|Reviews for Loreley Island|
| Shampoo Suicide chapter 11 . 4h ago
The feeling of being under Stella's spell is palpable here, made very clear in the scene where Clay is being rescued. It's incredible how his thoughts bounce between fear and amazement at her beauty. It all feels so expected and natural from his character at this point which is great, I think. Not only does it make her seem as ethereal to us by viewing her through his perspective, it also makes the feeling of some supernatural quality more expected.
Enjoyed the scene with Hildy at dinner for it's humorous aspects. It was also nice for furthering the image and flavor of the people who inhabit this island, which I've noticed a lot of Hildy's scenes seem to be good for. I thought his gripes with the dinner guests felt very real and relatable even though most readers are likely quite different from him in terms of wealth or access, it still felt like regular young adult complaints about boring dinners and try hard adults. Very nice.
Intrigued to find out more about what happened to Gwen. I was slightly disappointed to see it didn't resolve in this chapter, but I think it works left for later as well. I liked cutting back to Stella and Clay as well, it felt like cinematic sort of in pacing, like we're literally watching this all unfold. That's a pretty cool narration technique I think!
This chapter felt like a short burst. The pacing as I mentioned was great, and it's probably best it wasn't lengthier for that reason. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and love falling into this world again due to the lush descriptive quality of your writing which I so envy. I could truly picture Stella in the sunlight same as I had in the previous chapter, and was practically drooling for the lobster. All that is to say, the way with description is a real strength! Looking forward to more.
| Kalitena chapter 1 . 3/22
Your writing style is fluid, pulling the reader along. Descriptions are vivid, and not too drawn out, and the narration fits the narrator - articulate but not too sophisticated to be realistic.
I wouldn't say there's particularly a 'hook' to the beginning. Nothing jumps out and grabs the reader. But the opening paragraph gives us a glimpse into Clay as a character and it was enough to keep me reading even though romance isn't my genre of preference.
All that said, there are a lot of cliched tropes in this chapter:
- The (presumably) hot and wealthy guy realizing that attractive but strange girl he knew back in high school has grown into herself and is no longer so weird that it distracts from her beauty, which plays into the girl who was the outsider in high school but comes back a couple years later and all the guys in the vicinity want her.
This is somewhat averted by the fact that he did have some attraction to her back in high school, but being turned on by an attractive person speaking one of the romantics is a cliche in itself.
- The girl who's already in love with the male lead, who he finds annoying and shallow.
- The male lead going in to rescue the attractive woman from her swarming admirers, and miraculously being the one she actually wants.
- The attractive and mysterious man initially thought to be competition who turns out to be a relative.
- The sudden rivalry between best friends because they both want the girl.
- An attractive woman jumping naked into the water at night and and guy following her in.
- Kissing in the water.
One thing I did find interesting was the way the lights changed and flickered when they looked at each other, which I'm not sure whether I should read as something that actually happens, or just something going on in Clay's head. The French teacher's remembered reaction says to me that it was something other people could see, but there was no reaction from the others at the beach party, so perhaps she was just remarking on the obvious tension between them. If it is something that is actually happening, which the genre of the story would suggest, then it adds some interest to the story for me. As a subtle hint of something otherworldly, it works well.
Despite the cliches, I did think the relationships between your characters worked well. They felt natural and you convey a lot about them in a short space. We can see, in Clay and Gwen's interactions, some of their history, and we know she's in love with him before it comes up explicitly in Clay's thoughts. Even the brief interaction between Clay and Tushar tells us what kind of relationship they have as friends. I thought it was very well done.
Overall, I found the story well-written and it kept my interest better than I might have expected from a new adult romance. I wouldn't say I was on the edge of my seat, but I certainly wasn't bored, and the suspicion that something beyond the mundane is happening makes me want to keep reading.
| Shampoo Suicide chapter 10 . 3/22
Character: I really love that there's still this mysterious quality to Stella even when we're viewing her through Clay's enchanted gaze. I mean, seeing as how figuring out her deal is sort of the point so far that's obviously a great thing for the story. I think it shows that you've worked in enough doubt and oddity through what we know from other characters very well so that even when she's behaving rather normally the reader is looking for clues into her. I found myself doing that as she spoke to Clay throughout this chapter. I can't say I've figured it out yet though, and I like that!
Scene: I liked the part in the water. It did an excellent job in the beginning establishing that even through his enchantment Clay is a little wary, but also spoke to how strong his attraction is that he was mostly focused on how incredible she looked. The fact that he's seemingly drowning again is suitably terrifying and I'm very compelled to find out where it goes from here. He'll be fine most likely but will he be convinced that something is amiss after all or overlook the signs further? I have to believe it the latter happens he's clearly under some spell haha.
Imagery: There was a lot of gorgeous writing and description to choose from in this part. I'm bubbling with envy over some of it. I like the repeated reference to her sparkling eyes that lit even under the sunglasses and the likening to sunlight off water. It added a nice magical element to her appearance. Loved picturing her hair whipping around and the use of the word lashing to describe it. The mermaid skin bit was spectacular as well. I liked the heavy imagery throughout because it felt necessary in a chapter so contained in action.
Relationship: This is an interesting category to think about for this story because the rekationship isn't a real romantic one so far. They've kissed but that obviously means more to Clay. I have to wonder what game she's playing with him. And though they were only just tangentially mentioned I wonder if the relationships he has with Hildy and Gwen will be enough to save him when shit inevitably goes wrong, and how his flippant attitude toward their concern may change as the story progresses.
| faerie-gumdrops chapter 13 . 3/21
Bloody hell, this took me about half a century. Really sorry about that – things have been super busy! Finallllly finished though, and I’m like woah. This chapter was great, I love how we finally got to see what happened to Gwen, and more lovely development between Stella and Clay. I really like how Stella is sort of becoming more openly ‘strange’ around Clay (talking about talking to him in dreams and stuff) – it seems like she’s really relaxed around him, you know? And I love how Clay accepts her completely, it’s really sweet. And If I get rid of all my Hildy-induced paranoia about the whole thing, I can really see that these two are /good/ together. I mean, he offered to come with her to see her dad’s rotten corpse. THAT’S LOVE. Ooh, and they QUOTE stuff at each other and everything. It’s obvious why Clay likes Stella, but I feel in this chapter we also get a really good idea of why she might like him too. I wonder how the sexytimes go!
‘Silken taste suffused his senses’ GAH, your wordssss. Such pretty alliteration m’dear. Also, I am most in need to champagne. Or liquid gold. Or magic potion. Or whatever it is.
‘Beautiful strange’ – squee. I don’t know why, but I just love this phrase. Like it could be the title to some song or movie or something. And I think it fits in so very perfectly with Stella.
‘I’m not afraid you will get pregnant’ *snickers*. BUT WHAT IF HE DOES o_O. Like a seahorse. This is the seaside, after all (yeah...I don’t know where I’m going with this, but this part was cute and funny :D).
‘the world he knew fell away’ – I love how this has sort of been a theme throughout. How Clay’s mind is sort of so focussed on Stella that nothing else matters. No wonder poor Hildy’s in a tizz! Clay’s gotta learn to treat his friends better :P. But YES, I am wondering what you’ll be doing in future chapters to explore all this, and I am very interested and also very nervous that BAD THINGS will happen haha. I care about these guys! :D
‘Those clouds look like tumors’ – gorgeous (gross) imagery. I like how you pulled the rug out from under our feet by having that old lady being some random person called Mary-Ellen. The fact that everyone went along with it (and that I’m STILL not completely sure she *wasn’t* Gwen) just goes to show what an awesome world you’ve created, where we can’t really trust anything. I love all of the paranoia you induce from having us follow Hildy, and I really can’t wait to see whether his thoughts on Stella and Clay are justified or not. I really have no idea (although maybe I’d lean more towards STELLAISAWESOMESHUTUPHILDY, because she is) - which is very cool indeed.
‘I am nobody’s discarded clutch’ - *fist pump*. BEST. LINE. EVER. I love you, Gwen. You go show these men not to kick you around.
| Draven-uk chapter 13 . 3/16
Ah, so we discover where Gwen has actually got to. And what she is planning to do. I just hope she isn't making a big mistake.
This is another beautifully written chapter with so many wonderfully descriptive passages. Amongst many scalloped clouds and shadowy pencil stubs leapt out at me. Wonderful stuff! From your writing I can sure see why Clay is so smitten with Stella. The way you describe her makes her sound preternaturally dazzling (and maybe she actually is). Very easy for him to get swept up in her. As a reader I'm finding I am too. :)
| LunaNotLoony chapter 1 . 3/15
Woah, that was really good. You're really good at developing character and making each one individual. The first paragraph didn't really engage me- bored characters aren't really interesting, but as soon as the conflict between Gwen and Clay emerged it was impossible to stop reading. You pace things very well, allowing us to understand what's happening, without ever being bored.
| Walkerfan chapter 4 . 3/14
Rule 10 review
I like the whole idea of Aunt Miranda. It works on so many different levels- the embarassing relative, the rich snob, social commentary, and the source of much needed info on the particular family in question. Overall, a great plot device, if a little overused sometimes. However, it fits with the story.
I also like how none of your characterd are turning into Mary Sues or Gary Stues. It seems to happen on a regular basis, but not here. Each of your characters seem to be well rounded, fleshed out people. You are to be congratulated on this. It helps on keeping the readers interest.
| Fayechii chapter 3 . 3/11
We're really getting to know more about Stella. I like how you gradually drop hints about her but still creating more questions. I wonder what is with Stella and her obvious preference for Clay. Now that we're given evidence that Clay's attraction may also be because of Stella, I'm getting the feeling that Clay may be in danger but he's just so clueless about it.
I like the interaction between Clay and Stella. You managed to keep Stella mysterious. And the floating bit? I loved it. We can see how it didn't bother Clay, despite the strangeness of it. He even wanted more from her.
| Fayechii chapter 2 . 3/11
Hildy's remark about amnesia and Gwen's remark about Clay swimming naked were quite funny.
That was interesting. We left off the previous chapter with Clay and Stella kissing then we start here with Clay almost drowning and not knowing why. My curiosity about Stella is definitely growing now. I like how you seem to give more clues but also cause more questions about Stella. It makes me want to find out more. I think more than being attracted, Clay is obsessing over Stella. He surely desires her but the way Stella is, it leaves a suspicion that there may be more to Clay's desires.
Poor Gwen. Clay was such a jerk back there. It's like he slapping Gwen real hard there and then. To his credit, he did feel a bit sorry but I don't think it was enough to compensate how he handled Gwen. He didn't seem to care about her at all. Actually, he didn't seem to care about anything else. His mind seems to filled only with Stella. It makes me wonder. Does Stella do it on purpose?
| Fayechii chapter 1 . 3/11
You definitely set the atmosphere for your story pretty well. I like the little bit of introduction at the beginning. It helped me understand the story but it didn't bore me at all. I think Clay was portrayed well here. I can already see his attraction to Stella. I can see how different he is towards Stella as compared to others because when he's interacting with Stella, he seems to be under her spell. He becomes so distracted with his attraction that he almost forgets everything else, then he'd just snap back to reality.
Stella definitely emits a mysterious aura around her. The Stella from Clay point of view and the Stella that actually interacts with Clay intrigued me. The way you described her makes me want to uncover what kind of mystery surrounds her.
I also like how the sexual tension adds us to its mystery. If I didn't know better, I would think that Clay's attraction is merely sexual but you made it seem like there was more than a sexual attraction there. I just can't seem to point it out at the moment.
| AppleCinnamon chapter 1 . 3/10
I was sure I reviewed this before, but I can't seem to find it.
So, probably my biggest trouble I had with the piece is that it comes across as a pretty cliched YA SuperMance story. We've got the shallow d-bag checking out the freakshow-turned-hottie love interest, the bitchy shallow girlfriend, the usual beachhouse party thrown by the rich girl. Ultimately it feels pretty shallow and not very original. Granted, personal interest plays a big role in my own issues with it, the story so far follows a pretty standard formula that's been proven time and again works.
Something I will say for the party setting is that it offers a convenient time to offer introductions to several characters at once. There are a lot of names popping up for a first chapter, and I think it may take me a while to keep everyone byt Clay, Stella and Gwen straight, but I also think it helps to establish the characters' existance early on so when they do become relevant their re-entry into the story won't feel quite as out of the blue. (Sort of a chance to log them away until they're needed).
You also do a good job reflecting the setting/genre through your writing. Sometimes the writing leans a wee bit to the flowery side, but in a way that feels natural amongst young people sowing their oats. The writing makes me feel like the story and setting match, which of course helps immerse the reader.
| YasuRan chapter 13 . 3/10
First thing's first, the plot you have going on is fascinating. I love how the mystery ties in with elements of the supernatural (or does it really?). The setting seems like a relatively mundane, glitzy rich-kid haven a la The Hamptons, especially with all the beautiful young people hanging around, but then in walks Stella (or is it Alix after all?) to turn everything upside down. There is definitely something out-of-the-ordinary about her chemistry with Clay and the details surrounding her family. Their interactions play out very well and I enjoy how Stella's aloofness keeps Clay - and the reader guessing as to who - or what - she really is.
I'm also enjoying the side-characters; Hildy in particular. I love clever characters and he seems to have an interesting background to match as well. I even like Gwen, despite how much of a spoiled brat she can be. Clay's rejection of her has really cut deep and this chapter shows how desperate she really is to make him feel the same level of pain in return. I'm very interested in seeing where this all goes :)
| Cheddar and Graham chapter 13 . 3/9
RG EF review
There were quite a few bits of language use that I liked at the starting - here are the highlights:
- drinking mercury : that's an unusual, and very strong image
- not worried about you getting pregnant : haha, loved that little touch of humour
- microscopic firecrackers : I could almost feel that vivid description, sitting here.
Ooh, nice curveball there with the old lady whom Clay thought was Gwen. So it was Clay jumping to conclusions and taking us readers along for the ride... I think you could have upped the suspense a little at the appearance of Wendy and maybe amplified Clay's reaction (confused? relieved?) right at that moment of revelation, but on the whole it was pretty well done.
| Jalux chapter 13 . 3/7
The start was intense but I saw it coming with Stella and Clay hanging out so much that this was bound to happen sooner or later. I think you manage to keep it tasteful without being overly sappy so nice work on that. I wonder if the body being too deep to pull up is true, somehow I get the feeling there's more to this and when Clay goes with her to look at the body we're going to see some interesting developments.
Oh so it wasn't actually Gwen? Clever I suppose but a little bit of a letdown. I was expecting some dark magic or something but it makes sense and I don't think it's a bad twist by any means. Still yeah Hildy seems overly stressed over this whole situation and isn't thinking properly which is believable. I do wonder why he thought Stella was behind this. Will be interesting to find out.
Interesting turn for Gwen's character, you do feel sorry for her though with Clay brushing her off constantly and now she's gone for something else. Seems like they're will be ramifications to this but we'll wait and see. Overall this was a very good chapter definitely, plot really moves along and we get some more character developing. Good job.
| Walkerfan chapter 3 . 3/7
I like the little titbits of information you are dropping to keep people interested. The bit of a back story Marcia told. The way Clay noted that Stella seemed to be floating. It seems as if there is some of the supernatural going on here. Again I will use the word mystery, but you do keep things mysteries with only hints.
I also liked how you had Hildy reminiscing about his time at school. Mainly because it give us some more info about what Clay looks like. Also, it lets us know what