|Reviews for Like Eiderdown & Disendowers|
| alltheeagles chapter 13 . 12/3/2013
Phelan is not meant to be a likeable character, I think, but somehow, he makes me smile here. The ‘gift’ to Dan – it says so much and implies so much more, all without a single word.
I’m getting that feeling that I’m missing something again by not having read Cat’s Cradle, so all I have to go by is Sarah’s supposedly far-out interpretation of it, and Rebecca’s group who supposedly didn’t finish reading it. Is it enough for me to know that Cat’s Cradle involves sexual relations of some kind that end badly? Do I need more background information to fully appreciate how this might be related to Rebecca’s situation?
Ok, doubt-fest aside, it’s good that you set up the Phelan/Rebecca confrontation at the end, because it would have been implausible for them not to encounter each other for too long.
I didn’t get the line about the plight of short people. Did Hannah say it, or Rebecca? That's a very minor thing, though. Finally, should that be He HAD GIVEN her the best? (Sorry, my obsession with the past perfect strikes again! :P)
| alltheeagles chapter 12 . 12/3/2013
I liked the first part of this chapter. It was snuggly and fuzzy and a nice respite from all the heavy stuff that’s been going on so far. You mentioned earlier that you found Rebecca harder to write than Dan. Well you did a fine job here, and also on the interaction between the best friends. I don’t know how true to life it is, since I don’t have this kind of background (a teenager’s life where I live is quite, quite different from this story, trust me) , but I assume it could be based on all the sitcoms that I watch and Glee and High School Musical.
I expressed my misgivings about the older guy/underaged girl earlier, but after reading this chapter, I think I am better able to deal with Dan’s position. Who am I to stand in the way of true love? Plus now Dan is going into Private Eye mode, that’s making my romance antenna buzz with excitement. And Phelan the Phantom bobs up again like a floater. Eww...
-The dearth of the past perfect continues (HAD given Hannah / HAD found it in the toy store / ), but I’ve come to accept that as part of your style, so just ignore this
-as a missionary with the bible : seems to be missing an adverb after ‘as’ – as fervently? as zealously?
| sophiesix chapter 15 . 12/2/2013
lol, your A/N made me laugh, so been there. I had one super long chapter that I refused to finish until two characters got over their issues and did something about how they felt for each other, man it was excruciating to write. they knew they liked each so just... bloody... well... UGH! okay but despie know how it feels to write it, reading it was quite different. it was a bit of a shock at first - but I should do this in the right order else i'll get confused.
First 3 paras I had to reread a few time to figure out what was going on. I thought at first Rebecca was still at school and hoping for a lift home with Hannah, and had utterly forgotten who lila was, and someone came who neither Hannah nor lila or bambi. and they had a nice scene, so I assume he will come into play more at some stage, but it did leave me wondering why I was being introduced to him *now* : it felt a bit fillery, and it doesn't have to. Rebecca can do some realising there or something, anything, lol. As always, I found Rebecca and Dan's dialogue to be engaging and flowed beautifully. I was toying with the idea of combining the two scenes into one, but its not really necessary. I got a little confused with 'see you after school' vs 'can I go to lunch now'. ok so then the kiss - it was shocking because I had to reread to see how you'd flagged it. I think it was in the flicker of something crossing her face - but because it was identical to her expression when she ran from Creepy P's house, the gist I got was diametrically opposite to her wanting to get closer to Dan. I thought she was feeling victimised and trapped.
'Rebecca stood up. he stoped mid sentence.' This was a little jarring because to me, he had stopped mid sentence some time ago already. can he go on with a bit more sentence so that it flows better that her standing up interrupts him? I liked the clumsiness of the kiss, but I was confused about whetherit was a peck or something more lingering: 2.5 seconds suggested lingering to me.
and I loved the ending, the role reversal, the waking from the dream of it, the realisation - le sigh. lovely!
| sophiesix chapter 14 . 12/2/2013
Well I didn't think major revising is necessary. Phelan's scene had lots of tension - tell me Rebecca was taping that, by the way? She could get him on so many counts - and the scenes either side were supportive whilst giving a break from the tension. But yeah ok you don't want too many support scenes. I didn't notice it as a huge deal but you could pretty much ditch the third scene, and have Dan reflect on the essence of it later, if you wanted it to be tighter. its the sort of thing he'd think about for a while afterwards, and there's only a few lines that (I think) are going to be supernecessary to the plot - but I could be wrong, lol.
| sophiesix chapter 13 . 12/2/2013
*puts coin in hat*
well I also am intrigued by what Rebecca has to say here, although I feel besmirched for being in agreement with creepy P
The first line: I didn't know who 'they' were, so the comparison didn't really hit home.
I really liked the dialogue about the tie. don't know why, it just felt so real/natural/in character.
"Jen and Dan, my favourite schemers" from the phrase before it seemed like jen said this at first, which was obviously awkward. maybe stick it on a new line?
aw and dan was on fire here. yay dan!
'it had been a long time before any had said that' in my mind, that makes more sense as 'it had been a long time since anyone had said that'?
ok now I need to see what she's going to tell him, I was reading this chapter secretly going email email email email what was in that email?
| Epic Myth chapter 11 . 12/2/2013
Oh my goodness, I didn't know how much I missed reading your story until I came back and read "Roadkill," and then from there, I was sucked into a black hole of flattened dead animals marking the road with tire tracks with their guts. Or something to those words. Anyway, hey, it's been a while, Epic Myth from Roadhouse and I'm back to review/enjoy/bomb dive your story.
As always, your characters are different meals, all made courses. Rebecca and her insight on roadkill was astounding, grim, and very disturbing. The way it was described had me crept out and very fascinated, which was good because I've gone through a series of average, above-average, cliche openings for a chapter the past week. This one so far takes the cake.
Rebecca is a hard nut to crack... seriously. I can't wrap a finger around her because she thinks beyond a level I am used to seeing in a teenage girl, and her issues are very hard to label. She's awesome.
There isn't too much to Dan right now, but after last chapter... I feel for him deeply even if there's a long breadth from reading last chapter and this chapter.
But Jen, man, Jen really took the cake. She is a very stimulating character, witty, hot, and I swelter just from reading her. You make her very, very convincing and I am like... DAN! DAN! Go get her man! Go get that woman! Even though he's totally out of her league...
I can't help but hope.
Which is something I like. Even if fate decides it doesn't happen, I like the fact that I care so much about Dan, Rebecca, all of them because you did such a good job.
Will read/review more.
| sophiesix chapter 12 . 12/2/2013
I like Ari and Hannah, I like their personalities and the fun they have, but I do wonder at the them not being more concerned about Rebecca. Does she disappear for weeks on end with no explanation regularly? It kinda makes me feel they don't really care about her, they are only interested in having fun. It was a good filler chapter though, nice for Rebecca to get some light relief and I'm intrigued about this email.
I liked Dan's dream, I liked how confused it is, it mirrors his thoughts well. yes she's a bit more needy, less independent than the real Rebecca - just the way Dan kinda wants her to be, at the same time as he doesn't want to her to have to be... lol oh lordy.
'don't you find all this so neat?' I missed that one as dialogue the first time, maybe put it on a line of its own?
To have her or help her? I woulda thought that one was easy to answer for him at the moment, but maybe in the middle of the night things get fuddled.
| monarchos chapter 9 . 12/1/2013
More rambling food for thought. These comments went on a little longer than I expected.
Stories like these always seem to have some irrational moments in them. I know readers love them, but I always have trouble with them. In my opinion, the irrationality makes sense if it is grounded in some sort of logic (even if it is bizarre logic.) Some of my questions with this chapter have to do with that. For instance, I have no idea why Tom was so angry at Rebecca. It would make more sense to me if he came in the house with the relationship quiet and strained before he exploded. (“Where’ve you been? Who’s he?” then frustration ... then anger.) If Rebecca made some cutting comments about Phelan, then Tom might get defensive about his ‘hero.’
I like the few paragraphs background for Dan. If you could, take a chance to connect his wife to Rebecca – for instance, if he remembered the smell of lemons with his ex-wife’s hair. The transition to the present day felt a little off to me. I was confused – I expected it to be at Dan’s house for some reason. Perhaps a word or two to anchor it at Rebecca’s as part of the first couple of sentences.
The actions between the fight and the car could use a little more beef with some more descriptions about what they’re feeling (ex. wet grass, brisk air – Dan is trying to keep her ahead of Tom, but not yank too hard). When she “slammed the door”, I thought that was the door to the house only to discover they were already in the car.
I’m having some logic problems – there is no reason for Rebecca to not report Phelan to the police, right? At this point, it seems like a simple solution to their money problems. I can understand her not realizing it immediately, but Dan should be able to help her out. He’s both a witness and rational. I’m not sure why he did not call the police while she was passed out. Plus, he would be able to point out other witnesses who would probably turn on Phelan for immunity. Phelan would probably owe her millions in restitution which would pretty much solve her money problems.
Tom has bugged me since the beginning of the story – this chapter seems to highlight it. I can understand frustration at his lack of success, but he was begging his sister to return home. Then he’s furious when she does. As a character, he should be pretty simple, but I’m having trouble figuring him out.
The scene at Dan’s house work fine with the uncertainty (I have a few similar scenes in my story.) I am confused about the lack of furniture – he lived in the house with his wife for awhile, right? I’m sure there is a story there. I almost wish that it were told from Rebecca’s standpoint, because it could highlight her complete loss of rational thought – which makes sense, but she’s quiet and relatively uncommunicative.
| sophiesix chapter 11 . 12/1/2013
What do I think about Rebecca now? I dunno. She’s Rebecca. She doesn’t have a huge part in this chapter, she seems much the same to me. I mean not sleepy or hysterical or anything, but the same person and no major revelations? She’s a solid character, yeah she’s more guilt-driven than I would be but maybe she’s a better person that I am, lol. I have found myself wondering what she thinks about guys in general. She doesn’t seem to notice tehm much. Does she have any guy friends, for instance?
I did like the roadkill bit and its relevance for Rebecca, but I think it could be even better if was a bit tighter, shorter, punchier.
What really got me in this chapter was Hannah. I like that she lets Rebecca cast off the tension, but, well, she knows her best friends been missing for weeks, and she says, how do you like my new dress? I’d expect a little more concern first.
Oh! And! And! She’s going back to school? I’m with Dan on this one. You’ve just spent two weeks kidnapped and starved and forced to condone sexual slavery by the head of her school, who also is threatening her debt-ridden brother, and she’s just going to go back to school? I take it she must have a plan to confront him already? dun dun dun! Must read on...
| sophiesix chapter 10 . 12/1/2013
“poor rebecca” sounded kinda like something one might say to a dog. Maybe consider something like ‘Oh, Rebecca.’?
Ah, interesting flashback, now in understand a lot better her unwillingness to get the police involved. Took me a while to realise she was telling rather than just us, had to reread over that, coz yeah they would be details I couldn’t see coming of her mouth to her English teacher lol!
Hmm, and I like Dan’s backstory too but I’m wondering if it would be nicer to either have something between them so they aren’t back to back, or just reveal this to the reader and not Rebecca? It would make each a little more powerful if the reader could savour them individually rather than be whisked on to the next punch and the necessary reactions to them?
, I see why Dan is attracted to her. She’s refreshing and strong as well as troubled - he feels a protectiveness towards her. And you know, lemon shampoo – can’t argue with that.
I remembered Jen, lol, she stands out!
3.A little, but I’ve already ranted on that above so I won’t go on ;)
| sophiesix chapter 9 . 12/1/2013
Aw, love the interlude with his wife. Good placement too, while our heroine is busy being fainted ;) love ‘a bruising lovesickness’. Heh heh love too the reading up on ants, the enlightening cat guts x) Gosh it says something about Dan, doesn’t it, that he leaves his feelings unrequited trhough a whole uni degree and into his first job!
‘when the shoes of the host were vacated’ meaning when the host isn’t there at all, or meaning when the host gets home and takes off their shoes? And what’s a ‘dog and pony show’? I have visions of beribboned dogs chasing shiny ponies around a muddy showground as the ponies piroot and people run around flailing.
‘she stopped, paralysed. Her eyes locked to the front of the room.’ I don’t think you need paralysed here, I think its strong enough without.
‘Stop it! He’s my – ’ lol love that. English teacher! I auromatically fill in for her, and the incongruity of it is hilarious .
‘Her palm red raw, for the most part without skin’ 0.o Did she land in a dish of acid? I thought she’s grazed it not scalped her hand? Hm, then she rests her hands on her lap palms down – now that’s pretty painful without skin. Confusing.
‘Dan cast a worried glance…’ I think you can ditch ‘worried’, that’s understood.
Hmm, I think I’d prefer to go to my friend’s house than with this guy I’m in two minds about that frequents Creepy P parties. Might be tricky explaining my presence to her parents though, but I still think I’d try that before going home with a teacher at 2 in the morning. Maybe she could ask to go there but then realise its that weekend when her friend’s going on that camping/shopping/ archaeological trip she’s been raving about for months, or something , some stronger reason why Dan’s is the only option tonight.
Haha love Patrick and Tybalt.
I’m wondering why she let him do the ointment thing. Particularly the circles. Nothing wrong with her fingers, right? Or could he squeeze the initial bit on but she do the circles. It felt kinda weird. Heh heh he ran antibiotic ointment trhough his hair. I have a vision of his hair being all sticky now ;)
Ooh dilemmas – bed or couch. Now the bedroom has the advantage of a door between him and her – maybe even the potential of being able to lock it. I'd like that if I was her. On the other hand, the couch has free access to the front door for ease of get away if anything untoward happens. Initially I thought I’d choose the couch, but on second thoughts, I reckon I’d sleep easier with a locked door between us. the outside world is not necessarily safer, after all
| NeoMiniTails chapter 1 . 11/30/2013
Despite the fact that I am reading this as part of the review game, I wish I would have found it another way because this is pretty darn amazing. You drew me in with the first lines and kept me in with the middle all the way to teh ending.
When you mentioned that she was always in his field of vision, always in a spot where he could glance at her if he looked down, the way that his mind focused on her, the hair behind her ear... and even later, when he was grading her paper, how he did everything so much with the thought of her.
It almost seemed as if he had chosen to give her an A- because he knew that he she would possibly come to see how she could improve the essay. The sad thing is, he may not have anything bad planned or thought about doing anything wrong to her but because of his tendency to think so much about her... _ He may end up acting on his lonely, depressed emotions especially since his wife died and he's alone now.
Your characterization of the teacher and the student were very well-done, and the writing of how they view each other, the differences-the way the girl sees him as just an excellent teacher, a teacher she likes because of his skills unlike the spanish teacher who looked great but taught horribly or the PE instructor.
I found myself drawn to both of them and despite my distaste for an older man checking out a younger girl, I like this older man. I feel bad for him, and I hope that he doesn't succumb to his temptations... but a good story ihas to have its evils.
I'll try to review everything in your story as I get a chance, but the first 5-10 will be for the review tag,
Until Next Time,
| alltheeagles chapter 11 . 11/30/2013
The beginning of the chapter is nice – highlighting the dangers of letting one’s heart rule one’s head (probably ‘nice’ isn’t the word most people would use here, but I happen to like the sardonic observation). The sentence “white bones and pink innards that once so precariously held them together”: would a passive construction be better? ie white bones and pink innards once held together so precariously.
What do I think of Rebecca? GUILT the way I’ve written it: in capital letters. I get the idea that she thinks everything is her fault: her parents died because they couldn’t get a divorce on account of the kids (includes her), her brother takes his frustrations out on her because she’s nasty and rude to him, she almost turned hooker because she owed Phelan. Is that what you’re trying to go for? (I’m one to talk, since all three of my characters in JAT are top-grade guilt champions). Apart from that, she’s quite a typical mood-swinging teenager. Her covering up behaviour is also not that unusual – few teenagers, or adults for that matter, are really as happy as they look.
| alltheeagles chapter 10 . 11/30/2013
It isn’t very clear at first whether this is a dream or a reminiscence, going by the opening line, but that sorts itself out when Phelan appears. I thought the metaphor-ish description of the water as being bitter with guilt and dirty secrets a little out of place, since the dream is fairly concrete.
It’s a little ironic that she thinks about Dan’s compassion together with luxuries that come without strings, since she doesn’t know yet whether there are any strings attached to Dan’s concern. She’d probably take it differently if she knew the thoughts that Dan’s been having.
Why did you say that Rebecca did not TALK about how her mother seized scissors etc... when that was exactly what she did? Is Rebecca recalling all this, or is she describing it to Dan? I don’t particularly think it’s strange for Dan to tell Rebecca about Sophie. She did tell him about her parents, so it was a fair exchange. I rather think he’s not practicing what he preaches in the whole ‘don’t let other people’s advice ruin your life’ because he’s still giving Rebecca advice which he hopes she’ll take.
And finally, some nitpicky stuff:
-‘I’m Jewish’ doesn’t really go with ‘And a terrible one at that’, because we won’t say ‘I’m a terrible Jewish’. Perhaps ‘I’m Jewish / and not very good at it’ ?
-A glass of cold milk WAS ALREADY WAITING for her
-Like IN long distance running, she...
-now he WAS PAYING for his mistakes
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 12 . 11/30/2013
I'm getting a bit tired, so I might have to wrap up the reviews soon, but we'll see :) This chapter ... I liked a lot. The writing was honestly beautiful, if a little 'purple' (but not in the *worst* definition of it, just the best one - it's just vibrant, colourful and alive. And pretty). I don't always like prose like yours, since my other standard favourite fare can be horror or very sad, even bleak writing, but I like what you're doing here. I felt that the writing, at the beginning, felt *magical*, just like a dream, and the description of Hannah's room was like-wise. Just very gentle touches, like the strokes of a paintbrush against a canvas (...haha you're inspiring me to back to using my very much rusty old writing style).
I said that Rebecca is aloof in the earlier chapter. I might take that a bit back. I liked her here in this chapter, because when she's interacting with those girls, she seems more normal, more friendly? Haha, to answer your question, I love Hannah :D She's fun and friendly, and playful. She reminds me of some people in real life whom I like a lot :) She's artistic too, which I always admire.
Arielle annoyed me a bit, but not in a horrible fashion. She just reminds me, again, of people I know. So I'd say that you're doing a good job with them.
Before I forget: I loved the whole rum-drinking and truth/dare game. It was so …innocent and funny and sweet. It reminds me a bit of my own high school days (or maybe what I wanted to have, but never quite did.)
NOW: the dream - -that was lovely writing there. I thought it was wistful and spooky both, sad and romantic. It was a lot of things. It seems like Dan is idealising both Sophie and Rebecca. He seems Sophie as this warm, unattainable creature while Rebecca is all in white, innocent and helpless. Someone he wants to have but shouldn't desire...
Interesting. You know, I can slowly really get behind this 'romance' because it's so character-driven and tastefully done. Most authors would have the two in bed by now. I’m glad you aren’t, but are focusing on making this relationship as well-explored as possible.
I also just like how normal Rebecca and Dan are. Rebecca might be bitter, but she's still just a teenage girl, and Dan is a sweet lonely man who isn't some horn dog or out there to protest against love. I find that lovely and really enjoyable (there's a story by a close friend I read, also on this site, years ago that featured ... a not so different premise, but in her piece the girl was bitter and sexually dominant, while the teacher she pursued socially even more awkward than Dan. I liked the story, but I never cared about the characters as much as I do about yours. I also thought her approach was slightly unrealistic. In others, you’re doing very well :).)