Reviews for Life is a box of chocolates (Anthology)
m. b. whitlock chapter 8 . 8/10/2014
RG EF #5,980

Interesting story. I like the meta/self-referential qualities. I think the structure is very well formed and elegant. I will say that it is a little monochromatic, if you know what I mean. There isn't a great dynamic, no big change in character or mood really. Not that that's a bad thing necessarily. Lots of horror stories maintain the same tonality, it's just the level of intensity that changes. :)

I am confused by some of your verb tense choices. You start in present tense:
"I see a girl who looks like you."

"If only that were you I was looking at." Now the verb tense changes to the past, which seems a bit odd. Honestly I'd cut this sentence and go straight into this:
"I know it can't be you because you've moved across the country to some place you refused to tell me anything about except that it was as bloody far away from you (well, me) as possible but I know you didn't mean that."

I also feel the "you (well, me)" construction is a bit awkward. You might to consider trying a different format or something?

Interesting meta/self-referential stuff here:
"I began writing again, posted my stuff online, thought about joining a contest with a writing prompt on magic and feather beds. I had this great idea, see, of writing about the magic of us." Makes me wonder about you… ;)

"you know, the one with those two drops of your blood from when your dangly earrings scratched your neck– and how hard it was not to just start dowsing for you." dowsing?

like this, it's intense:
"with my arms, driven by the memory of how, when we're together, I just want to make the distance between us void, to hold you so close that I become the air that you breathe."

cool:
"At the very least I'd re-grow the mop of curls that you inexplicably find so appealing." Very interesting possibilities with this line.

a neat elegant ending:
"You're just happy that we're together again."

vb,

mbw
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 8 . 8/10/2014
Okay, this one was creepy O_o Like veritably creepy, which is saying a lot considering. Anyhow, I liked how the narrator is so self-deceived, so utterly convinced of his actions being *right*, because they are done in the name of love. It not only adds to the creepiness factor, but it just feels real to me, given that people in this kind of situation tend to be delusional and like to fabricate reality according to their own beliefs. Lines that really showcase this to me is the last line of this piece; it just hammers home how utterly dangerous this person is, and just how many lengths they are willing to go in order to keep the person they love at their side.

I love how you depict the narrator's love for the girl: it starts out reasonably healthy at first, with the narrator noting how they love her quirks, but it grows increasingly more and more obsessive when you realise that this girl represents everything the narrator themselves feel they don't have (the capacity for emotion …). I think it's inherently unhealthy and creepy, because it speaks of emotional co-dependence, which can never end well (and very well doesn't in this case). I definitely like how this piece just showcased how dangerous an unhealthy attachment can be.

I liked the magical element in this piece, because it reinforced the unhealthy aspect of the relationship while adding an edge to it; I think it just showed how far some people are willing to go in order to keep the person they 'love' at their side. I am sure I have repeated myself, but I just found it to be an effective method of showcasing that. IMO, you wouldn't have needed it, but I thought it added a creative touch to the fic.

Otherwise, I thought this was quite realistic, what with the narrator observing that girl and then reassuring himself, after the abduction, that this was all right, and that this was fine. I liked how, at the end, there was no doubt how scared the girl was, but how that didn't matter to the narrator at all, because they were far too deluded to care.

So yeah - creepy and uncomfortable, but I like it!
Longe chapter 8 . 8/9/2014
Review Game- Easy Fix

Very nice! This chapter was smooth, especially the beginning. It displayed the narrator's emotion and attachment to his missing lover. You built up and followed through with his passion for her.

The end was quite shocking, though. It seemed so mellow at first, so readers would typically think this story was going to be mushy. Your main character obviously has some psychological issues. Congrats on a successful plot twist.

Good job!
Longe chapter 7 . 7/12/2014
Review Game- Easy Fix

It was interesting how you used a female name (Io) for a male character. Interesting way to start though. I was not aware that Io was a male until later on. It makes the reader wonder how the story will play out from here...

You have a great hook so far. It's obvious that Connelly and Io have something going on. Whether or not it's specifically for whatever medical experiments they are doing, we will have to find out later. Another thing is what exactly does Kirsten do? Keep it coming! This is interesting.
TriploblasticSkies chapter 7 . 7/12/2014
I actually quite liked this one. Although sci-fi really isn't my thing -it just makes me feel dense, you know -I kinda liked how this ended. I ESPCECIALLY liked how this ended. Io's nice, isn't he? Whatever he is...
It was good, I'd say. :)
Highway Unicorn chapter 7 . 7/10/2014
Wow. Holy shit. Okay.

Your imagery? Awesome as fuck. Like seriously. I absolutely loved the imagery in "Act One" because it showed this raw, confusing, sexual vibe between two young men and I felt you did an *amazing* job at portraying all of those desires and wants and omg it was so good.

Couldn't tell if they were brothers or not xD I'm thinking they were in the same foster home or orphanage since Sister said they wouldn't get adopted if they couldn't sleep in their own rooms. Well...they could still be brothers. IDK. But yeah.

I also really liked the fact you were able to paint out this erotic yet passionate moment between these two characters without going into sexual detail because you placed the beauty before the pleasure, imo. You didn't focus on it being good for the sake of it being a sex scene, but you allowed those raw emotions to lead the readers through it, and I felt you did an amazing job at doing so.

All in all, this was a great read. Good luck on the contest! :D
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 7 . 7/8/2014
Holy schmoly ****. I was half-dead when I first read this (late hours? Nothing for this lady anymore XD), but I’m more alert now, and I can only say: *wow*. Your entries, m’dear, have been getting better and better, and I feel this is the first piece where you really went all out horror, all out erotica and all out dark. And I love it, I really do, because I feel that’s the potential was lurking in you all the time. I’m not going to lie: some little things could use a bit of fine-tuning, but every piece needs editing till the point of infinity, so I’ll just say that this is very good and leave it at that :3 What I really, really love about this is the writing and structure of it: I can see that you’ve poured thought into this, making it a set of little anecdotes that are related to each other, but could also be standalones (just like a deck of cards – all part of a greater whole, but still separate units). I like this, because it makes the story more mysterious, and really makes you wonder what’s real and what’s not: maybe Euan is dreaming while he’s killing, or he’s in a coma and has built up this perfect fantasy of him and his nurse, together. It doesn’t really matter, I think, because what’s clear is that this is a story about love and desire, about appeasing and being with someone because you admire them. …

I feel like I should say something smart here, but I’d really need a third or fourth re-read till I really have those thoughts: for now it’s primarily about obsession and beauty for me. And yes, beauty makes me think of Hannibal XD. But really, some of my favourites parts of this piece for me were the bits where you described the destruction of Kirsten’s body: it was like you were describing work of art, and it was affectionate, like Euan was honouring that corpse (ohhh, you should watch Hannibal bb :P). I honestly just loved your writing there :D

But oh I loved the sex scene too, because while it wasn’t graphic or anything, it was erotic. Pure eroticism especially when you described how beautiful Io looked while he was riding XD. I might re-read those lines just because of how gorgeous they were, and how much feeling you put there. See, you never have to write explicit stuff in order to have hot sex scenes – the feeling is important, and you managed to write *that* very well.

(I love the tarot card theme btw; it’s just befitting of a story that relies heavily on imagery).

The last scene was admittedly my least favourite, because it got a bit frantic, but wow, it was creepy :D I kind of like the hint of dub-con (well ah, rape) there. In hindsight, I get why it’s frantic and disorganised – this is how Euan perceives Io’s voice. So I think it fits :D. I just honestly feel it’s a bit disjointed and stands a bit apart from the rest; I do think third person might have worked a bit better for you there – but that’s a really minor gripe, in a piece that I feel is VERY good. Definitely one of my faves by you so far. I think my opinion might change again when I re-read :D
SenatorBlitz chapter 2 . 6/28/2014
rule 10 depth debt repaymentttt!

opening: i actually think that the second set of lines starting with [ He didn't think he would make anyone puke at the sight of his skin and flesh...etc] are a much stronger beginning than the current one, because they hit me from the get go. i actually got hooked onto this because of those too lines and the idea of someone with flesh that goes undescribed but that can provoke such violent reactions. i also really love the style that you wrote this in with the italic entrance lines leading into the parts in brackets.. it makes it feel like i am hearing two parts of a conversation. i can read one or the other or both as i see fit and the story will shift a bit depending.

writing: i broached this a bit in the opening, but i really do adore this style. it is sparse, but with that sparseness it cuts to the heart of everything. i do admit a little bit of confusion when you switched between the boy and the girl povs for the narration and even more so when they were woven together, but i think that was because i just wasn't prepared. the second time i read through, when i was prepared for it, it was merely like another conversation had been overlain onto the one that had already been created by the style itself. i think this would work very well as a visual project either with film and text superimposed or those projects when the text itself becomes the art.

setting: okay, this might be overreaching, but i am about 70 percent sure this is set in asia - i only say that because of the inclusion of cybercafes (and that age limit thing for entrance) and the particular color of their uniform (ze olive green in particular). i could be wrong, and i am going off some very tenuous evidence, but it reminds me of ma flippity flip cybercafe hopping childhood. i liked that it was very familliar. i think you did a lovely job of placing the setting for a piece that was very character heavy. admittedly it was a bit vague in places, but it didn't detract from the reading for me at all.

ending: um, okay, so i feel a bit stupid but i dont really understand what happened in the end. much of my enjoyment of the piece was its language and its words, particularly in the first part and in the penultimate part. the part that comes in the middle, when she is talking about finding him and she is the one forgetting or something - yeah lost me there. um, i think i would have needed some clarification of that part, particularly how the job he does factors into the meeting with the girl later (if indeed it does at all). im so sorry if im simply not understanding properly!

this was cool though! glad i got to read it
ArgentanHeart chapter 2 . 6/23/2014
Writing: I liked the writing for the most part. I think it was almost more like poetry than prose. There were some awkward parts in the middle when you started with the girl's perspective - I found the *asterisked* parts a little awkward to read. And the pacing of some of the longer parts in brackets felt a little off (but by the end of the piece I was really into the style).

Plot: Okay, so I don't really know what happened here. Where were they, why was the girl their, why was the boy dressed up. I don't really get what he was doing. I thought he wrote YA stories... Why was she so nervous? I feel like their is a cultural barrier. I got girl and boy possibly interested in each other and had a moment where they could have gotten out of their shell - but they both ended up going on with their normal lives instead of taking a chance (which is a powerful story, just lacked some of the meat).

Ending: I loved the ending. Like I said in the plot section, the idea that they both had this disruption and potential to feel something sincere but they both stayed hidden behind their facades is beautiful.

Enjoyment: So my enjoyment varied through the piece. At the beginning, I was kind of luke warm on the different style. The middle, when it first transitioned to the girl, I had trouble with and didn't love - longer parts disrupted the pace a bit, the ** parts where also a bit awkward, I also kind of didn't really know what was going on. The ending I loved.
Kayla2175 chapter 6 . 6/15/2014
I liked the ending very much. It was quite unexpected due to the fact that it never implied that there was never anything wrong with the Emperor and it left the reader thinking , what's next. I thought that you should have added more tests for them to pass. It seems that only five tests would not be enough to narrow down the competition that fast.
deadaccount2019 chapter 6 . 6/15/2014
Wow... Where to begin?

I guess I'll start with the one weak point of the story: The setting. I know the author note suggests that there isn't a specific society/region in the story, but I found it hard to conjure a solid image. For example, the opening scene made me think of something sterile, like an early to mid-1900s asylum, while during the later parts of the selection process I was envisioning more of an ancient Chinese hall of some sort, but then the names sound somewhat like Indian names, and then we get to the bed chambers and I envisioned something more along the lines of a European nobel's chambers with touches of eastern influence he happened to like. I tried rereading it, but I just couldn't seem to tie a consistent setting together. All I can really suggest is maybe include a recurring detail to help establish a unified setting.

Outside of that, I sort of got lost in Shyan's feelings throughout the story. The opening feels a bit dreary (in a good way), which to me really seemed to reflect her relative apathy toward what was going on. The sudden teasing of The Picker definitely felt impulsive, like she was just having a bit of fun to pass the time, but then as the story continues there's a subtle shift in the voice where you can feel underneath it all, the bored impulse has turned into competition. It's light enough that her stunned reaction to not having been chosen was believable, and to be honest I was right along with her on it and I kept wondering who or how she was beat out.

The tension at the end is great. :D I think perhaps I had more of an emotional response than Shyan did, but it had already been an odd day, so I could see why she doesn't really react at first, and the lead in to the horrific awe in the story's twist was again, totally understandable. I'm going to be honest: I really wish this were something that would be continued, because I would love to see how her relationship with Roja develops once she's been able to process the shock of his secret, and I think that's what makes the story's ending both frustrating and wonderful; the reader is left with only their imagination and What Ifs, but also with a sense of closure (a warm-hearted one for that matter if the reader is optimistic).

Anyhoo, very delightful and surprising read, even in the dark tones! Definitely a winner in my books. :D Good luck in the WCC!
faerie-gumdrops chapter 6 . 6/14/2014
I absolutely loved all of the creativity you've got going in this, how you've established this whole system with The Companian, The Picker etc - which I think would usually sit well in a full length story - in such a short wee piece. It's sort if fearless writing and I had so much fun trying to work out what was going on, what the Companion does etc. There were so many questions, and I like that you left a lot of them unanswered - this will definitely stick with me because of that.

While Roja's definitely a mystery - especially at the end there - he's interesting. I like the transformation, and the contrast between the way he screwed Shyan and the current companion. The monster inside him and all. I think Shyan interested me the most though. There is something /very/ odd about that girl and her complete lack of fear. She was so entertaining throughout, drawing faces on her body and stuff - the girl's definitely got spark. At the end with the previous companion getting eaten - I live her muted reaction and suspect some sort of odd quirk to her personality, bless her. She was just so cool with it :p.

Haha I actually ship these guys pretty hard, and we barelu know Roja, so well done you :). This was really lovely, even if it did involve poking at peoples teeth *shudder*.
Ventracere chapter 6 . 6/12/2014
this chapter starts out with already a dark tone. The picker is only mentioned briefly in the beginning but what he does stands out. The begining section of this chapter also reminds me a little bit of stories like "matched" or the reaping from the hunger games

Your protagonist is braver than I thought she would be and that is a brighter part amid the darker onset around her. It helps to brighten up the rest of the chapter and perhaps signals a turn of how this might not be as dark as previously predicted.

I'm glad that she didn't get picked. you for sure what was happening
Timbo Slice chapter 6 . 6/9/2014
Well damn, what an interesting little piece you have here. O_o

After reading this, I can definitely sense an uneasy feeling of perverseness hidden beneath the seemingly innocent task of the emperor finding a companion but the whole groping of mouths and inspecting their naked bodies kind of paled in comparison to the true horror of the ending and I thought that was a nice little twist to the ending, as it was something unexpected but still managed to put he events of the story into perspective.

What little characterization that was present was also paced very well, with the girl coming off as somewhat headstrong who just wanted to become somewhat special in the eyes of her emperor, in fact her persistence and strong will to be the companion is even more heart breaking given the end of he story. I also like the somewhat redeemable qualities of Rojas, as his crying in the arms of the main character is a sign of remorse and he he is on his way to changing his ways because of the special girl who saw more to him than he could've known, kind of gives it an ambiguous ending (or at least one more hopeful!)
handna95 chapter 6 . 6/9/2014
So I haven't read any of your other chapters, but this was so interesting! The concept of having a companion was really cool. All of those people had to be sorted through to find the perfect one, only for them to be killed in the end. What an awesome concept.

I think that you did a wonderful job of characterization because even though this is the first chapter I've read, I still was interested in the characters, and their personalities and motivations. You made the King a gentle monster that I really want to get to know, and you made the girl cheeky and very coy.

I didn't have any issues with your writing at all. I thought this chapter was well crafted with a beginning, middle, and end, and had an interesting plot. Ahhh, I also just read that this was a bunch of one-shots. Haha you still did well with characterizations and plot.
207 | « Prev Page 1 .. 2 9 10 11 12 13 .. Last Next »