Reviews for Life is a box of chocolates (Anthology)
Haydron chapter 3 . 6/11/2015
I'm sorry - I said renting, but really Claudia's been completely taken over hasn't she? Dear oh dear. I'm fascinated how this goes.
Haydron chapter 3 . 6/11/2015
Okay, so my previous review got pulled up for not following the directives of The Review Game - and fair enough. I really was bamboozled by the way it was set out (for me I'm not a fan of a line being put in italics, and then it being expanded further on in brackets, but the more writing there was, under an italicized sentence, the more I preferred it - because it resembled prose from a normal third person omniscient narrative/story and there wasn't any interruptions until the next italicized sentence, and that's what I viewed the italicized sentences as - interruptions. Am I making sense?)

Anyway onto chapter 3:
I'm much more comfortable with the narration here. Here the working of italics, into the narration is perfect. It supports, rather than interrupts - brings life and explanation to the story. Base or "Sebastian" is a fascinating character that views his job in an almost OCD way - through numbers. I like the dialogue - it's a nice balance with the narration, and reveals how a woman he likes - Claudia - is renting her body for money. The boy, Finn, is like us the reader, and asks the questions WE want answered. Very well done, and it sets out the tone unique to YOU.
Haydron chapter 2 . 6/11/2015
You mentioned K-POP, so everything else you said, I was sold by that point anyway :P I wish I could offer constructive criticism, but I feel a little out of my depth, you know? The style is not something I'm used to, so I don't know where to start. I liked it - especially when there were longer paragraphs in the parentheses.
RedactedNoLongerWriting chapter 12 . 6/10/2015
The tone of this was a little odd to me. Don't get me wrong, I liked the ominous feel of the majority of the piece, but it felt strange reading that and your note about wanting something that wasn't all doom and gloom. It was like 'well, this is going to get less bad soon' and then he's almost drowning so it's kinda cutting it close, you know? And then the ending lightens things up a bit, which is nice, but I think the mermaid's dialogue cheapened things. It's so informal compared to the rest of the piece that it's like a record scratch: hey, we were reading one thing but whoops, it was this other!

Overall, though, I liked this. You've got some nice worldbuilding in a short amount of time (the river sounds cool and the descriptions of the water and the mermaid were just detailed enough to be interesting but not overdone), and that brought the story to life.
pumadelic chapter 7 . 6/10/2015
Cleverly structured so the title doesn't completely give it away.

Each little act could almost be self sufficient and has its own writing style. In the first I particularly liked Euan seeing himself in Io's pupils: it sets up a theme and is expressed originally. Images like the 'whimpering puppy' are less evocative. Separating the hair tangles with scissors is great too - suggests enmeshment and has that dark fairytale quality.

The Damsel who can defend herself but can't defend herself - good idea. It is a bit confusing as to who is speaking in places . You're holding back the full names so the plot can unfold. some great writing here too- the trapezium of weak yellow light and the 'unfiltered sentiments'. Having Euan chase her for Io to catch makes sense. There is real suspense and tension here.

The Artist feels more like standard horror. It says a lot that Io would get Euan to do his 'work' for him

The lovers - again, the verb choregraph adds an original touch. Nice hint of 'if he fell asleep forever'

The Nurse - Not sure if any nurse would even bother to talk at this length but this isn't realism. It has a grim black humour to it - 'issues of consent' Ironic.

It just about hangs together if it is all a schizophrenic fantasy as we can imagine that Euan has absorbed names and faces at some point.

Very clever. For me, although there is a chill, there is not much distress because I can't engage much emotionally with any of these characters. The callousness of medical professionals is something I'm extremely used to and not shocked by. My bad
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 12 . 6/9/2015
Woah, haha - I love the spin on "two maids" - it took me a second after I read it and I had to re-read the prompt before I was like, "OOoooohhhhhhh...hahaha, maids." But yeah, clever. You definitely took a different spin on it, which is neat.

So far as "doom and gloom" is concerned...I suppose the ending certainly isn't doom and gloom, but I have to admit the story did (especially at first) have a very heavy, ominous feel to it set as a backdrop, kind of, to the more positive (even with his tragic past) narrator/MC and giggly Baby. Still, it had a happy ending! So there's that. I kept thinking, "Oh come on, you idiot EAT THE WORMS, they'll save your life surely!" when he was trying to get her to save him. Maybe it was the stress. xD

The technique of not really naming...*any* of the characters was different and it didn't fully register except kind of passively until I went to review and was like, "Did the boy even HAVE a name...?" It made it feel a little more...distant? Idk how to describe it. But anyway - I thought it was interesting, and even with the semi-dark beginning, it had a different/slightly less deep/serious feel to it than some of your other pieces in here, so a bit of a change in pace. :)

- Moonstar
pumadelic chapter 10 . 6/9/2015
The question in italics throws you right into the mood and the situation.

One problem I have here is that I don't know why the narrator is so isolated at school, unless being of a lower social class would do that on its own.

The doors trope is well sustained as a metaphor for the narrator who allows his/her boundaries to be crossed, as much out of resignation as anything else and for the notion of choices in life.

I found the narrator pretty unsympathetic because they do appear to be blaming the other character for everything in a very passive aggressive way rather than taking any responsibility for allowing the relationship/dependency situation to progress. Maybe the world of this story doesn't allow for many choices but that isn't completely clear.

This is an acute depiction of how inequality in relationships is a poison..inequality of feelings, social circumstances etc. The narrator's resentment is conveyed strongly.

The two lies create a sort of turn around . It seems that the narrator has never claimed to feel any sexual, emotional or mental attraction to their 'rescuer' because we do feel the other person has been used. It may be that the main emotion the narrator feels is a certain guilt and also pity. What's certain is that the other person is better off out of this relationship. I must admit I don't know how anyone could interpret 'This relationship is all your fault' as a romantic statement. I suppose it is a comment on the naivety of the other person. There is a suggestion that they might be a serial 'rescuer' with white knight syndrome.

Interesting but feels like a needs a little more flesh on its bones.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 7 . 6/8/2015
A review in five parts… xD

I really enjoyed the first part/Act One - yes, there are already undertones of slight strangeness here and ‘issues of consent’ except that because they are so young, it comes off too innocent to be that, and as much as adults (*hopefully*) don’t think about it much, little kids do experiment like that. Fully innocent/naive but also undeniably sexual. The part about the Sister separating them made me think of the Lannister twins in GoT. -cough-

The pacing and build-up in Act Two was really well done, I felt myself tensing up and going to the metaphorical (and slightly literal) edge of my seat as the tension ramped up. And [a moth fluttering drunkenly towards a candle flame] loved this liiiine. So vivid and evocative. Helpless, out of control, staggering and desperate - also, when we get to the end, we realize that even the ‘flame’ bit is accurate, since she seems to have staggered straight into doom while looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Act three is creepy and I’m not sure what to make of it. Act four is again with undertone hints of ‘off’-ness, but I still found it sexy and hope that’s not terrible of me. They seem to suit each other very well.

Act *five* also confused me, and I don’t want to draw the conclusions that it leads me to. Dx I want Io and Euan to be a real couple, not a dream in a creepy human body lab or…whatever is going on there, hnnnnnhhh…

I’m just going to imagine they’re creepy gay lover serial killers together and let my mind settle on and cling to that. Even if I’m sure there’s a much more morbid and deeper meaning here. All in all, though, each section is well written, and I enjoyed the mini-stories and the process of trying to piece them together and draw conclusions about how exactly they fit and add up.

- Moonstar
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 2 . 6/7/2015
This is really interesting. I can say that as I read it, it kept me engaged the whole while. The mix of fierce magnetism and yet lack of connection made the whole read feel sparked and tense, as though just *waiting* for something to happen. The two main characters seem to teeter that line the whole time, and then by the end, when they don't even speak it's like HNNNH... -grasps at thin air- And yet, kind of telling, at the same time. It's almost chilling, how you can get that close to personal to someone and yet, awash in the sea of life, still choose to just breeze past and ignore each other.

I also thought the style was very interesting. The short sentences make sharp, hard points that jut out, and then parenthesis make the 'explanation' portion read quick almost like all the information is rolling together. But they always back up the single sentence really well, and while very different, I think it worked well for a neat effect. I liked the piece on the whole - nice work.

- Moonstar
lookingwest chapter 5 . 6/7/2015
Ah, this is the only thing in this collection I haven't yet reviewed! I think I might've skipped over it at the time because it visually looked very long, but most of that I think is just the way it's formatted, yeah? So, time to review! I don't think I've ever read Haunting the Forgotten... I maybe got it confused a bit with the story with allegra but that can't be this one - I don't recognize the character names.

I think the most powerful part of this piece was the ending between Jay and Mach. I liked their dialogue and there was a lot of emotional impact even though I don't know these characters, you know? It takes guts sometimes to kill off characters - but I think it's almost benevolent that you kill them both together instead of leaving one alive without the other - in that way, it's almost a bittersweet ending, I think. Makes me curious to know what the alternative is like!

Otherwise, yeah I think technique-wise this was fun with the thoughts. I like how they picked up pacing until the very end when it's just dialogue and thoughts instead of any of the narration - I think that reflects the tension of the scene and also helped amp up the pacing until that hard-hitting end. Last two lines were also really great, and I like the choice to break it up almost like lines of poetry - there were a lot of instances of that in this piece, even like when Jay thinks "I will not touch him" but it's broken up so it's very hard hitting and staccato. This was a piece where your experimentation paid off again, I think :)

Lastly, I liked the setting of the darkness - I mean that is perhaps what gave me the most disorientation reading this, but the idea that she could see given the Golden One vision thingy was interesting, haha. OH, and lastly lastly - loved the "eating" scene - at first I was like "omg she's going to EAT HIM?" but that was great because it was able to get that same horrific effect out of the reader that Jay has when she touches Mach - transferred over the emotion well. I think that was one of my favorite moments besides the ending for those reasons! :)

Also heyyy, I extended WCC 2 days until the 9th, you should submit something! ;D heh

PS. Reason this played so quick - I reviewed you for the last RG EF round, but would've created a rule 10, so I just waited until I could post it without doing that, fingers crossed it doesn't, XD
lookingwest chapter 9 . 6/5/2015
Interesting. This piece threw me at the ending with suddenly being about arranged marriages, but I went back and re-read the part where he talks to his father about the Very Important Matter, and then when they speak to one another and have that exchange about what constitutes as being "good" and I think those two factors contribute somewhat to a sense of "foreshadow" in terms of the arranged marriage plot.

I'm not sure though I'm totally into the abrupt ending of her dying? I suppose it's a bit ambiguous as to whether they're found out and she's saved, but the tone didn't feel hopeful with the "words had lost their meaning" bit - though I do like the implication of that as also mirroring the reflection of "good" losing its meaning or connotations throughout the piece, so it was a very clever line!

Other than the abrupt dying though, I liked the rest of this and that was really my only point of contention with it. I enjoyed the way you set up their relationship - the bush scene in the opening got my attention and made me wonder what Izzy was doing, obviously, haha. I also thought the technique of using the first line of every part to state something about his character was a good way to depict / show things about him in a small span of time while also characterizing the plot. I do agree that this piece is more about how this girl has effected him and his life, so I would say that character-wise I didn't feel like I really knew her that well other than filling that purpose, but that's okay since again, I don't feel this was really her story.

The "SKB" thing was a good moment between them relationship-wise though. I was actually surprised that though she says she's not bothered by sex or anything or makes these "not good" implications of her character, that she doesn't actually curse (says "eff") and veils sex with "manhood" heh, but I think that's actually kind of clever because it shows that she's not as "bad" as she probably thinks she is - which again, worked with this WCC prompt theme really well.

Cool piece!
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 4 . 5/29/2015
Well, this was different - let’s see, where to begin. I thought the characters were interesting. The narrator kept me engaged, wondering where this was all headed and what exactly his relationship with this ‘legacy98’ was, and as the story went on, I was trying to unravel legacy also.

The formatting nearly made me not read it at first. It looked like a lot to deal with and a bit weird, but in the end it wasn’t so bad, though I think if you could have made it simpler, it might have been better (not sure what I would recommend, though, and this wasn’t so bad, so maybe ignore that bit of commentary).

By the time I got to the end, though, I felt a little…left hanging? On the one hand, I feel like a clincher here is that narrator guy is male and has come to care for this other male guy, and legacy98 also really likes him but thinks he is female? But I thought that all the talk of popular shows and Naruto etc. etc. gave the whole thing a slightly more…childish vibe than I might expect for a close relationship formed between a 27y/o guy and some other guy on the net. At the same time, though, being twenty-five myself and still liking those shows and knowing that a bunch of people from all sorts of ages do, I don’t get the ‘pedophile’ feel from the narrator? And he feels like he’s narrating like a victim who was hurt and wanted a romance with someone, not a predator - especially when he almost cries.

So I don’t know, I’m a little iffy on the ending and feel like a lot of questions were left unanswered, but it did make you think. I think it was a fairly cool piece, but I really wish I had a more solid sense of exactly what happened. Not bad overall though.

- Moonstar
lookingwest chapter 8 . 5/29/2015
Ah, that ending is quite chilling. So I'm thinking there might have been some magical stuff going on with this girl in the story where her body might've been like...well I don't even know. Just that part where she seems to not be "her" that the narrator observes made me wonder if there was something supernatural-y going on, but I might have taken that too literally and I'm doing a bad job leaping to conclusions with your work lately, ha! I'm always wrong, lol. SO. Won't talk about that.

But I will say that I liked the scary ending - it had a lot of punch and cumulated into the perfect line for this narrator and their obsession. Again, I don't know if there were markers in this piece for the narrator being a woman or a man, but once again, I don't even know if that matters so I'll just say "they" and that doesn't bother me at all. But as far as the ending being on point, I thought the opening was on point imagery-wise as well, and I was immediately plunged into the story.

This piece also does interesting things by dating itself with the pop references, but for a WCC and the way you handled the prompt, I enjoyed how everything came together, like the GoT and GA nods. I *especially* thought the breaking of the 4th wall with a character talking about writing up a piece for a writing prompt was the most clever! Loved that - I think that's my favorite moment in this piece for that reason - just a direct nod to what this piece is even doing. It was fun and playful.

The techniques worked in this, I think. Especially centering the text - I thought those centered moments actually did a good job punctuating the plotting of the piece and the movement of the narrator watching the girl who looks like the one they're obsessed with from a past relationship. Spooky, indeed. Enjoyed the piece overall!
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 3 . 5/28/2015
Ack, so unexpectedly sad. D: Perhaps it shouldn't have been unexpected, and I'm not sure what - if anything - I *was* expecting, but it wasn't until right at the end that it all clicked together. All of that is to say, however, that I think you handled this very well - it had good build-up, starting out simple but snow-balling into seriousness before the final tragic reveal. I think the balance between flashback italics and present moment storyline fit very well together, smooth transitioning each time and neither part too long or dominating.

I also really like how you managed to fit together the final reveal of what happened to Claudia and the 'horrible truth' of the possibilities of what could happen to people who give themselves (literally) up like that with the boy's doubt. The crack in his happiness and sudden uncertainty pieced in really well with the rest of the ending, and inspires sympathy for both him and Base, and makes me hope the best for him. But yeah - very nice work - you managed to build up a complex world and a compelling storyline in a very brief snapshot, and I really enjoyed it.

- Moonstar
Timbo Slice chapter 4 . 5/25/2015
This piece reads like one big meta reference to itself, like how they text the line of the writing prompt that you used to write the story to each other and not to mention all of the pop culture references like YouTube and GoT(!), it really gives the story a sense of time and place in our society that is dominated by social media and mass cultural phenomenons.

The metaphorical use of the "click" was also a nice literary touch due to your unique usage of symbolism to describe something as simple as a message click. The relationship between legacy98 and Onecentshort was also a highlight of the story as they came across as natural and realistic for a long distance relationship.
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