Hello! I'm here with your requested review!
OH YAY! Next-Gen! My favourite era -the number of things you can do with it!
Okay, for a first chapter, I think this is very different from many others I've read. I don't know if this has to do with the fact that this story is a sequel or not, but anyway... Although you've given us our fair share of introductions and background history, you've also sort of lunged straight into action and with an engagement party! That's sort of grand, like a mini-wedding! I still haven't read a novel that starts with preparations for a mini-wedding, except for this one, of course. I certainly do find myself curious about what's going to happen next, and how the relationship betwen Rose and Teddy will advance.
Speaking of which, I love the way you've made us come to know about their relationship. It wasn't a straight-out 'I'm in a relationship with Teddy Lupin' statement but it was rather implied and proved by various flashbacks and thoughts. It took me a while to figure out that they're already together and I really liked the gradualism through which this point was made.
Another thing I noticed was the point of view from which you're writing this story. Although it's obviously in third-person perspective, it just seems so personal and specific to Rose that I felt as though I was reading a first-person perspective narrative without going through frustration that first-person can sometimes bring. I really do admire that!
As for the flashbacks... When the first one appeared, I was rather surprised to see it there even though you have told me about those in the request. At that point, things were still a bit foggy and the story was only beginning to unfold. But then, I got to the next one and began to understand the purpose of them and found them actually very useful to the chapter. They presented information in a rather nice way. If this information was just slipped into the rest of the narrative, it wouldn't have been as exciting to come upon. Or so I believe anyway!
Also, those flashbacks add a lot to that first-person feel that I've previously mentioned. It just really makes me feel as though I'm inside Rose's brain where one word or phrase or face stimulates a memory and brings on another that's loosely relevant. And this aspect, Rose's mental processes, is what gives this story the amusing lightness. It's witty amusement -the kind I really admire.
I like the characterisation of both Rose and Teddy so far. I like the occupations you've given each of them and I especially like all the details you've included about Rose's job -her education and Teddy's help with the garden and so on.
The interaction between the two of them around the end of the chapter was very, very amusing and adds to the fluffiness that you seem to be aiming for with this story.
Personally, I think I'll go read this story's predecessor now that I have finally been hooked on! I'm very glad to have finally got the chance to read one of your stories (okay, a portion of one of your stories) and I truly hope to have the time to read more. And I think this has been a wonderful chapter! You're always welcome to re-request if you want to! :D
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this! I have to admit that those of you offering reviews are really giving amazing ones, including plenty of detail and telling me exactly what I need to know. This is wonderful! It means a lot that you take the time to read closely and give this much feedback. :)
Just to clear things up, although this is a sequel, the plot of this story and its predecessor are separate - it is only the characters that carry over. I've been able to keep the stories distinct in my head, and have tried to keep it that way for readers as well. This story does rather leap into things in medias res - I don't want to tell the story from the very beginning, which is always tempting, but not always... right? (Can't think of a better word, sorry.) It's a story about what happens after the initial falling-in-love stage of romance, so that might be what throws things off for this story more than anything. I am super-glad to hear that you're curious to hear how things will develop - that's one thing I always like to know, especially about a first chapter. :D
I'll take a look at that first flashback to see whether I can smooth out the flow a little more. It was a last-minute decision to add those, so more build-up or some sort of narrative device might be necessary there. However, it's wonderful that, overall, the flashbacks do enhance the story, giving the backstory when needed and also giving readers a taste of Rose's personality - the way that she recalls certain memories at particular times does, like you said, let you get into Rose's head, see the world like she does. I love being able to do that in a story, and it's fantastic to know that her thoughts are the source of the humour. She does have a sarcastic edge to her, though it mostly stays in her head (she doesn't use sarcasm as much in speech). I place a lot of emphasis on "showing" versus "telling" in my stories, but sometimes it means I don't really know what's going on or what narrative device is doing what - that's where reviewers come in and help me know what's happening in my story. XD
I better stop now before I go on responding to everything in ridiculous detail. *hides* Needless to say, you've left me with a lot to think about, which I love in a review.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this first chapter! This story is proving to be an interesting experiment in writing something light and /normal/ (meaning not filled with crazy plots and mysteries), so it's a great relief to hear that it's working out! ^_^