Reviews For To Be First
Reviewer: Trivia Camlee
Date: 06/15/08 18:45
Chapter: To Be First

Aww! Poor Petunia!
Nice job, this was an enjoyable read, and the characterization were well done. I feel so bad for Petunia now :(

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! :D

Reviewer: Fantasium
Date: 02/24/08 18:35
Chapter: To Be First

Oh, Melissa. This story really moved my heart. Even with what we learned in Deathly Hallows, I’ve never been able to quite forgive Petunia for how she treated Harry. But while reading your story, I momentarily forget about that, probably because you’ve been so clever and added that AU element about the Evans being a strong pure-blood family, making Petunia’s situation so much worse.

I want to take a moment to discuss your writing style. I found it very easy and enjoyable to read; you have that fine quality of writing just enough, with no excess description or awkward phrasing, where you seem to use only the necessary words to get out what you want to say. Not that your writing is plain or bare, no, you have just enough detail and emotions to make it interesting. Your style serves you really well for a story like this, where you’re trying to convey someone’s emotions without having to be too poetic.

Your fic has lots of lovely details strewn through it, one of my favourite examples being how Petunia crosses out the days in her calendar, just like Harry later did before returning to Hogwarts. I also really liked this part:

Lily would get the castle and Quidditch and spells.

By using the word ‘castle’ there, you make me think of fairytales and princesses, and I automatically relate Lily to the fair one who got the prince and half of the kingdom, while her sister was left with nothing. I don’t know if it was intentional on your part, but it works really well.

Something that didn’t quite make sense to me was the following:

As the end of December gave way to January, and the new year hurried along, Petunia memorized all the spells she could and practiced writing with her quill.

We have learned that all magical children receive some degree of basic schooling before attending Hogwarts, and since you’ve portrayed the Evans family as pure-blooded, I think it’s likely that Petunia would have used a quill from the very moment she learned to write. Of course, she could still have ‘practiced writing’ with one, but the way you phrased it made me think that she was learning to use a quill for the first time.

I’m also very sad to think that Mr and Mrs Evans wouldn’t have been straight with their daughter about her being a Squib, and simply decided not to tell her about McGonagall’s letter. Some part of me wants to object, to say that they should have talked to her and discussed other options for Petunia’s future, but of course, I know as little about the canon!Evans as any other fanfiction writer. We only have very incomplete information about Lily as well, and although her opinions and morals seem to have been in the right place, I suppose that doesn’t automatically make her parents perfect people who would do the right thing for Petunia. And I guess that even if we did know that about their parents, this is AU after all, ;)

Lastly, I would like to tell you that I’m very impressed with how you’ve written Petunia. Normally I try to illustrate my character interpretation praise with examples, but with your story it’s more of a feeling, somehow. I’m fully aware that this is AU, but still it really feels like I’ve got the actual, young Petunia Evans in front of my eyes when I read. All of her reactions and thoughts are completely in line with how I see her character, and it really pleases me.

As I said, a very moving piece supported by strong, clear language, by an author who clearly knows what she’s doing. ;) Good job!

Author's Response: *squees* Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful review! I was so happy when I saw this. :) I see what you mean about the quill thing; you're probably right that she would have already used one. If I can think of something to switch it with, I just might do it. :) I'm glad you liked the story, and thanks again for all your lovely comments!

Reviewer: lullaby BANG
Date: 12/06/07 17:27
Chapter: To Be First

You have amazing writing, Melissa.
Can I envy it?

Author's Response: Haha, I don't know if it's actually worth envying, but thanks! =)

Reviewer: Love_is_4ever
Date: 11/11/07 5:45
Chapter: To Be First

Melissa! I just love this story, and I'm really glad it won Second Place!!!

I love the way you portrayed Petunia's feelings all throughout the story...

Keep up the good work!

~ Samarie

Author's Response: Thanks! *hugs* You rock! =)

Reviewer: JustLikeHermione77
Date: 10/16/07 19:47
Chapter: To Be First

*sniff* poor petunia!!

Author's Response: I know! I feel bad for her. =( Thanks for reviewing!

Reviewer: lilyW93
Date: 10/16/07 13:51
Chapter: To Be First

a bit weird for my taste! we all no that the Evans were muggles or else it woudn't hav been such a big thing when lily got her letter and when she married James Potter
anyway... *sigh*

Author's Response: I know it's a bit weird. =) Thanks for reviewing!

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