|Reviews for My Sister from the Stars|
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 8 . 2/11
Rod’s antics make me laugh. I can see why Robyn and her husband avoid him.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 7 . 12/30/2017
So, now that I’ve caught up to this point, this is coming across as a children’s book more and more. The writing style, the humor, episodic alien fights, the school woes, et cetera all kind of point to that (as well as a child protagonist.) I’d recommend putting “kids” as the category and keeping sci-fi/family as the genres.
As far as overall commentary goes, now that I’ve reflected on it a bit more I think the first chapter could do a bit more to establish the characters. In particular, what was Josh’s family like before Kora was added to it? We know his mother is an alien pediatrician, which I really like since it makes her relevant to the story and explains why she was a good choice as an adoptive mother, but we know very little about her personality. His father we know almost nothing about at all. I would consider drawing out the scene where they learn about Kora and agree to adopt her. I know there are some people who would be eager to help out Kora without a second thought, but in the story, it came across as more nonchalant than eager. Perhaps go into more detail about Kora’s story, then show more of the parents’ reaction to it. Maybe Robyn sees a picture of Kora’s goopy alien form and thinks she’s the most adorable little girl she’s ever seen and of course she’ll help the poor baby. Maybe the dad is reluctant but knows he can’t turn down the opportunity to repay Leo’s family for what she’s done for his family, and gradually he’s won over. Or, if those reactions don’t sound right, why not? What might sound more in-keeping with their characters?
I would also consider playing a bit with Josh’s feelings about Kora and his adaptation to the change. It almost comes across as he’s arbitrarily being reluctant to have her around because that’s how protagonists react in stories like this. It IS realistic to have mixed feelings about stuff like this, so I get how he can be happy in one minute and annoyed the next, but at a few parts it feels forced. Maybe consider something like this: he idolizes Leo, so he’s excited to have a cool new alien come to live with him. He’s kind of worried about having to share all his stuff, but his parents and Leo talk about it with him and he figures it will be an adjustment but he’ll get used to it. Except, then she shows up, and she’s all weird and depressing and creepy-looking instead of cool like Leo. That’s no fun! But then he thinks about all she’s been through and he feels bad for being annoyed at her. So he tries his best to cheer her up. Maybe around then this “None of us understand” “You’re the only one who knows that” conversation they had in the bathroom could happen, and they start to genuinely bond from there. (And I really loved that conversation between them in the bathroom. But I feel like if more had been done to show Josh gradually starting to think about her feelings to lead up to it, it could have had more of an impact.)
From chapter two onward, I think Josh’s feelings feel a lot more natural. So this advice is mostly for chapter one.
Overall, this is a very cute plot. Once again, I appreciate that you take the time to think about things other authors in the genre might not think about. I like the humor, which emerges naturally from the plot and adds some charm to the story. I’m looking forward to see how you develop this further.
Oh, and one more specific thing I liked about the story overall? Kora’s character. You’ve really put a lot of thought into her as a person. The explanation behind why she gets so attached to Josh right away is heart-breaking but makes me really like her a lot. Nice work!
Now, onto things specific to this chapter. Actually, there’s not much I thought of to say about this chapter, haha. But I like the little details about the similarities between zoo animals and the animals from Kora’s world. It shows you’ve put thought into it. Also, I like the commentary about the snake in Harry Potter. It made me chuckle a bit. Nice work!
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 6 . 12/30/2017
When goop from Kora’s face dripped onto the skull so soon after it was established that it shouldn’t be touched with bare skin, I thought that might cause a problem.
Still, doesn’t it seem like Kora should have informed Robyn of that right away?
I like that Kora and Josh are actually communicating to solve some of Josh’s problems with her instead of going to cliché route of her just being completely incapable of understanding and embarrassing Josh in the exact same way dragging on and on forever for humor.
It’s pretty messed up, but that last part with Null punishing the underling was hilarious.
I like the wording “probing, poisonous tendrils of Null’s awareness.” But, since the reader (and the main POV character) are unfamiliar with the feeling of “another person becoming aware you can psychically see them” it might be nice to explain more explicitly what that feels like and how they knew that’s what was happening before Null said something about spies. (Or just describe an unfamiliar sensation and have the reader only figure out that Null had become aware of them when Null says that.)
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 5 . 12/29/2017
It seems a little weird that Josh’s mom would give Kora a check-up right in front of Josh. She’s covered in goop but still naked; that may not be against Kora’s cultural norms but it’s against culture norms in most places on earth so why would the mom do that?
That thing about praise from mom being hard to come by surprised me, and I think it’s because not much has been done to establish the mom’s character at this point. So before I read that I was just thinking of her as a completely flat “mom archetype” and then I was surprised by her not following the archetype. But surprised in a good way; I’m immediately more interested in her as a character now. Perhaps more could be done to establish Josh’s parents’ characters earlier in the story.
Once again, good job thinking outside the box when it comes to alien worlds with things like purple leather occurring there and whatnot. And green tongues being stained pink instead of the other way around.
The last line was my favorite cliffhanger so far in this.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 4 . 12/29/2017
The parents’ reaction to Josh and Kora fighting the Amoebus felt kind of… underwhelming? Granted, I get this is another world where an alien attack might not be too farfetched, but most parents would have a stronger reaction to their kids being attacked, especially if they also decided to pick fights with the attacker. I think maybe part of it is that it’s supposed to come across as humorous, like a running joke that Josh gets in alien trouble and rescued by Leo so often that the parents aren’t fazed anymore. But it could maybe use more exaggeration to get that point across.
It also comes across as really messed up that Kora gets into a fight with an evil alien and the parents neither praise her for protecting herself/her brother/the other kids, nor lecture her for doing something dangerous, but instead chide her for risking her identity being seen. This itself kind of comes across as a dark humor type thing with parents missing the big picture of what’s good for their kids in favor of silly things like how the kids look/fit in, but I’m almost sure that’s not the actual intention.
I like how Kora is still longing for home, wishing she could take what she likes about earth (Josh) and take it home rather than just being happy about everything. Like, even though Robyn and Cedric are nice to her, they’re not *her* mom and dad (even though she has been adopted by them, it will take time before she can form a bond with them as strong as with her birth parents, I mean.) Once again, it felt like a very authentic reaction to a rather impossible scenario, so good job with that.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 3 . 12/29/2017
I had to reread the last bit to be able to tell if it was really an alien that appeared and not part of the ride, which Kora mistook for a real alien. I think the confusion was because the transition in that part was a little odd; the narration itself came across as nonchalant. Only Kora’s dialogue conveyed the sense of panic, which is probably why it felt like she was panicking over a false alarm.
“Cigar butts in gallstone sauce” is pretty funny, although disgusting.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 2 . 12/29/2017
Josh being sarcastically enthusiastic about Kora learning how to disguise herself as a human was cute, and felt authentic. As was Joshua’s embarrassment at Kora gushing over him.
Hearing those little details (like how she wanted to protect her baby cousin but ended up with an adult cousin instead) helps the reader empathize with Kora’s POV a lot more. It’s the little details that hit the hardest in a tragedy, so I really like that you’ve included them.
| She Who Loves Pineapples II chapter 1 . 12/29/2017
Hi! Reviewing back for the review game!
So, is this a sequel to something? You said it’s a remake of another story and something about it being a parallel universe, but I’m still not sure. The part that explains who Leo is and how she knows Josh comes across as filling in the audience who didn’t read the first book.
I like that you’re putting thought into implications of an alien visiting earth that stories of this nature wouldn’t usually include, like, the amount of sunlight on earth irritating her skin and stuff. And the explanation for why she speaks English is a good one.
Is this story aimed at children? The writing style kind of gives me that impression. It reminds me of the first Harry Potter book. So far we don’t know Josh’s exact age, but he comes across as nine or ten to me.
| YasuRan chapter 7 . 12/4/2017
A very interesting plot! I like the angle you've taken, focusing on how the protagonist - who fits the usual sidekick archetype - reacts to a new being in his world, let alone as part of his family. I found Josh's reactions to Kora very realistic in how he's quite wary at first and still retain some of it even as he gets to know her better.
Kora is very interesting as well. It's quite admirable how positive she tries to be in the wake of such a huge tragedy. I'm also curious as to how she really feels about her cousin and whether there is indeed another side to Leo (which I almost suspect will be starkly different to the good PR Josh noticed in the first chapter).
Keep up the good work!
| RisanF chapter 1 . 11/15/2017
The writing style seems a bit simpler than your other stories, so I'm wondering if you are intentionally gearing towards a younger audience with this one. It makes it easy to read, though. I think maybe you should use less complex vocabulary than "unimaginably awful" when Josh is speaking. He sounds like he's still pretty young, and that kind of phrasing is something that would be more appropriate coming from someone older.
I think you should go ahead and make the story take place in Britain, or alternate-universe Britain. I'm an American, but I know terms like "mum", and phrase like "I'll be round in a tick" are very distinctly British. Leo in particular talks like she learned her vocabulary from some old-school British actress. There's not much need to have American-isms here.
A quick note: the story describes Kora as having black hair, but the picture shows her having slime-green hair. You might want to make sure the art and story are both working together.
Anyways, the general thrust of the story was easy to understand and get into. If you keep working on it, it will do quite nicely for your chosen audience.
| Timbo Slice chapter 1 . 11/11/2017
I'm curious as to why you felt the need to rewrite the other story, especially when the main characters and plot are essentially the same. Josh being not as sweet in this version doesn't really translate too well because he is still more than accommodating to Kora, so perhaps writing in some specific examples through his speech and actions would make the difference more obvious. I'm also confused as to the parody side of the story. Besides from Leo's backstory being similar to Supergirl, I don't see the story as too much of a deliberate exaggeration of Supergirl, it's more of an homage or nod to the mythos. The black comedy bit is missing as well and I know this is still the first chapter but it would be best to implement different literary techniques as early in the story as possible to really differentiate it from the original.