Reviews for Somewhere Else (NEW)
anon chapter 19 . 3/2/2020
Yay, glad you enjoyed the facts haha :) Right now my brain is fried but another fact I can think of is that you shouldn't go to bed and sleep after a traumatic event. This is bc emotions are super important in terms of memory: you tend to remember events with strong emotional connections. And sleep keeps your emotional memory alive for years which means it acts as a sort of 'glue' for emotions. Conversely, sleeping straight away is good if you're studying bc it helps you organise your knowledge better. But yeah this blew my mind bc there's a saying where I'm from that's along the lines of "Sleep so that that [emotion] goes away" but it's actually it's the opposite.

Now - more importantly - onto this chapter: it's interesting that Askel is actively seeking out Emi, conversing with her, wanting to be friends, etc. It makes me wonder if there's a logic behind it all (as in, he actively just wants to be with her and get back together) or whether just seeing her makes him want to be around her and he's just following his instincts.

When Emi pointed out he was allowed to criticise Finland but she wasn't bc she's a foreigner made me kind of laugh a little because, yeah, isn't that how it always goes? I'll criticise my home country all I want to ppl from it, but the second someone else criticises it, I'm like :( how dare u.

The part where they kissed, ahhh! I can't copy and paste the line - but I loved it where Emi describes it as being breathless the whole time and that when they kiss is when she can breathe again. It definitely speaks to their familiarity with each other: that they'd been together and long enough that it was a relationship where they could be comfortable with one another and that it was as natural as breathing...until it wasn't.
KillWithKindness chapter 19 . 1/10/2020
Here we are again. I’m reading with rapt attention. I still love your writing. I’ve missed this story; it’s always been one of my favorites. I hope you’re well. And hope you remember me.
Jasmine chapter 19 . 12/24/2019
Aaand it’s Christmas! And there’s a new chapter! And they KISSED! Now I know I’ve been a good girl this year ;-) What a pleasant surprise - thank you!

Emi’s being surprisingly... aggressive... belligerent... cantankerous towards Aksel. I’m not sure what I feel about this; it reminds me of how I was like with my ex. I’d used to argue with him over everything, and my friends say it’s because I felt a need to establish power, to gain respect... and that backfired spectacularly. I suppose that’s a bit like how Emi feels - she’s hurt, and so far Aksel hasn’t really groveled yet, so she hasn’t had her retribution. Maybe she feels the need to hurt him like he hurt her. Whatever it is, I think it’s a bit like ignoring/dismissing another person’s thoughts, feelings and individuality in favor of your own ego. It’s like a typical mark of the villain in literature - the failure to empathize and communicate. Ugh, sorry, I needed to get that out of my system. Been reading too much nowadays. (Speaking of literature, Elisabeth in Pride and Prejudice grows from being purposefully aggressive to empathetic. So here’s hoping for more character growth in Emi!)

Whatever it is, it’s sooo bad for a relationship and I hope they’ll work it out... maybe she’ll find some comfort in writing, lol, and let out those toxic emotions. I thought they already moved past this stage when they had coffee together, but apparently the path of true love does not run smooth :-)

I love this chapter. (Well, I love seeing more of Aksel!) I hope Aksel will get along with Emi’s friends too. The kiss scene is spectacular. I’ve still got goosebumps from reading it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :-)
Khatira chapter 19 . 12/20/2019
Hi. I've been lurking about on this story for a while, like even when you were posting the previous version, and following your twitter (C.E. Alley :D). I don't really have any excuses for not reviewing sooner, but I kept checking on this particular update because I just knew it was going to be big. And it was! Your ability to track undercurrents as the story goes on is simply uncanny: the group was arguing about population size but the scene was really about the tension between Aksel and Emilie, and then it narrowed down as her friends picked up on the tension. Also the fact that Aksel was kidding himself about friendship was incredible, because there was a different current going on there too. The fact that you don't have to say a WORD about what's actually happening is sheer genius, and it places a great deal of trust in the reader. This is so, so good.

Please feel free to take your time on this, even if you have to delay an update. This chapter is proof of the results. Take care!
Jasmine chapter 18 . 11/23/2019
Awww okay I read that deleted scene and now I’m officially twitter-stalking you. You write wonderfully. Some people (me included) can’t bear to look back at their old writing because they’re constantly influenced by different sources, but I’ve read your stuff over the years and it just seems so consistent.
Jasmine chapter 18 . 11/23/2019
Wow another chapter!

I loved this one too. Honestly ever since Emi and Aksel broke up I’ve been fantasizing about this scene where Emi has a great life with her new friends and suddenly runs into Aksel out of the blue at a party. And LOL this is like my dream come true. I’m not telling you what else I’ve secretly fangirled about but I’m sire that whatever you write would exceed my expectations. A great chapter.
blythely chapter 18 . 11/22/2019
Yay, an update!
Interesting interaction between Lumi and Emi - I wonder what was going through Lumi’s mind, and what prompted Emi to initiate a coffee. Guilt?

Also loving the tension just around the corner... Emi finally has her own life and things going on- friends, apartment, classes... will Aksel feel left behind? I like that they can start to see each other as equals and independent, rather than one party always having to rely on the other for support.

Looking forward to the next chapter..:)
anon chapter 18 . 11/22/2019
Aaaah, Askel is there, yay! And the line "I can text my ex without falling back in love" made me snort. Yeah, sure, Emi, let's see how that works out haha. To be fair, I get what her friends are saying about how Emi texting Askel isn't going to let her move on; I feel like she technically knows that but deep inside, she doesn't really want to move on.

It's interesting you mentioned the brain scans because I'm currently studying neurology/psych in my med school this semester :) IDK if you already know this or not and I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, but the (MRI) scans tend to show different 'hyper' activations of different pathways. So someone who has social anxiety has hyperactivation of fear circuits and of the parts of the brain involved in interpretation and decision making. Or you can also have structural abnormalities (like in OCD). I don't know neurology well enough (yet) to try to figure out whether culture shock syndrome would show anything on a MRI scan. My guess is that you might have a similar pattern to anxiety, and then eventually depression.

Also, and you can totally ignore this (it's just a fun fact I've been dying to share with someone but everyone I know is a med student who already knows this), elderly people have this sort of mechanism where they struggle to remember current things and learn new actions, but they remember past events and skills they learnt in the past (barring Alzheimer's ofc). But a positive thing about this is that they will also very easily forget negative experiences. Young ppl remember negative experiences so they can learn from them and plan for the future, but there's no real need for this in elderly patients (as I guess you can quite brutally say they don't really have a long-term plan) so their focus is just on remembering the good ole' things and just focussing on positive things in the future. In a way, it's a bit freaky that your brain is like, "Well, it's not really necessary for you to learn from bad experiences anymore so let's not focus on them!" but it's also kinda sweet? Kinda?

Anyway, sorry for having a review that is basically 90% me talking about neurology and 10% about this chapter! But I really did love it, love seeing Emi with her friends and I hope to see her reaching a new understanding with Lumi. I can't wait to see where you go next!
anon chapter 17 . 11/12/2019
Even just a shorter chapter from you is nice to read! That part where Emi remembers telling her mother that she couldn't speak German well when she was a child made me feel so sad, especially since I remember thoughtlessly doing the same when I was younger. I really doubt my mother holds it against me (or even remembers it) but I think it's so sad to really think about the bravery and strength of mind it takes for someone to move to an entirely different culture and adopt a new language and then have a child mindlessly criticise you for it (which is the worst, because they don't even really mean to hurt people! They just say what they see).

Also, this fic is reaaaalllly making me want to visit Finland. Which speaks nicely of your story, don't you think? :)

My condolences for the loss of your grandma. Hope you have/had a fun time in China!
blythely chapter 17 . 11/9/2019
Short update, but it’s nice to see Emi reflecting on her experiences and maturing as a character. I hope she has more of these moments. It would be interesting also to see her develop as an individual now rather than “Aksel’s partner”, and finding her own purpose for staying in Helsinki.
Jasmine chapter 17 . 11/8/2019
I miss this story so much and I’m so glad you’ve updated... sorry to hear about your grandma and good luck with life.

Not much Aksel in this chapter, heh, and I’m curious as to how her tutoring job goes too (and whether it’ll make Aksel a little jealous haha), but I guess Emi has to go through this stage of acceptance. Crosses fingers and hopes for a chapter next week :)
blythely chapter 15 . 11/8/2019
I also like that the relationship didn’t end due to some noble sacrifice on Askel’s part, but that he was facing his own struggles as well. You’ve fleshed it out really nicely - can’t wait for the next chapter !
blythely chapter 16 . 11/8/2019
So good!
I love how emi’s character isn’t perfect, and the relationship is realistic.
anon chapter 16 . 11/5/2019
Ah, this entire chapter made me squirm with a sort of squeaky delight! It's so fascinating to see how people talk to each when they have a messy sort of relationship. They were together for a long time, loved each other to make long term plans and now it's just...knowing someone but not knowing what they want or what to say. Emi says Askel can read her well and that he can probably tell her emotions are flying all over the place: I wonder, is that actually the case or does she just feel she's being obvious even though she's not?

I hope inspiration manages to strike you soon for the next chapter :)
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