Reviews for Life is a box of chocolates (Anthology)
Jitterbug Blues chapter 4 . 5/4/2014
I kind of like the bitter tone of this piece, because I can relate to it, for several reasons (some of which you know, others that I haven't told anyone, and never will). As someone who’s had several online friends spanning over a few continents and age groups as well as professions, I think this is a very modern, for many of us relatable piece, especially the ones who come from a fannish background. I really liked how realistic this was in tone, what with this person losing himself in the internet, taking fandom more seriously than RL, and thus being something of an escapist. I think it worked because it hit close to home, without being condemning.

I like the language in this piece too. It's very different from your usual style - very abrasive and bitter. I think it works because it channels the emotions well. Hmm, the only thing I feel that could be improved upon is that the prose could have been tighter, maybe a bit less chunky? But I'm tired, so take this with a grain of salt. I definitely like the tone, because it's very bitter and personal. Definitely worked for me.
LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 2 . 4/11/2014
I liked the way you integrated the flashbacks because it made us learn more about Base and his relationship with other characters. However, on the same token, I disliked them in the beginning because they were aburpt and made little sense. I also like the end line because it shows how strong Base is as a character and shows he cares for people. I also like Finn because he wants to be different, it shows a definitive character trait. This is a great story.
darkest before chapter 2 . 4/9/2014
I was a little confused from the very beginning, though that was probably because I failed to pay attention and realize that this was to be a collection of works. This feeling was compounded by the first few paragraphs or so of the story, what with the mess of limbs and bodies and uniformity. There was almost a sense of claustrophobia. Though that might just be the style of the story, which works out.

The further along you got, especially with those fragments of the past, the more the work made a cohesive effort to bind together. I began to get a sense of the tragedy behind his lost love and the Organization he works for. And introducing Finn was a great way to bring everything full circle. The existence of Mammy was another point of applause, (s)he seems so sinister, I was looking forward to learning more about her.

All in all, great stuff.
CardMaster123 chapter 2 . 4/9/2014
The Review Game:
I'm not one for the Sci-Fi genre, but the story is running as smoothly as those 'bodies'!
The power of description that you possess is fine, but it still feels like a first-person story in the first few paragraphs to the near-middle because of the way things are said (E.g. "He takes her on, even though her skills don't match her requirements.") and preformed (E.g. "He adjusted the misaligned arm with delicate fingers."). Those were my dislikes.
Try to adjust the way you write the actions the people are doing as if you were there as a ghost. I'm sure that if you do that, everything should run smoothly (no pun intended).
Ventracere chapter 2 . 4/7/2014
Opening the chapter with "Body number thirty eight" and repeating that over again reinforces the imagery you're going on with. I'm thinking bodies upon bodies, even though it is only 49 piles. It's slightly - I wouldn't say horrifying - miffing.

So many bodies in "human sized pillboxes", which was a pretty good visual comparison. This reminds me a little of Cloud Atlas, with Somni - these bodies lined up remind me of the factory. These bodies are malfunctioned or mutated just a little bit, and they aren't enough to "pass" through whatever Base needs them to.

I thought the child saying "I don't want to become a Promised One after all" shows that although he may come across as naive, he has some sense and is also one of your strongest lines here. The child is pure, for all that he is curious, he is innocent. His innocence is cracked slightly because he knows the implications.
Jitterbug Blues chapter 2 . 4/7/2014
It’s kind of interesting to see what changes you implemented into this. I think this version flows better :3? Anyhow, let’s go on with the review :D

So my favourite thing about this would really be the plot. I really like how you turned this story into a dark, twisted little story of regret and musings – it’s a fascinating read, because the world you constructed here is clearly a crapsack world where children are geared/bred to become sex dolls. I think there’s a lot here that could be expanded upon, but you did a great job of keeping the plot compressed and just brief enough to fit into a one-shot; there are just enough hints to make the reader feel tickled, without going overboard. And you manage to reveal enough details, so that the reader is not lost and confused. Eh, I just like the plot? (And this version is definitely more compact than what you shared with me before).

I also like the little love story you tell in italics, which – in my opinion – gives the story a personal dimension that makes Base a tragic character (though he’s not openly lamenting his grief, and is somewhat detached, aloof about it, but that’s another aspect of your stories I like: they’re all just a bit colder in their characterisation than you’d expect, but still show pain through the characters’ actions. I hope I’m making sense? XD).

I like the doll imagery – you depict those people as inanimate objects, which makes everything just a touch creepier (I mean, those are still …people, just with their memories removed). But really, it’s creepy how you depict like dolls that get undressed, need to be tweaked and so forth; it’s easy to forget that they are humans until one really thinks about it O_o. So yeah, I like what you did here, because it’s incredibly creepy and thought-provoking.

I like the ending, what with Base saying that the boy has the choice to live or die (and break away from ‘Mama’ and his ‘demands’). I think it adds a note of … hope to the story, though it’s really not clear if Finn will break away.
tstul006 chapter 1 . 3/14/2014
Greetings from The Review Game.

I disliked the Americanized World comment. I grew up calling it Primary school (grades K-4) Middle School (grades 5-8) and High School(9-12). I have never called it grade school. I've actually never heard anyone in America call it that. So it's not that it's the slight dis to America it's the misinformation. It think maybe what you're trying to say is High School Diploma? But then it seems like they are still in high school so I really don't know what you were trying to say. I would suggest just taking out the Americanized part. It's easier to see what you mean without it because with it I've become overly confused.

I disliked the formating. It was very confusing and I'm still not sure I understand exactly what's happening to be truthful. What was he doing exactly? Because it's so vague that my mind has come up with many scenarios. What kind of place did the girl go? A comic-con? A sex mall?

I liked that you used a different way to tell a story. I think it would work better if you went into more detail between the italicized sections. Maybe make them full paragraphs. I'd also suggest naming your characters.

I liked the girl. She didn't only see the boy as some random performer but as a person. She looked at his face. She noticed him at school. That was nice it made her seem more real. Relatable characters are always easier to read.
cybersheep chapter 1 . 3/11/2014
Hiiii! I’m going to review this for the review game to be topical and such, and assume that I will spam you with JAT-love later :D.

Also, I’m going to blab at you, because I blab when things get all experimental. JUST SAYING. And this was so strange and different to read – from the writing style, to the story itself.

I like the two layers you got from using the brackets here. I’m not sure if I’m right, but I sort of linked it to what people see on the outside, compared to what the person of interest actually feels/knows. Which I think worked well with the staring through people at the start and the end here – how the face you see might not necessarily be the person behind it. Even how people separate different spheres of their life (particularly with ‘Him’, taking on this job – and how both of them share that sorta moment in the shop, but then don’t look at each other at the end). Ooh. So like the part-time aspect isn’t just that he takes on a part-time job…more that each of us has little part-time pieces of life. So school’s part-time. And the girl visiting the shop is part-time. And school is part time. Even their almost moment is part-time. SEE I’M BLABBING.

Also, such a strange story to piece together. I got a little confused at what sort of shop it was that the boy was working at, but that might just be because I’ve never been to one. Like the thing he was doing… I wasn’t sure if it was art or porn / peep show (OR BOTH :p).

Mm, and I like the use of the asterisks in this, because they make the girl seem a little immature (and she *is* a little immature). It helped separate their voices – given how he seems quite mature, and with a good (exact!) idea of what he wants to do with his life, and what he needs to do to get there. The contrast you emphasise near the end – he goes to school to get educated, and she does to get socialised.

Also, LOVE how you used the prompt here. Nothing like a bit of mannequin sex :p
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 3/9/2014
The format here is different and definitely catches the reader's attention. I think you manage to use it to your advantage, though I wouldn't recommend it for a piece any long than this, as it could get frustrating/forced in the longterm. But as it is, I think it's different, which helps this piece to stand out. One thing I found annoying while reading were the chatspeak-style actions, set apart from the rest of the text with asterisks (*giggle* etc.). This piece has a very experimental feel to it, which I mentioned that I enjoyed, but the asterisks made things seem immature and sloppy, and altogether made me take the piece less seriously on the whole.
Jitterbug Blues chapter 1 . 3/6/2014
Hey there!

I'm really tired (bone-tired, I swear), so I'm not sure how good my review will be. I kept off reviewing this, because I just always seem to be tired or distracted these days. But anyhow.

I like the writing style. I mean, I know that you could say you overindulged in brackets, but I feel that writing should be about being experimental, and sometimes trying out things (maybe even overdoing things) to learn just how far you can stretch your abilities. And I think that, what this piece showed me at least, is that you're a really skilled writer: you have a wonderfully detailed writing style, with careful wording and I love the more understated quality of this piece. I also like how you use so many different stylistic devices in this piece to capture all the different moments, and voices and moods. I find it effective and kind of neat, because it makes this fic just pretty to look at (and it reads well).

Might not be everyone's thing, but it is mine :D And I can tell that you were inspired, because there's something so deliciously free about this piece. It's really beautiful, kind of eerie and just the sort of thing I want to come back and re-read. I kind of like this theme of breaking conventions and taboos to explore hidden desires (but I'll come back to re-read this, so I can um, give you better feedback).

Yeah, all I can say that this is a pretty fic, and you should explore more of your writing style with experiments like this :3
dmasterxd chapter 1 . 3/4/2014
I liked the format/style you used because the way you would have one line be basic and then the next one would be more detailed and vivid. I also enjoyed the way you set up the whole structure of the story slowly building up to the climatic ending where the guy and girl finally reach other but just pass by setting the tone for the next chapter.
deadaccount2019 chapter 1 . 3/4/2014
Hey there! Jitterbug put this up as an alternate for blocked folks, so here I am. :D

The pacing here was probably the biggest issue I had with the story. Granted, from a technique perspective it's unique and therefore intriguing, however it did give the overall pacing a jarring and sometimes long-winded effect.

Now, despite my criticism on the pacing, I definitely enjoyed the technique. What it lacks in pacing, it makes up for in voice and is a great way to condense the narrators' mentality and expedite the backstory.

The writing makes the story feel very much like a freewriting exercise, however I think it works very nicely in this case. I think the only little things that didn't click were the transitions between Him and Her (which were a bit jarring), and then how wordy Her parts got. For the sake of consistency, I thought it would have helped to condense Her paragraphs a little, however feel free to disregard that note if I've just missed an intended effect. :)

I like that you open and end on the cold/unseeing. It frames the story quite nicely and gave it a strong 'forbidden love' vibe. The ending in particular left me wanting more, but at the same time it gave a good sense of closure to the story.
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