I read that chapter of Potpourri, but I never got around to reading the new chapter, and man, I'm glad I did.
I swear to God, your prose is the prose of the divine, where divine is defined as everything from God to the Greek gods. Honestly, I wish there was actually a way to give more specific praise to the prose, but it's just perfect. It reads so smoothly, and man, even this "world building" chapter made me want to read each and every line. You just have this way of saying everything in a new and exciting way, and I love seeing what you come up with. Honestly, I found this chapter among the most flawless (and a LOT of your chapters are flawless).
I love the tone you maintain in this chapter. I have now idea what it is, but it's great. The way you described Tom and his The Market was awesome, and the unconventional use of capitalization really worked here. The way you described the restaurant was awesome, and I love how you incorporated the French that sounds so freaking intimidating for a non-French speaker. I don't think I've ever felt for a character quite the way I felt the relief for Rebecca when Phelan ordered her crepes.
Characterization was top notch here too. You did just the right amount of telling and showing, and even the stuff like how Tom would probably know French just to read the menu and how Phelan is a vegetarian just worked together so well. It's so creepy seeing everyone now knowing what's gonna happen. The foreshadowing with Phelan saying there's nothing for her to fear...creeps.
Hah, I really liked that scene with Dan and Rebecca. It felt really natural, and the set up worked too. I sometimes get to school early, and there is this lulling conversation that happens, and the orange juice was a good starter. I love how awkward yet smooth the conversation went, especially in regard to her parents. Honestly, it was all handed great.
Woo, you're awesome, and this story is awesome, and this chapter is awesome. Nothing I'd change. :)
| Epic Myth chapter 14 . 12/20/2013
Shakespeare works were dialogue driven and those will always be remembered. I... I don't think action is necessary in a story like this. A story of deception and reputation. A story of blackmail and teen sex. For god sake's, the deceit is practically dripping from the words. For me, the story is witty and well written and this chapter was particularly short, flowing quite nicely. Whatever revisions you made before I read this did a great job.
But most importantly, Jen brings up a really good point about Dan covering his ass. God, I didn't see it but the lives of the other faculty members do matter, trading the life of one girl for that, wow. But I digress, the scene where Dan shows Jen Phelan's message with the condom was also well played too.
Which brings me around to Rebecca faced with that sinister... thing and his clean, well-creased blue suit. I noticed more than little details in this chapter and how well it was written. I barely seen "was" being used, if there were any, which is amazing how well in control you are with your verbs and word usage.
But yeah, the dialogue, Bec's friends being threatened and Dan's job. Ugh. It's so sickening but it makes for such good story.
Good... really good stuff.
| 4 REAL SANTA chapter 23 . 12/18/2013
Heyyyy Secret Santa here, from the RG!
I think I'll just approach answering your questions and then gather my review through there, if that's okay. I think I know what was happening in the first scene - Rebecca was either recalling being in a counselor's office, or she was actually there. Either way, the scene ended up fading into her being in her bathroom at home cutting her hair. So I kind of lean towards her reminiscing, like two moments happening next to each other - it felt like a more cinematic move. I overall liked it - especially when I figured out what was going on, because I think you're demonstrating the use of a more advanced technique of juxtaposing two scenes.
Umm, no lines really stuck out to me - so I don't have much to offer there. It all seemed to mesh. I've read some things from this story in the past and I remember that sometimes you would have a little bit oddly worded figurative language, but nothing like that stuck out to me here. Your writing overall was great, which I liked because it helped everything reach a very nice flow. Plot-wise, no complains here. No big questions or points of confusion - I'm liking how this relationship between Dan and Rebecca feels so different from where they were say, ten chapters ago. A lot has developed there and I think you really capture that by the ending. Pacing of this chapter was also good - nothing dragged. Overall I thought this was quite strong, especially in the opening scenes. Well done, and happy holidays!
| Secret Santa D chapter 21 . 12/18/2013
Holy ****. This, I think, was above all my favorite chapter so far *_* I love the writing, the POV switches, and just how much effing sense Phelan finally made. And you know what? I feel bad for the guy, I really do. I’m not saying that he is doing is right because it isn’t, and it never can be, but losing someone you loved?
While I think he was being extreme, I also think it made sense.
STILL let me comment on the backstory. So Phelan was rebellious, had a tattoo and took drugs? :D Awesome! I just love the backstory, like you can believe. I love how you wrote it. I love the hints, and I kind of want it to have its own story. The romance between Brett and Roger just seemed so tender, and kind of like a train wreck (but those are my favorites in slash). I like how you wrote them together, and how those short and subtle sentences still managed to show their desire, fascination and love for each other.
I want more ):
Also: love to how you described New York (the R train :D). Some of the paragraphs made me further go fkfjkfjf because I’ve just recently finished ‘Mysterious Skin’, and some of the themes of ‘broken boys’ kind of reappeared here.
Back to the present: I am curious how things will unfold now, but I’m not really commenting on that now because distracted by the backstory which I really liked a lot. Damn it. You really surprised me with it. So I’ll just say: awesome backstory.
It made sense. You have nothing to worry about. I don’t think you offended the LGBT community with it? Why would you? I’m part of the community myself, and I’m not offended. I mean, I know what it’s like to love somebody to lose them, and I know what it’s like to be bullied too. Several things here struck a chord in me.
And you definitely managed to make Roger more likeable to me. So much that I DEMAND a backstory. Just because so many FEELS omg. (Just kidding, but it touched me this much.)
I loved the third person pov. It definitely blended in well with the present.
I like the past Phelan. Present Phelan is more tragic now because I can see what led him up to this (but … yeah, it doesn’t excuse his actions :/). Still, I wish I’d be able to read more about past!day Roger. And Elise. And Brett. You have wonderful material for a wonderful prequel there.
I don’t hate Elise, I think? I’m sure she had a reason. I’d have to read more to determine.
I have nothing to complain about. This was an AWESOME chapter.
Keep up the great work, and have a Merry Christmas!
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 20 . 12/18/2013
I admit I don't know anything about SATs. We have graduation exams (oral and written) that cover all of the material discussed/taught of a four year 'high school' towards the end of grade 12, but there's no such thing as a SAT (the graduation exams are centralised now, but we shall how that will pan out). It's Kind of interesting to read about SATs, though I really know nothing of them :P Cheating on those exams? Not really possible. The penalty if you cheat on them is that you just don't get to graduate and have to delay signing up for uni by at least a term.
Yeah, I never wanted to be a kid, so I studied hardcore for those exams (and passed - with flying colours).
Sorry for the side info. I enjoyed this chapter. While I admit that beginning got a bit fluffy for my tastes, I liked the soothing quality of it, and the writing was pretty. Very calm and just painting a nice picture. I’m also glad to see that Dan and Rebecca’s relationship is free of any drama or needless angst; it’s interesting to see how they connect with each other, and I guess I enjoy that you’re rather subtle about showcasing their relationship (though not afraid of dropping the occasional hints of them being intimate).
I admit that, sometimes, I’m still torn on whether I actually ‘ship’ them, you know? I can’t like about the fact that Dan’s being a teacher still bothers me, but – on the other hand – Rebecca is close to graduating, and she lampshades that their relationship might not last (at least, I hope she won’t be delaying her *career* for the sake of a man). But I’m not complaining: this story makes me think, and I can enjoy the characterisation, as well as the plot centring Phelan, Rebecca and how she’ll escape that ordeal.
Maybe, in regards to the romance: just be careful that you don’t idealise it, but then maybe this is what makes the story so interesting; it’s clearly labelled as a romance, but it’s also, I think, very much character-focused and maybe a bit coming of age. It’s more Rebecca’s story than Dan’s, I’d say. I just feel that, lately, his voice has been a quieter, and I wonder why. Has he resigned himself to the fact that there’s nothing he can do about his attraction to Rebecca? Is he happy to be finally loved again?
A lot of points I wonder about. I liked the first scene with the forest, of how he’s musing to the past and also how oddly wistful it is. It seems, to me, that he’s in sort of trance and that reality hasn’t caught up to him yet (or that he’s delaying the inevitable fact that he is, in fact, having an affair with his student. Or he’s just enjoying her company for long as he thinks he can?)
Hmm, there were a few tenses issues, but it was a very pretty scene.
The SAT scene: oh Rebecca, what are you doing? I liked her thought processes in this section because you showed how torn she is between saying and building a life for herself (and making her deceased parents proud). I like how you hint at university being, often, something that is idealised (I think I glorified university a lot before I actually turned into a university student; my first year actually burnt me out a lot because uni was nowhere near as glorious or as a site of knowledge as I had expected.) So yeah, you struck a chord with me.
I really liked that metaphor about the dinosaurs and the metaphors. Really clever.
The scene with at the end was maybe bare bones, but I don’t think it was crappy. It got things rolling along?
Haha this is a long review. I love this story because it makes me think, even if I might not necessarily here for the sake of the romance (but we shall see 3).