|Reviews for The Celebration of Johnny's Yellow Rubber Ducky|
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 8 . 8/14/2018
I think that the interactions between Johnny and Earl are important ones. It shows that even though Johnny is legally an adult, he will always remain as Earl's kid brother. I think that it something that a lot of readers shall be able to relate to, especially those of us who are the younger siblings. We desperately want people to treat us as the adults that we are, but we are never viewed that way when we are the youngest. You did a good job showing that relationship between Earl and Johnny.
It's interesting how concerned Earl is about Johnny's rubber duck. When they were children, he was concerned about Johnny being too attached to it and now Earl is once again concerned that Johnny is too attached to it. I wonder if Earl is missing a part of his own childhood, that he is feeling slightly upset that he no longer feels an attachment to his own childhood, or if it is because he truly thinks that getting rid of the duck is the only way for Johnny to grow up.
Earl says that he is concerned that the duck will ruin Johnny's life, however the duck has allowed Johnny to hear the stories of the different people on the USB drive. If anything, it has brought him close to people, people who he has never met, and allowed him to possibly connect with them. He posted their stories in the last chapter. Perhaps that was him reaching out for human connection, reaching out to befriend those who had faced their own challenges and either come out successful or failed.
I like this chapter because it shows Johnny standing up to his brother. After all the years of dealing with how Earl treats him, he is finally telling Earl that he is grown up. Earl is playing the protective and wise older brother. That much is evident to the reader, however Johnny only sees Earl as that older brother in the back seat of the car who tossed the duck out the window, who doesn't understand Johnny or his connection to the duck. It's good that Johnny does not care what the world sees him as for keeping the duck, however I think it is just as important that Johnny realizes the role that Earl is playing in looking out for Johnny.
When Johnny shows Earl the USB and admits to himself that the duck is not a child's toy, but a symbol of all that is the USB stories, I think that is a real turning point for Johnny's character. He is truly becoming the adult that he claims to be and now he is using the stories as a last resort to show that to Earl. I think that is a really important element of this chapter and his relationship with his brother.
Megan's reading of the stories is also important to the overall story. It helps the readers, and Johnny, see that there are people who have experienced similar encounters or had similar lives. It makes the stories and the people on the USB drive relatable. It makes them real.
I didn't see that ending coming, although I probably should have. I suppose that it takes someone outside of the two brothers to shed some light. It would be nice to see it be elaborated upon, but that little bit of information helped to make sense of Johnny and Earl's relationship. It would be nice to have some flashbacks of Johnny and Earl's childhood and their interactions with their grandfather. I think that this would help to show why Earl would feel that way.
The last sentence is the perfect ending. No matter how tough Johnny's life has been, he has always kept pushing forward.
Overall, it was a good story and I really enjoyed following Johnny's story! I apologize that it has taken me so long to finish reading it and I truly have no good excuses. It certainly wasn't because I didn't enjoy it because I truly did. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future!
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 7 . 8/14/2018
A nice, short chapter. I didn't see anything that really needed to be fixed in it.
What I liked about this chapter was that Johnny was contemplating the duck at night. It was nice to see that he considered that keeping the duck may cause him to appear childish. Perhaps he should keep it, however, since it is such an important aspect of his childhood. There is a lot more meaning to the duck than it just being a toy from his childhood.
However, I suppose that one could also argue that Johnny letting go of the duck would be a sign of his maturity. He was finally becoming an adult and keeping the duck would keep him within his own childhood. Which is not to say that it isn't a good thing. Everyone needs to keep a bit of a child within themselves, but since he was attached to the duck so much as a child, I wonder if it is a healthy thing to do, keeping the duck.
I'm curious to see how others will respond to his post. I think it would be interesting to see what the other authors on the USB drive have to say, especially the early writers. They would have never had the privy of reading the others stories on the drive, as being a part of the journey.
I liked the comment left by SimplySubtle, which did kind of go with my previous remarks on Johnny's comments. I think that it is a good reminder for Johnny to not worry too much about what is to come and to instead focus on the present.
It was a lovely chapter.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 6 . 12/29/2017
This was a nice and short chapter. The story behind how Johnny acquired the duck allows for the reader to see why he had such an interest in the duck that the girl had at the restaurant and then why he took an interest to it on the bus. It makes the duck more important to the reader. It is no longer just an object with a USB drive that holds strangers stories around its neck. It's a piece of Johnny.
That being said, I also understand why Johnny's brother would want to get rid of the duck. As a seventeen-year-old, its not largely healthy for Johnny to still be carrying it around. Personally, I do have objects that meant a lot to me as a child still, but I do not carry them around. I have them safely displayed in my room or safely tucked away in a box. Johnny could have done the same, or his brother could have suggested he did so instead of tossing it out the window. It makes me wonder if there is a psychological reason why Johnny held onto the duck other than the obvious reason.
It's also strange how after five years, Johnny is still devastated by the loss of his duck. It isn't healthy that it has had such an adverse effect on him. We all lose things that we are extremely attached to, so why is this duck having such a negative impact on Johnny?
I'm glad that he did end up finding his duck since it had meant so much to him, but the attachment he had to it is still something that puzzles me. Maybe now that he has it back, he can move forward with his life.
This was a good chapter and for as short as it was, it brought up a lot of questions for me, which is good! It's a great thing to be make the reader think as they read a story. I saw nothing that needed to be changed. Most of what I wrote above was the thoughts that were running through my head as I read the chapter.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 5 . 11/5/2017
This was a good chapter. I feel like it's given a little more insight into Johnny and I have a feeling that the following chapters are going to as well.
Why did Ricky's friends agree that having the duck at the hospital made sense? Is it because it is some type of good luck charm or a comforting device?
It's interesting how Johnny actually ate the meal that Ricky had prepared. It was a nice way to connect the characters together so that they aren't just random people who found a rubber duck.
Megan's story was definitely different. I was expecting it to be what she thought and then it turned out to be something completely different (and gross), but I liked that it wasn't what I expected it to be. It was nice to have that odd twist to it.
I wonder why Johnny expects the first entry to rock his world. Maybe he's waiting to see if he'll find an answer to his own problem.
I also wonder if these stories will push Johnny to take action and push him to either try and find the girl or to move on from her. She obviously left an impression on him, but to be pining over someone he knew for just a few hours like he is seems like a bit much. This isn't a criticism of your story, this is a criticism of his character. He is either so lonely that he holds onto such a short encounter, she made him care that much for her in such a short time, or he has a problem with letting things go. It helps the story, though. Seeing his struggle of not being able to be with her helps to add that little bit of drama to the story.
One part that is confusing, though, is the part where Matthew mentions not using postcards because of the elements. Wouldn't the USB drive get damaged if it sat out in the rain? How long was it sitting on the park bench where Megan found it? A simple change to make would be to add that the USB drive was in a protective waterproof case. The wear and the tear part makes sense for using a USB drive, but the elements doesn't.
I love the reason why Matthew's girlfriend broke up with him. It's perfect.
I also liked how Matthew came into possession of the rubber ducky. It was like it was meant to be.
Again, I was expecting the person sleeping at the park to be his dad, not his business associate. Another good twist to the story.
I have a feeling that I know whose rubber ducky it is and I'm interested in seeing how it plays out. Maybe it's a clue to why Johnny acts the way he does.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 4 . 8/18/2017
The irony! The fact that the girl wrote about Johnny being a creep makes Carla's chapter more interesting.
I think the reason that the entries are so appealing is because there's not any way for us as the reader to be able to find out if the relationship lasted or what happened to each of the people involved in the tales. We really don't need to, either. We have what we need to know and nothing more.
The fight over the rubber ducky added to the humor of the chapter. The fact that Johnny was willing to fight over the ducky also shows how much he needs the ducky and the hard drive in his life at this point in time. He's desperate to find the girl from the cafe and he believes that somehow, some way, this duck is going to do that for him.
This is really the only thing I have to pick at in the story so far: the transitions. They're a little, I don't know how to put it, but they're a little dry. There's no mad search to find a place to read (which is okay. We don't really need a mad search). I just wish there was a little bit more than two sentences. So many bad things had happened to him already, why shouldn't he have trouble finding a place to read the entries that he really needs to read.
It's not a big thing and really it's up to you if you want to do anything with it. The last chapter's transition wasn't bad. This one just seemed like there was something missing.
Great chapter, though. I didn't find any spelling or grammar mistakes.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 3 . 8/16/2017
I love Johnny's indecisiveness. It's a true characteristic of a college student who second guesses themselves. It makes it easier for the readers to relate to him.
That being said, I think that it's good to show that once Johnny graduated from university, he still didn't know what he was going to do with his life. I mean, who has their entire life figured out at the age of twenty-three? Not very many people. I don't know that they would hire a life coach, but to each his own.
Including the saying about it you love something, then set it free was something that helped the plot. I was wondering why he was pining after Claire so much. She was one girl that he had a meal with. It was hard to relate to why he would go to a large city like London with all of his thoughts consumed of her and finding her. Knowing that he's obsessed with finding her because he's afraid he's going to lose her makes it a lot more clear. Now we know why he's obsessed.
Ah, an explanation for the ducky! Such a creative idea! Why the seventh person? That seems to be an odd number, but maybe that's the point. It's an odd journey, so why not make it an odd number (literally)?
Coincidentally, he also found the ducky under the guitarists seat after he thought that the guitarist was unlucky. Nice.
Wow. A Mafia chase in a Lamborghini. That's different!
I don't have anything negative to say about this chapter. The flow was good, the pacing was excellent. I liked the little hints that connected each of the writers of the adventures. It was a good chapter! No spelling or grammar mistakes that I could find.
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 2 . 7/27/2017
It's been awhile since I've read the first chapter, so please bare with me on this review.
The first chapter seems a little off. I don't know how to describe how it feels, exactly, but to say that "...what the state of the dining room would look like once he got there" doesn't flow very well. What does he mean by the "state"? Does he mean he thinks it'll be dirty? Clean? People dancing on tables? I think what it needs is a little more clarification as to what you are trying to say. It isn't until in the next couple of paragraphs that I learned that he didn't know how crowded the dining room would be. I also didn't know that a large group of people on the bus would be going to the same cafe. We didn't know he was on the bus until he got off it. It's a small thing, but it helps the flow of the first few paragraphs so the reader isn't sitting there wondering what the scene in their mind is supposed to look like.
I like the mysteriousness and the fascination with the rubber duck. It creates a little bit of suspense in terms of why Johnny is so interested in it and why it might stir other feelings within him.
I really liked all of the buildup when he asked if he could travel back to England with her all for her to give the answer that she did. It helped us to feel what he was feeling and then to feel the stab of her answer.
I also like Claire's character. She's a strong-willed being, from what I can tell. She's not really afraid to say what she thinks and she won't allow for someone like Johnny, who is most likely visibly fawning over her, to talk her into doing something just because he likes her.
This was a good chapter. It set up why the cafe had mean so much to Johnny in the first chapter. It gave us a lot of insight into Johnny and the person who I assume is going to be a large figure in the rest of the story. There were just a few nitpicks and a couple of spelling mistakes ("appetizer" and "appetiser"). A lovely chapter with good pacing. I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
| Harmony'sLoveHP chapter 1 . 6/22/2017
I can totally relate to Johnny. I'm halfway through my bachelor degree and I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and what I really want to do with my life. That seems to be a running theme in college. And, it's okay.
That being said, I like that Johnny is so easy to relate to and it's only the first chapter. He has a point when he says that there's only fifteen seconds of fame for each graduate before the crowd's attention is elsewhere and it's really sad when you think about it. You spent all of those years with those people and it's all over after fifteen seconds.
Johnny's case is especially sad since his family had to watch the livestream. I'm sure that there are a lot of families that do that, too. There's probably even some graduates who do that as well (one of my education professors watched the graduation for her doctorate degree online since it was in Florida and she was not going to fly there XD).
There's something about the second half that's different than the first half. I'm not sure what it is. It feels dry, sort of. I understand that he's heartbroken and that it feels as though the people who just got engaged are rubbing it in. I just feel like something is missing. We are just getting a hasty overview, it feels, of what he is doing during that period of time and not really what he's feeling other than he was "tempted to get pissed". Is that it? Is there any sadness? Why is he pissed? Because of the people getting married? Because he can't sit at the table? Because his family didn't come to his graduation? Why should we, the reader, care? Why should we pity him or whatever it is that we're supposed to feel?
It was a good introductory paragraph. Short and to the point. It included a lot of information, such as Johnny's parents not caring enough to come to his graduation and that he let a girl he loved get away.
| Hauchen chapter 6 . 6/20/2017
I started reading this after the unusual title drew me in and I have to say, I was hooked. I was half expecting Claire to return and for that to be Johnny's story for the duck, but the actual resolution was very sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This story definitely deserves more love!