Reading Reviews for Any Other Way of Loving
  
2 Reviews Found

Review #1, by teh tarik Sink Before It Drowns

22nd February 2014:
Hello! So I know I've got your challenge entry to read, but I really really wanted to come back to this fic first! I hope you don't mind! ^.^

I loved this chapter. Honestly, so much detail, so many characters and all very deftly handled, each with their own personal conflicts and unhappiness. Also, I love how thoroughly and deeply you examined Albus and Lauren's feelings, and everything that led up to that awful moment of rejection in the first chapter. You're so, so skilled at examining characters and their intentions.

It's hard to pinpoint my favourite moment of the chapter. It was long but satisfying, and it didn't drag, and I think breaking up the long dialogue scenes and interweaving them with each other was a really good technique. Nothing dragged, and like the first chapter, your writing as a really marvellous sort of clarity. I love how the disastrous proposal really divided up the Weasleys, how Rose runs off to comfort Lauren, while Lily and James clumsily try to alleviate Albus' hurt. I really adored how you portrayed the Potter siblings; they're so close to each other, so exasperating and endearing, and I'm really not sure how much of help James and Lily were to Albus, but I did giggle a bit. Another thing I really loved, and which really surprised me was your portrayal of Ginny. Ginny being unhappy in her marriage to Harry is secretly one of my guilty pleasures to read bahaha! (Not a fan of Harry/Ginny here!) But you gave her so much depth and wrote her with so much compassion. There's a lot of conflict with her and with her marriage, and Harry's not all aware of it. I think there were lovely contrasts between the moments when she confides to Albus and when Harry returns home and that old tenderness starts up again automatically. And can I just say that I LOVE the part where Ginny feels she's inadequate compared to Ron and Hermione, because those two are Harry's friends, and that somehow she thinks friendship trumps love. It's a very startling depiction of the usually confident, fiery Ginny, and I really enjoyed reading this.

And just when we think that Albus has reached some moment of epiphany which prompts him to act sensibly...Rose has to come in with the bad news. I'm not sure how things will turn out, but I can't wait to read on and find out!

If I have to give you a suggestion (this isn't critique) - you have huuuge spaces between your paragraphs, and it really makes reading difficult, especially as your chapter is a pretty long one. Some readers are deterred when they click on a random fic and see such large gaps in the formatting; perhaps you might want to edit these? If you need any help with the formatting, just feel free to ask me over at the forums or something.

Lovely chapter! I'll read your next one pretty soon!

-teh

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Review #2, by teh tarik The End of the Line

21st January 2014:
So I found this story on the Recently Added and gave it a random click. Gosh, am I glad I did. This was just an absolute pleasure to read. Your writing is incredibly smooth and detailed, and there's a wonderful clarity to your prose that I enjoyed muchly. Before I comment further on the actual story, I must admit I was quite surprised when I reached your author's note and discovered that this is actually a WIP, and that there are more chapters to come. Because this first chapter feels incredibly complete; I mean this in a good way. With this chapter alone, I feel that you've developed your characters so well and so profoundly, and their conflicts are depicted with so much depth, and the scenes are handled so adeptly. Honestly, if you chose to end the fic here as it is, you'd have quite a beautiful half-open ending, the kind of thing I really love.

But as it turns out, there's more to your story, and I'm very excited to read on.

You wrote both parts of the chapter so, so well. Both Albus and Lauren were portrayed with sympathy, and you really have a knack for maintaining a kind of tension in your writing, that really kept me engrossed with your fic (I'm the kind of reader who gets distracted easily).

Albus' section was gorgeously done.

And then as she had admired the caramel ganache beneath the scoop of vanilla ice-cream and the large slice of dark liqueur chocolate tart he had insisted they order (because coffee cake was ordinary and this night was not meant to be ordinary), he had gotten down on his knee in one fluid motion, without losing his balance even slightly, just as Lily had made him practice over and over with the threat of a Bat Bogey Hex if he failed to get it right.

Sorry for quoting back an entire paragraph to you, but I really enjoyed the level of detail you used, and how vivid and real the scene felt to me.

You wrote Albus' growing discomfort and public humiliation very realistically; when he realises that he's not going to get a positive answer, I love how his attention turns frantically to the audience. His humiliation and Lauren's rejection are private, private things to him, and there he is, as though he's in the middle of some sort of arena, feeling the weight of the audience's expectations on him. It made me think a bit about the nature of public proposals; there's a huge risk to them, and if things don't go the way you want, then there's a good chance that you'll be trapped by your own actions, with everyone watching as you try to maintain a cool public image. That's what Albus is struggling with, and that's what you've conveyed beautifully. Along with his genuine feelings of hurt and rejection, of course.

I also love the POV switch to Lauren's perspective. I like it when we are shown different perspectives to events. Lauren, I suppose is the modern woman who doesn't believe in the institution of marriage etc. I know several people with similar mindsets to her IRL (all of them got married in the end :P :P ). Anyway, you did an amazing job with writing Lauren's frame of thoughts.

For the briefest moment, she hated him. He should have known she would not say yes. Did he not take her proclamations seriously? She had always gone on and on about these things. And hed always listened so patiently.

Perhaps he was listening but he thought she wasn't serious. It was this one thing which always made her angry. She hated hearing people around her say, Oh shes just saying things, she doesn't mean them.


Oh my lord, these are some of my favourite lines! They reveal so much about Lauren's character; those lines are sharp, observant, and incredibly revealing. Honestly, you write relationships with so much insight and so much keen observation, I just, GAH I LOVED THIS.

Sorry for shouting; I get a bit carried away, sometimes!

And as I've said earlier, I absolutely loved your ending, and how Albus and Lauren's relationship seem to be left hanging. But OK, there's a sort-of happy ending coming along! Well, I'm very curious to see how you'll pull it off.

Well done on this fantastic chapter. I'm so glad I had the chance to read this and I do hope you update soon. :)

-teh

Author's Response: I'll start off with a bit of honesty. I've never received a review as kind and as encouraging as this so even though I saw the review the day after it went up, I didn't reply immediately because I was uncertain as to what one does in the face of such a review. Your review is the kind of thing that lights up one's day and makes everything better and really, there is so little I can say which could possibly convey the extent of the happiness I felt when I read your review and how grateful I am for the encouragement. So I will begin by saying thank you. Thank you for reading the chapter and I cannot really put to words how glad I am that you liked it. It's uncanny how I feel exactly the same way: the story could have ended with a half-open ending, leaving it up for us to think of what happens to these two. And I have done exactly that with two of my other stories. But I've also been told how I tend to not finish things and that's as true an accusation as any so I've decided to work against everything I like in a story: sad endings, melancholy, general unhappiness with the universe, lack of luck and a lot of pain. One of the requisites of the challenge was to make characters intrinsically happy with their situation and when I tried to write a story that starts off happy (and this is an indication of how really unused I am to happy stories), it was impossible. So I decided to work backwards. This is not my ideal story, in fact next chapter makes me want to dump the whole idea but I'm going to stick it out, thanks mostly to your encouragement.

Oh and I know, I'm probably going to be one of those women who are all anti-love but end up shoving honeymoon pictures under everyone's nose. I think that is why I wanted to write about someone like Lauren. I like the ending I've got planned for this and from what I gather from your review, I think you'd like it too.

On the other hand, I would completely understand if you hate the next chapter and the ending. I'm really out of sorts with this story so I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Basically, all I wanted to say was that if it was possible to reach through my computer screen and give you a hug, I'd do it. Thank you so much for the review. I'm going to be cheeky and say I loved reading it and I did. It made me smile and feel better about this whole story. Thank you! :)


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