Reviews For Beneath the Shell
Reviewer: k4c
Date: 04/29/11 12:16
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

This story makes me want to hug James! I actually love this side of James, which is side I haven't seen in a lot of other fan fictions that I have read.

Your story highlights the true feelings of James, whenever Lily rejects him and it just makes my heart go out to him.

I loved it!

Reviewer: Rene4hp
Date: 12/26/10 15:17
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

that made me really sad :,( sorry:(

Reviewer: Luna_Lover
Date: 09/13/09 20:54
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

Afifa, this is darling! Okay, you're right, it may be a bit cliched, but it's still darling!

I really like Sirius' character in this. I like the way he tries his best to protect James, but still respects his space, even though he doesn't understand James' feelings.

What bothered me about James, though, was that he doesn't seem to see any option in between ignoring Lily completely and asking her out every other moment. I just would think that after wracking his brains for so long about her, he might have come up with a better plan.

The funny thing about this story is it really makes me dislike Lily, because of how unfair she is being to James, even if she doesn't know it. The part about James being up all night with Remus and then oversleeping struck me as particularly tragic.

Very sad and sweet! I loved it. :)

~LiLu

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 09/07/09 7:08
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

Hmm, let's see. I don't think we've been formally introduced. My name is Severus Snape - you may call me 'sir'. About this one shot - dear oh dear oh dear. You simply do not understand what a foul and loathsome creature Potter is. Giving him a sensitive side - what on earth are you thinking, Afifa? Potter is an arrogant, strutting toerag, and my beautiful Lily *weeps for his lost love* will NOT be going out with him. She will not be swayed by this ... this ... charm that you've given to POTTER! And as for Black ... quite frankly he never had any brains or sensitivity so quite why you think his plan could possibly work - I don't know. As if Potter has a serious side. Quite ridiculous. She won't fall for any of this nonsense. She'll be back ensconsed in my snivelly arms in no time. Just forget about these happy... Afifa, sorry about that. Professor Snape hacked onto my login. Right, your story. You know it's rather sweet. James is showing some maturity and sensitivity which is always good. I don't actually think think Lily is particulalrly cliched. It's year six after all and although she was probably softening towards James, she still wasn't going to fall straight into his arm. I do like Sirius in this - he's showing some maturity as well. Too often fanfiction writers show him as NEVER growing up. He wasn't a balanced adult due to Azkaban, but he wouldn't forever be an idiot. One thing I did think was that Sirius' language at times was too formal. For example ‘I just can’t see your face crumple up every time she declines your request of dating her.’ This seemed a touch dated for Sirius. I think he'd be more likely to say 'I just can't bear to see your expression every time she says no.' - or something. However that was only one instance, and the rest of Sirius was great.

Lovely story and I'm sorry about the hacker. ~Carole~

Reviewer: ahattab33
Date: 09/06/09 23:55
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

What a lovely story!

James is such a…boy. Does that make sense? And Lily is such a girl, lol. He is afraid to let her know how he feels, while she is jumping to conclusions. Complete picture of what happens frequently in almost all relationships. As the reader, we are egging James to take Sirius' advice when he tells him, "‘What I don’t get is why you don’t have a serious talk with her and stop acting as if it doesn’t matter whether she refuses you or not. If you did, she might come to take you seriously." We emphasize with James while still understanding, and maybe even identifying with, his flaws.

I liked the repetition in the second paragraph. It showed his sincerity and earnest nature; how passionate he was, and how important it was.

I also liked the dynamic of the relationship between James and Sirius; they were honest with each other, almost like brothers. It was touching.

I'm definitely going to read it's sequel - great story!

~Amanda

Reviewer: hestiajones
Date: 09/03/09 4:52
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

That was well-written. I do believe James kept his arrogance and cheekiness as a show when it came to Lily. He would want everyone to think that her rejection would simply bounce off him, while being hurt inside. His pain was aptly described, and although I was a bit surprised by the choice of character – Sirius, not Remus, by the end of the story, I was quite convinced. Of course, Sirius would feel the pain more acutely, and suggests to James that he should let go.

The optimism was not overdone either. I find it incredulous when I read stories where James just keeps on grinning like an idiot, thinking that Lily is bound to fall in love with him. You showed that there was self-doubt in James, and that he would give her up if she fell in love with someone else.

I was a little confused by one thing. When does this take place? At the beginning, I thought that this incident takes place at their fifth-sixth year, but then this line here:

“And so I couldn’t possibly just forget about her. Especially now that we did so many things together and she used to be in front of my eyes all day.”

Do you mean that they are in the seventh year, as Head Boys and Girls?

In any case, I loved reading it.

Natalie.

Author's Response:

Well, I chose Sirius because he would be the person who would understand and care about James more. The connection's been there right since their first year train ride, and of course, it grows over the years due to several different circumstances. Also, Remus being the only relationship guy type seems quite cliched.



James is a normal human being, so no matter how he shows people how arrogant he is, he really is insecure about Lily and knows you can't get everything you wish for. He has his doubts. I personally dislike the 'Merlin, I'm so amazing, no girl can reject me!' James portrayed so often.



This takes place in the sixth year... middle of it you could say. She's in front of his eyes so often because since she's given up on Severus, she's spending more time with the Gryffindor girls and so they meet more often.



Thanks for the lovely review, Natalie, and I'm glad that you loved reading this. :D



- Afifa

Reviewer: Storytellerdoll
Date: 06/17/09 17:18
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

Lovely story! I'm definitely reading the sequel. Nice work, it's a great read.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it. :D Thanks for the review. :)

Reviewer: BlissfulxEuphoria
Date: 06/16/09 8:15
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

Bravo. I really enjoyed this one shot a lot. The way you had James and Lily go back and forth like that, it was perfect. I can honestly say I never understood how they wound up getting married and having Harry. It just doesn't make sense from what we read in the book.

Author's Response: True that. I'm glad you liked it. :D Thanks for the review. :)

Reviewer: cassie123
Date: 04/24/09 5:33
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

Hi, Afifa :)

This is a really nice little one shot, and you capture James' misery really well. His sadness about loving her and getting nothing in return is brought across brilliantly, so well done on that.

I did find through this story that I was unable to connect with James, as why on earth would he love someone that's constantly mean to him?

I think, when writing James/Lily, it's important to avoid portraying Lily as the exact same person we see in Snape's Worst Memory: the girl who yells at James for being a prat. She had reason to yell at him then, but does she when he simply approaches her for conversation? That's just something to think about for future fics.

I quite liked how you wrote Sirius; he makes it evident that he cares a lot for James and hates to see him hurt. I know for sure Sirius would have felt this way, but also think he'd be too embarrassed to say it quite as openly as you’ve written. However, given the situation, Sirius should be going to extremes to prevent his friend getting hurt, so what you have is plausible.

There are a few paragraph problems in this; sometimes they’re directly underneath each other without the appropriate gap. I think this happened three or four times.

Some other nitpicks:

Prove her that I wasn’t the ‘immature git’. Should this be Prove to her?

‘Prongs…’ he started as he reached me. After an ellipsis that is used before a dialogue tag, you should use a comma. So it’d be ‘Prongs…,’ he started. There are a few other places in this fic that would need this changed as well.

Merlin knew how much I needed luck. But I did and I would put it in full use of wooing Lily. This sentence is a bit awkward. The But I did doesn’t seem to fit. Maybe it should be Merlin knew how much I needed luck, and I would put it into full use for wooing Lily.

Overall, the emotion in this was my favourite part. While I think Lily was a little bit mean for my liking, James was your strong point. This story calls for a follow-up story! I’d love to see how you get them together, at last.

~ Cassie

Reviewer: mzap
Date: 04/19/09 17:02
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

I really liked this fic and I thought you did a great job intrigrating the quote into it. It was interesting to see how James reacted to all of Lily's rejections, because usually, you don't see how hurtful it can be. I liked the repetition towards the beginning of the fic, and how short the sentences were, as would usually be when concentrating on one thing. You characterized both characters well and how James covered up his true feelings about being rejected again. I loved how the ending did not have James and Lily getting together, which is usually what happens, since it left it open to the imagination how they got together. That and the concentration, I assume, was focused on James' emotion to being rejected... again. Overall, very well done and I greatly enjoyed this.

Author's Response: *squees* Thank you so much for all those praises! :D Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! :D *recovers self* I'm glad you enjoyed the one shot. :D

- Afifa

Reviewer: bellaoc
Date: 04/18/09 15:40
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

Hey Afifa!
So I decided to review this story, because I enjoy reading Marauder-era stories about James/Lily. I think because we don't know EXACTLY how they got together, we can imagine so many different possibilities.
I like how you don't end it with them magically getting together, because I don't think you could fully encompass the way they get together in a one-shot. I think you give us a good insight into James' head, although you made him a little bit melodramatic. I'm not a fan of when James prattles on to Sirius/Remus/Peter about how much he loves her, because although I think he had a huugee crush on her, he couldn't truly love her until they started dating. But that's just my personal opinion on love haha.
Overall, it's a lovely one-shot. Keep up the good work! =)
--Bella

Author's Response: Bella! :D

Yeah... I love MWPP fics, too, in case you hadn't all ready guessed. :p



Oh, right. I never looked at it that way. But interesting opinion.



Thank you so much for the review. :D



- Afifa

Reviewer: OliverWoodLover1996
Date: 04/05/09 22:24
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

i loved it write chapter two!

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it so much! :D

I'm sorry but this was a one shot, that means there are not future chapters. It was just a look in James' head, about how he feels when he keeps on getting rejected. However, I have a Marauder fic, which you can find if you visit my author page. It has the Marauders and Lily right from birth though Lily and James haven't met yet.



Thank you for the review! :)

Reviewer: MerrryD
Date: 03/26/09 17:53
Chapter: One shot- Beneath the Shell

What? No reviews!

-adorns cape-

-flies in-

SPEW buddy to the rescue!

-sheds cape-

Ahem.

-squees- I can’t tell you how happy I was that I got a James/Lily fan for my SPEW buddy. :D I absolutely love reading this pairing. James has always been my favourite Marauder . . . even if he is a complete arse. :P And I love that despite Lily’s refusals, he, obviously, never really gave up on her. Although, I do feel bad for Lily . . . could you imagine? That would be so annoying. I also love the way Lily and James sort of mirror Elizabeth Bennet’s and Mr Darcy’s relationship. Initially, it’s a mutual dislike, but then Darcy/James starts to like her, and then he asks Lizzie/Lily and she’s all like “NO WAY!” And then he’s like “Holy crap! I need to change!” Then he does, and she falls for him and they live happily ever after. :D How’s that for an abridged version of Pride and Prejudice?

I really like the opening section, particularly the second paragraph. It adds a lot of depth to James that we generally don’t see in fanfiction. Well, this whole one-shot does. I haven’t seen much that’s from James’s POV, especially not such an up-close-and-personal POV like first, and I’ve decided that I really like it. :) If the author really takes the time to get into his head, like you have done.

A word of caution, though, regarding the second paragraph: you kind of went overboard with the rhetorical devices. There was an easily discernable pattern and it became repetitive and a little boring. It was a short sentence (Well, except a red-headed girl). Then, two or three sentences that started similarly and conveyed similar concepts (The girl who refused to have anything to do with me. The girl who thought that I was good for nothing.). This occurred four times in a row. That’s a bit much. Try varying up your sentence structures a little. While rhetorical devices are good, be aware of when you’re using them and try not to use them right after each other. It defeats the purpose; the reader is more turned away, than they are turned on.

I couldn’t go and let her see how much it hurt to be alone when I wanted her. This is my favourite line of the entire fic. It has so much depth, and James’s pain is real. Tangible. You can really feel how badly he wants—needs—Lily. It’s such a sad line that you really can’t help but sympathize with him.

James’s choice to go along with Lily’s assumption was interesting. One might think that he’d try to explain why he was really there, in hopes of proving to her that he wasn’t always a jerk. But, it makes the rest of the fic that much sadder.

Hmm . . . Lily’s a little cliché, in my opinion, by immediately jumping down his throat for missing class and then changing tactics lightning-quick to assuming he was asking her out, to blowing up. That seems to be a pretty typical pattern in Lily-hating-James fanfics. Maybe you could try changing it up a little—like, have Lily not assume that James was asking her out, or have her be a little less quick to tell him off. She’s a really tricky character to write, and I think you have a lot of potential with her, but maybe really flesh her out, push her to her limits—or yours—some more and just see what happens.

I really love how they don’t get together in this. That’s the best thing about the story—the premise of it. I love that it’s just about James, and what’s “under his shell” (what an appropriate title!). It’s more about how Lily’s constant refusals are tearing him apart, and why he’s never going to give up, then her reactions to his asking her out, which is brilliant.

A lovely one-shot, Afifa. :D

xox Mere

Author's Response: Ah. Yay! First review! :D

I have a Super... woman for a SPEW Buddy! Awesome. No, wait... that doesn't sound right. Um... Super Buddy. Yup. *nods* :D



I heart James/Lily too. :D It's my one and only OTP though I've been reading quite a bit of Dramione these days...



Pride and Prejudice is love. It's definitely in my list of top ten books. I adore Mr Darcy. *hugs Darcy* And I agree, James/Lily relationship is hell lot similar to Elizabeth and Darcy's.



*opens fic to see which part Mere likes* *reads* Oh, okay. :D I'm glad you liked that part. And, um, I didn't particularly plunge into James' head... it all just came naturally to me. Whatever I've written for this one shot is the result of two hours. You already know I work only with deadlines. Lol. So I didn't really have much time to edit stuff after thinking over it. I'm glad though that you think I've had James very well. :)



About the second paragraph. I see what you mean, I'll try to edit it if I can. :)



James' choice... well, I had to keep the prompt in mind too, see? So I had to keep the conversation a tiny bit witty... Lily's characterisation. I agree with what you say, Kat [my beta] said the same thing. I edited a little bit, but I couldn't change more or it would've changed the whole thing a lot. But I'll see if I can do something about it.



The thing about unrequited love... lol. Well, when I was writing this, during those days I was reading a hell lot of romance novels. So much that I got a bit annoyed. Real life is not like this. People don't always end up with someone they love. There are rarely any perfectly happy endings. So I chose this prompt and plot. Lol. I'm very glad that you like it. And the title, well, I chose it from the Title Library in the forums, so I can't take any credit for it. :p



Thanks for the fantastic review, Mere! :D



- Afifa

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