Reviews For In Bloom
Reviewer: psijupiter
Date: 10/21/13 0:56
Chapter: In Bloom

I really like this story. I can see first cousin relationships being reasonably accepted in the wizarding world which has such a small population to being with. (Though I wonder if it might become more frowned upon post-series, as something associated with the pure-blood families?)

The story feels quite compact - it centres on a handful of moments, but the emotions and the characters feel complex and real. The switching between the two view points helps flesh this out and build their relationship. I particularly connected with Rose's emotions throughout the story - you definitely captured some of he difficulties of being a teenage girl! I wonder if Albus and Rose's relationship (in whatever form) will recover once the embarrassment and anger Rose feels about her actions fades a little. Sadly, that may take a little while and some maturity. (Not that Rose is particuarly immature, just still quite young in the grand scheme of things!)

I liked the musings they both had on their names. I found it interesting and perhaps a little odd that Albus had enough information about Dumbledore's actions/decisions to come to the conclusion that he was the master manipulator that he was. I imagined that Harry et al would want to shield the next generation from that as much as they can. It makes me want to read (or maybe write...) Albus finding out and coming to terms with why he was named after two people with such dubious morals.

Rose's reflection on her name was less emotionally complex, but oh so real. Any name that is also any sort of physical object is just a bad plan and particularly annoying as a child!

The story felt very complete, even though the ending leaves a lot of questions. I think by not going on to show how or if they can eventually reconcile it left me feeling that this is not something that is going to be easily or quickly fixed. I would be interested in reading more, but equally happy with the story as it stands. If that makes sense!

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather
Date: 04/13/13 20:09
Chapter: In Bloom

Hello Jess!

I very much enjoyed this story. It had a very natural flow to it and was easy to connect to as a whole. The structure of the story really emphasised the feelings and actions of the narrative while the characters were believable and felt very real, thus allowing for me to connect to and sympathise with the characters.
The structure of this piece was very intriguing. In itself, the form almost represents a blooming flower. It opens with a brief glimpse of what this story is going to be about, like a bud of a new flower. Little by little, more is revealed. Early on, we know that there has been some sort of kiss between Rose and Albus, and it appears to be part of the main conflict of the story, but we don't know the true depth of it until we see Rose's point of view. For the majority of the story, I thought that the feelings of attraction were mutual, but at the almost last second, we find out that it's not, and that, I think, is where the magic lies. Almost as if I see a purple, slightly open bud, thinking it's a violet, but when it blooms, I see that it is actually a torenia.

The changing between characters was very effective in this story. By doing this, you haven't made one person's situation seem worse and you don't put the blame on any character. We see where Albus's hurt is coming from and we feel for him, but we don't feel angry at Rose. Similarly, we feel for Rose without wanting to smack Albus for kissing her. Interestingly enough, you make Billy, who is the closest thing to an antagonist that this story will have, seem human. Even though he pushed Rose to have sex, Rose tells us that she really did consent, making Billy seem like just a normal teenage boy. A bit of a jerk, yes, but nothing that would make us really condemn him in anyway. When Albus talks about him, he describes him as "begging for mercy", which again shows that Billy really is just a normal kid who let his hormones get the better of him.

As usual in your Next-Gen stories, you have created very vivid and believable characters. I think that a lot of writers don't always take into account where the characters are coming from. While a person's children are not in any way, shape, or form a carbon copy of their parents, they often share certain common idiosyncrasies. Of course, this isn't always the case, but in this story, you have managed to make the similarities between Albus and his parents seem very realistic and natural. We see Albus angry and he expresses his anger in aggressive acts, something that is very clear in Harry's character. Albus spends the majority of the story crushing roses, and the scene where we see him in action, he's beating someone. Unlike Harry, Albus doesn't really seem to pent up his frustration, but rather lets it out (as we see in the crushing of the flowers). This is a very different reaction than his father, and thus Albus becomes a fleshed out and unique character. Albus also gets my favourite line in the whole story. "“They’re nice,” he said to her once. “I’d much rather be associated with something beautiful and sweet than a dead man who used people like puppets as a means to an end.” This line is just so snarky, but at the same time, I think it gives us an interesting look into Albus' psyche. For Albus, he sees things very black and white, and not so much the whole picture. With roses, he sees only the beauty of the flower, but not the thorns. Reversely, in Dumbledore's character, he sees only the manipulation, and not the so much how everything fit together and how much good he did. While he knows it was a "means to an end", he doesn't see all the other parts of his namesake and what makes him so complex.

Rose, too, is very fleshed out in her character. From almost the start off of the story, we see a young woman who is perhaps a little insecure. Like Albus, she is not so impressed with her namesake. Like Albus, when she thinks of them, she thinks of the negative, though she is capable of seeing why someone might find them beautiful, she herself does not. The insecurities of Rose really shine when her point of view returns. She's "surprised" when Billy asks her to Hogsmeade, which reminded me of the previous section, where she sees roses as ugly, leaving the question open to the reader of how Rose sees herself.

What's interesting about this story is how the different characters portray the event that this story centers around - Rose losing her virginity to Billy and the kiss from Albus that occurred after. Albus' narrative starts from the end point of the event and revolves around his feelings more than anything else. This really focuses the reader on the feelings of the two characters involved and the relationship between them, making that part of the story more important than the almost side story that is the event. With Rose, we see the story from beginning to end with more fact than feelings. When the two storylines cross over (when Rose is telling Albus of what happened), we don't really see what Rose is feeling until Albus's recollections are shown. She is angry and a little regretful, but that's all we know. We don't really know the extent of Rose's dismay until Albus tells us that she was "humiliated" and very clearly upset, especially after Billy is beaten up, because she didn't want the world to know she had slept with Billy, and the distress she feels over it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this fic. The dynamics of the characters and the way you told the story made everything feel very raw and believable. An excellent job on a first attempt at writing a pairing - if you hadn't mentioned it, I would have thought you wrote AlRose all the time.

Maple

Reviewer: hanname
Date: 04/10/13 14:50
Chapter: In Bloom

SAD. Unrequited love makes me depressed. It's a well written story, not a single unnecessary word.

Reviewer: Sly Severus
Date: 01/16/13 11:58
Chapter: In Bloom

Jess, Jess, Jess. Although, I really enjoyed this story, I have to admit that I’m not at all sold on cousin pairings. Yet you still manage to write a fic that draws me in so, as per usual, you rule.
I loved the use of Rose’s name throughout the story. Her feelings towards it were very interesting and oddly apt at times. While Al’s take on her name is more simplistic it still shows the strange infatuation he has with her.

I also have to comment on Al’s feelings towards the original Albus. Very nice. Every time I find a story that represents my feelings towards that man, I want to sing. So many people consider him an unquestionable hero, and I see him as anything but. It’s nice to think that the next generation can look at the war with fresh eyes and see him for what he truly was.

This was a wonderful story filled with sadness, but still offering a ray of hope for the future. As always, well done.

Author's Response:

Helloooo!

I'm glad you liked the story. Really, what I wanted for it in terms of the cousin pairings was to show it in a light where it doesn't *really* matter. For most UKers, it doesn't. The thought is there in their heads, but it isn't a deciding factor. The end result is more because of Rose's self-image and general lack of interest in Albus, at least in respect to romance.

I find it interesting that you latched onto Al's view of Dumbledore. Really, Dumbledore is a dubious hero, because he was a master manipulator who can't trust himself to hold power because he knows he will abuse it. Sure, he ended on the side of good, but he well could've done otherwise if his sister hadn't died and shook him out of it.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and reviewing. It's appreciated. And don't forget...this story is on the review drive list, so don't forget to sign up and get you some points for your dedication to research. :)

~Jess

Reviewer: xxbabewithbrainsxx
Date: 09/05/12 11:02
Chapter: In Bloom

OH EM SQUEEEEEEE I LOVED THIS JESS YOU ARE AMAZING :D

Hehehehehehe. Okay, proper review time now, since you are rather scary when you want to be, Jess, and I don't want to incur the wrath of the SPEW Queen with a spammy review.

I loved this. Albus is adorable in his characterisation, and I like how all the AlbusRose stories I've read so far have the whole unrequited love thing going. It makes it beautifully angsty, but not wangsty, thankfully. I just wanted to hug poor Albus, especially because it was clear that Rose didn't love him back :(

And I loved how you used what is actually an overused motif for stories featuring Rose and made it your own. They always think it’s clever because of her name, but she is a person, not a plant. That is so true. And I really like how you also commented on Albus's namesake, because ngl I did kind of groan when I saw what Harry had named his kids.

This pairing is just so beautiful, at least to me, and you have made it even more so, so well done :) I kind of doubt that Albus and Rose would actually be okay with each other ever again, though :(

Fab fic, Jessssssss!

Author's Response:

Hellooooo!

I think the thing about angsty AlRose is that, just like any other crush from the teenage years, it has just as much potential to be one-sided as any other. The only difference here is that they had a great relationship before this and, as you said, might not do so after this. It's almost sadder to me than them not getting together.

The rose motif was carefully chosen. Rose's dislike of her namesake is one of the reasons I'm glad I wasn't named after a flower, because themed gifts would piss me off, too. But Albus didn't do it because he couldn't think outside the box; he merely liked the flowers because they made him think of her and because they are beautiful. As Rose points out, they are sharp and vindictive out of season, but they are still the most popular and sought-out flowers for all occasions. Maybe no one likes a perfect, docile bloom that doesn't have anything to say for itself. Or, maybe that's what Albus loves about her.

Will they be 'all right' after this? Oh, I think they will be eventually. One cannot count the number of friendships that get scuttled when one party falls for the other and the feeling is not mutual. Some recover; some don't. I personally think they will, because in the end, Rose loves Al, albeit in a different way than Al would like, and I think she would do whatever it took not to lose her friend and cousin to this. And maybe she did feel something for him and wasn't prepared to admit it, but I don't know if it's enough to work with for them. Here's hoping. :)

Thanks for the review and listening to me ramble in return. <3

~Jess

Reviewer: Dad
Date: 09/05/12 9:43
Chapter: In Bloom

Different. Not sure if I like it.

Author's Response:

Well, you are certainly entitled not to. Nevertheless, thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts.

~Jess

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