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Review:The Secretest of Santa's says:
First of all, I adore the chapter image, it's absolutely stunning. Who is the model you use for Rose?

I'm blown away by this chapter and by the story in general. What draws me in completely is the language you use which is almost pretentious (especially during the beginning with Rose) but it fits the era and fits the story well. I love the old feeling of it and its smoothness. That's definitely something you should be proud of.

The description itself is incredible, especially in this chapter. I felt like my brain was being assaulted by it. There was just so many vividly painted scenes and moments that made this chapter seem real and close. I think my favourite scene with that would be the Romeo/Juliet-esque balcony scene with Rose's red hair blowing about. It seemed almost right out of a fairytale in that moment, almost whimsical. It did seem like a place outside of Hogwarts and I liked a lot was that you described the place and showed the readers this Hogwarts. I find that many forget that because there has been 7 books inside those halls and thousands of fanfictions that sometimes how the place looks, feels, sounds gets neglected.

Your characters are interesting too. I think they are mostly differently from the counterparts (Juliet or Romeo). Juliet seemed a bit of a 'i'm in love and that's all that matters - butterflies and sunshine' to me when i read the play. I like how Rose has this extra depth, this cleverness, this brain that needs to prove everyone wrong and needs to be the best at everything. There is something almost scary about that to me. I'm thinking this may come into play later on in the story. I do like though that, at this point, she is tied to Juliet because she is focussed on this love at the moment and seems to just be drinking it up. Whether this will stay is yet to be determined because you also have a lot of negative imagery here that seems to foreshadow something later in the plot. Scorpius is interesting too. He seems at the moment like he cannot distinguish where his infatuation (or truu luuve ;) ) end and his devious plan begins.

I'm just really jealous at the moment of how good this is. It absolutely stunning. You can wield the senses so well that make a person feel incredibyl captivated by a story. Really well done job and i like the stubtle hints of darkness and evil that is coming into the story. It gives this 'love' they have a dark feeling, something to be feared rather than basked in.

Really well done!

Author's Response: You are the best Secret Santa ever! Thank you for all of these glorious reviews - I hardly know how I'm going to respond in the way that these reviews deserve. It means so much that you took the time to read and review all of these stories!

The girl in the chapter image is Ruth Wilson from her work in theatre - her character in "Luther" was one of the inspirations of Rose's portrayal in this story. :)

Haha, I'm glad that you said the language was pretentious - I wanted to exaggerate the romantic scenes to show just how ridiculous they could be, particularly in the context of a Romeo & Juliet type story. But one other thing I was trying to do throughout this story was make it seem theatrical, somewhat unreal, or even super-real. It's great to hear that the language and style suit the story well and that the descriptions were almost overpowering. Sometimes it's a bad habit of mine to go overboard with descriptions, but in this story, they are meant to almost overwhelm the characters and plot. Their lives and actions are small and petty compared with the world around them. That particular scene with Rose was too much fun to write because the Romanticized description contradicts her personality - the description is imposed upon her, but it doesn't quite fit - perhaps I meant it as a sort of irony that this cold, ambitious girl was still described using conventional romantic language.

I love being able to find new ways of visualizing Hogwarts. It's such a familiar "sight" to readers, and familiar things are the most exciting to re-invent in stories. It's not just a magic school or ancient castle - it has a complicated history that allows it to be many things at once.

I'm not going to give away anything else about Rose. :P The ending is too good for me to spoil. At least, I think it's a great ending - it's one of the few times I've been pleased with how I ended a story. Rose's character was a challenge to develop - in this and the first act, there are only hints of what she's capable of, the cleverness and the distance she maintains from others. How she develops from here depends on the kind of world she grows into. She loves the idea of being in love, but it doesn't necessarily mean that what she actually feels for Scorpius is love - it's something, but what that something is is never certain.

I'll stop now before I keep analyzing my characters. :P Thank you again for your fantastic review! It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this part of the story! ^_^


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