Reading Reviews for Crushed Butterflies
  
34 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MissesWeasley123 Yearning to Live

1st January 2014:
Hello Amanda! I'm here for the 12 Days of Reviewing! An excellent way to read more of your work!

First of all, I love this song so much. Till this day, I still listen to it. I saw that this had been completed and then the lyrics in the summary.. I had to read this. You did such a great job at using the lyrics to convey such a piece. It was brilliantly done.

I really don't like Ginny. She never was my favourite character, dunno why. But you made me sympathize with her, and I think it was great, that for a chapter, I was able to look at her differently.

Your descriptions are so vivid, and insanely awesome. You don't write scenes, you show them. It's brilliant.

All of her fear and her emotion was conveyed so greatly. It's so tough to be able to not only make it realistic, but to make the reader be scared and emotional with the character. For a moment I was Ginny.

Great writing Amanda!

Author's Response: Hey there, thanks for stopping by :)

I also really love this song. There are some great covers out there now, but nothing quite gets it right like the original. I'm glad you felt like the lyrics were used effectively and really added to the piece.

Writing this story really made me want to reconsider Ginny, which is part of why I wanted to feature her in my current WIP. I struggled with which character to choose as the focus, but I'm glad I got to know Ginny better. I hope you come and check out "This Devilry" and see if you like Ginny there.

I work really hard on my imagery and emotion, so it's always good to hear that those came across effectively. I live by the "show, not tell" rule, that's for certain.

Thank you so much for your sweet review :)

-Amanda


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Review #2, by Jchrissy Yearning to Die

22nd June 2013:
Goodness, Amanda. Between Diamonds into Coal growing on the darker side of things and the Ginny chapter before this, I'm pretty confident you're just trying to break my poor little heart.

I wanted to comment on something you said about starting a Ginny centric story. In terms of her characterization in the first chapter of this, I think you have an awesome handle on it. Especially with the fact that you're aware of how much more she does need built up for her. JKR just didn't give us enough to really have us attached to her from the books. I'd be really curious to read that when you start it!

Now on to this actual chapter.

YOU ARE MAKING ME SAD. It's amazing how much these young people gave up for their friends. They never had to be so involved with helping Harry, and he probably wouldn't have even resented them for it. But here they are, sleeping in the freezing cold because they care so much about him and each other.

I love that Hermione is having these flickers of, 'why me,' sort of. She deserves it. She keeps them together. She's necessary for their survival, and she loves them both. But that doesn't mean she has to go happily into it all. I rarely see an author explore the times when her thoughts would have been darker, so I'm really excited that you did.

What barely adult wouldn't think, for just a moment, that they didn't deserve to be dealing with all this? But we never really see Hermione getting to feel that way, so I was very (pleasantly) surprised when you focused on that for this chapter.

As with Ginny, I do think you have an awesome handle on her character and am excited to see more of her in your future story! I also really loved when she was thinking about how her and Ron had grown closer. It was a nice moment of warmth and just reminded me how much I love these two.

Another amazing chapter! ♥

Oh, and seriously -- as awesome of a compliment it is that you want to get back to BTF... please don't feel like you have to take the time to review everything. IF you do decide you want to get back to it, I would feel so much better knowing you aren't spending hours review and just enjoying until you run into a chapter that you have suggestions for/for some reason is one you want to review.

Author's Response: I'm glad you're excited about it! Hopefully it will work out and you do stop by and check it out.

I agree that it seems like Hermione gets brushed over as this totally resilient and logical character, and while her strength is admirable and befitting of a true Gryffindor, I wanted to focus in this chapter on her vulnerability and the fact that she's still a young girl out in a world where she could be captured and killed at the drop of a hat. I could really see her questioning herself in these quiet moments, especially knowing that Harry and Ron depend so heavily upon her.

I'm happy you liked the Ron/Hermione fluff, too. There are a lot of dark themes here but I wanted to highlight the simplicity of taking comfort in being with the person you love.

Thanks so much for this kind review, Jami :)

-Amanda


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Review #3, by Jchrissy Yearning to Live

18th June 2013:
Amanda! I was so excited about getting paired together for this month's exchange!

Ginny will never be one of my favorite characters, but you've made me like her more than any author has before. The fact that you let her feel angry at harry, sad that he left her, made her into the girl dreaming of a future she may or may not have, all really helped create more of a person than most people are able.

I really can't stand with she's portrayed as constantly strong, constantly holding her chin up and ready to fight because Harry is there somewhere and Harry loves here. This girl was just left by her brother, her lover, and her best friend. No way can she be strong all the time, or not feel that terrible anger that they left her and now she's stuck trying not to get tortured in this castle prison.

You showed all of the emotions that anyone would realistically feel so insanely well. She isn't a bad person for being angry at Harry or weak for crying and missing him. She's a girl who's broken hearted and scared and I love that you have her a chance to be that person.

The fact that there was the constant underlining fear that someone may catch her was a super neat addition in this, because it just made everything feel that much more tense. I loved how strongly you made us feel her emotions, her claustrophobia in the castle was especially one of my favorites. She could barely move without someone's permission, and the need to break away from that was so real and felt so fitting.

Then when she wondered if she had actually ever enjoyed Hogwarts... I think that was one of the things that just made this story perfect. She's been through so much in such a short amount of time, half numb, half feeling everything too much. Barely being able to imagine a time when she loved the school was just so sad and realistic and gah. Loved it.

This was a really awesome first chapter. I noticed her and Hermione's are the exact same word count, and for some reason that made me super curious. haha! But I'm even more excited to see what you do with her, now!

♥ Jami

Author's Response: Hi Jami! Wow, you are quick :) I was also excited about being paired with you and I'm going to head over and check out your first chapter ASAP (and hopefully do another one before the month is out).

I've never been a huge fan of Ginny either. I just felt like her relationship with Harry crept up on all of us and she wasn't prominent enough in the background for it to feel real. What I tried to do, then, was build in some of that vulnerability and emotion so that people could hopefully relate to her a little bit more. I'm very happy that it worked for you here!

I agree that you'd think Ginny would be in a more vulnerable place, even if she kept it hidden, considering all that she went through. I can't help but compare her to Sansa from GoT--she does have those moments where she cries and breaks down because her beloved family is in tatters and she's lonely. Ginny, too, was in a dangerous land and probably felt so alone and so frightened.

Hah, her chapter and Hermione's chapter were not meant to have the same word count. They don't on my word processor and yet the count there never matches the one on HPFF. Oh, well, it's a cute quirk, I suppose :)

Anyway, the reason I put this story up for the swap is because I'm hoping to start a new Ginny-centric story in the fall that will deal with a lot of darkness and emotion and I wanted to check on how I'd done so far with her characterization. Hermione will probably feature fairly prominently as well, so I'd love to hear what you think of that chapter, too. Thank you so much for this wonderful review!

-Amanda


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Review #4, by DarknessIsMyOnlyFriend Yearning to Die

4th April 2013:
I like how you alternate the chapters. And you are accurate, including the dates and everything. It's a nice touch! And the fact you have a few mental questions italicised, making it similar to the first chapter. I think it's always nice to see such consistencies in stories.

I love how you portrayed Hermione's thoughts. You stay so incredibly close to how J.K. Rowling wrote her, even though the books never really shared the thoughts of Hermione. It's also very realistic for Hermione to think about blaming harry, even if only for a split second, or how the recent events taint her beautiful memories of the forest. They're cold and tired, it's only normal. It's always nice to read about Hermione's feelings, because she so often has to be rational and strong, it's easy to forget she is just as human and compassionate and loving as the boys. If not more so.
She seems so depressed and yet she keeps going. That's how I always imagined her in the books as well. She could be kicked to ground, but she would not stay down.

I really like this chapter, as I did the previous chapter. It's so descriptive and realistic. It's really good. Sorry it took me a few days to get to this, but I'm glad I did read these :D

Author's Response: Hi again!

I'm glad you felt like there was stylistic consistency between this chapter and the previous one. I didn't mean for them to have the exact same word count, but I did try to carry over the formatting. This was originally written for a challenge that was to show two different sides of an emotion or reaction, which is part of why there are parallels.

I really wanted to give Hermione a chance to show weakness in this story; as you said, she always has to be so strong and put her feelings aside for the sake of pushing forward. I'm sure it really took a toll on her out in the forest, when she finally had a chance to think. Like you mentioned, though, she's not the kind of person to actually give up in the end.

Thanks for another fabulous review! (By the way, I really appreciate you reading both!)

-Amanda


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Review #5, by DarknessIsMyOnlyFriend Yearning to Live

4th April 2013:
I always like it when quotes or riddles and small poetic pieces, start of a chapter. It always creates a tone for the story. However, I could not find a disclaimer. I think it would be wise to put who you've used to the words from in an authors note or something.
Now on to more important things, like the story itself! :)
I really like that you spoke of that seventh year, in school. The books told us little about what it was like. I like your take on it!

And Ginny is very realistic! She would be the first to chance a walk during the late hours. I never really thought how it would have been for her, back in school. Not knowing where some of the most important people in her life were and if they were still safe. Like I said, I like how you took that and turned it into a story.
And she would struggle not saying Voldemort, instead of he-who-must-not-Be-Named.
And I love that you have her imagining a future with Harry. Even though it saddens her it shows her strength. Because she would not imagine it if she had lost hope entirely.

And I REALLY like you the way you describe things. It flows so easily into the story. I could imagine myself standing in that tower. I could almost smell the air, especially since you said it was impending with rain. Also these descriptions really fit right with the emotions of Ginny. So that's another big plus. Your descriptions set a mood, but still let's you imagine the castle in all it's glory, despite the horrible occupants it also holds.

I truly enjoyed this chapter! Thanks for pointing it out to me.

Author's Response: I actually credited the artist and song title in the story summary (the front page with the banner). But I appreciate your concern :)

It's good to hear that you like Ginny. She seems rather unpopular and hard to pin down, and I can't help but wonder what it would be like to be the leading lady for someone like Harry, who comes with so much baggage. I do think she's a mixture of typical girlish fears and a hidden measure of strength, one that Harry surely depended on as her partner.

It's great that you like the imagery, too, and that you were able to identify with Ginny in her present moment of discomfort.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #6, by Ron 4 Hermione Yearning to Die

26th July 2012:
Another great chapter, again the lyrics fit lovely!
I think you've chosen the characters great, I can imagine Hermione being curious about what happens after you die. A great piece of writing, i really think you've written it well! :)

Author's Response: Hello again :)

It's great that you felt like Hermione was a good creative choice here and you liked the writing. Again, I'm pleased that the lyrics seemed fitting.

Thanks for your very kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #7, by Ron 4 Hermione Yearning to Live

26th July 2012:
Wow! That is really good!
I loved the idea that she went back up to the tower to think and that she had managed to learn the patrol routes because of her weasley blood.
The lyrics really fit, can't wait to read the next chapter! :)

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for stopping by!

I'm happy that you felt like the lyrics worked well here (love Coldplay!) and that you liked the way I characterized Ginny in this piece. Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #8, by Athene Goodstrength Yearning to Die

29th May 2012:
'Hermione brushed a stray curl out of her face as she tried to get comfortable in the tent, flinching slightly as her shirt moved up just enough to expose a tiny sliver of white skin to the cold earth upon which she laid.' Once again, you've started with a strong image, yet it is also one of fragility. It's almost as if in both Ginny and Hermione's stories, you have come up with an image to remind us that both of our bottom-kicking heroines have a vulnerable side. It's not just a gender thing though, as the images of both the boys curled up under their blankets, asleep, is similar in reminding us that they're all barely more than children, despite their heroism.

'Standing in Ginny's bedroom at the Burrow, gingerly folding her shirts' - I love that you used the word 'gingerly'. One, it's a brilliant word. Two, it's funny… moving 'gingerly' in the fortress of famous redheads. I have an awkward sense of humour.

A couple of little issues jump out at me in the rest of that sentence: folding her shirts and pants and tucking them carefully into her bag, which she had charmed to make it bottomless. Unless you mean she's packing shirts and underwear, I think you mean trousers! And in the next bit, the sentence would run more smoothly if you dropped the 'it'.

I love the idea of packing the books because not having them on her would have felt strange. I imagine it would feel like the 90's Hermione equivalent of going out of the house without your mobile phone! Bless her, she's so earnest. This is one of those moments of perfect characterization that I'm finding you to be so adept at. It makes your writing a real pleasure to read.

The sudden rise and quelling of anger directed at Harry is so believable, particularly when you go on to mention the tarnishing of her precious memories (of parents whom she thinks she may never see again) and Ron's splinching...it begins to reveal the depth of her feeling for Ron, that his being injured angers her.

I also enjoyed the implication that being muggle-born actually protects her from Voldemort, as he knows very little about her and therefore cannot anticipate her next move.

This line made my heart leap: 'She turned over and found herself face to face with Ron. If she exhaled, it would touch his lips.' It's so haunting, so gentle. I think you could do with expanding on 'it'...maybe 'her breath'. Ach, it's details like this though that make you a great writer. You then go on to the detail of Ron's mouth falling open and it's just so utterly endearing, I can't help but feel the wave of fondness Hermione feels too.

'Ron, well, he was nothing special' Made me think. Do you mean, that to the rest of the world he was nothing special? Because he's clearly special to her.
I really enjoyed her thinking back to Hogwarts, to the many hours they've spent together, and to the fact that Harry's absence almost meant more than his presence in their threesome. I almost imagine the two of them as parents, worrying about their son but knowing that they just have to trust and support him... and getting on with their own lives/school career in the meantime!

I hate the idea of Hermione longing for death, but it's understandable. When you've been living in danger for so long, I guess it's inevitable that she would begin to wish for an end to it. It reminds me of Beedle the Bard, for some reason... the relationship with Death, perhaps.

I really like the way you concluded this story, with Hermione taking Ron's hand. It reminded me instantly of Harry seeing them close to each other at Grimmauld Place and feeling oddly lonely, which in turn reminded me of poor Ginny whose chapter ended with nobody's hand for her to hold. The thought that being with Ron and wondering if he's dreaming of her, is the only comfort to Hermione that night is both very sad and very touching.

Overall, this was yet another beautifully written and clearly well thought out piece of writing. I'm so glad I was behind you on Slytherin tag! Each of these chapters could stand alone as a lovely one-shot, but together they become completely brilliant. I can really see both young women, awake and full of sadness, longing and hope, and I think your characterization of both of them was spot on.

I love the way that they are each longing to be where the other is. Reading them both, I could almost imagine a thread stretching through the night between them.

Sorry for the time it's taken me to write up these reviews, but I hope you can tell how much I really enjoyed 'Crushed Butterflies' (10/10)

Athene Xo
~Recenseo 2012~

Author's Response: Hey! Back again here for dear Hermione!

Yes - once again, I wanted to emphasize that they're all still young, that these two girls have really been put into positions that demand a lot of them and ask them to really hold back how they're feeling for the good of everyone else. I keep going back to how I would feel if I were put in Ginny or Hermione's position - it would be hard. I would probably break down most nights when I was alone. That's what I tried to focus on here.

I'm not British, and I never worry too much about Britpicking in my stories - if the proper terminology feels right at the moment, I'll use it, but I don't make any special effort to make the story sound British. Thanks for pointing out the mistake all the same, though. I'm happy that the rest of the details seemed to work for you.

Yes, I meant that Ron is nothing special to everyone else. Naturally, Hermione's opinion is a little different :) I do think their roles as "the best friends" kind of set them apart from Harry and everyone else in a special way.

I always thought that Hermione might be a little bitter under her wealth of knowledge, even more so than Ginny. She had a tough time fitting in initially at Hogwarts, even more so because of her blood status. I thought that times like these might really get to her.

I'm so happy that you enjoyed both halves of this story. It really is one of my favorites. Thanks for both of your wonderful reviews!

-Amanda


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Review #9, by Athene Goodstrength Yearning to Live

29th May 2012:
Athene here from Slytherin Review Tag, sorry it's so late!

First off, I love Ginny Weasley (canon Ginny, not film Ginny) so I was excited to read this chapter. We are all told repeatedly that Ginny has a soft centre, but we rarely get to see it, so I really enjoyed reading this. This review may not be particularly coherent, I made notes as I went along!

First off, I love this image: 'Ginny placed her hands delicately on the stone railing, tracing the place where she imagined he had fallen over it at the close of the previous year. The September breeze, which smelled like an impending rain, caught the edges of her red strands and blew them back over her small shoulders.' It's beautiful. She's so delicate- strands, small shoulders- and yet she's standing at the spot from where Dumbledore fell, a breeze blowing her. You instantly get a sense of her fragility and the danger she's living in.

However the next line, about closing her eyelids over her brown eyes, jumped out at me a little as odd- we already know what she looks like, and you just mentioned her red hair. Maybe it's the words 'eyelids' and 'eyes' in such close proximity that's bothering me… I would probably have written 'she closed her brown eyes' if I wanted to include the colour. But then again, that's just me! I didn't have the idea for this wonderful fic :P

I love the flow of emotions in this piece. I felt her sadness over Dumbledore, compassion for Harry watching him die… her anger at Snape, maybe even a little pity for Draco. Then, the anger at Harry for leaving her behind.

'She didn't understand how he couldn't see that he'd left her to the wolves while claiming to keep her safe. Hogwarts was no longer the haven they once knew.' -This line was brilliant. Harry can be so very short-sighted (heh!) sometimes.

I have to confess that this line made me giggle: 'The professors had no power except the small allotment that Snape occasionally extended to them.' I momentarily thought that Snape had allowed them to take care of a vegetable patch.

I love how much Dumbledore is on Ginny's mind. That's all I have to say about that, it's just perfect.

'imagining her father getting fingerprints on it as he embraced the bride.' This made me smile! How very Weasleyish of Arthur.

I wasn't sure about the idea of imagining her wedding dress, home and children- it's a nice image of her yearning for normality, but I wonder if she'd be more likely to be dreaming of the day that she and Harry can walk down to the lake together again, or race around the Quidditch pitch. I guess that's part of yearning for the old Hogwarts. But I can also see how imagining the future is the only thing keeping her going.

This is a side of Ginny that we don't get to see much- I get the feeling in DH that she spends a lot of time striding around angrily and purposefully, rallying troops etc. But this was a lovely snapshot of the emptiness and loneliness behind all of that. The chapter title 'Yearning to Live' is perfect, as I really felt Ginny's strong sense of yearning, and her feeling that life is on hold. Overall, I loved this! So well written and the psychology of the character is really thoughtful.

Onwards to Hermione!

Athene xo
-Recenseo 2012

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry this response has taken ages!

I really wanted to focus on Ginny's vulnerability here, and you nailed it on the head - like Lily (and seemingly most other red-heads in the series), I always see her portrayed as brazen and spiteful, and it always leaves me wondering what she's feeling, how she's really reacting to it all. As you pointed out, I tried to intersperse that theme not just in the plot, but throughout the imagery and word choice. (You make a good point about the eyelids/eyes comment. Perhaps I was a bit too fixated on the details.)

Hah. Now I'm imagining Flitwick and Sprout de-gnoming Hagrid's garden and complaining about the Carrows. That makes me chuckle.

Several people have commented on the wedding idea. I guess I used it because I figured a lot of girls dream of their wedding day, even if they aren't engaged to their current significant other, and so it just seemed like another way to emphasize that Ginny is still a girl, even one that can be a little idealistic at times. I can definitely see how yearning for the way Hogwarts used to be could have been a powerful choice.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and thank you so much for your very kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #10, by Miriel Yearning to Die

24th March 2012:
Hi!

This was surely one of the most unique stories I ever read. The idea to compare the points of view of Ginny and Hermione during the war never occured to me, and I'm really glad that I read your story.

You write very beautifully and colourful, and I enjoyed your choice of words. You manage to make the text flow easily, without any effort. Congrats for that, it's really admirable.

I hope you'll continue to write such amazing stories!

xxx
Miriel

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for coming by!

I'm very glad this seems unique to you, because that's what I was hoping for. I'm not sure how the idea came to me, other than the fact that I really wanted to try my hand at these two pairings, but I'm glad it worked :)

It's great to hear that you like my writing style, especially the imagery and flow. I do work hard on those things and it's lovely when people appreciate the effort.

Thanks so much for your kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #11, by NaidatheRavenclaw Yearning to Die

17th March 2012:
Wow. If the last chapter blew me away, this one sent me flying all the way to the moon. I'm stunned.

Hermione, in contrast, is one of my favorite characters. I absolutely adore her, but I also think she's one of the hardest characters to write. You, of course, have done it perfectly. I loved the part where you talked about why she packed her books in particular. Hermione has always striken me as the kind of girl who's really insecure about herself and tries to cover it up by being a "know it all". I think the books would have been a security thing for her. A little reminder of the way things used to be. The whole "she hates being smart" thing also played into that. She knows she's smart, but she doesn't necessarily like it.

And once again, your imagery was super. I especially loved the way her memories flowed with the narrative. The part when she was reminscing about the common room and the trivial things she used to be concerned with was gorgeous, and so fitting. Actually, if I have any constructive criticism for you at all, it would be that I would have loved to see more of her memories throughout the piece. It really made my heart ache, and I would have loved to see more of that. Then again, I'm also a crazy person who loves repetition and structure and all that, and this is much more flowy, so that's probably just my own personal taste talking. Your story works really well the way it is.

And then this line: "It would be just like going to sleep, except there would no longer be a need to dream." The entire part about death was eerily beautiful, but this line stood out most of all. Hermione is such a strong character, and I liked the vulnerability you showed with her thinking about death. It really put things into perspective with how awful that camping trip must have been. It wasn't a dark view of death, where you could have said "there would have no longer been dreams" but using the "need to dream" implied that she no longer wanted to dream. That dreams were misery. And that was just haunting.

And my inner fangirl was very happy with all the Romione at the end :P

As this was the opposite moods challenge, I think it's necessary to comment on that. What I love about this is the subtle differences. The storylines are parellel in some ways, but in others, they're backwards. Two strong women, both scared, both pining for those they love. But while Ginny was hoping that Harry would save her and thinking of their future together, Hermione was thinking of dying with Ron. And that last part was what made the stories different, and I think you interpreted the challenge perfectly. Lovely job.

One thing I forgot to mention in the last chapter-I'll be PMing you as soon as I'm done with this to find out which story(s) you'd like me to review :) Thank you so much for entering my challenge!

-Naida

Author's Response: It's great that this second part was just as powerful as the first one for you. That's a huge compliment to me, as I'm sure you know :)

I think Hermione can be tough; because Emma Watson is so pretty, Hermione is often the victim of many an unfortunate cliche. I wanted to try to stay true to her canon nature and her intellectualism and steadfast resolve with this piece. I think she would have to be insecure, as she can't help but notice that she's not very pretty, and that's probably part of why she's so hesitant to commit to Ron and to show any part of herself besides the part that gets perfect scores on all of her exams.

I really wanted to focus on the loneliness and bleakness of this moment out in the woods for this story, but I do think it would have been interesting to look into her past a little more. I'm sure I'll write her again sometime in the future, and I'll have to keep that in mind.

Just like with Ginny with the first half of this story, I wanted to give Hermione multiple dimensions, to show her feminine, youthful vulnerability but also to emphasize how strong she is and how much she's grown up here. It was nice to give her a small moment with Ron at the end, though, so not all ended sadly :)

It's wonderful to hear that I satisfied the challenge requirements. I was a little concerned when I finished this that the differences between parts would be too subtle, but if it worked for you, then both my muse and I are content with it.

Thank you so much! I'm happy you liked it! :)

-Amanda


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Review #12, by NaidatheRavenclaw Yearning to Live

17th March 2012:
Hi there! I want to start off with a huge apology. The challenge has only been over for what, two months now? D: I'm really sorry for not reviewing until now, especially as this was gorgeous in every way.

I don't really like Ginny as a character, to be honest. I don't necessarily think she's a Mary-Sue, as a lot of people do, but I don't care much about her either. So the fact that you made me want to curl up in a ball and sob for her is incredible. I've read a few stories here and there about the regin of the Carrows at Hogwarts, but I haven't read anyting that even comes close to describing it the way you do. The sadness, the anger, the desperation. Everything came across perfectly, and I could /feel/ Ginny's anguish. I also really like how you made it clear that the Slytherins weren't completely free from harm. They weren't lording over the school while the rest of the students suffered, and that added a more human aspect to this. I don't think all but the worst human beings could be happy and proud while torturing others, or even seeing others be tortured. It certainly took its toll on some of the Death Eaters (Lucius Malfoy comes to mind) and as much as people like to say that they are, Slytherins are not purely evil. Sorry, I could rant forever about the misconceptions of Slytherins :P

One of my favorite parts of this was the imagery. Though it was short, the descriptions were stunning. One line that stood out to me in particular was this: "Harry always appeared smiling, alive and in one piece, and he always scooped her up into his arms before she could even detect him. His arms were warm and smelled of faint evergreen and the light sheen of sweat on his skin, and then, just when her heart slowed to a normal rhythm and a smile graced her softly painted lips, she would realize that the scent of the forest meant he was not here, not trapped in the dank castle." It was so delicate, so beautiful, and I like that Ginny had a connection with Harry. It fit in so perfectly with the nights he spent looking at her on the Marauder's Map, and there's something really sweet about the thought of them both thinking of each other every night. I really love your style because you don't need big, imposing vocabulary or really complicated sentences to create the vivid images you are so brilliant at creating. You do it with really simply placed words, but the way you string them together is incredible.

(Also, I realize this is just turning into a squee-fest xD Sorry I don't have anything constructive for you, but your writing is just magic ♥ )

Last thing, the part at the end just destroyed me. You had mentioned earlier Ginny's desire for life to be like a fairytale, and that coupled with her thoughts at the end was so innocent that it killed me. You captured the desire of pretty much every girl to be swept off her feet by Prince Charming, but you also managed to keep the sense of darkness surrounding that, and the opposites worked so well. Ginny is a really strong character in the books, and here you've given us a reason of how she managed to stay strong. This little reality in her head. It was so sweet, and like I said earlier, so innocent, that it became really relatable. That made this story for me.

Like I've said, this was incredible. A note on the prizes: Due to my lack of time and the lack of entries, I'm not going to be able to pick winners :( Because there were only two completed entries, I don't feel right picking one over the other. However, you still deserve a prize, and that prize will be 5 reviews. I'll be leaving them over the next two weeks, as I'm on Spring Break in a week and will have time! :D

Thank you for putting up with my awful procrastination/lack of time with getting to this. Lovely story.

-Naida

Author's Response: I appreciate you coming by! :)

I didn't like Ginny very much before writing this either, which is part of why I chose to use this pairing, as a way of personally challenging myself to try something new. I definitely gained a new appreciation for her, and I'm glad you felt bad that she was stuck in such a terrible and confusing situation by herself, because I felt that way too.

I'm pleased that the ship worked for you. I really wanted to emphasize that Ginny misses Harry, but also that she resents him for leaving her behind and thinking she could be safer living under the reign of Death Eaters. It always shocked me that parents would send their children off to Hogwarts in this condition, though I know they really had no choice.

It's great that Ginny came across as strong, and that all of my description and word choice helped to bolster that image. I think she would have to be a tough young woman in order to remain committed to Harry after all that he went through, and sort of dragged her through, even if he never meant to do it. As I said earlier, I've gained a new respect for her.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and I apologize that my response took forever! :)

-Amanda


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Review #13, by charlottetrips Yearning to Live

2nd March 2012:
What a powerful chapter. You get caught up in Harry's fight for survival, in his search for the Horcruxes and his learning of the Deathly Hallows that you kind of forget that the other kids had to go back to Hogwarts and live under Snape and the Carrows. While we know now that Snape was "good" in his own complicated way, it still stands that the Carrows created a fear-driven school rather than a safe haven.

You've captured Ginny here, in her thoughts, recriminations, fears and dreams. She became rounded and real in my mind, her thoughts breathed to life. The slight bitterness towards Harry but the overriding faith she had in him was wonderful to read.

What a lovely subject to explore and I'm glad you were the one to tackle it!

xChar

Author's Response: Hey Char! :)

I agree; canon focuses so much on Harry and his friends that I feel like we missed out on knowing just what it must have been like to live under the rule of the Death Eaters. I'm glad you also think the subject merits exploration and liked the way I did it.

Ginny was new territory for me (as was Hermione, really, in the second part of this), but I had fun fleshing her out and emphasizing both her good qualities and flaws. I wanted to make her into (at once) a scared young girl and a powerful heroine. It's great that you liked her mixed feelings for Harry, because that was kind of the core of the "realness" I tried to create with her.

Thanks for your excellent review! :)

Amanda


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Review #14, by forsakenphoenix Yearning to Live

16th January 2012:
I have a hard time reading fanfics about Ginny because most authors don't do her justice. I guess I shouldn't have been worried when it came to your writing.

I really, really liked this. The repetition of the prison, first being Hogwarts, and then being Ginny's mind was very effective and it helped the reader feel how imprisoned Ginny felt in those long months without word from her family and friends.

I love how upset she gets, desperate for Harry to remember that it was his duty to protect her, that he left her behind to save her, and now she's still suffering from an unknown fate. Having her contemplate this in the place where Dumbledore died was fitting - and I love how you described Snape as an executioner.

Imagining her future with Harry is a dream that Ginny struggles to hold onto, but I'm glad she has that, at least as something to use as an escape. The little bits about her professors daring to challenge the Headmaster made me smile, because it's little things like that that mean a lot in a war like the one they lived through. Being brave doesn't take a huge act of courage.

This was really well-written and I'm excited to read the next chapter from Hermione's POV.

Author's Response: You know, I usually don't like Ginny much either. This piece was kind of a personal challenge for me to try writing Golden Trio ships because I'm unfamiliar with them. It was interesting getting inside of Ginny's head, as well as Hermione's.

You got right to the point - I wanted to emphasize her vulnerability, because I get sick of the constant onslaught of "fiery redhead" stories. I imagined that she would be in a cold, frightening place and would feel quite alone, and that she would wonder why the hero of the wizarding world couldn't be her personal hero just this once and save her. I'm happy that you liked my choice of settings and how I described everything and set the scene. That's great to hear, of course. I definitely wanted to put her in the place where the world (as she knows it) changed forever.

Again, the vulnerability - she's still a girl, full of feminine fantasies and clinging to her dreams. I'm glad you liked my mentions of the Hogwarts staff. It was my little tribute to the fact that all was not lost at the school :)

Thanks so much! I hope you like the Ron/Hermione chapter, whenever you get to check it out :)

Amanda


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Review #15, by lizmusic45 Yearning to Die

16th January 2012:
Oh this was so sweet! I didn't get a chance to read chapter 2, and I thought that is what I'm going to do because I really did love the first chapter, so the second chapter must be brilliant as well, and it was, so I'm really happy.

You have amazing talent! I think the whole thing seemed really real, and I'm happy you wrote it, because it makes us all think about what could be, what could happen, and all sorts of different things, I think that's why I like your writing, because it isn't just a story, it's ten times more.

Lizzie

Author's Response: Hey Liz! Thanks for stopping by :)

I'm really happy that you liked this, especially considering that I've shifted from Harry/Ginny to Ron/Hermione. I'm pleased to hear that the emotion felt real and caused you to think a bit more deeply about the characters and events presented in canon. I'm very flattered by your compliments :)

Thanks again for your kind review!

Amanda


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Review #16, by WitnesstoitAll Yearning to Die

6th January 2012:
Tag!

So I saw you had posted last in the review tag and jumped at the chance since I had to read this chapter still.

I have to begin my review by saying that Hermione is my favorite canon character and Ron/Hermione is my OTP. I think this was a brilliant portrayal of her. She was every bit the Hermione of canon, but shown in a different light. Of course in canon we only see what Harry sees of her. Her strength, her brains, her temper. She's a force in the story, and we don't often (save for yule ball and her tears at Ron and Lavender snogging) see the soft, more feminine side of her. It was lovely to see her weakness. She was afraid and unsure and everything I'd think she'd have to be. Her thoughts about dying were very surprising, but not unwarranted. Her thoughts about Ron were sweet and I adored reading them.

All in all I think this was a fabulous chapter. I may have preferred it a bit over the Ginny chapter if only becuase it was Hermione-centric. It's really hard to come across believable, canon compliant, Hogwarts era characterization of her. Kudos.

Melissa

Author's Response: Yay! Oh, I love review tag :)

I do this thing lately where I try out new characters and really can't help but love them as a result. Hermione is no exception, and not just because I see so much of myself in her. I wanted to really explore her vulnerability, because I can't imagine holding all the pressure that she does in the series (having to live up to being 'the brightest witch of her age' all the time) and not collapsing under it. I thought it would be in character for her to have that collapse in the middle of the night when no one can see her break down at last. All in all, I'm very happy that you found the portrayal realistic and liked the Ronmione. I really did enjoy writing those happy moments.

Thanks so much, Mel! Kudos from you means a lot to me. I appreciate you stopping by!

Amanda


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Review #17, by daliha Yearning to Die

3rd January 2012:
Sorry I reviewed soo late XD I had to go out for a mo but here I am!

I like how you in a few sentences explained how Ron and Hermione came to be. How little by little they kept spending more time together, and also mentioning how Ron felt about his siblings. Like Ginny in the previous chapter you gave us a realistic young woman, in a war, in love :) (without making it too romantic or too war ridden it was just a prefect balance)

Author's Response: Hey! I'm really glad that I was able to mix the bleak part, the references to the war, and the happier part, the history of Hermione's relationship with Ron, in an effective way. I'm also glad that everything came across as feeling realistic and in character for Hermione.

Thanks for your kind review! :)

Amanda


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Review #18, by daliha Yearning to Live

3rd January 2012:
I admit I don't like reading about Ginny in fan fiction but here you got me. I love that she's not whiny but she's not incredilble strong like "oh who cares about him! I don't need him" type of girl. She's so real, she's thinking what most people would be thinking, I also like that you mentioned potterwatch and the jix on Voldemort's name it adds that tiny canon touch :)

Author's Response: Hey!

Yeah, I try not to make my characters two-dimensional, and Ginny was no exception. She's a tough girl, but she still has a heart that can break and feelings that can be hurt. I'm glad that you felt that I used her appropriately to convey thoughts that others would have about the war!

Thanks for your kind review :)

Amanda


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Review #19, by ariellem Yearning to Die

1st January 2012:
Awww! This is so sweet! And so in character, and just so wonderful! I really liked this chapter, you are clearly gifted at writing romione and I hope to see more from you!

Author's Response: Thank you! That's pretty high praise, seeing as this was my first real attempt at doing Ronmione and I really wanted to get it right.

Thanks again for your kind review! :)

academica


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Review #20, by The_seeker12 Yearning to Live

31st December 2011:
This is really good. Ginny is a great character, and the story portrays her nicely. Good job. :)

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks -- it was my first time writing her, and it's always fun to try something new.

Thanks again for your kind review :)

academica


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Review #21, by lizmusic45 Yearning to Live

29th December 2011:
I read this when it first came out, and I apologize it was extremely rude of me not to review. I loved this story this first time I read it, and I have so much love for Ginny. I think you did a beautiful job writing her, and I'm happy to have finally stopped by and reviewed.
I also love that song by Coldplay, and having you be a fan just makes my day.

Lizzie

Author's Response: That's totally fine! Not everyone has the time to review right away, and I appreciate you even bothering to think about leaving a review :) I'm so glad I wrote Ginny well! It was fun to explore some new territory (for me, anyway).

Thanks for swapping with me, and thanks also for leaving such a kind review! :)

academica


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Review #22, by ariellem Yearning to Live

28th December 2011:
Hello!

Alright I'm so telling my sister to read this, she loves Ginny, no...let me rephrase that. She'd love YOUR Ginny, and for the record so do I! She's exactly how I pictured her!

FYI, I always find myself saying the Dark Lord instead of Voldemort. :)

Author's Response: Great, glad to hear the characterization worked well! (And gosh, I'm the same way! Weird! I wonder what that says about us, exactly...)

I'm glad you enjoyed this piece, and I hope your sister comes by and finds it to her liking, too.

Thanks for your kind review! :)

academica


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Review #23, by SilentConfession Yearning to Die

26th December 2011:
Hi! I'm back for your final review request on this story.

This was a great look into Hermione Granger and what she could have been feeling at such a moment. You really don't have to worry about her characterization because i feel like you did a really great job with her. I liked some of the simple sentences like she didn't know why she packed he books other than it would feel weird for her pack to be so empty. It kind of also portrays the Hermione who is also always over prepared for anything. I really enjoyed this chapter really and how you highlighted her moments of doubt and how she didn't always like being the one with the plan and being the smartest witch of her age. Those are definitely something i could see her feeling and i didn't see myself questioning anything that was going through her head.

I really liked how she thought of her relationship with Harry and how it blossomed. I've never been 100% sold on the idea of their relationship but i felt like you really gave story about how part of it came from the shared glances, the missing Harry and how suddenly it wasn't him who was holding their friendship together as it didn't seem weird to have him missing. I thought it was a nice progression of how they became stronger.

Another thing i really enjoyed was the paralleling stories of these two woman and how different they are and how they handled the war. The titles of your chapter really portray it well. Ginny is yearning for something more, maybe to be involved more, and Hermione, whose been involved all along things nostalgically back to Hogwarts.

The only comment i have is when she is thinking of Harry and then goes on to say it's his fault that the her memories will now be tainted, maybe make that first thought more clear that she means Voldemort. Perhaps making that a new paragraph just to be clear she isn't thinking of Harry anymore because i felt that transition was a little awkward and i had to go back and reread it. Or even italicising the he so we feel there is a change in thought.

I could almost suggest a little more visualization. I say this because i'm such a visual person and i need to have something more visual than a train of thoughts to follow otherwise i feel my mind wandering. I don't mean action just something else that sort of grabs the attention of imagination. This isn't a huge point because i think you did a good job with this generally and i was interested in this as i read along.

Honestly, i liked this and i think it was well done, especially since there is absolutely no action in here but just a train of thought. This is usually a very hard thing to do but you did a great job with it. Thank you for requesting me and i hope that you found my comments helpful. :D

Author's Response: I'm so glad I did Hermione justice. I really like her as a character and I wanted to put myself in her shoes as a young girl with so many responsibilities and expectations, even more so than other young women her age. Whereas Ginny has been left behind and perceived to be inadequate to deal with the harsh struggle ahead in looking for the Horcruxes, Hermione has been forced into the role of Harry's companion and the "one with the plan". I noticed some of that frustration coming through when I watched the first part of DH, when Harry and Ron would constantly turn to her and ask what to do next and she didn't always have the solution right away.

Thanks for the other points you made, too. I may go back and put more emphasis into that line about Voldemort, because I think it's one of the better lines in this piece and I want to make sure people know I'm referring to Voldemort. As for the imagery, I'm a big fan of it as well, so maybe I'll return at a later time and try to describe the scene a little more just to firmly set the tone of bleakness.

I really do appreciate your kind reviews! I'll most likely be back to request for other stories in the future. Thanks again! :)

academica


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Review #24, by SilentConfession Yearning to Live

24th December 2011:
Hey Academica! Sorry for the delay but it's been a bit hectic these past few days! I wanted to get to at least one of your reviews though before Christmas!

I really loved how you chose this moment to portray Ginny. A lot of people try to characterize her as this passionate woman who will do anything to fight against the Carrows but i really loved the raw emotion of this and that you stepped back to show something that people tend to glaze over. It's something that Ginny must have felt, to constantly be left out from the trio who've had seven years of friendship. It must have been hard to break into that bond. i think you did an excellent job with showing this gentler, more loving side of Ginny.

The only criticism i have to over about Ginny is the idea them spending the rest of their life together. I know that she spent most of her life sort of pinning after him. But we also know that she grew out of that and that they didn't get married right away after the war but there was a few years where Harry was still rounding up the remaining Death Eaters and Ginny was pursuing a career in Quidditch. I don't feel like she'd be thinking of marriage, it just seems incredibly early to be thinking of that and children. But maybe i'm wrong but i see that it might be more impactful if we saw Ginny herself not sure where their relationship might end up but desperatly wanting that chance to see if it would go anywhere. I don't think they ever really had that. I think it happens that a lot of authors, myself included, think that students find love at Hogwarts and it's ever after bit think of Neville and Luna for instance or George and Angelina. It takes time and i tend to think that they would all just want to take a step back and see what a normal relationship would look like. This is just my opinion though, feel free to disregard it :D

Other than that, you have a lovely writing tone a really nice narrative going on here that i really enjoyed reading. A lot of the words you chose to use really helped characterize this Ginny and i feel like it would have been these feelings of abandonment that would have pushed her to be on of the key leaders of the DA because she wanted to prove that she could do what Hermione could do.

I loved that you got all these emotions and the rawness in just a few short paragraphs too. Really wonderful job, i've never really liked Ginny, and i've always had a hard time believing in their relationship but i feel like i'm a step closer too after reading your many layered Ginny.

I also really liked how she percieved Hogwarts and how she could remember when she was happy but those events seemed so far off. I think that was my favourite imagery of the whole story as i think that year at Hogwarts must have been incredibly tough and such a contrast for the students who chose to go. A place that many people called home was now a prison.

Happy Holiday's! Or Happy Christmas if you celebrate it :D

Author's Response: Oh my, thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review! I really appreciate it! :)

I'm happy that you appreciated Ginny's vulnerability. It seems to me like all of the red-headed women in the series are painted in this light where they're fiery and tough, and while I can see that, I wanted to take this in a different direction and show that Ginny was left behind, perhaps a bit unfairly, and probably felt a hint of resentment about that.

I appreciate the criticism as well. To me, the point about the wedding and the house was coming from a place of innocence, as it seems like most little girls (me not included, really) dream about those things when imagining what is to come from time to time. It was meant to come across as wishful thinking, as Ginny's attempt to focus on the positive in the face of all of the uncertainly and dread that permeated her world at this time. As the chapter title suggests, she was "yearning" for a happier life, and I would think that she would at least consider Harry to be a part of that. I'm certainly old enough to understand what a "normal" relationship is like, and I wouldn't suggest that everyone finds love in school and life is just perfect after that. I only meant for Ginny to dream a little as another way of showing that youth and vulnerability.

I'm very happy that you liked how I did the emotions and the description of Hogwarts through Ginny's eyes. It must have been a difficult time for her, and I wanted to show that.

Thanks again for such a kind review! :)

academica


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Review #25, by Cassius Alcinder Yearning to Die

23rd December 2011:
Here I am with you review!

This story was basically a perfect compliment to the first half, showing both the contrasts and the similarities between Hermione and Ginny as they faced different challenges in different ways, but had the same allagiances and cared about the same people.

You did a really good job with Hermione's characterization. We can see the intelligent bookish girl that we know from the books, but there was also always hints of a layer of insecurities beneath her outer confidence, which is portrayed very well here. We can see the pressures and expectations she feels being the one that must come up with all the plans for Harry and Ron. We can also see the sheer enormity of the challenge hey were facing as they searched for horcruxes, not really knowing where to look.

Finally, as a Ron/Hermione loyalist, I loved how you protrayed their relationship. We can see how neither of them were outwardly the most popular, but they saw things in each other that other people wouldn't have after how much time they spent togther.

Great job!

Author's Response: Oh, hooray, the contrast was evident! Excellent. That's precisely what I had hoped for.

Yes, I did want to take Hermione a bit deeper, as I try to do with all of the characters I write. I did want her to seem like she was overwhelmed and felt the pressure of always being the one with the plan. Despite being "the brightest witch of her age", she's still just a seventeen-year-old girl, you know?

I'm glad you liked the Ronmione, too :) I've never written them before, but I do think their relationship is pretty cute, and I cheered as loudly as anybody else when they finally kissed in DH :)

Thanks for another very kind review! I always love them! :)

academica


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