Reading Reviews for The Pensieve
  
21 Reviews Found

Review #1, by theblacksisters A Flower in a Jar

16th October 2013:
Really good! Snily is one of my all time favorite pairings. Side note: is it a canon pairing? I mean, it's kinda in between. I've always wondered.

Author's Response: I love Snily too! I don't know if it's technically canon, since it's unrequited, but I like to think of it as at least being pseudo-canon since JKR did talk about it.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #2, by GingeredTea A Flower in a Jar

10th June 2013:
OMG, that's the only way I can think to start this review. This was simply brilliant. I'm from the review tag, by the way.
I knew it was Lily from the beginning but the way you dealt with this, without really telling us, without really overtly hinting but still managing to make it as clear as day...amazing. Your words, flow, structure - just beautiful. I'm sort of at a loss for words and wish I could take a day or two to absorb this, but I already said I was reviewing this before I realized what a magnificent piece of work it is, so now I have to figure out something to say. lol

You have really done a wonderful job with this and it just leaves me wondering where you got your inspiration for the idea? Please excuse my sparse review as my mind whirls with all the imagery your story has put there.

Author's Response: Thank you! I really love this story, even though my OTP is not a popular pairing, and it was fun to play with imagery in telling one version of the Snape/Lily story. I feel like the ship is rich with uncharted territory and I get super excited whenever I see someone taking it on anew.

Most of the Snape/Lily stories I've read are from Severus's perspective, and they tend to revolve around themes of regret and longing for the girl that he had always loved. I wanted to explore the notion that Lily returned his feelings in some way--perhaps not even in a way that she truly understands--and that those feelings may blur the line between friendship and something more. The piece really just poured from my heart and it was very emotional for me to write, to be honest.

The original idea came from a challenge issued by a friend. I was supposed to "convince" her of my OTP. I don't know if it worked, but she did say that she liked it :) It really began with the toad scene in the laboratory and sort of expanded from there. I'm a scientist and so that level comes more easily to me when writing Snape-centric stories. I still like to re-read that scene.

Thank you so much for this kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #3, by Lily Evans A Flower in a Jar

26th November 2012:
This was such an interesting take on Severus and Lily. I've read so many Severus/Lily stories from Severus' point of view and the way you wrote this really pulled on some heartstrings.

I've always found it sad that Severus has hold on to Lily's memory for so many years, but it was precious that they both met again in heaven and that Lily was also waiting and watching him for as long as he had been remembering her.

How sweet and heartbreaking! 10/10 :)

Author's Response: Hello! I'm happy to see you here! :)

I do read a lot from Severus's point of view, and I wanted to do things in a different way. I feel like so many times all we get in Snily stories is Severus's perception of Lily, usually in her perfection. I wanted to show that Lily might have had some feelings for him that we don't see in canon or in those Snily stories, and that she's a human with her own flaws. I'm really glad that it worked emotionally.

It is really sad, and I didn't want to cheapen the piece by giving them a perfect ending (because that's part of the beauty of Snily, the imperfection, or so I think), but I still wanted it to be a better ending than what they got in canon. I think that comes through in Lily's reaction to him, too--they're both bewildered, shocked to see each other, and yet she can't just accept him with open arms. I don't think it's a stretch to imagine Lily's heaven being part Severus and part James.

Thank you for this very kind review :) I hope to see you around my other stories soon!

Amanda


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Review #4, by EverDiggory A Flower in a Jar

14th October 2012:
Hey Amanda! I'm here from the review tag and because I can't resist your Snily:P

This is just as gorgeous as everything else you've written, but this touched me more than usual. Your writing usually does leave a lasting impression, but this one cut deeper. I feel so heartbroken for Severus, you make me like Snily a lot more than I like Jily. This was written with such a unique style and so much feeling; I loved it! You've easily found a spot on my stalk list XD

x

Ever

Author's Response: Hi Ever, and thank you for stopping by :)

I'm glad my Snily was effective for you! It's great that you liked the style and found it memorable and emotionally realistic. As sad as this was, I found it really enjoyable to write. It's easily one of the most difficult things I've written, though, that's for sure!

Thanks for your very kind review!

Amanda


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Review #5, by EnigmaticEyes16 A Flower in a Jar

27th September 2012:
Well this definitely had a different twist on the Snape/Lily relationship. I feel like we always hear about Snape watching over and wanting Lily, so it was nice to read the roles reversed for once.

I really liked this story a lot, but it did take me a while to fully recognize that it was from the POV of Lily, who is dead. I like the idea of her watching over him though and that she's there, waiting for him, when he dies. She says she hates him, but it's obvious in your story that she does still at least have a soft spot for him if she's been watching over him for the past seventeen years.

This was very good and it was nice to read something different for a change. I think you did a wonderful job here.

xxEnigmaticEyes16

Author's Response: Hello! Sorry this response took so long :)

Yeah, I get that sense from reading a lot of Snape/Lily stories, too, which is why I wanted to do something different here. I'm glad you liked it! I wanted to show that Lily is a real, flawed person with her own feelings as well.

I really wanted Lily to have conflicting feelings, to be specific. I wanted the situation to be confusing for her, because it must have been when she was living, even if the only feelings she had for Severus were those relating to friendship. They say that people only come back as ghosts if they have unresolved business in the mortal life, and I like to think that Lily needed to sort some stuff out and see what all she had missed. Hopefully she and Severus both have some sense of resolution there at the end.

Thanks so much for this lovely review!

Amanda


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Review #6, by CambAngst A Flower in a Jar

23rd September 2012:
Hey, Amanda! Tagging you from the Review Tag 2.0 thread!

So I'm normally about as anti-Snily as they come. I think maybe we've discussed this before, perhaps in a review/response or perhaps elsewhere. It all starts to run together sometimes. But the way you wrote this really spoke to me, mostly, I think, because it's all from Lily's point of view. I've always found Severus's love of her rather... hmmnn, I think "tainted" is the right word. Tainted by a something that always felt kind of selfish and possessive to me. Tainted by the fact that Severus wanted to have Lily on his terms, which is to say without James, Remus or most of her other friends in the picture. He wanted her in such a way that he didn't really seem to place a whole lot of importance on her happiness. And when he couldn't have her on those terms, he lashed out at her. But enough about him, let's get to your story, shall we?

The image of the Lily in the glass jar was touching in one way but also kind of sad, and I think Lily captured that duality in her thoughts about it. There's a part of her that really wants to destroy it. To release Severus -- and why is it that I always seem to call him Severus when reviewing stories that are sympathetic to him and Snape everywhere else? -- from this self-imposed, perpetual reminder of his loss. It would certainly be healthy for him, once he'd had a chance to get over it. In a way, it would have forced him to get over her. But she couldn't bring herself to, even if she were able. There's a bit of a selfish side to Lily, too, and I really like the way you wrote it. You didn't canonize her: Saint Lily, the beatified mother of the Chosen One who sacrificed herself to save him from the Dark Lord. No, you left her a bit flawed, as well. It's such a nice touch, one that adds a lot of depth and believability.

The next scene was a little harder to get my head around, mostly because there was no obvious clue as to how to place it in time. By the end of the story, I came to realize that you're jumping around a bit among the events of Severus's life. Some of them Lily would have been alive for and others she would have been dead. It seems that the scene with the frogs took place at some point before he became the Potions Master of Hogwarts, perhaps when he was still an apprentice Potioneer? Or maybe when he was trying to win his way into the Dark Lord's good graces by inventing a virulent poison?

Regardless, I liked this idea of Severus Snape: destroyer and healer. The small observations about the gentle way that he administers the antidote to the frog that he is able to save and the almost sympathetic way he treats the one that succumbs to his poison. I thought the line about the purple liquid -- that it could be considered poison or antidote -- was particularly clever. Sometimes the end is merciful.

The way you detail Severus's meeting with Narcissa and Bellatrix was a very interesting take on things. It's obviously colored quite a bit from Lily's point of view. She seriously downplays Dumbledore's role in the whole affair, and instead focuses on Severus's tendency to want to save people. The idea that she might be just a little jealous of Narcissa was clever. I never would have thought of it that way.

Ah, so I see that this story is actually somewhat non-linear in terms of its timeline, because she already knows how he dies. I like the way you introduced that concept.

The scene with young Severus was probably the most humanizing, at least for me. It is pretty well established that he did not have a happy home life growing up. That his father was not pleased to have a wizard for a son. This really put a lot of color around that premise and drew a really concrete connection between his relationship with his father and the dislike for muggles that helped to push him into the Dark Lord's camp. So he came to hate his father so much that he doodled a Dark Mark on his arm as an act of rebellion? That's really sad. And it must have made a big impact on young Lily, knowing, as she does, what that mark really means. Yet she still can't bring herself to turn her back on him -- at least not yet. This really helped me to get my head around what comes two sections later. Why she's still so attached to him in spite of the terrible things that he allowed himself to become involved in. She needed to save him in spite of his flaws. Or maybe even because of them.

Ah, James and Lily's wedding. It must have been the worst moment of Severus's life. There's not much to say about it, really. The way you wrote this section is crushing.

And he finally arrives at her side in the great beyond. If I had read this section all by itself, my normal reaction to Snily stories that I explained at the beginning would have taken over and I wouldn't have found it at all believable. But you built the story up so well, section by section, event by event, that I am here now and I'm ready to accept it. You're not claiming that Severus's love for Lily is some sort of pure, wonderful, admirable thing. You don't claim anything about him at all. You make it so that Lily's most perfect world -- her heaven -- would be one where she was never forced to choose between James and Severus. And that is a thought that I can very easily embrace. Her childhood friend and her adult lover, mortal enemies of one another, and she can have them both.

Your writing was lovely in this. Just lovely. Everything flowed beautifully. Your word choice was excellent and it really sounded like Lily. I couldn't find a single typo or grammatical problem.

Amanda, you find ways to make me really like things that I don't normally like! Well done!

Author's Response: Finally tackling the response to this very lovely review, and I apologize for my lateness! :)

Yes, I do believe we've spoken of it before. If I remember, you have about as much fondness for Snily as Jami does, so kudos to you for taking on this story with an open mind! (Shameless plug: I attempt to expose myself to those perceptions and qualities in Post Scriptum, just as a personal challenge.)

Gosh, I always canonize Lily. I think I look at her the way Severus does, that's the problem. I feel like a lot of people do, in a way, because that's sort of also how James looks at her. But yes, this story was about her in a lot of ways, because I wanted to let her be selfish and greedy and imperfect for once in her... death. I really love your analysis of her behavior; she wants to release him, and in doing so she wants to release herself, to not have him clinging to her and trying to keep her anymore. Yet in death, he provides a lifeline for her, and she doesn't want to let it go yet.

Correct, it's during his apprentice phase, which to me (as a fellow scientist) is one of the most interesting periods of his life. I can imagine him really throwing himself into work after losing Lily's friendship (and especially following her death). I did play around a lot with time and stream-of-consciousness writing, and I hope it wasn't off-putting. It was meant to be a little hazy and confusing.

I think in this story part of messing with Lily was letting her thoughts taint what she saw. In the potion scene, she was allowed to revel in his intellect, which is one of the things that first brought them together as friends, in a way. In the scene with Narcissa, she's able to feel jealous that someone else could even approximate feeling as comfortable around Severus as she once did, could be the recipient of his assistance and compassion.

Young Severus is hard for me to write, because he makes me want to cry each time. I thought of him sitting up in his room (or outside, in this case), doodling on himself or his papers and books and trying not to listen to his parents arguing downstairs. I would think that any woman with feelings for Severus would pull them from a desire to help him escape his torment, and I see his first friend, Lily, in much the same way. That attitude of compassion must have been so addictive for him, being so starved for love.

I'll take 'crushing.' I definitely tried for that!

Yeah, I can see that. I resisted giving them an unrealistically happy ending. Part of the beauty of Snily for me, and in a lot of my favorite ships, is the pain. It's imperfect and ugly and that's what makes the fact that it's happening so, so important, so significant. I always saw Lily as a bit of a peacemaker, so it made sense to me to have things end this way.

Thank you so much for your thorough review and all of your wonderful compliments. I'm really glad that everything flowed well, seemed realistic, and felt original to you. Thanks, once again, for giving this a shot :)

Amanda


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Review #7, by adluvshp A Flower in a Jar

27th August 2012:
Slytherin tag!

Wow, just wow. I simply have no words for this. This was a beautiful amazing piece of writing! Academica, each time I read any of your stories, I am floored, but this time I am beyond floored.

I was completely drawn into this while reading and my heart beat louder with every word. I absolutely am thrilled after reading this piece. I think this story can make anyone ship Snape/Lily!

I absolutely loved your take on them and their relationship, I was awed by how you portrayed a ghost/dead Lily of sorts watching Snape and his memories - I did understand that it wasn't in chronological order - and then how she was in heaven and Snape joined her and they were together. It was just all so brilliant.

I have never come across a story such as this and you have really done a marvellous job. The flow, the plot, the narrative, the characterizations, it was all just superb. I hung on to every word.

This is by far one of your best works, and one of the best fics I have read. Great great work! I would give you an infinity/10 if I could! Really, awesome! Hats off!

Cheers!
AD

Author's Response: I don't think I'll ever be able to compose a response worthy of this wonderful review, but I'm going to give it my best shot right now :)

It's so great that you felt the emotion in this piece. I literally felt drained when I completed it. I have so much love for this ship and I feel like writing this was the first time I really and truly dug deep into my Snily-related feelings. I'm glad that the passion really came through.

It's lovely that the non-chronological order worked for you, and I'm glad you liked the ending. I wanted it to be bittersweet from start to finish, and to deliberately portray Lily as having conflicting feelings throughout. I just really felt like her side deserved to be told.

You are wonderful, just wonderful. Thank you again for all of your support and this amazing review! I'll definitely treasure it forever :)

-Amanda


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Review #8, by WeasleyTwins A Flower in a Jar

25th August 2012:
Hello dear! I figured I'd pop in for a bit of Review Tag from the forums.

You know, I don't really know why I chose this story. I actually don't like Snape/Lily. Never have. Be that as it may, I think you've got a spectacular piece on your hands here. The emotions and the descriptions are to die for. Really, just lovely.

Maybe I've taken way too many English classes, but this story is very postmodern. It's not chronological, of course. I loved the stylistic choice of Lily as narrator, the first person perspective, the present tense - speaking of present tense, I see this as postmodern because of your manipulation of time, of the past, of the present. It's all very blurred and the past is in the present, it's intertwined - you've taken an idea that is very Faulkner (the past is always in the present) and used that metaphorically to also blur time in a literal sense. I think the story's fabulous because you've created this very literary sentiment in a piece of fanfiction. It says more than it actually says.

Your choices as an author of all those little details really makes this what it is. Although I still don't like Snape/Lily (haha, just an old prejudice, I suppose), I think you've got something gorgeous here.

Wonderful!

Shelby

Author's Response: Hello Shelby! Nice to see you again :)

You're so kind! Thank you :) I feel like you used Faulkner to describe my work in another review you left for me at some point. It sounds familiar. It's definitely a compliment.

I think the emotion in this story worked well because I really poured it out of my heart. This challenge was wonderful, because I could tell with each entry that I read that there was real passion in the stories, in every word. I felt a bit drained, happily so, when I finished mine. It's lovely that the imagery worked, too. I've recently been trying to work on reducing my tendency toward 'purple prose.'

Using the non-chronological narrative was fun and something I'd like to experiment with again at some point. I also liked the first/second person POV that I used here. (Second person isn't as scary as everyone makes it out to be!) The choice of Lily as the narrator was somewhat deliberate, because I feel like often in Snily fics (and I've read many) that we get Severus's perspective on her, but we don't really hear her story, because she's dead or already with James. Lily wanted me to tell it, or so it felt to me.

Hey, I'm a fair shipper. We can agree to disagree :) Thanks for this lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #9, by slytherinchica08 A Flower in a Jar

24th August 2012:
I'm so sorry that it has taken me so long to get to your review but I am here now with it!

I can't say that I don't ship Snape/Lily but at the same time I am a major fan of James/Lily. I think its more that I just don't read it much. With this oneshot though, I really felt Lily's pain in not being able to forgive Snape and still be friends with him. I loved the way that you told this oneshot as well. Kind of all mixed up with events but also from her pov was really nice to see as well. This flowed really well for me as well and enjoyed it very much. I think you did a great job making your reader feel bad for Lily and Snape both that they didn't get a happily ever after together. Your ending was great as well, that they were finally able to be together in heaven even though she is still with James. I loved it and thought that it was all really well done from characterization to description! Great Job!

~Slytherinchica08~

Author's Response: Hello, and thanks for coming by!

I'm happy that you enjoyed this story! I always try to work very hard on characterization with my stories, and it's great that you understood Lily's pain and felt like she was realistic. I'm also glad that the style worked for you and you liked the flow. Finally, it's good that you liked the ending - I didn't want it to be too perfect, if that makes sense, but I did want to play around with my favorite ship and shoot for a happy(ish) ending.

Thanks so much for this kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #10, by xelha horse A Flower in a Jar

18th July 2012:
Wow. Haven't read a story quite like that! I liked the way you seemed to meander through the dreams, with Lily's thoughts as a (semi) guide. Nice writing!

Author's Response: Hi! I'm glad that you liked Lily's memories and appreciated getting Lily's commentary there.

Thanks for your kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #11, by Phoenix_Flames A Flower in a Jar

18th July 2012:
Oh my goodnes, Amanda. This is one of the most BEAUTIFUL pieces I have read in a while!

Oh wow. I love how you went about this one. I really love second person pieces. I feel like they put me into the middle of the story more, and I feel like I really do feel more. And that was no different here. I could feel the emotion.

This was such a different take on any Lily/Severus that I've ever seen! But I loved it. Wow, coming from Lily's narration and that part with Harry in the office! That really pulled at me and moved me.

Then the wedding! I love how you said 'it sealed his fate' along that lines. Which in truth he did. He loved Lily so much. I can only imagine how he felt at that time, and actually I never thought about it if he was there or not. Intersting though, but now that I think about it, I bet he did go.

Just in general this was a flawless piece. I didn't see any grammar mistakes, and I thought it flowed brilliantly. Again, sometimes second person is hard to conquer but you did an awesome job with it and definitely conquered this piece! Great job, hun!

Author's Response: Hey Drue! Thanks for coming by, and I'm planning to come return the favor very soon :)

I definitely felt like I was taking a risk by trying both second person and non-chronological style for the first time in the same piece, but they both seem to have gone over well, so that makes me really happy. I had fun using both techniques and will definitely keep trying them out as I go on!

Different is often what I go for, but I'm always a little afraid that it will divert too far from canon, so it's great that you enjoyed the differences here. I tried to play up Severus's calculating intellect, which is one of my favorite qualities for him, and Lily's 'darker' side, as I imagined it. I'm happy that you felt like the emotions came through well here.

The wedding was really sad to write - it was weird juxtaposing what should be a happy occasion (because I'm not heartless enough to despite James/Lily wholly, not quite) with something so sad, the feeling of utter loss. Defeat, really, which is where 'sealed his fate' came from. When I consider his natural tendency to observe and propensity for being in several places at once, it seemed only right that he would also watch Lily in this moment, even as painful as her beauty must have been.

You're very kind. Thank you so much! :)

-Amanda


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Review #12, by Debra20 A Flower in a Jar

15th July 2012:
Hey Amanda!

I am in awe. Really. Why is it always so difficult for me to start writing a review for your stories? Especially Snily ones. It always feels like there aren't enough words in to world to do justice to your stories. At least for me.

This was such an emotional one shot. It took me a few paragraphs to realise who was the person speaking, or rather thinking and when I recognized Lily I braced myself for the sadness I was sure the story would unfold. A bitter-sweet piece. There were many emotions flying around.

"I fixate upon your cold gaze, your determined movements, the scratching of your quill against the faded piece of parchment. You are not my friend, not today". After I've read this, I had to stop and contain the tears that threatened to start flowing. I am not sure how much thought you put into this piece, or if it was the result of spontaneity but for me, as a reader, I can't help but wonder if it's true that our beloved ones that are dead visit us from the afterlife. If that's true I cannot begin to imagine how Lily must have felt following Snape around. All that he's done, how he was treating her son, him falling deeper and deeper into the Dark Arts. I have always thought that she continued to care about Snape until her very death, so it must have been very painful for her to watch his steps and bear with every wrong choice he took for his life.

Author's Response: Hey Debra! You are, always, far too kind to me.

I guess the style here is meant to be a little confusing. I kind of wanted it to have a hazy feel, but I'm glad you identified that the person watching Severus was Lily. If anyone were to follow him from the afterlife, I would think that it would be her, you know? :)

I definitely think the whole experience must have been difficult for her, but also very tempting, and I would like to think that she would have been happy to see him turn his life around after her death (though I tried to convey more complex emotions in this piece). I want to say that I'm sorry the story made you cry, but really, it's sort of a sad story, so maybe that means that the emotion worked.

Thank you so much for this lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #13, by Jchrissy A Flower in a Jar

9th July 2012:
Before I start about how amazing this writing style is, I have to get my tiny nitpick out. Harry. You brought Lily to a darker side, a side where she isn't that unwavering loyal person that people think of her as. You brought her into a world where she has the chance to keep the man that she loves, and the man that she made a life with. But, I just feel like you made Harry very out of the picture, and I think Lily loved him above anything else.

You did such an amazing job creating these swirling, chaotic, poetic mix of emotions. The style is flawless. I also really like that I had to pay complete attention and make sure every sentence was read, as to not skip anything important.

This was a very fluid piece, it all fell together just when it should and you seemed to make more important parts stand out, like her jealousy.

She devotes so much energy, so much emotions, into watching him that there are parts where it feels like she's just so close to breaking.

I liked that you had him at the wedding, that seems like a very logical thing he would. The sentence of her sealing his fate with a kiss gave me goose bumps! Serious shudders!

You are an amazing writer, I don't think I'll ever be a shipper for these two, but I loved this story. I loved it because of what a great writer you are. If this was written in third person, if this was written from his PoV, or just without the complete sense of raw emotions breathing so close to the surface, I don't think it would have been near as good.

Something about the way you did this piece is what made it amazing to me, I wish I could further explain exactly what it was, I just can't find the words to. I am very excited to read more of your work!

Jami

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

I totally get what you're saying, and you're not the first to point it out. I certainly did not mean to make Harry seem unimportant or expendable to Lily; it was just that the piece wasn't so much focused on him, except in how he related to the Snape/Lily connection here. It's definitely not a general view I have of him!

I'm glad you liked the emotion and the dark turn I took with Lily. I always end up portraying her like this angel, because I really love her, and so I deliberately challenged myself to use Snape's darkness here to bring out the less savory parts of her personality.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this, despite not really being able to ship them, and I really appreciate all of your lovely compliments. Thanks again for this really sweet review :)

-Amanda


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Review #14, by ImagineHarmony A Flower in a Jar

27th June 2012:
Hi Amanda! C:

TheVividImagination from the forums to your request, excuse for the delay! Had some things that were keeping me.

Anyways, this is a very intriguing piece, and has got me thinking. It's very well done, the characterization of Lily I think is just so different and all the while very canon. You've captured the love and care Lily always had for Snape. You've also captured a very strong side of Lily, a dark side. I think it's very canonical, because Lily is very strong and she would have some downfalls and dark thoughts. I think that's very clever and not many people can put it through together. So good job on that!

The characterization of Snape is just marvelous. I'm gaping at how you managed to just do his character! His love for Lily shows in this, I really loved the frog scene and how much patience he has and that's just something you don't regularly see of Snape. I think you've captured Snape and had done it very well!

I'm not entirely sure the second-person was actually working for me. I felt it was a mix of first and second person and I'm not really sure what I got from it, but generally it is okay and understandable. Though it was very effective!

The non-chronological narrative was honestly, brilliant! I think it worked perfectly okay rather than a piece going chronologically because the non-chron. has that thing that makes you want to read it! At some points it's a bit confusing (the unbreakable vow scene was something I had to read twice to get, but it's okay) but that's only up to the reader. You've given all the clues to pinpoint where in time it is.

I was reading the other reviews and just thought you have a brilliant plot, and you've left it with unanswered questions which really get's people thinking, so great job on that!

This really is a brilliant piece, it's different from other Snape/Lily fics and I enjoyed reading it! The end just flabbergasted me and I didn't know what was happening and that's actually the charm in your writing of the last part :)

So thanks for asking me! I do look forward for you to ask me to review more, you certainly know I love Snape and Lily ;)
-IH, Tawi.

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for coming by, and I'm sorry that this response took so long :)

Yep, you got it - I wanted to play with dark Lily here. I often fall prey to the trap of writing her as sweet and simple, just because of how much I love her and how much she reminds me of myself, and so I deliberately played with the less savory parts of her here.

Snape is my favorite, definitely, so I'm glad you liked him. I hope my unusual depiction of Lily meshed well with his character. The frog scene was my favorite part - I'm a scientist, so the thought of Severus spending lots of time in a lab and agonizing over his intellect really rings true for me.

I get what you're saying about mixing first and second person, and you're right. I'm glad it still came off as generally effective. It's also good that the non-chronological order worked for you, for the most part. Thanks!

Different is good, and I'm happy that you liked the ending, especially in its confusion. Thanks so much for this wonderful review! (Self-promo: Post Scriptum has lots of Snily!)

-Amanda


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Review #15, by magicknickers A Flower in a Jar

16th June 2012:
This is so heartbreakingly lovely. I love the format in which you wrote it--it feels like second-person and first-person at the same time, which is nice in this fic. Your characterization of Lily is kind of perfect, too.

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

I'm glad you liked the perspective - it does kind of feel like it's written from two POVs, and I'm happy that it worked for you. It's lovely to hear that you enjoyed my Lily as well.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #16, by xxstaindrosesxx A Flower in a Jar

12th June 2012:
I actually did this challenge too, but did it with Hannah/Neville.

I was glad you did a Snape/Lily. For whatever reason, that ship has grown on me so much lately. I usually don't ship that many canon ships, or read that many just because I find them kind of boring, but I really enjoyed this. I always felt like Lily and Snape should have been together, that he deserved a second chance. Sometimes I even wonder if Lily just settled for James. (I know, I'm awful for thinking that!)

Anyways, I liked this story, and I like how you tied in all the past events, making it feel as if the reader was actually seeing it through a Pensieve. There were a few bits that were confusing, but once I thought about it, it seemed to make sense, or at least it did in my weird head.

I'm glad that in Lily's heaven, she gets to have Snape, although she's a bit selfish for wanting both. :P

Author's Response: Hey! Hannah/Neville is a great ship, too :)

AHH! Thank you for calling this a canon ship. So many people claim it has no basis in canon (Hello! Just because it's unrequited doesn't make it non-canon!) and lump it in with ships like Dramione, and it's so nice to hear someone validate my OTP. Thank you.

-deep breath-

Anyway, it's great that you enjoyed this. It was meant to be a little confusing and disjointed; like you said, that's how it seems to be in a memory seen in a Pensieve.

Thanks for your kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #17, by Broken Butterfly A Flower in a Jar

11th June 2012:
This is written really well. I love how through Lily's perspective, the story really tells the last moments of Severus's life and his death. It doesn't need gore or description of what occurred because that is explained in the books. What your story provides is a connection between Lily and Severus. Their friendship, the pain that Severus caused her, how even though she doesn't know why she forgives him for everything. the connection between them is evident. In the end, when he sees he in her heaven is beautifully described but it could use more description on Snape's feelings a little, how Lily would know how he was feeling. One thing that does strike me as slightly odd is your reference to heaven. Seeing as that is a christian term, and Christianity has no reference to the books I may consider changing it to afterlife or paradise, not actually using the word heaven. Other than that This was amazing.

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

I'm glad you could see a connection between Lily and Snape and felt like you could understand their friendship and the feelings between them, both unspoken and spoken. I tried to focus more on Lily's feelings here, which is why you didn't get a lot of Severus's side, and I'm glad that you enjoyed that.

Hmm... I can see what you're saying. I don't consider myself an especially religious person, so I wasn't thinking of the Christian idea of heaven per se. Also, the books don't really preclude the idea of a religious afterlife. Thanks for your comment, though.

I appreciate your kind review! :)

-Amanda


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Review #18, by SiriuslyPeeved A Flower in a Jar

11th June 2012:
Amanda, I was incredibly moved by this piece. Already sharing your OTP, I didnt need conversion ;)

In your story Lily has room in her heart for more than one love -- though not in her daily existence, until she has moved beyond the physical plane. (I'm glad James isn't jealous in the afterlife, I wonder whether that applies to everyone?)

I loved Lily's personality here, how she examines her own feelings toward both Severus and James through the distancing mirror of the Pensieve. When she says "this is why I hate you, why I chose James"... (paraphrasing) That grabbed me by the collar. Severus brought out the worst in Lily, from her perspective, and James made her feel like a better person. I think this is a deep insight into Lily's character and into love itself-- do we love most those who inspire the deepest feelings, or those who reflect us in a more positive light so we can stand to live with ourselves? (oh no, plot bunny! ;) )

It was simultaneously chilling and touching to read about Snape's experiments with antidotes and toads. The line where he reminded Lily of his father was really frightening.

I love reading about Snape at work -- I feel their shared interest in potions is something that can't be left out of a Snape/Lily story. I almost felt how Lily wanted to be that dying toad carefully moved away from the poison.

I thought the non-linear arrangement worked beautifully as did the device of the ( magically preserved?) lily on Snape's desk, as well as the white lily from the funeral. They each preserve an artificial reminder of the other, keeping it intact over the seventeen years they are parted by death.

I could ramble on further at risk of making little sense with my fangirling, but I loved this, Amanda. Excellent work. (I'm sorry about the weird accented A's, I can't figure out how to delete them! :-o )

Author's Response: MARYYY -glomp- I love fellow Snily shippers.

I really love exploring Lily's dark side, because I think that if anything would have made her want to be with Snape at any point, that might have been it (aside from her sense of compassion). I know I often put her on a pedestal as an angel-like figure, and here I really wanted to dig in to the dirt of her more.

Writing Snape at work was my favorite part. It was actually the first part of this that I got down to my satisfaction. I think he's most fascinating when he's really in his element, because he finally has the advantage, and I love that he and Lily have that in common.

Yes, perfect - you got it. They're both holding each other in different and equally dark ways. I'm so glad you loved this, and thank you for your very kind review! :)

-Amanda


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Review #19, by Violet Gryfindor A Flower in a Jar

10th June 2012:
But why? That is all I can ask right now: why?

It would be very difficult for someone not to ship Snily after reading this story, not just because it tears at the heartstrings, but I think more importantly because it's from Lily's point of view. That's a major factor in making it more believable. It wasn't just Severus's unrequited love; she loved him too, and she could never tell him. All of those moments that she could not speak, both as an observer and within the memories themselves, those hurt the most to read because imagine what would have been if she hadn't remained silent! How much it could have changed!

Unless, as a Snily shipper, I'm deluding myself into thinking that it would make a difference. Like Lily says, nothing stays. A person can't be sure of anything because one never knows when it will vanish, move on, change. Snape could have been the one to change, or something else would have happened - perhaps they are the ill-fated lovers, never meant to be together, but meant to change the world separately...

*becomes sobbing mass of goo*

The image of the flower had me feeling saddness from the beginning. It reminded me of the HBP film and Francis the fish, only there is more darkness to Snape's preservation of the Lily. It is dusty, a venerated object that he can't even bear to touch lest it break and he lose all of her. It also represents the containment of Lily, that he keeps the flower in a jar like he keeps her in his memory - he has control over the flower like he could not have over Lily, her independence and affection for James. But he isn't obsessive over it like some would be - he looks at it, but cannot touch it, mirroring the way that he could look upon her (at her wedding, for instance), but never physically touch her.

Now that I look back at the colour you chose for the lily, is it one that he took from her wedding? The funeral lilies were white. oh god, I'm reading way too much into this.

The ending is very interesting because you refuse to provide closure. The happiness of their reunion is marred first by her admission that she will return to James (leaving Snape where.? She doesn't even think about that, which reveals a bit of selfishness on her part) as well as by her uncertainty. It is all too perfect, that they should be in heaven together and she can, at last, have both the men she loves. But if it is a dream, then what? She questions everything she has seen within the story, and thus questions memory itself. She has seen Snape's memories, or are they what she imagines his memories to be? But then, what does it mean if it's real? It does make sense that she would hesitate after waiting so long to see him again - people change after seventeen years, and if anything, Snape's passion and devotion have grown exponentially. Lily has derided the way that he has kept the lily in the jar and the sentimentalism it represents (I loved those darker aspects of her character, by the way - fabulous characterization!), so what will happen next, just beyond the story's end? *flails*

I'm glad that you didn't provide the answer. It makes things so much more fun. I love stories that make me rip out my hair and run around screaming and theorizing - sad, but true. I loved this story, and I want to say that it's now my favourite of yours (expect me to say this about whatever you write, though - that's what seems to be happening with me and your stories). What you've done here is incredible. There's nothing more to say.

Author's Response: Just when I think you're going to run out of steam, Susan, you leave me yet another monster review that has me flailing for hours afterward. I'll try to respond now, though :)

I can tell that I made your head spin a little, which is great, because my head spins a bit when I think about this ship. There are so many possibilities - the two of them are a force to be reckoned with on their own, but imagine if they were together! My goodness.

I love the image of that lily, as bleak as it is. It was one of my original ideas for this piece. It's like Francis, in a morbid way, just as you said - unlike Slughorn, Snape keeps Lily in a jar to hold her captive rather than simply admire her from afar. He can't really enjoy her, but this way he can have her to himself. In the same way, I imagined Lily here using the Pensieve to hold him captive, to watch him without having to give up her true life.

The lilies at the wedding were actually pink - they were supposed to have a more cheerful, girlish feel about them. The white lilies, though, albeit a traditional color for a bride, represent for me here an image of Severus's love drained of life and color - lifeless.

I guess I can't get myself out of the original AGPR mindset, because I keep switching Lily and Severus in my head to keep it interesting. For the ending, I kept thinking of how Snape would react if he got to see Lily again, to hold her - he probably wouldn't know what to do, wouldn't know if it was safe to touch her. I imagined Lily handling this reunion with the same tension and fear, mingled with joy. She loves him, and yet she is afraid to love him.

You are wonderful, and your reviews always make me think, which I love. Thank you! :)

-Amanda


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Review #20, by Ron 4 Hermione A Flower in a Jar

10th June 2012:
It's well written- the emotion is good and the descriptions are excellent.
-I don't normally read Lilly or snape stories but it's good, dunno if I would start to ship them but it gives plenty of food for though :)
9/10

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

I'm glad this made you think, even if it didn't convince you to ship Snily. I always like to make readers think :)

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #21, by lizmusic45 A Flower in a Jar

10th June 2012:
I was so excited to read this, and it exceed my hopes and expectations. Amanda, I have always known your work was amazing, I've always loved it, and I'm thrilled to add this to my favorites list.

Please keep in mind I don't give James and Lily much thought, having read enough fan-fiction were she slaps his face silly, has made me consider them only for one purpose: Harry so eventually Harry&Ginny would come along.

I like both Jilly and Snilly when written well.

I don't know to explain how good this story was to me, it was just...I loved it, I really did love it.

Amazing Job Amanda.

Amazing Amanda, that should become a thing or something.

You have made me ship your Sanpe and Lilly.

Lizzie

Author's Response: Liz! Sorry this response took a while.

I'm so glad I got you to ship my OTP, even if it only lasts temporarily. (I agree, the constantly-fighting version of Jily gets old really quick.)

Thanks again for issuing this challenge. It was just what I needed to pour my emotion out onto paper and get back into the swing of things, as well as back to my favorite ship. I'm very excited to see the results!

Thanks for your super sweet review :)

-Amanda


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