Reviews For Tea and Honey
Reviewer: Ginny Weasley Potter
Date: 08/16/13 14:12
Chapter: Honey and Tea

Hello, Maple!

This story has intrigued me from the time that it was featured a few months ago. I have read a few AlRose stories, but I have to admit, this is the first LouLily I’ve read, and I really, really liked it.

I loved how simple your plot and writing was. It’s a short and sweet story with a single plot device which has been written emotionally and descriptively. You’ve used small, simple sentences, and the dialogue is free-flowing. Basically, it was very well-paced, and before I knew it, I was finishing it, and wanted more. So yes, I’d say it was rather light, and easy to read, and yet, emotional and beautiful.

I rather liked the dynamics between Louis and Lily in this story. The fact that they were good friends already made me happy -- as I really love best friend romances. I loved how Louis understood everything about Lily, remembered everything she liked, and was always there for her. These small things made it very sweet. And the fact that Lily reciprocated all these things -- that she considered Louis equally important in her own life made it even better.

Characterisation-wise, I loved Louis. He’s sweet, understanding and realistic. He cares about Lily, more than she knows, but that doesn’t mean he takes advantage of her vulnerability, and that made him very endearing. I loved that he was so originally written. I loved how he handled Lily when she was drunk -- pretending to give in to her wishes at first, but actually pushing her under the shower to sober her up. If I hadn’t taken a liking to him before this, the particular moment just made me adore him more.

Lily on the other hand -- I enjoyed how her portrayal was -- she states she’s built like a man, but she is actually very feminine, and she obviously cares about Sean. I’m glad she left him, though. It made me sad that she was so insecure, she tried to seduce Louis, thinking he was the only man who considered her pretty. I really loved their bond, actually.

The story ended on a sad note, and this line just made my heart ache: As Louis left the room and closed the door, he hoped that, when that day did come, she’d come back to him. I’m hoping you’re planning to write a follow-up story about their relationship as it developed further. I’d definitely love to read that, as it would be interesting to see how Louis will actually confess his feelings for Lily. All-in-all, this was a great read, and I’m glad I chose this story this month. Good job! :)

Pooja

Reviewer: iLuna17
Date: 02/08/13 8:29
Chapter: Honey and Tea

Hey, Maple. :)

This was probably one of my favorite pieces of yours to date. There was just so much depth to it, and I love your Louis and Lily. You jump right into the action, too, and even before their relationship progressed (and Louis’s feelings were revealed) you had me rooting for him instead of Sean. While on the topic, I really love how you gave us such a clear insight as to Sean and Lily’s relationship without ever showing it. Most of the time ‘in-action’ paints the best picture, but I love how much we could tell solely from the aftermath.

Probably one of the strongest parts of this piece was the characterization. It’s no secret that your Lily is lovely, but there was something slightly different about this version of her. While other times there were echoes of insecurity, this tackled the topic head-on. It was kind of shocking to see this obviously strong character so broken. We could tell she wasn’t a weak person, but hearing her say all those things about herself made me just want to give her a hug. Honestly, I think the most heartbreaking part of the piece was when Lily was drunk and had to explain herself to Louis; that she thought Louis was the only person she had a chance with because of what Sean had done to her. It goes to show just how one person can destroy another, even if they didn’t mean to.

This time, though, I think your Louis outshone Lily. He was just so patient, and he knew everything about her. It was the little quirks he remembered “ especially how Lily takes her tea “ that made him just seem so amazing. Lily just randomly shows up at his door, either drunk or bawling her eyes out, and he just understands. He kind of reminds me of Charlie from ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower” in that sense. But Louis wasn’t perfect, and that made it even better. He did lose his temper with Lily, and we could see how much the situation was hurting him, too. One thing I did notice, though, was that there really were no hints of how he was feeling about fancying Lily, even though it was obvious throughout the piece. At the end he wishes she’d come back, but Louis seems like he always is, calm and sure. It would have added another level entirely to watch Louis’s feelings about Lily develop throughout the fic, and perhaps a little confusion. I’m just not sure that even someone like Louis could realize he fancies his cousin without any kind of internal turmoil. But perhaps that is grounds for a sequel? :)

I did really love how the story progressed, though. We can see both of their pain, and you slowly build it up to a fever pitch. Rereading it, I saw hints of Louis slowly getting angry about how Lily is treating herself, and how, though it’s a jump in time, we see Louis’s first pieces of advice slowly sink into Lily. But when Lily was drunk, we knew that the slight hints of anger that Louis tried to hide would finally bubble to the surface. The only thing I noticed is that perhaps a middle section could help this piece; it starts with it seemingly be horrible, but Lily unwilling to leave Sean, but then suddenly she did dump him and showed up drunk on Louis’s doorstep. Lily didn’t seem to believe Louis when he tried telling her that her relationship with Sean wasn’t good for her, but it didn’t look like Lily was listening. I think it could explain a final push to break it off with Sean, show why she finally realized Sean was, for lack of a better word, destroying her. The jump from the first part to the second part just seemed a little large to me, which is why I suggested a median. It’s merely an idea, though. :)

I really did love this piece, though, Maple. I know Lily needs time to sort herself out, but I just want her to be with Louis. The end gives me hope for them, however, as well as making me want to read more about them. I would love to see a companion piece, as the thought of them together just makes me smile. You did a brilliant job handling Lily’s insecurities, and I want to see if she manages to fully overcome them. Overall, just a lovely piece.


Ellie

Author's Response: Thanks for the great review, Ellie! I'm so glad that I was able to make the characterisation of this piece believable. That was something I was a little worried about given how unsure I was of a lot of the plot. You pointed out a lot of interesting themes associated with her that I had never even thought about! Like the insecurity and the brokenness. Like, I knew she was insecure and a little shaken up, but I didn't realise that it would resonate with anyone, if that makes sense. I think I agree with the jump between the parts. I think I just couldn't see a scenario in my head (plus, I was like, three days over the due date and only had an intro paragraph ahaha). I think that if I were to rewrite this, I would definitely add one, and it's something I will be looking for in my other fics! Maple :)

Reviewer: xxbabewithbrainsxx
Date: 02/02/13 14:52
Chapter: Honey and Tea

Hello, Maple! :)

Well, I have to say, even if I hadn’t been your Secret SPEW recipient, I would have featured this anyway, because I enjoyed reading this story so much. There was a lot that I loved about it, including Louis and Lily’s characterisations, the style and just how convincing their romance was. When I first read it, I was really pleased to see the inclusion of so many of my prompts, especially the lyrics, but also the tea and honey, which gave the story such a comforting and homey feel to it.

I love the way you set the scene in this story, with the rain and lightning. Not only did this give your story a really British feel (since all we ever talk about is the weather!), I also thought it added a bittersweet tone to it, and considering the issues Lily has with Sean and the open ending, I felt that was very fitting. I think the thunder and the rain were perfect in representing Lily’s conflicting emotions and her fieriness, which is definitely one of my favourite character traits in Lily. As well as this, the setting emphasised the hurt/comfort elements in the fic, which I thought was really important in creating chemistry between Louis and Lily, like the fact that Lily had gone to Louis twice in a month about her boyfriend already. There was something really endearing about Lily relying so much on Louis without necessarily realising it :)

Your use of detail is what I think set Louis apart from Sean and is definitely what made Louis’s characterisation so strong throughout. I liked that Louis seemed bookish and that you showed rather than told that through him enjoying a book; it was a great way of establishing the foundations of his character and making him so very likeable. Also, the motif of tea and honey (a lovely combination, may I add), really highlighted how considerate Louis was compared to Sean, especially as Louis always makes it right and Sean doesn’t. The pairing was set up so well in that way, particularly, again, how Lily seemed to subconsciously appreciate Louis.

The character who was the most fleshed out and felt the most human to me, though, was Lily. It’s interesting that Lily had insecurities about being built like a guy -- I don’t think I’ve ever come across that in fanfic before, or in OF, for that matter, but it definitely fits, given she’s a Quidditch player. Speaking of Quidditch, I thought the way you weaved that into the plot was really well done, and it also said a lot about Lily’s character that she was always blaming herself for losing. There was a vulnerability about her that you caught so incredibly well in that, and it reminded me of Harry being maligned in a similar way by Cormac. For that reason, of all the Lily-centric stories of yours that I’ve read, this one is by far my favourite, because I could so clearly see Lily’s weaknesses and her inferiority complex, and this resonated with me so much.

That said, it was great that the story also had light moments and sexy moments, too. Lily being drunk definitely brought out the feelings in her that I don’t think she would have acted on otherwise, and with regards to style, her drunken dialogue was spot on, particularly Lily saying,“Hello yourself, handsome”; the line was funny, but it was also clear just how much Lily must have had to drink to be that brazen. Also, I have to say, that whole scene in the shower was very convincing! I loved how it was never smutty or graphic but was still incredibly sensual purely because of the situation they were both in (particularly Louis’s lack of attire). The unresolved sexual tension in the scene after Lily had cooled off also brought out how caring Louis was, to the point where he refused to take advantage of her. Your characterisation of him was fabulous.

This is my favourite story of yours, Maple, by far. I agree with another reviewer, though, that a sequel would be lovely, because I really want to know if they have a relationship, and I would love to know how they get there if they do, so I will have to keep my eyes peeled! Excellent work.

Soraya xxx

Author's Response: Thanks for the amazing review! I love how you found some interesting symbolic thing for the thunderstorm. That was really just me experimenting with description, but I'm glad it worked none the less :) I am so glad you liked the characterisation of Lily. To a certain extent, I was worried that she was coming across as super melodramatic and unrealistic, so I'm really glad that worked. Eep, I'm so glad this went over so well with you, especially given how unsure of it I was. As for a sequel...I have no idea how that would go ahaha :) Maple

Reviewer: Carma Godsun
Date: 02/02/13 1:19
Chapter: Honey and Tea

The storyline is brilliant and well told, but (and I could be completely daft) aren't Louis and Lily cousins?

Author's Response: Yes, Louis and Lily are cousins - it is completely legal in the UK. I know it makes some people uncomfortable, though. Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: Ribe featherquill
Date: 02/01/13 15:36
Chapter: Honey and Tea

A little while since I read this one first, it was when it started to be featured. It's now that I've noticed that it only have one review , and as I'm for once at my computer and not on this site from my mobile, here goes:

I really like this story. Sean is made a round character (he doesn't remember who she like her tea, he's abusive) even without being present in the story, he is only mentioned. Well done.

The friendship in this story seems really strong, it is one of these friendships where one part can come in the middle of the night and the other will open and talk if needed. It's not overdone, not it that way at least. Wether it will become something more, well why not...?

Thanks for a great story.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I'm really glad you like my story - and I'm especially glad you liked Sean - I worked hard to make him believable! Thanks so much! Maple

Reviewer: Dad
Date: 12/28/12 11:04
Chapter: Honey and Tea

How can you leave this here? What does the future hold?

Author's Response: Eep! It felt like a good ending...and I was a week late in submitting it ahahaha. I'm not sure what the future holds - maybe I should think about it. :)

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