Dear Rhi for HP,
That was a very powerful insight into young Severus Snape’s life. Your writing style was very simple and very to the point, which I thought was appropriate for the story.
Even though the writing was very straightforward, you did an excellent job with your imagery. The opening two paragraphs were especially well done. I could really envision the house with boarded-up windows and a little Snape stuck inside. A rather depressing picture, but one that you did an excellent job of conveying. I was a little bit unsure about the line where he jokingly referred to his parents as vampires, but you made the reader certain that he wasn’t actually serious fairly quickly, so I liked it. It added a small touch of humor to a very depressing description. It also made it a bit more childlike.
I think that making Snape into a child is one of the more difficult aspects of writing this kind of story. We don’t have much of a frame of reference for it and we know that he was incredibly mature (in some areas) for his age, which makes it all too easy to throw in elements that don’t actually fit such a young character. However, I thought that you did a magnificent job at keeping Snape very young and yet older than his years suggest. He’s no dummy – he knows exactly what his parents are like and what they’re doing – but he doesn’t quite know how to control his behavior yet – clearly seen by overindulging on honey.
One thing that rather surprised me was the lack of sympathy from his mother. She’s supposed to be a fairly weak person, but I thought that, away from her husband, she might care for her son a little more openly. Perhaps by leaving him a secret way to get water during the day or by a little more comfort when he was clearly ill. I understand your characterization of her, but I think that my sympathy meter for Snape was completely maxed out and I just wanted to see some love for him.
One thing that I also wanted to see was the part where he eats the honey and then gets sick to be extended a little. It seemed like that – the action of the story – went a little bit too rapidly. I wanted to see a bit more description to even the pace out.
He swallowed a few times, trying to convince himself it was cool, fresh water sating his thirst. His mind eventually believed it, but his throat was too stubborn to swallow a lie.
That was my favorite line of the story. I loved how you used the two different meanings of ‘swallow’ to emphasize the point. Although it was a kind of a bitter moment, the really nice language use made me smile.
I thought that this was a really wonderful portrayal of young Snape and the unfortunate life that he ended up leading as a child.
Author's Response: Kelly! Thank you so much for one of the greatest reviews I've ever received. I appreciate so much the time and effort you put in for a wonderful, kind, thoughtful and helpful review. I really do. Thank you so much. <33333 Rhi
Wow, that was really deep.
Loved it though, never thought i would say this but,
Author's Response: Wow, what a great review! Thanks a lot; I'm glad you liked it. :)
sad. Picture of no hope.
Author's Response: Agreed. :(
This story was so sad, and portrays Snape's childhood so well. The line about how he couldn't handle a little sweetness in his life expertly foreshadows his later years, too. what a brilliant idea! Still, it made me a bit melancholy afterward, which I'm sure was the point.
Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it [even though it made you sad... :( ] A very random story, but I guess I just wanted to show what a crappy childhood Snape had... Thanks a lot for reviewing!
What a brilliant story. You've really portrayed how miserable Snape's life is with his parents. Finding the honey - and then his reaction to it - was masterful.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you liked it... it was a very random story I think I typed in ten minutes (based upon bad personal experience with honey). ;)