Reviews for Jamie
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 2/15/2013
Hello from the Review Game!

I'm not really sure what you mean by "page breaks"? I'm assuming scene breaks? Either way, I don't think this story needs page or scene breaks because you handle the pacing and passing of time well enough to keep the reader grounded in the present.

Spelling/Grammar/Style/Technical Suggestions:

[a fat lady with lipstick Jamie couldn't help looking at because it seemed to leak as if she were a bad painting [of herself] being unpainted.]

This simile was hard to picture for me, but I think that's just because it's a little too wordy. Maybe take out the bracketed "of herself" since it's already implied; it makes it easier to understand.

["I think [that] all [that] Jamie needs is a little more self confidence," she said.]

Suggest taking out the two bracketed "thats" so the dialogue doesn't sound so stiff.

["We'll go back Father Epicenerious's Church."]

Missing a "to" before "Father," I think.

[the one that Lily dimpled and blushed as carefully as if she were sculpting a Matryoshka doll.]

I think you're missing an "at" before the "as if she"?

["I think I'm dating Olly Otto," Jamie said at last, if only to get a rise. Butch twirled his drumstick. "Who's Olly?"]

Suggest splitting Butch's dialogue into its own paragraph. It's pretty easy to determine he's the one saying that last bit, but it tripped me up while I was reading and I had to read it twice.

[A blade of light gleamed in her eyes. "You don't know." Her voice was steady and low. She flicked open her gecko-spotted Zippo and lit a cigarette.]

Same suggestion as above.

["I—I hadn't seen her in awhile." His mother blinked her eyes slowly.]

Same suggestion as above. I know Jamie is saying this dialogue, but the action of his mother right after it makes it seem like it's her saying it on first glance.


Scene: The scene with Jamie and Olly about halfway down the page kind of confused me, mostly what exactly they were doing. I tried comparing it to what happened between Jamie and Lily, but even then I'm not entirely sure - I think it's hinted that it's something sexual and they're exploring each other's bodies (because sin and indulgence is mentioned), but it's sorta ambiguous. I don't really mind the ambiguity between Jamie and Lily's past, because I don't care to read about little kids having sex (lol), but I think maybe clarifying what Jamie and Olly are doing (or what exactly Olly is doing to Jamie) might be something to consider. I read that scene three times and I'm still not sure. On one hand I take it literally and I think she really dresses him up like a ballerina, on another hand it sounds like she's taking photos of him (because of the suggested poses in italics? not sure), and then on the third hand I'm thinking it has the potential of being something sexual because of how nervous Jamie is acting. If your intentions are for their interaction here to be more concrete, then I think some telling is needed to really let the reader know what's going on.

Relationships: I like this relationship between Olly and Jamie, especially in the early stages. I think it's cute that at first she picks on him, then it's revealed she sorta has a thing for him. It's an interesting role reversal of the girl picking on the guy, however when it turns into the whole "crush" thing it's a bit cliche. While I did and do like it and the transformation between them, I sorta saw it coming and wasn't too surprised when she pulled Jamie into a room alone with her.

Dialogue: For the most part I really enjoy the dialogue, especially the indirect dialogue. I noticed throughout the story that a lot of Jamie's dialogue is indirect and is told instead of actually shown; this makes me wonder if it's a subtle way of showing how shy or quiet he is. I also like that transformation of how he loses his stutter near the end. There's a lot of emphasis put on spoken words in this story, which I found interesting and a nice experiment, especially how Jamie repeats a lot of stuff people tell him to himself as if he's trying to better understand it or come to terms with it.