Reviews for My Strawberry Dream Wedding
Day2Dreamer chapter 44 . 1/18
I've spent the past couple of weeks reading everything of yours which I could access; you write so beautifully! Your stories are engaging, your use of language is addictive to read (eloquent and descriptive without distracting me from what's happening within the story) and your characters are just so much fun to read about!

I absolutely love that you've set so many of your stories in the Philippines and integrated aspects of your culture and language. I've come across so many USA-based stories on Fictionpress, and while I've become accustomed to reading about american life, it's really refreshing to read about stories that occur elsewhere in the world. Things aren't so different and foreign that the setting of the story is distracting, but the inclusion of phrases like "Ate" or descriptions of food and other places just makes me feel like I'm actually learning more about the world, and it's wonderful!

Reading romance stories (especially ones about highschool students, since I'm so much older now) is a secret guilty pleasure of mine, and "My Strawberry Dream Wedding" is my favourite of your Fictionpress stories (which is why I'm reviewing this one, hehe)! When you mentioned that writing this was your way of creating a manga equivalent (awesome idea, by the way, and I think you executed it brilliantly!), I could identify so many elements which have been prominent in Japanese manga which I'd read before. This includes:
- a "prince" character in a school, who is outstandingly handsome, intelligent and socially blessed, able to out-think everyone, talented in all sports and physical activities, knows what he wants and just goes for it, and is focussed on one single girl. It may be unrealistic, but you've added in flaws for him, and he's just such a great fantasy-figure. I'm glued to this story thanks to how amazing both he and Joy are, and due to the interactions between them which make my heart twinge!
- Christian's possessive nature and the iciness which hides his true feelings for Joy (I read one of your previous reviews which comments on how abusive Christian is: honestly, I agree that his behaviour is very unhealthy and would be something he'd need to work on if he were a real-life person [in fact, you're getting him to work on his anger issues in the story too, and that's been fantastic! You've also identified that Joy was truly fearful in the instance where Christian attacked Nathan, and I think that was a great idea and shows that his behaviour isn't normal], and I know I wouldn't want to be with someone like that in real life. However, in fantasy-terms, it's pretty swoon-worthy how possessive he is of her, since in my mind it indicates how much she means to him and how much he wants her to be his. I sound like a total hypocrite, but Christian's my favourite male protagonist because of this! Ren's my second favourite, hehe)
- The idea of working extremely hard (I know that it's not a topic purely isolated to manga, but I feel manga frequently have as one of their morals: "work really really hard at something, and that shows you're a great person!". I don't disagree with it at all (I actually really like it), and really admire the dedication depicted; I just feel manga utilises this idea in a more blatant form than other media I've seen or read. So reading about it definitely makes this story feel more manga-like!)

I'll admit that it really made me cringe when Joy tried hiding what had happened with Tony from Christian and her friends. Hiding the truth in situations like this is a massive pet peeve of mine since it results in so much unnecessary miscommunication and so many misunderstandings (even though I've just gone on about how reading romances is a secret guilty pleasure of mine that not many of my friends know about, lol!). I'm glad the miscommunication didn't last for very long though ) That made me happy!

Considering there's mostly only one big mystery left in this story now (who's the black-Sharpie artist?) and Jenneth's still shifty, I can only assume he's the culprit. I'd guess that he started the posters so Joy would rely on him more (maybe he was scared of being forgotten and left-out if Joy became close to Christian again)? Nothing about Jenneth's characterisation in this story has really been about his romantic interests, so I'm curious whether it is due to a romantic attachment, or whether it's purely just that he's finally found a real friend and doesn't want to lose his best friend to an interloper. I'm really looking forward to your next update - I know it's been well over a year, but I'm desperately hoping you'll post up another update eventually! ) I would love to know what happens!
I can't wait to read more of your work for any of your stories, actually!

Ooh, one other slight pet peeve though: all your characters use such text-speak in their phone messages! I just don't understand why they all type so childishly when they're otherwise such intelligent people! I can imagine some characters typing that way, but it seems strange to me that all of them do it. However, maybe that's just because a fair number of my friends type using normal words with their usual spelling, so that's what I'm used to! I have no idea what type of english kids these days use in their messages, so my distress while reading phone messages in your stories is purely my own, lol.
I still adore your writing anyway! ;)

Anyway, I visited your sunflowersformoira website (thank you for sharing that!) and wanted to comment on two things which I saw there:

1. Your story "A Song for Andrea". I know you said that was written while you were in college and "it shows", but I truly thought it was as wonderful a piece of writing as your all your other work! Although Andrea made me cringe again (of course, it was due to her essentially cheating on Gani and not telling Ivan that she had a boyfriend when she knew his intentions and had already spent so much time talking to him. She also seemed kind of immature and picked fights over what I felt were small issues, although small issues do compound when they're experienced a lot over time to become huge issues!), I loved that the story was about how the new, seemingly-amazing person was not automatically the "right" choice.
I particularly loved that you didn't give Ivan some fatal flaw in order for Andrea to decide not to be with him - she just realised she truly loved Gani and wanted to be with him if they could overcome the distance between them.
I have no idea why she loved him despite not communicating properly with him (the story didn't go into that much depth about the good aspects of their relationship - it just showed that he was constantly contacting her, and he was patient and forgiving and communicated his love verbally in text messages even if he couldn't show it through his other actions), but the story held a great message: there will always be someone new and exciting who seems more amazing than your current partner (partly because you know your current partner's flaws but not those of the new person, BUT not always because of this reason), but this doesn't immediately mean they're the right one for you. I'm not yet married myself, although I do have a partner of 3 years, and this story really resonated with me - thank you so much for writing and sharing it!

2. Your "Words of Wisdom for January 4 2015" about agonising over your purpose in life and having the idea that there's something else in life which you should have been doing to be successful. It's something I struggle with frequently (I look at the people around me and judge myself based on them - I'm nowhere near as financially successful as most of my friends, and I don't even get to enjoy life and appreciate the outdoors and travel as much as the other friends who aren't so financially well off. Which one am I supposed to be? I spend so much time working for low pay so I don't get to appreciate life as much as the ones who don't work so often, but also can't afford as much as the others who then go on expensive luxurious holidays with the money they've earnt. I don't have a particular talent to cultivate (unlike you with your writing ) I'm so glad you do it!), but I do think the purpose of life is to enjoy it and be happy. It's just difficult when, despite knowing that my aim is to enjoy life while I go through it, I still feel as though there's something else that I OUGHT to be doing. Adding meaning to life by contributing to the people around me doesn't seem like a bad idea though, and it inspired me to write this review and tell you how much of a difference your writing made to my life, so again, thank you )
s.sukumar chapter 44 . 10/22/2019
I love your writing and I love this story. Could you please update this? I would love to see this published. Love you.
Guest chapter 44 . 9/18/2019
Is this fic abandoned? Haven't seen an update in so long.
Shruti Udgirkar chapter 44 . 8/9/2019
It’s so long since I read this story so imagine my surprise when I saw a new chapter. I can’t believe that after so many years, this story continues to give me butterflies in my stomach. It’s so good that I am unable to express it in appropriate words. You’re an amazing writer, please know that. Also, haven’t caught up with you in a long, long time. Hope you haven’t forgotten me
Guest chapter 44 . 5/23/2019
Ok so as much as I like your writing style... I’m really really really uncomfortable with how ABUSIVE Christian is. He sets off ALL the alarm bells in terms of domestic violence/intimate partner violence and honestly some of the things he says Joy I’ve literally heard used in workshops on how to identify unhealthy relationships (“you’re mine,” not being able to stand anyone else touching her, etc). It seems almost innocuous, especially at 15, but honestly this is all about power and control and it’s pretty clear that Christian is one possessive “prince.”

Also.. what is up with the blatant colorism? If I took a shot for every time Joy called herself “dark” like it was a bad thing (same with fat tbh), I would be out dead. Joy needs to learn to stop apologizing, stand up for herself, and get over this colonial hangover that black ugly.

This probably comes off as more harsh than intended but I honestly do admire the general premise of the story and particularly enjoyed your accessible, smoothly yet sophisticated writing style. However I’m just not a fan of many of the characterizations and relationships (I’m not even gonna get into the evil pretty rich high school girl who makes nerdy mousy heroine miserable trope but that’s never done wonders for women in general).

Lastly, I would definitely bump this to a T given the language and some of the Joy/Christian sizzles.
shamolama chapter 44 . 9/8/2018
LOVE YOUR STORY!
Please update soon!
Guest chapter 44 . 8/23/2018
Have you ever heard of the 16 personalities test or Myerrs-Briggs (mbti) personality classification system?

I think Joy is definitely an INFP (Mediator). But I'm confused about Christian. Maybe he is ENTJ (Commander). But that still doesn't fit because although he likes to be in charge, he is very tactful (esp with Joy) and very emotional, unlike ENTJ. ENTJs have everything except tact and sensitivity. Though he is slightly manipulative, but I like that about him.

Not ENFJ (Protagonist) since he's not a people pleaser.
It's like his personality takes a total 360 degrees around Joy. Like a split personality. So it's hard to make him fit. He's prone to violence as well.

ENTP (Debater)? But Christian brings results not just ideas. He doesn't argue for the sake of arguing. I'd love to know what you think. Take the test if you already haven't. There are many YouTube videos about it too.
s.sukumar chapter 1 . 6/24/2018
I just love your story so much. It brings a smile to my face and joy in my heart. Thank you so much for the updates. Love you. 3
Choc me chapter 2 . 4/23/2018
Dude where are you?
Joychristian chapter 43 . 3/13/2018
PLEASE UPDATE SOON
Guest chapter 43 . 3/10/2018
You've continuously hinted at Christian's dark side. I wish you would actually write a scene about it. Maybe once with Tony and once with Joy. Full throttle, no holding back.
MissKukyMonster chapter 36 . 3/10/2018
I'm not done with the story yet, but I had to stop here and take a moment to review, because this chapter has knocked me off my feet, and I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for writing this coming of age tale with all of the messiness, pain, and joy that comes with growing up. With a diverse cast of characters all with their own strengths and weaknesses. This chapter honestly made me cry - I relate, and I think we can all relate, to not feeling beautiful in my own way, and your response to that insecurity was perfect (as well as all of the great advice you have throughout about caring about other people's feelings). Extremely well written. Thanks for sharing!
Guest chapter 32 . 2/10/2018
I know that this story is alpready made, but I am THIS CLOSE to making Tony and Christian dig their own graves, let me strangle them, and then throw themselvees in the hole so that I can bury them.
heal me forever chapter 42 . 2/4/2018
Jennerh**
heal me forever chapter 43 . 2/4/2018
I have been following this story for years. I no longer use fiction press, I only come back to see if you update every few weeks. This story is so so beautiful and heartfelt, I love it. One of the few books that I read online for which I would not hesitate to put money on and get a copy of( I am a college student so don't judge, I am so broke ;))I usually never comment, but wanted to let you know that this is a wonderful piece of work. Keep it up. Will also be waiting for Jermery and nikki side stories:)
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