|Reviews for The Back-Up Plan|
| Shadowswept chapter 31 . 8/30/2014
I'm glad you posted this bonus chapter. It was great to get more insight into Isa, because we really didn't know much about her background. I assumed she was from Puerto Rico, but she's actually from Argentina. You also showed us more about her family, and it's a shame that she doesn't have a good relationship with her mother. There is often friction between teenage girls and their mothers, but her mother seems cold toward her. I have witnessed something like this firsthand, and you portrayed it accurately.
Thank goodness for Raina! If she hadn't convinced her to talk to him, Isa would have regretted it her entire life. Yeah she would have moved on, but it would have nagged at her. I like how she described Jake. Most stories have the gorgeous fantasy guy, but most of us fall in love with regular guys in real life. It's nice for average guys to get their stories too. Little details mean a lot when you're in love, and it's wonderful how you included that here with the memory of Jake holding her hand. You absolutely do remember affectionate gestures like that.
I have to face the fact that it's really over now. I enjoyed this story from start to finish, and I'm going to miss Jake and Isa very much. Now I have to read Carly and Hunter's story to see where it all began. FYI: You are not untalented or boring in any way, and I thank you for posting stories about real people. Not everyone can write an interesting story about normal people. I enjoy the ones about rock stars, werewolves, and other unlikely scenarios as much as anyone, but it's nice to get wrapped up in the lives of people I can relate to also. The Back-Up Plan is in my favorites.
| Shadowswept chapter 30 . 8/29/2014
This was absolutely my favorite chapter, even though I really enjoyed all the previous ones. There is an amazing distinction between this chapter and the rest of the story. Isa and Jake are both at a very different level of maturity here than in past chapters. You have actually conveyed the passing of time in a variation in the tone of your writing rather than just stating time skip. I haven't seen any other author succeed in doing this. I mean Jake's thoughts are expressed in a completely different manner than they were in the high school chapters. It's truly astounding.
Now on to what transpired in this chapter. I love it! I think you found the perfect way to end their story. You managed to solve the problem of their staggered high school grades and reconnect them in a plausible and memorable way. They needed time to mature before they could make it work. I loved the way you described how their old feelings surfaced, because love is strong enough to survive both time and distance. I know that for a fact. You're right that this chapter wasn't what I was expecting, but it was wonderful, real, and very satisfying.
| Shadowswept chapter 29 . 8/29/2014
Isa is still Isa! She does things on her own terms, and she broke up with Miles when she was ready to. I didn't expect her to approach Jake, but I'm thrilled that she did. And she does have a habit of springing the kisses on him, which is always worth the wait. I enjoyed this chapter very much, but I'm troubled by the way it ended. It doesn't seem to me like she's merely running late. I hope I'm wrong.
| Shadowswept chapter 28 . 8/29/2014
I wasn't expecting the move on Carly. That took a lot of nerve. I wonder if that was his idea or Vanessa's. Hunter doesn't seem to be the jerk that Jake thought he was if he could let that go and even give Carly privacy to talk with him. Isa definitely was open to hearing Jake confess his feelings, but he froze up. Everything else is falling into place for him. He's renewed his friendships with Vanessa and Carly, but Isa still eludes him. I'm glad it's the weekend and I have time to read, because I'm so close to the end of the story and I have to know what happens. Oh yeah, I got a kick of his Think like Isa mantra.
| Shadowswept chapter 27 . 8/28/2014
Some readers might have been frustrated with Jake at this point for not telling Isa how he feels, but I understand his fear of rejection. She hasn't been very open to his overtures so far, so he's insecure about laying it all on the line. It's more than just asking some cute girl to go out with him like he did with Robin. This is a more delicate situation. His uncertainty about her is real and understandable, but I don't think he'll be able to give up on her.
| Shadowswept chapter 26 . 8/27/2014
Yes, Cole is a wonderful boyfriend. He's putting a lot of effort into making her birthday special, and it shows how thoughtful he is and how much he wants to make her happy. And Jake's mom was right, as mothers often are. Cole did need more help. Yes, I do miss Isa a lot, but I think you're gearing up for a big finale. It does complicate things even more that she'll be graduating while Jake remains in high school. I'm interested to see how they'll deal with that and everything else.
| Shadowswept chapter 25 . 8/25/2014
I think Jake is afraid of being rejected by Isa, and that's why he's stalling on telling her his feelings. The scene where he threw himself in front of Miles to protect her was a powerful example of how much he cares about her. I suspect that she already knows how he feels about her, but she doesn't want to deal with it. I have no idea how Carly is involved in Vanessa's plan, but I'm curious to find out.
| Shadowswept chapter 23 . 8/24/2014
No, I don't want it to end! Even though I've been waiting for a resolution between them the entire time. Isa's denial was expected and true to her character. I'm excited about Jake taking action though, because it took a lot of guts for him to go to her and demand an explanation. Your idea for Vanessa's chart is ingenious and completely original. I love it! I haven't said enough about how wonderful his friendship with Vanessa is. They are both terrific people to be able to get past the disaster of their dating relationship and be real friends again. There are so many lovely layers to this story.
| Shadowswept chapter 22 . 8/24/2014
It's details like these that add to the realism of the story. You don't forget about the other people in his life like his parents, his friends, and even Robin's sister. I'm sure you know what my favorite part of this chapter was though. I like how you described this kiss differently from the last one. There's no denying that she wanted to kiss him and that she likes him, because there was no other reason for it this time. She's only shown her vulnerable side to Jake, and that's part of what makes their relationship special. It has a powerful emotional impact on Jake, and on the reader as well. But true to her character, Isa will try to avoid something that makes her feel weak. The pace of this story is perfect. I admire your patience in letting things happen realistically and naturally instead of throwing your characters into contrived situations to force things to happen between them. This is true character development.
| Shadowswept chapter 21 . 8/23/2014
I understand agonizing over breaking up with someone, but I'm so glad it finally happened! And neither of them had strong feelings for the other, so that made it easier. You wrote all of it in such a natural, realistic way. Everything in this story feels like it could happen in real life, and I've only found a few writers on this site who can write in such a realistic way. I like the fantasy stories too, but sometimes you just want to read about people you can relate to. Obviously, I don't know how guys think, but Jake comes across as very real. Isa is the most exciting character in this story, and she is showing how special Jake is to her. I don't know what she's going to do about Miles, but I love all her interactions with Jake.
| Shadowswept chapter 20 . 8/23/2014
Yes, it turned out very well. I like how you take your time getting to the turning point instead of rushing through the story. This is so realistic, because people do waver over big decisions. You've kept both Jake and Isa very consistent as characters, but they've both changed slowly in subtle, realistic ways. Oh my goodness, Isa cares about Jake! She really cares about him. I forgot to tell you before what a kick I get out of her calling him dumbass. It's so fitting to her character, but she also can't hide her concern for him. I think she's a very unique, cool character-and she's your amazing creation! I completely understand how Jake would be the one to get past her defenses, because he's so easy to love. I also enjoyed his talk with his mom, because guidance is a parent's most important role. And his mom agrees with me about his feelings for Isa! His dad was fun comic relief, and that helps in life too. You can't be serious all the time or you'll get depressed.
| Shadowswept chapter 19 . 8/23/2014
Yes, she's back! I definitely missed her, and she came back in her usual dramatic way. They still have great chemistry, and it underscored how much is lacking in his relationship with Robin. He thinks of Isa as the sneaky one, but she's much more direct with him than Robin is. Well, now that it seems like both of them have big problems with the people they're with, I'm hoping they get together with each other. I just love the two of them together, and the scene in the closet was so perfectly them.
| Shadowswept chapter 18 . 8/22/2014
That was a big surprise about Isa. I wasn't expecting that, but Miles seems kind of strange. The whole situation with Robin has also become kind of strange and awkward. She definitely isn't the right girl for Jake. I'm convinced of that now. At least he can count on Vanessa to be a real friend. I'll be honest that I've never been to a big party like this, but your portrayal of it seemed realistic. Not knowing anyone would make Jake feel like an outsider and it wouldn't be any fun for him.
I found a typo. Hanks eyes boring wholes into my skull should be holes. Also, there is an extra word. "Jake, I'm worried about you," she Carly said. You could drop either she or Carly in that sentence. I'm not much of an editor, but I did notice those two mistakes. Hope you don't mind me pointing them out.
| Shadowswept chapter 17 . 8/21/2014
Finally, I get a chance to sit down and read again! I think I've mentioned this before, but I love how sweet and considerate Jake is. Robin had no reason to shut him out like that, and I'm disappointed in her. Some girls just don't know how to appreciate a great guy. I don't see this relationship lasting much longer. I'm still hoping for him and Isa to get together, but I thought this chapter was very realistic with his mom's reaction. No mom wants to see that, no matter how cool she is.
| Shadowswept chapter 16 . 8/17/2014
Whoa, Robin moves fast! I'm glad Jake had enough sense to slow things down. I'm still very unsure about her, and I miss Isa. It's great how Cole showed concern for Jake, but I can understand Jake's attitude. He's feeling kind of lost right now and wants to forget his problems. You say this is a filler chapter, but I think it's all character development. Sometimes you can't figure out what you really want until you realize what you don't want. Jake is pushing past his comfort zone and testing out new experiences without going too far. It says a lot about what kind of person he is.