Reviewer: fg_weasley
Date: 07/16/09 1:34
Chapter: Pieces of the Puzzle

Oh, dear, Kat. I am so glad I picked this fic off your author’s page, because it was definitely worth the read.

I had always considered my life like one considers a puzzle, thought provoking and full of misguided attempts to find a solution.

I love this as the opening line of your fic. It’s a perfect starter line; it draws the reader right in, and it’s well-written. It is even a metaphor, which I adore, and an extended one that works throughout the fic. It all adds up to the beauty that is the line that is the start of this piece of writing. The only thing I would change is the punctuation. I think a hyphen in place of the comma would add even more emphasis and affect and really round out the sentence as a whole.

You follow this sentence with a paragraph that is just as powerful and just as beautiful. The meaning behind the words is heavy, but in the best way. It feel full, but not overly so. If you were aiming to catch your reader from the start with a powerful opening – or even if that intent was unconscious or unintentional – you’ve definitely achieved it.

This wonderful style of writing flows nicely throughout the rest of the fic. I think your style for this piece really adds to it as a whole. It has a tone that leaves the reader completely entranced by Lily’s narrative.

Speaking of that, Lily’s narrative is written in such an inspiring way. It really gives the character life; I feel that I can see her as a fleshed out human being, with faults as well as good qualities. They way you’ve written her character gives her the ability to connect with the reader, and I think that is partly because the first person point of view you chose was the perfect one for this piece. It worked out really well, and I don’t think this would have been as strong in anything other than first.

Especially with the subject matter you have tackled in this fic and the balance it demands, Lily Evans is a hard character to get just right. Reading this, however, makes me think that it was nearly effortless for you. That’s how it came off to me, at least, or that you’d put such dedication to her character that it really paid off.

Severus was not as well-executed as Lily, I’m afraid. It does get better toward the end of the fic, but prior to that it seems a little off. The start of their conversation comes out stiff and slightly awkward. I think that was intended, but it felt just a bit too much. Some of the things he said just didn’t seem to fit him, awkward situation or not. His offering to open the door for her, for instance; the fact that he would say it instead of just doing it felt a little odd to me. Also, when he begins to tell her his purpose, I don’t think he would start by saying it wasn’t his place. In my mind, whether or not it wasn’t wouldn’t have mattered to him, because it him it always was his place. She was his best friend, always. While I do feel he would have told her what might make her happy, which I’m glad you did have him do, I don’t think he would have said he only cared about his happiness. That may be how he felt, but he wouldn’t have told her his reasons and feelings flat-out the way you have him do here. His tone and the way he speaks, as well, were not as calculated or precise as I felt they should have been. Overall, I just think the dialogue for him in the first few paragraphs was ill-fitting to his character.

The way you portray their relationship, however, felt very fitting to both their characters. It was just as I’d always imagined it would be, especially after such vital things have happened. You show that there has been a drastic change, yet at the same time what Lily feels for Severus can’t exactly be ignored. And for his part, Severus still can’t let her go. It’s a balance I admire that you were able to create.

I think my puzzle may have been less attractive if I had such a potent piece as this one in it. In my mind, this piece would stick out like black against white, bad against good.

I really love this line because I think it perfectly sums up their relationship, and it is tied in to your metaphor. This is what their relationship would have always been, and Lily is finally beginning to see that. Severus, of course, never does, but I like that you show this point in Lily’s character.

The end fit really well. I like the way you have Severus pleading for her understanding and Lily refusing; it felt very IC for both of them. I especially like that he assumed he absolutely knew what was right for Lily; that was the best Severus characterization moment, I thought. I especially loved the last paragraph. It really brought it all back to your extended puzzle metaphor. It also brings it back to the beginning, which I particularly liked. I like that connection, that circle, you seemed to make. The diction was the perfect was to close it.

One small technical nitpick:

Once again ripped from her drifting mind by his voice, her eyes snapped to Severus.

You’ve fallen slightly out of POV here; those ‘her’s should be ‘my’s.

Overall, you’ve done a great job, Kat. This was certainly a nice read.

[hugs]

xox
nikki :D

Reviewer: Lyla
Date: 09/20/08 15:48
Chapter: Pieces of the Puzzle

This is really good!

Reviewer: kehribar
Date: 08/23/08 14:38
Chapter: Pieces of the Puzzle

And once again I'm the victim of tags. My apologies.

Author's Response: Heh. >.<

Reviewer: kehribar
Date: 08/23/08 14:34
Chapter: Pieces of the Puzzle

What a lovely piece of character study... I think you have done a splendid job with tone. Unlike most, you managed to make Lily sound like a teenager - not like an adult who has seen the many ups and downs of life. Great job.

I also think that you marveled at Severus's characterization, your ability to keep the characters age-compliant showing off. He acts exactly how I'd expect him to behave, and I especially like how you captured him at the point where he had slipped towards the Dark Side and when the effects of this must have been felt both by himself and by those around him (Lily). The interaction between the two clearly demonstrates how firm a grasp you have on both characters.


I have a few nit-picks:

"I had made my choice and far beyond happy, but the nagging hole in the back of my mind never let up."

I think there's a little grammatical error; it should be "I had made my choice and I was far beyond happy..."

"Once again ripped from her drifting mind by his voice, her eyes snapped to Severus."

That's a rather unnatural shift of PoV, which I can only assume to be a tiny mistake. Have you been experimenting with third person before switching to first? ;)


I also wonder why the library is outside the caste. I'm not sure that's how it is in the books, and frankly, I don't think it makes much sense. Maybe you have done it so that Lily could ponder on the snow and the cold, but I think it sticks out.


This is a lovely, light piece of reading that I immensely enjoyed, if only because it's not full of angsty, overwhelming metaphors and because it features something quite canon, unlike many pieces of writing that portray either Lily or Severus as entirely too dramatic and not-quite-canon-fitting characters.

Lovely job!

Author's Response: THANK you so much! I have never actually written Lily or Sev as teenagers, so it's always good to hear that I have succeeded! I made the changes you pointed out, and I know the library thing is weird. Yes, probably not canon, but it's the way the library existed in my mind, so that's how I wrote it. I don't know, ever since CoS when the Basilisk attacked someone outside the library, that's how I imagined it. >.< And it adds to the effect, so it's a plus!

Author's Response: THANK you so much! I have never actually written Lily or Sev as teenagers, so it's always good to hear that I have succeeded! I made the changes you pointed out, and I know the library thing is weird. Yes, probably not canon, but it's the way the library existed in my mind, so that's how I wrote it. I don't know, ever since CoS when the Basilisk attacked someone outside the library, that's how I imagined it. >.< And it adds to the effect, so it's a plus!

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