Reviews for Serious (As a Concussion)
M.R. Hill chapter 2 . 12/28/2014
Once more I think you capture the scene really well. Actually, the top props I can give you is how you've portrayed the friendship so far. I like the sense of camaraderie between them, the little things like her waving her hands like a dork (or just the kicking legs thing in last chapter, this girl is pretty fun IMO in little ways). I am curious how this will evolve more from platonic to romantic as this goes on, based on things.

My only really complaint as of now, I got momentarily lost when transitioning between the first half to the second. The jump just really caught me off guard and even now I'm not certain if I fully comprehended when things happened there. Unless, of course, it in itself is just a recollection later on with his concussion problem. Which he SERIOUSLY needs to take seriously... Ugh, makes my stomach twist just thinking about it knowing how dangerous concussions are. _ You do a great job at getting that across too, especially in how you do work way into other scenes and overall ways treat it.
M.R. Hill chapter 1 . 12/28/2014
First up, I love the strong opening line with just his head hurt. It really is everything this story needs to draw into it IMO. I immediately started to wonder things like who is this he, why is it hurting, etc. It carries with it an initial question that prompted me to want to read more so I could learn. You’re great at introducing the premise immediately with the concussion and I’m glad you jumped straight into the action as you did. It comes across really well IMO. There’s really not a thing I can think to change in this opening part.

Moving on from that, I get a nice tragic vibe from all of this starting out. You really painted the scene well, especially with the flashback parts. I did get a genuine vibe of humanity to each of them and they do feel like friends to me with things. I can see them getting along, chatting as they are, etc. You also did a nice job describing the little actions and building on things. The pacing throughout this is just right IMO, I never felt like I was forcing myself. Also, nice use of the sports elements more in the background for the story as opposed to the story being about it. I’m not against sport stories at all myself, but I just like how you blend it in really as a plot device as opposed to the plot. All and all, I’m liking the start of this.
metamodernmarx chapter 1 . 12/26/2014
For the RG EF:

Your title was well chosen. 'No Broken Heart' has an element of contradiction within; its negation serves to question the very existence of the broken heart in question. Aside from the title, I found your plot interesting; while not superbly meaningful nor un-cliched, it was reasonably interesting and did not lack pace nor structure.
The episode on how the two met was quite creative; using the soccer ball as the window between the two proved to be unique, and also served as a setting for what was to come.
However, the ending was a little anti-climatic. 'Being stupid' - this isn't generally very orthodox in writing, even if it IS indeed a vignette, which I should think is, since you stated that each chapter was going to be a non-linear narrative. Overall, your 'recollection' was good, especially the memory of the concussion and the hospital - I found it quite tragic and powerful.
hamsterolive chapter 1 . 12/25/2014
Hi from the Roadhouse! :D

I'll admit, at first I was skeptical about dropping by, as I'm not a sports person at all. I was afraid there would be jargon and sports plays that I wouldn't understand. Which leads me to this: kudos to you on not making me feel like an idiot. You use the game more as a plot device and not so much a basis, which is what I expected to happen. I'm incredibly impressed by this. Awesome job. Anybody can read this and understand what is going on...a difficult feat to accomplish, particularly if a sport is involved.

Next, the relationship between Scott and Kelsey was perfect. I love it. It isn't overly-mushy. It's buddies. That childlike dependence on each other. I never had that growing up, and when I read this it made me wish for something more substantial. My favorite parts were the short but powerful sentences, things like "Kelsey will understand. She always does." and "It doesn't matter because Scott knows he is right. Kelsey is just being stupid." Or the sibling mini-snits they have: "'You're going to break your ankles'...'No I'm not.'"

It's innocently sweet, not cloying. Another really difficult thing to nail.

Other than that, I only have one critique, and it's minor. I didn't catch it until almost the end of the first section. The phrase "that's just something he just doesn't want to hear" happens frequently, albeit in slightly different forms. I only mention it because it caught my attention; I understand you may just be driving the point home.

All in all, this was excellent! I look forward to reading more on my free days!

You really blew me out of the water,

alltheeagles chapter 10 . 12/24/2014
RG EF review
First impression: it’s short!
I like that you resolved the main issue of Scott’s health, so no loose end there. However, it did feel a little abrupt, and thus, rather contrived. I think spending a little time reflecting on the implications of this would make for a more solid ending.
Related to the remark above, I also like how you don’t suddenly have Scott and Kelsey in a passionate kiss or staring deeply into each other’s eyes, because that would be inconsistent with the way their relationship has been progressing all along. Nevertheless, what you have instead is hopeful and bodes well for their future together.
Anyway, Congratulations on finishing yet another story!
AlyssaSunset chapter 1 . 12/23/2014
3 I love it!
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 10 . 10/1/2014

Woot, they didn't end up together :D! I know that's a weird response, but to be honest, I don't think that Scott should have had it that easy, and I think that this 'someday' is something I can honestly live with. Compared to your other stories, Kelsey and Scott might have had the history, but I also think that Scott screwed her over/hurt her a lot, which makes the whole history a a bit meaningless really. Taking your childhood friend for granted is never a good thing, and what I like about your story is how it's basically a lesson in not being a jerkwad just because you get busy. I kind of feel that Scott took far too long to realise just how important/special Kelsey was, but I'm glad that this whole accident has helped him gain a clearer perspective on what really matters.

I... honestly think that this story is a bit darker and more sombre in tone than anything else you've written; it's not bleak per se, but it's toned down, and things do not magically get better (Scott doesn't go back into playing, and never will). There is hope at the end, but I also feel that the outcome of things having ended puts this story at a far more mature level than most stories on this site. It's just: real life is so much about saying goodbye and changing, so it's nice to see a story that addresses this fact. I will be honest: this story did not necessarily give me happy butterfly feelings like AtI, but that's because I feel it wasn't meant to. It did make me think, and I very much appreciate/love the more mature writing style you had for this. I don't think this must have been an easy story to write, so I admire what you did with this, and how you kept the readers on their toes (just really giving us enough story to make sense of what was going on).

So I liked this, especially because of the writing style and the plot – as well as the cameos. I kind of would like more, but then I feel that this is a pretty self-contained universe, and I'm satisfied with the ending you gave us. As I said, it leaves you hopeful for a happy ending, but it's not fluffy or too fairy-tale like.
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 8 . 10/1/2014
Woot, finally found the time to review this! It only took me like three weeks, wow /murmurs. So this review is for chapter nine, though I'm reviewing for chapter 8 because I'm stupid and apparently and reviewed the wrong thing earlier. I'll try to be this as useful as I can, but you'll mostly just get silly long-winded comments, because school has fried my brain ):

I really found myself enjoying the writing style of this chapter: the way you section each small scene, the way your writing is so refined and concise, and the way you just write really good dialogue. I don't feel that your writing is superfluous or pretentious, but just technically really good and utterly readable. I found myself writing a few hours earlier, and I wish my writing was as clean as yours. I just feel that your writing shows us everything we need to know, without going for the extra drama or silliness. It, as I often tell you, makes your writing really mature and realistic.

I found this chapter a mixture between bitterness and hope: Scott had to give up his career, which I think you nicely demonstrated being a bitter pill to swallow. There is no over the top drama, but you can tell that Scott has to deal with it, and that he's not really happy about it (how could he be? It's something he worked so hard for). I like that he deals with it though, just hanging around Kelsey and finding comfort in her presence. Distraction and company are good ways to get over losses like this. But yes, I really like the quiet moments leading up to the 'date' he has with Kelsey.

I like how you write out the romance in this chapter too: there is tension and longing between the two of them, but it's never too obvious or cliché. It doesn't come out of nowhere either, since little hints like Scott noticing what Kelsey looks like or acts like showcase how much she means to him. And Kelsey is just giving him little encouragements. Haha, I have to say I loved the kiss the two shared :D It was beautifully written, and also a bit unexpected but still natural. I felt like it was meant to happen then, and I think it made feel a bit warm inside :D

As always, I love your little shout-outs to your other stories. I'm not commenting too much on this, because I'm tired but it was fun to read, and I love how your stories are interconnected :D I think that has to be a tricky thing to handle: so many characters! And yet you still do, so kudos for that.
Orgaya chapter 2 . 9/8/2014
A few spelling errors, but nothing that distracted from the otherwise decent prose.

I believe I am beginning to warm up to it. The separate stories told out of order in terms of time makes for a pretty breezy experience, with barely any contrived drama to get in the way. I'd prefer it if his bedded state was treated like an accident as opposed to something for someone to get mad at him for, as it would tie in nicely with this theme of life that seems to pervade the story.

The friendship between the two is coming off as very genuine to me. I like the fact that he uses her to suckerpunch all of the other boys (metaphorically speaking).

On the whole it makes for a pleasantly enjoyable read.
alltheeagles chapter 9 . 9/7/2014
I won’t say that the opening is completely disconnected from the end of the previous chapter, but it also doesn’t quite flow that smoothly. Perhaps inserting some kind of link, whether in this or the previous chapter, would help readers make the connection?
This chapter is largely on a down note, isn’t it, except for the ‘ray of hope’ given by Carrie. However, that is very subtle, so subtle that it almost escapes one’s notice. So on the whole, it doesn’t do that much to offset the overall heavy tone of the chapter.
I like Kelsey the best out of all your female leads, and the Scott the least for the male leads, which is interesting! That may be partly why I just think that the romance doesn’t feel as genuine somehow as in your other pieces. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this kind of comparison, but I’m just not completely convinced by their romance, because it’s felt too much like a platonic friendship from the start. Or maybe this is another kind of love affair, and I’m being too narrow in my definition of ‘love’.
Having said what I said above, I still liked the interaction between Kelsey and Scott vis a vis the Kiss Cam for its understated sweetness. Likewise, I liked the scene with the strawberry jam because it symbolizes Scott’s coming to terms with his disability and wanting to move on with his life, including his relationship with Kelsey.
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 9 . 9/7/2014
((number 9 will be for the trade :3))

Ohhh, ohhh, I am so silly XD This whole time I thought that Kelsey and Scott were in some secret-relationship while he was having amnesia XD I had such conspiracy theories about this story like you wouldn't believe XD. I don't really have much to say about this chapter, plot-wise, because it's falling into place rather smoothly: his remembering why he and Kelsey were no longer friends, and their slow, sweet reunion. It's all very realistic, and I'll just do bullet points, because I'm all over the place right now:

*The scene with Scott forgetting Kelsey's birthday is painful – ouch (did you know that the 28th of November is my b-day :D?). Not because it's particularly traumatising or tragic, just because it happens so … naturally, so realistically. I'm sure each of us has forgotten a former bestie's b-day, and when that happens, you just realise how alienated you've become from that person. It's sad, and it's relatable, and even if I'd say Scott is a jerkass for forgetting, I cannot say that I have been much better. Kudos for realism here.

*I love the writing – it's so smooth and self-contained. You really don't use anything that shouldn't be used (no purple prose, no romanticisms or awkward metaphors), and it's just a joy to read this because of how smooth it is. I keep on saying that, but it's just so rare to find clean prose like this :3

*I liked the scene between Scott and his Ma – her overprotectiveness, his attempt at not making her unhappy. The last line really broke my heart – poor Scott ): It just shows what a caring son he is, which makes the scene heartwarming.

*I liked that scene where he just drives off to see Kelsey again: beautiful descriptions and quiet tension. It's a natural build-up to another realistic scene that I think you handled well, without falling into clichés and traps. It just sounds natural and so becomes more relatable.

*I honestly just adore how the chapters hints at reconciliation, but doesn't make it too easy either: they're still awkward, and it will take a while for them to grow close again. I like that it's not too morbidly dramatic though either, which avoids drama and unnatural behaviour.
Orgaya chapter 1 . 9/7/2014
The tense continues to bounce between present and past tense, which is slightly distracting. Other than this, the prose is decent.

Maybe it's because I'm not too interested in life stories about kids/teenagers, but the series of events and characters felt kind of cliche to me. The nice if tough jock kid, the tomboyish girl the jock kid treats like any other guy (despite obviously noticing several details about her that he ignores about other guys), the worried mother than explains nothing, etc.

The story itself, however, is interestingly structured. Sports stories have technically been done to death, but the gradual reveal of what sport caused Scott to be lying down on a hospital bed was an interesting move, as it suggests that the sport itself isn't the focus.

That said, the friendship between the two does seem genuine. Other than the mother character, nothing really felt contrived. I like that he continues to find her annoying, but is still friends with her.

I kind of cheated and looked ahead a bit (kudos for making me do that) and saw that all of the other boys find her attractive, but Scott refuses to. This is also something I like, but I would like to see if it stays this way and a typical romance does not blossom from this. If there is going to be one, in my opinion, I can see it as being practical - they love each other, but not because the one finds the other attractive. Just because they have a strong enough bond to not be apart. But this is outside of reviewing.

Overall it was decent, if kind of something I've seen before.
alltheeagles chapter 8 . 8/31/2014
RG Depth review

Some might think the nursing and hugging too cliched, but I think it works just fine because I have a very big soft spot for the hurt/comfort genre. For hurt/comfort to work, the reader has to firstly also care for the one who’s hurt, and secondly care about the relationship in general. I think you have both of those elements here, so I’m declaring my approval of this scene.
The scene changes were rather abrupt for me, but then this is probably deliberate on your part, to convey the effect of concussion. If that’s how it makes a person feel, then I’m glad the only time I ever had concussion was when I was six and didn’t have that much to remember or sort out in my head. Anyway, this contributes to the lack of a unifying theme, which I talk about below.
I think the dialogue is very understated – nothing cliched, no grand declarations of undying love, no dramatic revelations. In fact, it’s in danger of being a little too staid, which has the effect of reducing the impact of the emotional side of things. Or is this simply a case of two taciturn people trying to have a conversation?
I understood the chain of events in this chapter just fine, but I think I’m missing the overall message, because I was still looking for some kind of conclusion when I got to the end. While the interaction between Kelsey and Scott was really sweet and quite believable, it just didn’t feel substantial, somehow. In fact, even now I still harbour some last vestige of doubt that maybe Scott isn’t really interacting with Kelsey, that it’s all somehow a dream or a hallucination of some kind.
alltheeagles chapter 7 . 8/9/2014
RG EF stuff

It’s a little frustrating how Scott can’t put two and two together. Well, ok, it’s rather fun to read as well, but I think at this point, my frustration outweighs my amusement just a little. I don’ know if it’s because of the concussion, or if it’s because you kind of specialise in leading men who either refuse to admit their attraction to the female lead, or are unable to do so, or are just just plain blind to things like attraction.
I gather from Ryan’s broken jaw that this piece takes place after ATI, so I’m trying to remember now what I’ve read before about Scott. So far, nothing; and I’m too lazy to actually go back and look for info on him, so... I guess if he was mentioned before, he either wasn’t very memorable, or Riley and Grace were way more interesting. :P
One thing I’ve observed is that when Riley was feeling confused over Grace, the other guys were egging him on and even taking it for granted that they were an item, but here the reaction to Scott is quite different – Kelsey is a “distraction”. I don’t know yet what to make of this, or if I’m reading too much into it, but it’s rather interesting all the same. Anyway, I’m happy to have a ‘saviour’ girl character. Yay Girl power!
Timbo Slice chapter 1 . 8/9/2014
I always did like your sports/drama stories because try bring some much needed character to team sports and the fact that you're at least knowledgeable in what you're talking about, giving the story authenticity and this story is no different. It's very character driven, which is a plus when dealing with an athletes serious condition sub as a concussion because we get to see the physical effects and the effort it takes to overcome something like that.

The interaction between Scott and Kelsey in the flashback was sweet and really gives the reader a sense of the relationship and speaking of flashbacks I'm a fan of them because if done properly they can be used to balance the events of a story between present and past and you seem to be doing a good job of that so far!
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