|Reviews for Hypomania|
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 2 . 11/13/2013
This feels very much like we’re watching a train about to crash, and the whole cliché of being unable to look away applies. You make the characters really engaging, so even when she’s being annoying or over the top or ruining her life with whatever she has to hand, as a reader, we still want to know more about her and what happens to her. The relationship between her and Nico is interesting as well, as he clearly knows her but seems to have no idea what she’s like now. It makes for an interesting dynamic, especially with the casual way they start sleeping together, even though he has a girlfriend. It’s not entertaining in so much as it’s intriguing. It really grabs hold and just doesn’t let go. Really, really great stuff.
| sophiesix chapter 1 . 10/28/2013
I like the opening: it immediately got me interested with the talk of neuroscience and the idea that the brain is still diversifying and shit. I like how that contrasted with the MC’s take on it: that she just wanted all that to be done and over with so she could be counted as an adult – the line about ‘not being expected to be treated as human beings’ really rang a bell with me.
But I found the arrogance of the second half of the para offputting – in the wider context of the whole chapter I how it shows her volatility, range of emotions and how fast she swings- that made her very real to me. I love her by the end of it. But where it was there, straight upfront, didn’t build rapport for me. I found myself frowning, thinking: why /shouldn’t/ someone who’s been accepted for neuroscience at a top ten uni get a take-away job? They aren’t born with customer service, management or other sorts of employability skills, where else they gonna learn them? I guess that’s partly because I didn’t feel like I’d been shown how shitty the job actually was, or maybe because I didn’t know the character well enough yet to know this is just how she reacts to things, that it’s just one side to her personality, not her whole self? And I know that doesn’t really matter, because it’s how she feels that counts, not whether she’s a reliable narrator or not lol. I guess what I’m getting at is that for me, having it right up front like that was a bit of a negative, whereas if it was either lower down or slightly balanced it wouldn’t have jarred me so much – but of those two possibilities I’d go with having it lower down, because I don’t think you should balance it as that would take away from the strength of her character, which is a definite positive. I was surprised to read in another review that people found her to be a brat and unlikable, and I wonder if that’s a shadow of having that hateful reaction right up front, when people are forming their first impression? Obviously lots of other people didn’t have that problem anyway but I always worry about how something can be better, not whether its good enough for enough people lol.
I really enjoyed this after the opening, so I’d hate for the opening to put anyone off and I was so glad I kept reading. I loved the MC’s characterisation. I could really identify with her in so many places. I adored that you weaved in the neuroscience with everything, that added a whole other level of yummy to this. I thought you handled that really well, not making it too obscure so it just seemed academic but keeping it relevant and adding spark to the text in its own right.
The pace – particularly in the middle section - flowed beautifully for me, really helped by how you handled the dialogue, balancing it perfectly with the actions etc. That made it read really smoothly which just sucks you into her world and keeps you submerged. One bit that did confuse me though was “It takes a century, but finally we’re ready to go.” I thought they were driving at this stage, ie already going, so it made me break from the narrative flow and reread to figure out where I’d lost the thread. I’m still not sure whether they stopped for a bit or whether they were just driving blockies to out on make up or something lol
The relationships between her and Anna and her and the two guys, felt real to me. I like how you use them to show different parts of her personality: it was an effective way of making her captivatingly complex in a short period of time.
Overall the colour and motion of this carried me away, I loved it. I think it pretty much even works as a one-shot, a slice of life. But it definitely works as a first chapter too, because you do get invested in the characters. Nice work!
| persevera chapter 1 . 10/20/2013
The opening was successfully deceptive. It gave no indication of how intense the main character's issues would be. She just seemed full of herself.
The dialogue is spare but believable. I especially liked the flirtation with Jeremy. It seemed realistic for a younger guy trying to keep up with an older "woman".
Of course the dominant aspect of this chapter is the character of the narrator. She's definitely not likable but the change that she went through was really interesting. She isn't just shallow and full of herself; she's mentally and psychologically troubled.
I can't say that I enjoyed this chapter but at this point, it would be impossible to with the narrator being so unlikable. It would be interesting to keep reading though to see whether or not she's humbled and realizes she needs help.
| Michodell chapter 1 . 5/18/2013
Wow. This story was really captivating. I could completely envision the personality of the narrator and everything came through solidly realistic. I could almost feel how much she hated her job and needed an escape from the monotony. I feel sad for her though at the end. It started out as if she was just bored with her job and needed something to get her out of her situational depression but it was disheartening to see her turn to drugs. It speaks volumes that I would even care about the character in such a short story. Great job!
| Lolitroy chapter 1 . 5/14/2013
I love the narration! It's just as if someone was talking directly to you. I think it's also because I came to like the MC, she seems so... sincere? I don't know how to say. Despite all her quirks, I've found her to be likable.
Sooo she seemed to promiscuous at first, but now I know why. Good explanation. I liked how you described the relationship between Cara and Annie with actions, as well as Cara's personality. Well done.
I'm liking the story so far, and I'm liking where this is going and how she'll mature. Keep it up!
BTW: So... uhurm, I didn't know this was M, so please next time you ask in RG for a review, please warn people about the rating... you know.
| Faithless Juliet chapter 3 . 5/7/2013
I immediately loved the chilling aspect of this opening. Recalling where we last left your main character its jarring (in a good way) to find her in a hotel room and have no recollection of how she got there. I think you did a great job at showing her disorientation in that moment, but I also liked how her wit shown through as well.
I’m not sure if I buy into Nico coming to get her in the wake of what she did in the last chapter. I think at this point I would like to see a bit more about is motivations where she is concerned. I did get a subtle hint that he was expecting her to offer herself over as payment for the window. That’s just the vibe that I got, but the whole scene felt fishy from his perspective.
The whole center section of this chapter was superb. I loved the minimalistic approach that you took to the detail all around here, while strangely Cara’s dialogue was very poetic – neon in her blood, etc. I also liked how you handled the section of her hospital stay, how her mind was still fighting, in its own way for control. At this point I think Cara is ultimately looking for control over herself, currently she can’t control her thoughts/feelings/actions so she uses outside forces to.
I’m surprised by the plot twist of her returning home and not at least staying in town. I wonder at this point what will happen with T and Jeremy, and ultimately where Nico will now fit into the story. I was not expecting that change to occer, so I’m excited to see where you go with this. Update soon!
| Whirlymerle chapter 1 . 5/4/2013
Hey from the RG!
Homigosh I love your narration so much; the attitude the narrator has makes this such a fun read. I also think you balance Cara’s immaturity and the things she knows and does as a 22 year old really well.
Also, in the opening, I love how you don’t begin by having her talk about exactly where she works, but you throw in hints like “McJob” and the pictures and have your readers figure it out and the opening makes so much sense.
[Then I frown when I realize he's my only way home. But I've spent enough time with this man I can't even remember, of that I am sure.] A little confused here. Can’t remember what?
I really enjoyed this! Looking forward to reading more.
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 1 . 5/4/2013
I really like this. It’s different and unique, and you have a very interesting main character. I feel like she’s easy to relate to, and she’s easy to imagine. I very much like the tone and voice used, and the style makes it a lot of fun to read. You really show her, her thoughts and feelings and all that, without anything being shoved down the reader’s throat. I like how things are slipped in, and the whole thing feels quite natural. Great stuff.
| Nihongi chapter 1 . 5/2/2013
I really liked the personality of Cara, she's just dynamic and raw as hell in her interactions and thought processes, there are many girls in her situation and you gave her a unique voice with her backround in neuroscience which kept the prose fresh. She seems like someone I'd kick it with. lol
some physical descriptions could've been helpful in highlighting the characters, and her characterization, while strong, is an instant turn off if she isn't redeemable in the end, like why should we care for this chick and her plight if she's just going around sloring and wasting her money? Again, that is hypothetical, as I think she's awesome. :)
| wisedec4u chapter 1 . 4/9/2013
I really love this opening chapter. You have clearly established Cara's voice. I thought your opening line was ironic in stating that her professor said she had an adolescent mind. You go to prove that by showing her lack of impulse control and immature, and somewhat dangerous behavior. I have to wonder if this due to her disorder or still developing brain. I loved the hearing her inner thoughts about her Mcjob, Jeremy, and her future. You also did a good job of easing her backstory about her condition without it sounding like a lot of info of curiosity, is Cara African American? I thought she was but maybe misinterpreted what I read about her description.
| lookingwest chapter 3 . 4/4/2013
They will play with my brain when I am done. [Great end line of this section]
Character - I loved the star dust thing and how her mind works during her breakdown - the whole writing/narrative starts to break down too, especially regarding the way you characterize her breakdown by using a bit of second person. Almost as if the author is talking to her "you're going to die", etc. I thought that was great to characterize her through her breakdown and then how the narrative steadies in her head towards the end scene - she captures it well when she discribes the way that the drugs work on her and settle her thoughts again.
Setting - I really liked the way we moved from the hotel room, to the street/car, to the medical center. Each place wes well described - especially the street, and I liked the disorientation of place when she's being driven to the hospital by the cops. I also liked the details with her living in her car and how she tried to keep up with her studies. The lab rats were also a great prop/setting with the lab - and how you again, wove that into her narrative as she started having her mental break. It worked wonderfully - the paragraph detailing the scooping out of the rat brain was chilling, definitely a highlight - if you edit, keep that!
Pacing - Whereas in the last chapter I felt some things dragged a little towards the middle section when she's with Nico, this chapter's pacing didn't drag at all. I thought all the page breaks happened at the right time and I thought what happened around her and her interactions with other characters also paced well - the scenes felt very complete.
Enjoyment - Your writing is always great, I didn't find any problems and I especially enjoyed how you worked in the bit with the star dust. I really enjoy your attention to details about this disorder and the way it effects her. You are kind of educating the reader too - and the way she goes through the breakdown and even the way her dialogue changes really works. Very creative/inventive. The ending here makes me feel like the story might be done - though, but I don't want it to be done, I want more, lol. I think this chapter really creates reader sympathies for sure!
| Faithless Juliet chapter 2 . 4/2/2013
I really liked the subtle undertones of hypocrisy in Jeremy’s speech in the opening. I hope that you meant it to be that way, because that’s how I took it and I think that works best. The idea that he’s in a car having sex with fifteen tattoos and going on about the Lord is very ‘current’ and also very powerfully done. I think you did a good job in the opening of showing how different these two are and how ‘hopeless’ their relationship is, although going from the narration I’m not getting a sense that either of them are serious with each other.
The scene where she gets high in T’s apartment was really well done. The dialogue and narration was really smooth and I think you really captured the awkwardness of her being there in the beginning, as well as how she charmed them in the end. She reminds me a bit of Marilyn Monroe, a little fierce, a little broken; men instinctively want to protect her. Her dialogue when she was high was hilarious; even if I hadn’t read the opening sections of the chapters I would have known that she’s high.
I also liked her interaction with her mother after the T scene. I thought that it was appropriate but also effective for character development and plot. I though the dad, coming out of the bedroom, oblivious to all the yelling was maybe just a bit clichéd. You mentioned several times before that they were screaming. Does his wife not speak to him about their daughter? You may want to develop that moment just a bit more for the reader’s clarification.
Loved the Nico section. I really liked how you transitioned from the T section into the Nico section. I think it’s a strong parallel to what she’s actually going through – moment to moment in quick succession. Your writing reminds me a bit of “Girl, Interrupted” in a good way of course. I also liked how honest she and Nico are with each other, I liked the back story angle and the fact that they share a past. I also really liked how Nico left her on the side of the road. It seemed to be a pattern with her when she attracts men (again, the MM complex) who really don’t care in the end or can’t handle her. I think this work is fascinating so far, and I can’t wait to read more. Keep up the good work.
| lookingwest chapter 2 . 3/28/2013
Jeremy despised high school, and cannot wrap his head around going back to more in college, let alone volunteering your youth away in graduate school. [Stylistically this feels awkward, might I suggest, "Jeremy despised high school, and can't wrap his head around going back for more in college, let alone wasting his youth away in graduate school." The "you" feels a little tense with the narration since we don't see it stylistically before this and she's speaking exclusively about Jeremy here. Just a suggestion!]
The length of this chapter is a bit long for me - I think maybe cutting it off and staring Ch. 3 when she transitions to live with Nico might be a good spot - just because it would cut off at the point where she leaves T and we get this big cliffhanger on what might happen. The pace, when she starts doing the coke, starts speeding up pretty fast - which I think is great and I really like that quality with this since it captures her actual experience and it starts speeding up the narrative for the reader too - *but* by the time we got to Nico and the two of them doing coke together, I was really speeding along with the reading to a point where I kind of just felt that perhaps her activity just seems too much for all one chapter? I don't know if that makes any sense. Like, she's doing the coke, she's doing the coke, she's doing more coke, driving, doing more coke - I sped through the dinner and dialogue with Amber so fast and I'm wondering if maybe it would help if that part was cut with a chapter break instead of a page break. Then we kind of start afresh and stuff...just another suggestion.
Your writing in this chapter is phenomenal, really good. And like I said - I love that the pacing speeds up when she starts taking the hard drugs. It reflects in the writing really cohesively and I really appreciated that technique!
Ehhh this grad school thing - I have to say I'm not sure I'm buying it, though. When she starts her classes...grad school is *so incredibly stressful* to the extreme maximum that anyone can imagine. And it's stressful because of constant testing and studying - I know I'm not in the medical field of graduate school, but I have friends that are - and they have to *constantly* be writing articles and researching and attending journal-publishing groups. Because you aren't anything unless you're published. So I found it a tad unrealistic that she was having time to come back to Nico and sleep with him and wasn't freaking the hell out about exams she'd have to take or labs she had to TA (usually I think in the sciences the grad students are in charge of teaching the introductory-level labs for the undergraduates?) so...as far as her school life and her daily life - I just don't see her surviving a second in graduate school and not failing her first few tests. I suppose as they say though - doctors don't have to get As and Bs in grad school, they just need to pass, haha. All that being said - she is a very unreliable narrator, in my opinion, so though she's saying she's handling shit and everything's going great towards the end regarding her professors and visiting the lab - she could be completely lying and fabricating to the maximum. Who knows, maybe she's not even going to class anymore? So I do believe that there is a lot she isn't telling us, and I like that quality of her unpredictable narration for sure.
I loved the last portion. This descent into madness was really well executed and the last line is a total killer, for sure. Though I do mention in this review the suggestion to cut the chapter in half, I'd maybe wait and see what other reviewers have to say - your ending is really strong and I can see the novel-progression here of this being a single chapter that just slowly deteriorates her mind into that end line and that end scene of her so alone. It's just - a looot of stuff happens between this moment and Ch. 1 and you're really skipping over a time-frame here. But I think it's working.
Overall thoughts: This was great! Amazing! Very well written - KILLER last line that I love! Looking forward to more - I think you've created a really good cliffhanger.
| Pirate Bones chapter 2 . 3/15/2013
I'm shocked! That's my initial reaction. I love it, how it's written, the subtle beautiful things here and there (especially the stars! i like stars). What I'm shocked about is how the story is taking us deeper into Cara, and it's...I don't even know where to find the word...well, disturbing? how weak human can be, how dark anyone can go, and it all happened in a snap of a finger for Cara. Like, how she degraded Jeremy when he opposed her idea. And how she has completely let go of any sort of control. More shocking, though, is the fact that I've never had drugs in my life, and yet I can relate. The 'high' and the 'low', how I've been angry and suddenly happy, how I've been happy and suddenly extremely down, it's almost weird! Or maybe I have BPD? Either way, you've succeeded at being relatable! :)
One of the things I like about the narrative and Cara is how it doesn't sugar-coat, but it's sort of illusionary.. does that make sense? And I really love the other characters' reactions... especially her mother and Nicolai. Oh how I hope to see more of Nicolai, he's already rubbed me the wrong and right way in just one chapter.
| inwardtransience chapter 1 . 3/13/2013
I don't really know what to say here.
I'll just say you capture the feeling very well. I was getting serious flashbacks to that shit. Of course, I don't know how much my overall impression is your writing and how much is my memory. I'm not sure if I should say that in a review, whoops.
But I can and will say that your writing is better than you think it is. That always happens when someone complains about their writing being bad—I expect there to be easily visible flaws. There are none here. And yeah, your tone is inconsistent and it's kind of wandering, but I'm assuming that was intentional, because of how well it fits the subject matter.
Oh God, what am I even saying.
I think I can simplify this: good fucking work.