|Reviews for Not as Normal as it Seems|
| Ai and Saya chapter 3 . 10/5/2012
You're Kayla, just admit it. Bye! :)
| Victoria Best chapter 2 . 5/26/2012
Wow, I really like this! You clearly have quite an intricate and intriguing plot developing here with some fascinating characters and I cannot wait to read more. The beginning acts as a great hook to grab readers and encourage them to continue reading and finding out more. I already have so many questions, for example the reason why her mother left her. Little sentences such as "While she was living with me" added a lot of mystery to the story and posed several questions regarding her home life and her relationship with her family. I wonder if she is in fact quite a damaged person from being deserted by her mother and having a strained relationship with her father. It adds a lot of depth to the story and I cannot wait to read on to find out more.
I like the light humour in this and reading this has really cheered me up and brightened up my day. Some parts really made me smile, for example "No, I don't go around killing others with my demon-y powers." Hee, hee :') I also liked the sentence "That sounded too cheesy for my taste, but it'll do." This is such a cute story! These elements of humour make the story enjoyable to read as well as make the characters seem much more interesting and believable and people readers can empathise with. Also, humour doesn't take up the majority of the story, for it has much more serious themes in as well, for example neglect, considering Ray has been left by her mother for an unknown reason. It's great how you blend together these two themes :")
You have created a great character that readers can really empathise with, and I was cheering for her all throughout her conversation with the guy in the apartment across from her. It's great to read about a character who isn't a 'Ditzy Princess' type, which so many writers on here are fond of, and she is actually a confident, strong-minded character who can stand her own ground and will stick to her morals and beliefs, has a lot of respect for herself, and won't accept people insulting or humiliating her. You have made her a character readers can really admire. In addition, the dialogue added a lot of insight and depth into the characters and their thoughts, for example "I-it was good, pretty normal" shows she clearly really likes him and doesn't want to embarrass herself in front of him. The dialogue felt believable and I could actually imagine the characters speaking, and it also offered insight into their relationships with each other, for example the three are clearly close friends, and it is hinted that Jake might like Ray back from the fact that he asks her to watch that DVD with him. Aww, they are so sweet! I hope they get together, and it is adorable how they have been friends for so long but nothing more. I shall have to keep reading to see if they get together :') The writing of this is quite impressive also. I like the way she narrates like how a typical teenager speaks, for example "They kind of suck though." It gives her a sense of voice and adds a dimension of realism to her character. This allows us to relate to her and understand her thoughts and therefore understand her actions. The narration is good because it shows that in all honestly, although she has been blessed with these powers, she is still ultimately a normal teenager. She is a great character, and probably my favourite character so far :')
I especially enjoyed the part where she describers the myth of "Zashiki-Warashi." That was so cool! I did not know about that before! It's true what they say - you do learn something new every day :') It was so intriguing and was a great little bit of information to embed into the story to make it much more memorable and interesting. It really enhanced the story and also added a little insight into the sort of person Ray is, because I think she could have a dark side. Those creatures do not seem that wonderful, because they can curse a home with misfortune, so I wonder whether powers will go to Ray's head and make her blinded by revenge or bloodlust, making her become equally callous and murderous. I am interested in seeing where this goes. Also, I enjoyed the part where she says "I like being normal. In fact, I feel like a normal human most of the time." I think it really posed some interesting philosophical questions about the fallible, prejudiced nature of our society, and how she just label things as "Normal" and "Abnormal" and alienate anyone that doesn't fit into our definition of normal. It's great that you have these philosophical ideas running through your piece and make us question whether there is such thing as "Normal" at all - how are we to know that people like Ray are not the normal ones? It was really interesting.
However, there were some parts I thought were not as strong. I got a little irritated after a while at the amount of times she says "Kind of." I get that you are trying to show her voice, but eventually it just got incredibly distracting and made her seem very childish and immature, which she should not be considering she lives alone. It gives the impression she is being extremely vague and doesn't really know what to say, so she just "Hedges" everything with "Kind ofs." Be strict with yourself and make sure everything you write flows naturally, does not distract readers, and shows that Ray is an assertive character, rather than making her come across as a wishy-washy one.
In addition, I would recommend against capitalising within narrative, for example "I don't look AS normal as others." It is just not really considered professional, and even capitalising within dialogue is usually criticised. It just gets distracting to read and draws attention away from the actual words. Just use italics to show emphatic stress within narrative. This is another personal point, but I would suggest you do not "Brand" for example you describe her wearing "White vans." The fact is, there is going to be some reader out there that has no idea what "Vans" are, and may well think you're talking about an actual van. They are going to be like "How can you wear a vehicle?" It seems a silly point to make, yes, but think about it logically. If you are a published author, there are going to be people all over the world reading your books; don't assume they all follow the same fashion and cultural influences as you.
Chapter one was a little jumpy. I mean, just look at the start of every paragraph. Powers/ I live/ School is easy. It jumps around far too much with almost no hooks or links between the paragraphs. They are all on completely different, unrelated topics, which makes it a little confusing to read, and trust me when I say it will put readers off. You need to make sure you are connecting together everything you are saying, or else it just seems like a random bundle of words strong together on a page.
Otherwise this is a great story and you have a great plot developing with some interesting ideas and characters. I will try to read more as soon as I can. You are a very talented writer! Keep writing and following your dreams! :D
| Randomocity chapter 3 . 5/6/2012
I like Ray's character. She's a little insecure, and I find it humorous that many humans would be quite content to have the wide range of powers she so readily dismisses. Everything in the first two chapters made sense, but the "video" in the third chapter seemed too coincidental to be real. And Kayla's reaction, pointing to Ray, made it even more difficult to believe. However, the story was a good read, and I'm looking forward to learning more of Ray's story. The lesson about Japanese demons was also a nice touch.