|Reviews for Shell Out|
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 7 . 3/26
This chapter shows how Greg is finally getting what he wanted. He has the nice things that he had been dreaming of for so long.
Now, we met Mandy in the last chapter, so there’s really no need to re-introduce her. You could remark on how he could never get over how beautiful she was or something like that, but we don’t need to be re-introduced.
Why would Greg want to be with someone who is only concerned about material things, as it seems Mandy is? I know that he thinks that she’s beautiful, and she’s one of the reasons that he pushed himself to work hard. But, then again, I guess Greg is also concerned about material things as well. One of his biggest problems is trying to please people. I also think that it would have been beneficial to see some of their interactions at the free events mentioned in the previous chapter to see if she scrutinized them for not being lavish enough.
I liked how Greg finally questioned her when she thought he would “have a palace” of his own by pointing out that he is a college student. It’s as though he’s finally realizing that all she’s concerned about is money.
I also like that he’s proud of what he has accomplished. Throughout the entire story, he has been depressed about what he did and did not have. I’m glad that Mandy’s comments were not able to make him question rather or not he truly had enough to match up to the rest of society. This shows a change in his character. He’s matured. Not a lot, but just enough. Maturation doesn’t happen overnight.
I honestly believe that he’s better off without her. If it only took her a few minutes to decide that it wasn’t going to work out between the two of them, then they don’t need to be together. Greg has worked hard to impress her over a course of weeks, not minutes, and she doesn’t appreciate that.
I’m glad that eBay worked out better for him the second time. I’m also glad that he didn’t let debt depress him again. He had accomplished something and that is something to be proud of. I’m glad that he realized he had made it so far and that he was going to be okay, even if he didn’t have nice things.
I like that Greg reached out to his father to thank him, but I would have liked to have seen that interaction. I think it would had solidified Greg’s character change and showed us, the readers, that he truly did change.
I enjoyed reading your story and seeing how Greg’s life turned out. This story, like any good story, had something unique to it. I don’t know what it was, perhaps the complete turn around of Greg, or that was it was relatable to me. Nice work. I can’t wait to read more of your work.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 6 . 3/26
So, my question is: If Greg doesn’t have a dummy, how does he find out that there aren’t cab drivers who are willing to drive a dummy? A nice and short conversation between him and his cab driver may have done it, or the realization that he couldn’t find that out since he didn’t have a dummy may help that clash. Unless, that is, he knows because the cab drivers wouldn’t do it for free even if he had a dummy.
I still love that he is still so depressed over his eBay failure. I just thought about how maybe it would have been more relatable if you had included some of the prices that the items he had thought he could sell had gone for on the internet (even if they are absolutely ridiculous, like fifty dollars for the used tooth brush only to later find out that it had been used by someone famous, that sort of thing).
I liked Jeff’s response to Greg’s fear of what the girl would think about him being broke. It was something that I thought most young adults would tell their friends.
Something that I haven’t decided if I like it or not is the use of the colon and then the page break line. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I feel like it should be one or the other, not both. It looks a little busy, I guess would be a good word for it. I’ve only noticed it a couple of times, but I feel like it messes with the flow of the story.
I liked when Mandy talked about her job, she spoke of how people wasted their money on backrubs. She’s speaking to someone who wishes that he could have money to waste. Latching onto that might be something worth exploring, such as, as she’s speaking, Greg daydreams about what it would be like to waste money on a backrub. Or, he could even imagine being Mandy and making money from ripping people off via back rubs (much like what he did with the fortune telling). And, I see that you went down the masseuse path at the end of the section.
One thing I want to mention is the possibility of giving us Greg’s thoughts as he is speaking to this girl. We, as the reader, don’t know what he is thinking or feeling until towards the end. How does he feel when the girl says “’That’s one of the basic courses, isn’t it?’”, how does he feel when she says “’…as long as you get there eventually…’”. Is he hurt? I imagine that he is, but the reader needs to know how he’s feeling. What thoughts run through his mind whenever her smile weakens? It wouldn’t take much, a short sentence or two would do. It would also help to break the dialogue up a little big. (That was the advice that someone gave me on one of my own stories. It’s just finding the perfect balance that is the challenge.)
University was one of the reasons that Greg was in debt. I just find it odd that he withdrew to become a masseuse, but once again, it’s most likely a reflection on his character. He acts before he thinks. Does he really know that being a masseuse is going to make him a lot of money? No, he doesn’t. He just knows what Mandy told him. Could it make him a lot of money? Possibly, but it’s not a sure thing. Of course, graduating with a degree and a mountain of debt won’t guarantee that he gets a job, either.
Leaving Mandy after she became interested in a bracelet is another good reflection on who Greg is. It shows that when he gets tired of something, he gives up rather than trying to make it interesting himself. Anything could be interesting if you tried hard enough (yes, even paint drying :)).
I don’t like that you skipped over Greg’s massage school. With him, I feel like there are a lot of places that can go. He can spend evenings pouring over school books, listening to podcasts about massages whenever he’s sweeping floors, something that shows his dedication to what he is doing and how he passes the course.
I liked this chapter. It finally showed Greg’s ambitions and his goals and it shows him actually working to accomplish what he set out to do. He got a job to make it through the course, he passed the course, and he went through with getting a job with the certification that he gained. Well done.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 5 . 3/19
Ah, eBay. A blessing and a curse at the same time. I love how expectant he is even though the objects he has for sale are not likely to be valuable in the eyes of others. It shows his desperation to make money. I like that, though, because I feel like we are getting a view of just how desperate he truly is. I also like his dedication to the auctions. It, once again, does show how desperately he needs the money. We need a reason to pity him. If he sells nearly everything and is left with nothing but, say, a mattress, plate, fork, spoon, knife, change of clothes, and a folding chair, then I feel like we will be able to pity him more. Right now, however, I am finding it difficult to pity him if he won't even sell his television.
There's a but, though. If Greg is as desperate for money as he says he is, then I feel like he should be willing to sell the television, the bed (but keep the mattress), and anything else that he does not necessarily need. All of those things can be replaced whenever he gets a steady job, but for the time being, I feel as though he should be a little more willing to part with things that are not necessities. Of course, all of that could just be a part of his character.
I think something that would also be beneficial is a little more interaction between Greg and his friends. Let us see the types of people he likes to be around, the way that he interacts with them whenever he goes out with them. I think that would help the reader to get a better sense of who he is as a person and allow for us to see a side of him who isn't constantly consumed by his poorness.
Your punctuation and grammar are good. I also just realized that this is a humor story (oops), so some of the actions make more sense now. Good chapter!
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 4 . 3/19
This was a good chapter, but I'm trying to figure out what the point of it was. I liked the beginning. It allowed the reader to finally know what his father did to make a living. The scene with the officer is what is throwing me. We as the reader know by now that Greg has next to no money. That's been established in the past three chapters, so I'm trying to understand what this chapter is meant to do. It shows that Greg does not keep up on things as well as he should (the dirty car, the expired license), but what else is it supposed to show? Is there a reason for him getting pulled over (other than just showing that he, once again, has no money)? Is it supposed to show that he has a problem with authority? This chapter feels more like a filler chapter, but just adding a paragraph or two about something that we haven't already learned (such as elaborating on Greg's father's job) would help to get rid of that feeling. Maybe make it more like karma is out to get him. He was about to follow in his father's footsteps and karma got him. Something to make it relate more to that second paragraph would benefit this chapter.
Saying that Greg is broke is becoming repetitive. We all know how broke he is, but now what we want to know is what is he going to do about it? How is he going to make himself motivated to stop being so broke? I think now is the time to make the move towards that.
Your chapters are well written, though.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 3 . 3/12
So, now the reader knows more than before about how much Greg is striving to become rich. Although, I do find it odd that he views loans for college as a sign of pity considering he would need to pay those back (with interest, of course). My other questions would be what did his parents do for an income? Did they both work? Did one work? Did neither of them work? I think that adding this information would allow the reader to better relate to exactly what kind of economic situation they were in (besides the description of the house). It would also help the reader to add in the information about the parents of the students at the school. I understand that it is a public school and maybe in a city that would mean something, but where I am from in rural U.S.A., there's a wide range of incomes at the public school (there are no private schools) that I attended. I think that it would help to give his background a little more context.
It was a good chapter. The reader was able to learn a lot about Greg and why he wants to become so successful.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 2 . 3/12
Another great chapter!
As I was reading this chapter, I was trying to get a feel for who Greg is. He is obviously a struggling college student. He seems to have good friendships. He hates his job, which isn't something that is abnormal. I guess one of the things that I'm confused about is even though he hates his job-and I don't blame him-wouldn't he do his best to keep his job so he didn't have to go back to eating chip crumbs, soup, and water? That's not to say he couldn't look for a job that he's interested in while he works at the job he doesn't like.
Maybe this is insight into who his character is. Perhaps he blows off his job the way that he did because that's what he does whenever he wants out of something. Or, perhaps this is more of a reflection on how he was raised. Maybe it's a little insight into who his father is.
Something that may benefit this chapter a bit more is a little more of Greg's inner thoughts. Why did he decide to take it too far with this particular customer? Was it just because he was bored or was it because of something else? At the beginning, it sounded like he was happy because the paycheck was enough to pay for his necessities and to have some left for fun. Why would he want to give that up? I think that having a little more insight into what was going through his mind while he was on the phone with this customer would enable the reader to understand better what it is that he is thinking and feeling. It would help the reader to make more of a connection to the character.
The part that I found the funniest was that the customer is suing the company over the part about the bulldozer and actually believed Greg about the vampires and eating garlic and such.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 1 . 3/11
This was a wonderfully written chapter!
Greg is a character that a lot of people are able to relate to, myself included. As college students, it is difficult to pay for it if you are doing it on your own and Greg portrays that fairly well. Is he still in college at the moment? It appears as though he is, but I just wanted to make sure. One of the questions I have is why aren't his parents helping him with college? Why does Greg want to one-up his father? These are all things that I look forward to exploring as I read on.
I really enjoyed the part about the potato chips. A lot of students live on Ramen noodles, but chip crumbs, soup, and water must be more his forte (I myself am not a Ramen noodle person). This is all too easy to relate too. A lot of a college students money goes to paying for tuition, room and board, and especially books. A lot of meal plans are expensive, so students often choose the cheapest one, which results in not being able to eat at school everyday for every meal. That is accurately portrayed in this chapter. Is the reason he is not living on campus and paying room and board because it was cheaper for him to live off campus? That is one thing that might do with being verified because students can take out loans during school to pay for such things with the promise that they repay them after they graduate, so that would at least make it a little easier on the wallet, although dorm life is not all that it is cracked up to be.
This chapter, to me, appeared to be free of grammar and spelling mistakes, which is a huge thing. It shows that you cared enough to proofread it thoroughly, especially before publishing it as an e-book. That says a lot about an author.
Well done! I can't wait to read more and I will in due time.
| zanybellecloudo chapter 2 . 1/22/2016
Okay this fits the bill of humour totally! Overall a much more intriguing and easily flowing chapter and the silly humour was done well. I would almost be tempted to start with this chapter because it makes you laugh and understand Greg's misfortune and situation. Overall I much preferred this chapter as it was light yet with enough story to hold interest. Also what are the odds that would happen!? Still no vampire so be grateful for small mercies. Haha. Thanks for sharing your work :)
| zanybellecloudo chapter 1 . 1/20/2016
Greg is a very down to earth guy and I like his sensibility. The story provides a good background to the situation, although perhaps not enough of a hook to keep a reader following Greg's woeful life in this chapter alone. The humour seems very subtle, for example some witty dialogue on the phone might have added to the story. Otherwise I can see you put effort in your writing and I hope you continue. Thanks for sharing your work :)