Reviews for Finishing Last
courtnestle chapter 6 . 9/18/2012
the point of view was kinda all over the place in this chapter. there were a few sections that were in first person, which made it confusing. maybe just re-read or get a beta reader so they can find and correct your errors. Other than that, its really interesting. i like the religious part of it. it adds an element that most people ignore.
Amber Dawn12 chapter 9 . 9/2/2012
What's back? Is it like a disease rob has? Please, no!
Amber Dawn12 chapter 8 . 8/28/2012
Wooooohooooo! I'm lovin' it! Make them a couple soon okay! And rob should definitely be the knight in shining armour! Saving kayle from dirty Dante! Sorry, just made my first official by myself without any help cake. It was fun and I think I'm high.
Amber Dawn12 chapter 7 . 8/11/2012
Thank u so so so much! I feel honored. But, I should tell u, my name isn't actually amber dawn. :-P
Amber Dawn12 chapter 6 . 8/4/2012
Please, don't let this last long! Make Robert a man! Next chapter, pleeeeease!
Guest chapter 5 . 7/20/2012
So, cousin visit gone not so well? Anyway, this chapter was really good. Sorry I didn't review earlier, my mom and dad made last minute plans, and I didn't have internet access in our hotel for two days. I only just got on. I also think that in the next chapter you should add what kayle thought of the near kiss.
dream-beautiful chapter 1 . 7/18/2012
Hi, ok so, your first sentence kind of made me internally groan. So many stories start off that way and it's so overrused and not a great way to capture your reader's interest. Try something different, perhaps with Alex barging in her room straight away?

Also, your writing style is kind of awkward, a little choppy sounding. Instead of blatantly having the narrator introduce herself and the people in her life (an abuse of the first person perspective) leave that information in the text somewhere subtly. Alex's whole backround information was just thrust into the story so bluntly it interrupted the flow you'd started. Don't let us know all about his history with Kayle right off the bat in one big blob of words. And her parents occupations and timings? I was just like uhh what the heck? That was really random and kind of unnecesarry. Sometimes when I write I like to think up entire lives for my characters, literally, from their daily schedule to their favorite bands, and thats good for character development but more often than not not necesarry for the story. If you do need those details then try and write them naturally. Just think how much better: "My mother, a chemical engineer, had left the house three hours earlier than I as usual..." sounds than "My mother was a chemical engineer and left the house at 6:25 am." You do this throughout the rest of the story, blatantly narrating about Kayle's physical appearance and Robert's and Alex's, and all the Sunday School age group hoopla. It sounds difficult at first, but once you're in the hang of writing that way it's real easy. For example, instead of just stating "I have dark brown hair with natural highlights" say "I brushed my dark brown hair out of my face, my natural highlights looking extra glossy in the bright light." Fluency is such a key part of writing well.

Annalisse's pinkness and blondeness was really cliche. Not all bitches in storys have to have blonde hair and blue eyes and like pink and glitters. Of course she's your character, but it's just not that realistic. Robert seems like a sweet guy :) But upon hearing Kayle's 15, how exactly is she allowed to drive a motorcycle? Anyways, Robert's POV is nice but just another suggestion, if youre gonna switch POVS sometimes its not the best idea to go over the same thing that was written in another pov, it gets tedious to read. If you have to relay both chracters emotions in the same scenes using 3rd person perspective would be much easier and professional looking.

I like this line here a lot, its cute and funny and I could hear a supposed Rob voice in my head saying it. "Oh,this is Kayle."

Liked the way you ended it. Good job so far.
Amber Dawn12 chapter 4 . 7/17/2012
Yay! Faster update and dedication again! thank you! This chapter was pretty awesome. Like that part where annalise was with ROger. She IS a slut. Big time. Anyway, I just want to know how you u pronounce kayle's name. Is it Kaylee or Kayl?
Amber Dawn12 chapter 1 . 7/16/2012
Well, I was just reading this chapter over again because something was nagging me at the back of my mind and I saw what it was. In this chapter, Rob has black hair but in the other chapters, he has blonde hair. And also kayle's mom, in this chapter, her name's marrisa grace but in the other chapters her name's robin. Those are the only things you have to fix, but they're pretty important details, so you should fix them in an author's note or something.
Amber Dawn12 chapter 3 . 7/15/2012
AWESOME! Thnx for the dedication! I feel wanted :) anyway, this chapter was great and it shows that you put a lot of effort into it. The only thing I ask from you is to update faster. You've no idea how long I waited for this chapter. Or maybe you do, since there is such a thing as time but still.
MsIloveVampires chapter 3 . 7/15/2012
wow I hope I never have to meet someone like Annalise. Alex is an idiot. Aww Robert is so sweet :) please update soon!
TinfoilKnight chapter 2 . 7/13/2012
"As I

straightened my curtains, I noticed the curtains opened while I was straightening things and I saw Kayle shut the door to her

room. Our rooms are right next to each other." Oops, some incorrect spacing here. It's like this for most of the chapter, and it makes it a bit hard to read.

There's a ton of dialogue in this chapter. Some dialogue is fine, but too much and it gets very dry and boring. I feel like a lot of the dialogue in this chapter is unnecessary - we don't really care about Monopoly and Justin Beiber and Katy Perry, we hear about them all the time in real life. Your characters choice in music and TV shows isn't actually that important, and if your characters rant about Jersey Shore, it could drive away readers who do like Jersey Shore. :P It's realistic that characters would talk about this, but that doesn't make it interesting.

I want to see something more from this story! It might work well with some more humor, or more description. I loved that blonde hair wind description last chapter, I want to see more like that. This chapter feels like a day straight out of any teenager's life - realistic, yes, but not too interesting.

Keep on writing! :) You participate in the RG, don't you? I'll see you around. And don't forget to check out the Review Marathon!
TinfoilKnight chapter 1 . 7/13/2012
Hello from the Review Marathon! Link in my profile.

I didn't really enjoy the beginning of this chapter. It was just a generic waking up scene, really, and it didn't do much to engage my attention. There are so many stories on fictionpress that begin with an alarm and the character getting ready for school, and in the beginning of your story you want to stand out, not blend in.

"...but a gust of blonde hair and Barbie pink prevented me from entering." I like this image, it's very unique.
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 6/30/2012
Okay, so with your opening, I felt like it could be a bit more engaging. The whole “alarm wake up” scene has been done quite a few times before, so I wasn’t too impressed by it. And a lot of the times, the first few paragraphs are the most important of a novel, as they set the tone for the piece and grab your readers’ attentions. So, while there’s technically nothing wrong with your opening scene, it’s very overdone, so I wasn’t as interested as I could have been right away. And then after that when you verged onto the “Hi, my name is John Doe and this is my best friend Jane, and here’s how we met” show-and-tell type scene, I would have liked maybe to witness that scene firsthand through the narrative, rather than have Kayle relay it to us after the fact, if that makes sense. There are better ways to inform readers of character/relationship histories without having your narrative read like a summary rather than a plot.

Writing wise, you don’t have a lot of errors, but I did notice that you have a tendency to switch between verb tenses. I *think* you intend this to be written in past tense, but sometimes when Kayle is breaking the fourth wall and directly addressing the audience, she veers into present. This tends to confuse readers and give them a feeling of discontinuity. In general, it’s always a good idea to stick with one tense. For example, this sentence: [I usually leave the house at about twenty-five before nine because I didn't have to go] has both present tense “I leave” and “I didn’t have to go”, which is very confusing and inconsistent.

One thing that you’re doing incorrectly is your speaker tags. I’ll explain it here briefly, but I really do suggest a Google search. So with this sentence: ["Angel?" he wagged a hand in front of my face.] you should have “he” capitalized because “he wagged” isn’t a speaker tag, and doesn’t modify the quote. And here: ["Sorry! I spaced," I locked the door.] the comma should be a period because “I locked” isn’t a speaker tag either, it’s a separate action. Throughout this piece, you consistently made this error, and it’s a fairly big deal, as it confuses readers as well as visually distracts them. I realize that speaker tag punctuation can be complicated, so I really do suggest a Google search.

On a technical note, “alright” is actually incorrect. I realize that it’s becoming very popular in modern culture and writing, and that spell-check won’t pick it up, but 99 percent of grammarians agree that “all right” is correct, while “alright” is not.

Scene-wise, I really wasn’t a fan of how you divided this up. I’m really fine with dual first-person narratives, and there are actually a couple of authors on Fictionpress who do an excellent job with that. However, what didn’t like was how the scene from Robert’s point of view was an exact rehash as the one from Kayle’s perspective—the same dialogue and timespan and everything, just with his thoughts instead of hers. While I understand that you want readers to understand both sides of the story, there are other, less redundant, ways to get that across. To be honest, I skimmed the second scene because I’d already read it before and knew what would happen—there was no draw for me.

In general, I think this was a nice introductory chapter. You didn’t really set up much a conflict, which I would have liked, but I liked that you gave readers a chance to get a handle on your characters and their personalities. Kayle, for me, isn’t standing out like much of a strong female lead, but I do like Robert, as he seems like a nice boy. I definitely look forward to reading more about him later.

Your writing is also effective. It is a bit clunky in spots, but nothing too terrible, and I think you got your point across fairly well. The only thing I would like to see is more exposition and less dialogue, but that’s just my personal taste and isn’t necessarily what you need.

Overall, this is good. I think you have a good idea and this set-up can be taken many directions.

Some line edits:

1. Without further adieu… [I realize this is your author’s note and not part of the story, but the correct phrase is “without further ado”]
2. I groaned, ignoring it, praying to God it would shut up. [Two participial phrases makes this sentence clunky, I’d cut it down to “I groaned and ignored it, praying…”. Also, is “to God” necessary? One generally prays to God, in one form or another.]
3. my best male friend filled the room with his laughter. [because you have “his” in this sentence, saying “best male friend” is redundant and unnecessary]
4. I took a four minute shower [hyphen between “four” and “minute”]
5. the first day of preschool when he pushed me out of the sandbox when I got mad at him for taking my shovel [This sentence reads awkwardly because it’s sort of a run-on, with “when he pushed” followed by “when I got mad”]
6. which had grass and weeds in it. [because you’re referring to compound “clothes and hair” you should switch out “it” for “them”]
7. she's dictating when he canand can'tsee me [space after “can” and after “can’t”]
8. Annalise whined, stepping out, her blonde hair perfect, her nails painted Barbie pink with stupid pink sparkles, her blue eyes shinning as she manipulated him and pouted. [This is all one sentence, it’s almost a run-on and it reads very awkwardly because it’s a lot of description. I suggest breaking it up.]
9. in jeans or pantswould've gotten [space after “pants”]
10. A handsomenew face. [space after “handsome”]
11. "Hi," I said. [entirely new paragraph here rather than line break]
12. his sister Molly who is in 5-7 Sunday School age group and his brother Daniel who is in 8-12, with you," he said, referring to the ages (nursery, 3-4 years old, 5-7 years old, 8-12 years old, and 13-18 years old). [Generally, numbers below ten are spelled out in a novel]
13. welcome to the Teen's Sunday School a.k.a. 13-18 age group Sunday School. [see above]
14. A.J. was less muscular with his blonde hair and green eyes [“blonde” refers only to women and “blond” refers to men; if you live in the US, “blond” can refer to both genders but “blonde” only refers to women]
15. Wow! That's a bignumber. [space after “big”]
16. Go into the sanctuary - you know where that is, right? [you should use an EM dash instead of a hyphen here]
17. we welcomed her with opened arms [the phrase is usually “open arms”]
18. the Carters' arrival feltlike a beginning [space after “felt”]
19. My mom had introduced us [I would remove “had”]
20. Oh,this is Kayle. [Space after the comma]
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