Reading Reviews for Heart's Desire
  
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Beeezie Beauty

11th July 2014:
Oooh, I love Lavender stories like this.

The start of it feels so quintessentially Lavender as we knew her in the books. The daydreaming, somebody-my-prince-shall-come little girl playing dress up, who sees men as something to manipulate and "fix" - yeah. That was perfect. And it didn't come off as malicious to me here, any more than it did in the books - just naive.

I always think of Lavender as having been scarred by Greyback similar to how Bill was, just I really liked this version, too - the idea that she wishes she'd been scarred is really sad but horribly realistic in so many ways, and I love how you describe her using make-up and props to keep up appearances.

But the way the moon and the potion affected her - yes. I think we've all had experiences where somehow we suddenly saw things in a radically different way, and the way you described it sent a shiver up my spine.

You are an amazing author. You really are.

House Cup 2014 Review - Ravenclaw

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Review #2, by blackballet Beauty

12th August 2013:
This is the strangest, saddest story I've ever read. You managed to fit so much in so little, and I really appreciate that. I love it. It's really beautiful and I can feel how estranged she feels.

This is a great story, and an interesting take on a werewolf. Amazing job!

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you felt like this was effective. Lavender wasn't exactly a werewolf here--I tried to point out in a subtle way that she feels some symptoms of lycanthropy but never really transforms--but it's great that you still felt like her emotions were tangible and liked the overall mood of the piece.

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #3, by Bobby Dazzler Beauty

6th May 2013:
Hey Amanda!

First off I would like to kick off this review with a huge SORRY for not reading and reviewing this sooner, particularly before the challenge actually ended - feel incredibly slack for that but unfortunately I have had endless problems with my laptop and been unable to use it, which unfortunately meant unable to read this too, so I am very, very sorry about that :(

It was a wonderful read, and definitely not what I was expecting in regards to the love potion. I thought it was a unique spin, which I am greatful for. I love originality :)

Now for my "Der Kate" moment... Until I was reading the reviews already left for your story, I actually didn't make the connection that it was Lavender Brown... It's been a while since I've read DH, as in a few years and I did only read it the once (shocking I know!!!) but I feel like a real moron for not making that connection, and now that I have, I actually appreciate this story more and filled in the questions I had for it by doing that. So clever lol.

Now, with that revelation in mind, I love how you portrayed Lav Lav's character in this, and it's made her character more interesting and deeper. You wrote this very skillfully! I love, in a way, her vanity for needing to be the "beautiful" person she once was and can only do it by use of a potion to convince herself she's beautiful on a daily basis. It's a sad existence really, but it's also poetic.

I really, really enjoyed this one shot, you've done a wonderful job interpreting the use of a potion (and nailed the challenge guidelines, thank you!!! :)) and your writing style is beautiful, very much enjoyed it. I know the challenge has ended, but I have one more story to read now and I will get back to you on the forums how you went ok :) But thank you very, very much for taking the time to enter this challenge, and I am very sorry that I was unable to judge it on time due to technical difficulties. It was great, thank you :) Kate xx

Author's Response: Hi Kate, thanks for stopping by (and issuing a fantastic challenge)!

No worries, several other people didn't pick up on the main character being Lavender. And don't tell anybody, but I think I've only read DH once too--horror of horrors! :) Anyway, it's great that you felt like the story became more meaningful once you put a name to it.

Lavender's story here is meant to be really tragic. She lives all alone and isn't even able to accept herself without the aid of her potion. It's funny, because my original idea for this one-shot was to make it have more of a happy, self-acceptance theme, but the prompt from the challenge totally changed it (and made it much better, in my opinion).

Thanks for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #4, by -BookDinosaur- Beauty

4th May 2013:
Review for Team Blue! ;)

This story... How can I describe it? It sent chills down my spine, I'm telling you!

I love the way you portray Lavender-it's just so, so heartbreaking. Needing to take a potion to love herself because she feels worthless? Needing to cake makeup on her face because 'I have never been told that I’m one of those girls who would be so pretty if she just took all that paint off her face'? It just portrayed her and how hopeless she felt perfectly, and it made me feel really sad for her. It's a one-shot, and yet Lavender lives and breathes in my mind, you've painted her so perfectly!

Her being a part werewolf is a really nice touch as well, I can see how alone and abandoned she feels.

Your description, as I've mentioned in the other review is just spot on. There aren't paragraphs of it, but somehow you've really managed to paint a vivid picture in my mind.

So, well done on a wonderful one-shot that I really enjoyed reading.

Author's Response: Yeah, I meant for Lavender to just be incredibly pitiable here in her complete self-loathing. It was interesting to explore the possibility of her living and having to cope after her attack during the final battle. It's like she's not human enough and not werewolf enough to fit in anywhere. It's also great to hear that the description seemed effective here.

Thanks for another lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #5, by ValWitch21 Beauty

30th April 2013:
It's a little ironic that of the two one-shots I chose off your page, both were inspired by fairytales and treated of love potions, don't you think?

Gah, I adore your take on Lavender. I've seen so many portrayals of her as stupid, giggly, unworthy of a Gryffindor, but never have I seen her so distinctly creepy -- because she really sent chills dow my spine here.

All the details about her painting over the stains under her nails, being warm even without the fur coat (which I find an interesting choice of words because I've always thought Lavender would be the type of girl to own an actual fur coat, yet here you refer to her lycanthropic state), and then your last line, well. As always, you say so much in so little space.

The use of the love potion here is sickening, I don't think there's any other way to describe it. Disturbing, maybe. You really manage to make Lavender sound like a bloodthirsty creature, even without this being too explicitly mentioned, and right now I'm trying to type a review without turning around all the time to make sure no one is standing behind me.

This was a wonderful one-shot to read, despite how downright terrifying I find Lavender.

I think I'll go reread The Middle Man to be able to fall asleep tonight though!

Author's Response: Hah, I write a lot about potions. I don't know if it's because I'm a scientist or because I like Snape so much as a character or what, but yeah. I think my favorite potions scene is the one I wrote in The Pensieve. It was quite dark.

Anyway, yeah, Lavender was tough to figure out. I wanted to write something with her being somewhat deranged and disillusioned, but I had to write a couple drafts of this before I could really figure it out. My original story actually had a much happier ending, one in which Lavender wasn't actually alone after all. I guess angst just comes easier to me. If you really want a creepy Lavender, go visit TenthWeasley's page and read Ad Venenum.

I did intend for her to come across as a bit monstrous, as a result of what she'd endured. The image of her drooling the remains of the potion and staring into the mirror is meant to creep you out and send chills up your spine. If your stomach is churning, that's a good thing!

Thanks for another fabulous review, and I hope you were able to get some sleep :)

-Amanda


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Review #6, by TenthWeasley Beauty

20th April 2013:
Oh, this was so pretty, Amanda! And there was a dark edge under it all that I loved even more, because dark stories draw me -- beautiful, but with a bite. It is a very fitting tone for the subject of the story, and I think you pulled it off really well, like you always do.

I don't know who this woman is in particular, and I feel like she's a character of your own invention, but I still felt like there was something about her I could relate to. We all have our moments, though, don't we? As little girls we're trained to grow up and achieve love and be satisfied with that, and some may argue but worlds of Disney movies and fairy tales say otherwise. When we don't rise to meet those expectations, a part of us feels as though we've failed. It's almost scary to know that this woman has to resort to drinking love potion in front of a mirror to feel worthy -- and it's an excellent commentary on society. How many real young women would do the same, if they had the means?

And going back to what I said about your imagery -- lovely, and right on point. ♥ There were a couple of lines in particular that stuck out to me:

I have never been told that I’m one of those girls who would be so pretty if she just took all that paint off her face, so I put it on thick -- This is heartbreaking and accurate, and I just... I've never been one of those girls, either. I tried not wearing mascara the other day and when I told someone I was a little tired, she said, "Yeah, you look tired." Something I am never, ever told when I'm wearing makeup. That line resonates with me, and it breaks my heart: A mask of makeup to hide real and imagined scars

My kitchen stinks of peppermint and roses -- Have you ever read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut? The phrase "mustard gas and roses" is used a few times to describe the smell of the dead, and it's almost the same here, really. Not physically dead, obviously, but a deadening of emotions. Forced, unnatural love, because she can't love herself.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this story, or maybe what I found is exactly what you intended. Nonetheless, this is a lovely story, Amanda, and it's made me think more than a lot of other fan fiction stories I've read lately. Thank you for that! ♥ And thank you for your lovely review, too -- I hope to respond to it sooner, rather than later. Always such a pleasure to read a story of yours!

Author's Response: Hi Rachel! Look at us, getting our exchange done right off the bat. I'm so proud :)

I actually had Lavender in mind when I wrote this, and I felt like she really embodies the height of that romantic sentiment you described. She's fallen victim to the idea that if you're a girl who's not pretty or not wanted, then you've really got nothing to offer the world and you'll be cast aside by everyone else. I thought of her consumption of the love potion as being akin to drinking or using drugs to numb the pain, except that it takes things one step further--she actually feels a drive to fall in love with herself because she thinks so little of her own value without the potion. As it is, she's stuck between being a werewolf and being a human, with no kin to call her own.

I don't get told as much very often, though I usually wear make-up, but I also feel sort of tired and unattractive when I don't put in that effort in the morning. I think we're conditioned to feel that way--it's the same thing if my hair isn't done or my outfit doesn't feel quite right. It's sad to think that Lavender really needs to cake it on to feel like a woman. Why should we have to apologize or make excuses for not looking immaculate?

I haven't read that--though my husband loved it--and for some reason your reference reminds me of imagery from The Hunger Games (probably the roses). Anyway, it's great that you picked that one out, because I like it, too. I think it conveys the idea that anyone else would be disgusted and overpowered by the extent of Lavender's effort to like herself, but for her, all of the drama and desperate measures are needed.

I do think you got at the heart of the story, and I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed it! I always strive to make people think, so that's good to hear. So glad you enjoyed my review as well, and know that I loved getting this one!

-Amanda


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Review #7, by rogue_bludger Beauty

20th April 2013:
this was a brilliantly compelling read, and it gave me the chills, and I absolutely loved it.
~M

Author's Response: Thank you very much! :)

-Amanda


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Review #8, by HollyStone73 Beauty

10th April 2013:
This is brilliant!! I LOVE how you did this! The way you used the love potion in such a unique and interesting way was pure genius! I never really liked Lavender much in the stories, but I love how you portrayed her here. I found myself feeling sorry for her. I found myself wishing that there was more to this story. Everything was well-written and very easy to read. Very descriptive and emotional. Super great job!!

Author's Response: Thank you! It's so nice to hear from you :)

It's great that you were able to summon up some pity for Lavender and liked my little twist on the 'typical' use of the love potion. This was just a quick little drabble, but it's lovely to hear that you still felt like it was easy to follow and that the emotion came through.

Thanks for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #9, by patronus_charm Beauty

10th April 2013:
Team Blue for the win ;D I've never read much about Lavender, but I've always wanted to, so it almost seemed fate to see this here ;)

Right from the beginning I could tell this was about her and Ron with the Beauty and the Beast analogy, and it's rather fitting that you used, as it explains her and Hermione's opposing positions so well.

My sympathy for Lavender grew even more when you referred to how she used the make up to cover her up, and you could tell she had a lot of deep lying issues. It was further enforced by her almost wishing that she was dead. It was so tragic to see that death would be preferable to her.

Then the ending was brilliant. I think the part about her 'dribbling lips' was perfect, I don't what it was about it, but it carried so much power.

I'm so used to writing in third POV, but I really enjoyed reading this in first and I hope I get to see more of it :D It was a really great one-shot though, and it makes me think about her in a different way.

-Kiana :D

Author's Response: Hello Kiana :)

I'm happy you picked up on the brief reference to Ron. It's funny for me to think about things from Lavender's perspective; it's like she and Hermione switched places, one going from being an ugly duckling to a powerful, beautiful, confident woman, and one slowly fading away and becoming less than human.

Lavender trying to cover herself up is a major theme here, as you mentioned, with the potion and the make-up and whatever else. Her comment about Greyback was meant to show that she'd rather be a full werewolf just to know who she is, rather than having to exist in limbo the way she does in this state. It is sad to think that she's become so desperate.

I'm happy to hear you liked that last line! I felt like it was the perfect way to wrap this up, to hint that Lavender's perception of herself while under the influence of the potion is not really real.

Thanks for your sweet review :D

-Amanda


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Review #10, by Twinkleflower Beauty

9th April 2013:
Wow, this little one-shot is pure genius. I very much agree with the first line of your fic, because I feel it is very much a tragedy. I thought you portrayed the point of view and trouble mind of your character perfectly. I'm guessing it's Lavender, but I like the fact that you don't state it. I don't think anyone would be expecting her to use the love potion on herself. I think the premise of your story is such a wonderful idea that there is certainly scope to add or extend if you wish. I would love to see more of your Lavender, whether that is a follow up or a completely different story.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond to this--I've been very good about responding quickly this year so far, but April seems to be the time when my research gets intensive and I have less time for fanfiction.

Yep, it's Lavender! It's great that you enjoyed reading the story and felt like the characterization was good and the use of the potion was inventive. I don't have any plans to extend this or write about Lavender more at the moment, but I never rule anything out, so perhaps she'll crop up again in the future.

Thanks again for your fantastic review :) I hope to hear from you on some of my other work.

-Amanda


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Review #11, by Jchrissy Beauty

9th April 2013:
Amanda! Hi m'dear ♥ Well, at least your advisor has done ONE good thing since working with you. This one shot is incredibly intriguing.

I'm so behind on your new short stories, and it made me so happy to see you request! I feel like there's so much I need to be doing all the time that opening a thread back up felt like the only way I'd get myself to review, haha. ANYWAY I'm really excited you requested this one shot. It's more of the classic Amanda work I love so much, though a bit less abstract than some of your other pieces.

I love that you took into account the fact that Lavender wouldn't have gotten away with either life or death. It wasn't that simple, and instead she's been left in the sort of limbo between being not quite human but not quite werewolf that we watched Bill enter into. But Bill had the support of his family and unwavering love of his fiance. What does Lavender have? A dream long gone of being the princess in the fairy tale. That's so, so sad.

Maybe if she would have had someone to care for her the way she's able to use the potion to alter her brain and care for herself, she would never have felt the desperation of this. She just wants to look at herself and see someone beautiful, someone charming that could be the desire of every man around, and the love potion does that. She doesn't deal with her feelings of inadequacy, she covers them up. I love that. I love that she clearly hasn't come to terms with anything, because even surviving through what she's been part of would be hard enough. Surviving it without someone like the strength of the Weasley clan would be damn near impossible, and the idea of her needing that potion just to pretend for a while that she's the best version of herself is twisted in the same that that it's inventive. For both of you! Instead of letting herself live in this sort of hate, she's found a way to be everything she wants. It's a messed up and unhealthy way, sort of like an alcoholic that uses it to dull their pain, but it's still a way.

You said you wanted to know if this made sense, but now I'm over here questioning if my review even makes sense :P. The story made perfect sense to me, so I don't see why it wouldn't to other people. You leave enough clues to tell what she is and to make it clear that she isn't a full werewolf. I also love the idea of it being the full moon that induces either this further hate of herself, making her need to create the potion, or induces the need to love herself more. I'm not sure which it is, but either way it's still a really creative idea.

The only thing that I could spot CC wise in this is that there's a bit of excess commas. But I'm terrible at actually understanding what is too much... There were just times that I felt like it would have flowed smoother without a few. Like:

--When I was a little girl, I used to read and re-read Beauty and the Beast.

I think this first sentence would feel more fluid without that first comma.

--Some months, I am weakened, and I sit and stare at the stars, a book open in my lap and Professor Trelawney’s voice in my head.

--For a while, I would wrap the bottle up in ribbons and make a show of presenting it to myself, just to make sure it would work.

I think both first commas in these two sentences make it feel a little clunky, as well.

Like I said I am far from understanding the best way to use commas and am just now training comma splices out of myself, so feel free to ignore that. Those were just a few places that felt more complicated than necessary because of the comma.

This was really beautiful and dark one shot, Amanda. Not that I'd expect anything less from you ;). I think you should start making writing a priority every time you can't sleep! ♥

Author's Response: Ugh, blame my advisor for why it took me five days to respond to this. But thank you, love! :D I feel like I haven't talked to you much lately and I miss you, and I just couldn't resist the opportunity to get your opinion on this piece. (And I know I've said this every which way I can, but it's my full intention to catch up on Before They Fall at some point, hopefully over the summer.)

It's so great that you caught the similarity I tried to pose between Lavender's condition and Bill's after the war. You're totally right that there is a major difference between them due to the contrast between having a huge Weasley support system and having no one. I definitely viewed the potion as being like alcohol or a drug, in that Lavender uses it to numb herself to sleep and try to capture that feeling of love that she's never experienced.

I'm glad you feel like this piece makes sense. I had gotten a few people who seemed to miss that Lavender wasn't a full werewolf--I tried to allude to that in her comment about Greyback, but it seemed like people saw that as being a sort of suicide wish, which wasn't exactly what I meant to convey. I just meant that if she was a full werewolf, she would at least not be in this terrible limbo state. As for the ending, I think that self-hatred is always there under the surface, but the full moon makes her moody and irritable, which really brings it out and causes her to feel restless.

I seem to overuse commas; I think it's because I get annoyed when I read stories with endless run-on, comma-free sentences. You're probably right that some of those could come out, especially in your last two examples :) I'll make a note to go back and edit this when I have some free time and declutter it.

Thanks so much for this wonderful review, Jami!

-Amanda


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Review #12, by adluvshp Beauty

7th April 2013:
Hey Amanda. I don't know how I got here but I am happy I did!

Wow. Just wow. I literally have no words. A product on inability to sleep? I should try writing when I'm not able to sleep more often, maybe then I'll be half as good as you xP

On a serious note, this was a very well-written one-shot. I absolutely loved it. The idea of Lavender taking the love potion to make her love herself is so unique (and a little depressing)! I really liked it!

Your descriptions were, as always, wonderful. The angst was not out there and yet surrounded the entire piece. I loved the entire idea of "this is not a love story/this is a love story." It was all just so perfect.

I really don't know what else to say except that this is officially one of my favourite one-shots on the archives now. I really loved it! It was a pleasure read it. Once again, you've proved that you're truly a talented writer.

10/10
Cheers!
AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Hi Angie! I was thinking about dropping by your thread to get your feedback on this, so I'm pleased to see that you found your way over here!

I don't usually turn to writing when I'm unable to sleep (and I don't often wake up at 5:30), but the moment just felt right this time so I went with it. I hope the final product is coherent!

I don't know if you could even really use a love potion this way, but it seemed poetic. It's meant to be quite depressing, like Lavender's life, and I'm glad it was still enjoyable for you, especially the descriptions and the repetition of the love story/Beauty and the Beast theme.

Thanks again for your amazing review!

-Amanda


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Review #13, by bathtub. // vee Beauty

6th April 2013:
Hi! I generally read the stories I make banners for and leave a review, so here we are xD I loved this one-shot! It was short but very very well written. I felt bad for Lavender- they way you write her is so great! ^__^ It was a great read xx

Author's Response: Thanks Vee! And again, I LOVE the banner! :)

-Amanda


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Review #14, by missclaire17 Beauty

6th April 2013:
I LOVE the way that you wrote this. When I first thought of the beginnings of a love potion, I thought that it would have something to do with how she REALLY loved someone but they didn't love her back, or something along those lines. I think it's interesting how you made her insecurity about herself and her desire to have a "beautiful romance" the reason why she came up with the love potion in the first place.

Also, the added touch that she's a werewolf was rather interesting because it really spoke to me WHY she was so undesirable, so to speak. Of course, we do konw that werewolves aren't monsters and they aren't horrible and all of these negative connotations that comes with being a werewolf, but of course these stereotypes would take ages to be erased, and the fact that you wrote that she IS a werewolf really was quite an added touch that I enjoyed.

Overall, I love the way you wrote this one-shot and I just love everything about it. Great job!

Author's Response: Yeah, I felt like it would be an unexpected twist for Lavender to be drinking the love potion in order to help her really learn to love herself. I thought of it almost like a drug; she has to have the potion in order to feel comfortable with herself, in order to get through these moments. I don't know if a love potion could actually be used for that purpose, but I liked the sick sort of poetry about it.

Well, she's kind of a werewolf. She doesn't transform, but she has lingering, desultory symptoms of lycanthropy, sort of like Bill and his newfound affection for rare steaks. She's still on record from her time in St. Mungo's, though, so she has officially become a pariah, even if she really poses no threat to others. I meant for the experience to kind of capitalize on the sense of unhappiness she had already experienced in not getting anyone to love her.

Thanks for your kind review (and favorite)!

-Amanda


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Review #15, by teh tarik Beauty

5th April 2013:
Hello Amanda :)

Goodness, this is beautiful. And a wee bit creepy. But not really because I am a big Lavender fan. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this. The imagery, the delicateness of the language, the tiny details threaded into the prose so beautifully. And best of all, Lavender's smooth narration.

It's hard to pin her voice down. I get a mixture of signals from the narrative, and her voice feels distant and almost mystical, as if her scars and her past injuries have somehow made her a bit more mystical, like Trelawney. At the same time, she's sensitive, careful, yet passionate - definitely self-absorbed. But what I really love about your Lavender is how little self-pity she feels. You know, i've come across many survivor Lavender stories where she's traumatised by her scars and experiences and all, but this is the first story where she actually embraces the new experiences (associated with the moon), gained as a result of Fenrir's attack. Your Lavender is beautifully complex and I can't tell you how much I appreciate any depiction of Lavender as a complex and sympathetic human being, rather than an idiot :D

Your diction is excellent and very well chosen...The thick liquid in the bottle is the color of my beloved moon.

I don't need covers at night because warmth lives in my skin even in the absence of a fur coat.

etc.

Anyway, this is a beautiful piece of writing. The ending was brilliant. Slightly unsettling at how self-absorbed she is (drinking love potion to fall in love with herself, am I right?). But. I love it and I can't judge her for it. And this is a perfect twist on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Fantastic writing.

I hope to read more of your works soon.

-teh

Author's Response: Thanks, teh!

Yeah, I meant for it to be creepy, especially the image of Lavender greedily gulping down the potion there at the end, needing it to really like herself since no one else has really loved her.

I do get what you're saying about her voice being sort of... detached. I think it reflects the wisdom of having survived her attack and growing up past her girlish cares--although she hasn't, really. I think my Lavender is a little more mature than the one we're used to. Her feelings about her condition are sort of mixed; on the one hand, she obviously would prefer to have wound up with a happy life and dislikes being so entranced by the moon, but she also recognizes that she wasn't having a lot of luck even without being labeled as a pariah, so she can kind of see the poetic justice in what happened to her. No matter how you look at it, hers is a very sad story.

Thanks again for this fantastic review! :)

-Amanda


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