Reviews For Happily Ever After
Reviewer: half-bl00d
Date: 03/29/12 17:08
Chapter: One-shot

SO BEAUTIFUL.

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing and that huge compliment :) I'm delighted you enjoyed it so much that you used capitals---really, thank you! Alex

Reviewer: Padfoot11333
Date: 11/20/11 14:06
Chapter: One-shot

Hi Alex!

This was a really great fic, both to read and to review. I really love how all of your stories link together, and this one was no exception. I have read Thin Red Lines and its counterparts, but if I were someone who just clicked on this one-shot and had never heard of your work before, it still probably would have made sense because you put two and two together in your story without boring background information. The way you connect the older Vivian and Augustus’s relationship with the present day Vivian and Augustus’s relationship”especially with the way that Augustus mentions the way they were named”is a great way to tie two stories together.

That being said, though, I found it odd that you didn’t mention the past relationships or the past at all until the last few paragraphs, making the conclusion seem slightly rushed. I can understand this, however, because the story was so fast paced and “action packed” that you may not want to have interrupted the story with paragraphs upon paragraphs of the history of Thin Red Lines, since you did make it clear on what was happening and I have to assume that a lot of people who enjoyed your previous work also decided to read this one-shot.

Something else I really enjoyed about this was that it actually ended happily ever after…it actually had a happy ending. I’m not much for writing happy endings, mostly because I’m terrible at it, but I love to read a good one, and yours was top-notch. It wasn’t too sickly sweet or too happy. Because it was a happy ending, and the rest of the story was very dark, the end did seem slightly rushed, but not at all forced or unreal, and the way that you wrote it, letting us know that Vivien got her happy ending but not going too far into detail worked really well for me. I congratulate you for that.

Your characterisation was also very good. We don’t know how Viv acts in canon, since she doesn’t appear in canon, but her personality doesn’t change throughout the story. This is particularly impressive because Viv goes through so many different emotions throughout the story. One thing that was a little strange to me with the characterisation is that Viv suddenly decided to react to Russell’s abuse once Augustus helped her, though. It seemed like a spur-of-the-moment decision to do after Viv had put up with it for so long.

Finally, as I said above, your tone does change a little dramatically throughout the story. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I did feel like it went from very dark and almost depressing to almost cheery quite quickly. I do however understand that Viv’s emotions and tone also changed very quickly near the end of the story, since it was a happy ending.

All in all, I really liked reading this fic, and it’s tempting me to go reread Thin Red Lines once again. This is certainly underreviewed and therefore probably way too underread. I hope you write more in this era, maybe even a sequel to this fic, because I like this generation of Viv a lot. This was very well written, very unclichéd, and other than the things I mentioned above, I didn’t see anything else wrong with it.

~Lily~

Author's Response: Hello Lily! I didn't realise you'd read all of my Thin Red Lines series- I'm pleased you enjoyed it enough to want to read this and leave me such a lovely review for it :) I'm glad however that you think to someone who hadn't read the rest, it would have made sense- that was quite important to me.

The conclusion was originally quite a bit shorter and a beta (can't remember which one) suggested I expand upon it, which I did, but I know what you mean about it being perhaps a little rushed, and rather an abrupt change of tone.

The fact I wrote this was a bit of a surprise, but it was just too sweet an idea not to write, if that makes sense :) I hate sickly sweet happy endings as well--hence the violence that precedes it. I'm pleased you liked Viv/ my characterisation of her. I'm very fond of both Vivs, and while they both deserved a happy ending, at least one of them got it :) I don't think Viv's reaction to Russell's abuse is entirel Augustus' fault- she never thinks that what he's doing is right, or that she deserves it, so in that sense its always wrong. Just Augustus shows her she doesn't have to/ shouldn't have to put up with it, if that makes sense.

I'm rather fond of dramatic changes in tone :) Definitely my favourite films/ tv shows/ novels are ones which can go from one emotion to another very, very suddenly, so I'm actually taking it as a compliment that I managed to pull off the changes without it seeming forced.

I'm pleased you enjoyed it, but I don't think I'm going to write a sequel to this. I'm pleased you thought it was well-written and not clichéd, and thank you so much for your lovely review :) Alex

Reviewer: Evora
Date: 11/10/11 3:58
Chapter: One-shot

Wow, Alex. This story is absolutely gorgeous and riveting”completely unique and pleasantly so. It wasn’t till after I read the whole thing that I realized it was in the first person. I didn’t even flinch! Amazing feat; I usually complain about it, but then finish it.

When it was first mentioned that Vivien was an abused girlfriend, I had this huge frown that sagged my whole face. Not that I’m not into stories that involve sensitive topics, but because this just brings back the fact that these things actually do happen to young girls and it upsets me. If it were any other author, I would have less faith that this would be treated carefully, but thankfully, not only do you tread most carefully into these kinds of things, but I’m also a fan of your writing.

Vivien is an amazing character. I really liked how she has two fathers (it wasn’t till later that I put the pieces together”then I remembered a thread you set up back at the forums for Vivien), and she acted as if it was the most natural thing in the world. There weren’t any quips concerning her parents’ sexuality and the opinions of the people have of it. It truly magnified a trait of Vivien’s that comes full circle at the end: strength. She didn’t care if it wasn’t needed to. It’s such a rare thing to see to be so utterly confident, even in books. But then, she later describes that it was because of the lack of self-confidence that she becomes a victim of abuse. It was perplexing, to say the least.

Then suddenly, a wild card appears and brings on something outside of her. Augustus is adorable. He’s a quiet boy with a strong, determined personality. I loved his silent battle to win over Vivien, and how he is both simplistic and still pack a barrel of emotions out of Vivien with short words. I also loved that despite his family background (his mother’s extremely bad habit of cheating), he believed the best of their relationship. It was very nicely done, how Vivien realizes her feelings for him and what it made her do. It seems as though Augustus’s pure love for her made up for a good, clean conscience.

I was really worried that Vivien wouldn’t come out of the bad relationships, and I felt equally frustrated as she was when she said she didn’t want to be one of those women that get stuck into a vicious cycle. I had my fingers mentally crossed (my hands were busy feeding me food) that she would find the strength to just dump the jerk and move on, preferably out of the abusive boyfriends category. I don’t know if she is physically beautiful or not, but the way you wrote it, it seemed as if she weren’t at all, and because of that knowledge, she was abused by it. A bloke found out she wouldn’t complain when he hit her, so he nets her with empty incentives.

However, when Augustus quietly coaxes her step by step out of the net, she finds she can actually get out of it. She did it with a bang. I loved their dynamics. I love how Augustus was completely calm and controlled and that was what Vivien needed. I love how Vivien was this strong, affectionate girl, faithful to her feelings and that was what Augustus needed. Another thing I wanted to add was Vivien’s voice. I really liked the tone of the whole story”it was entirely her and no other.

Something of a back thought, but I liked how you characterized Russell. I wasn’t sure if he was lying or not when he said he wouldn’t be like Darren and would never hit Vivien again. He was dancing between insane and bipolar. I honestly don’t know what to make of him, only that he’s a first class sadistic jerk. But I thought you explained him well enough that it really doesn’t leave any holes in plot.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, Alex. It was a great read. But I thought you were a literature major, not a psychology one? Anyway, I know you’ll be writing more, so good luck, and thanks for sharing this story! :-)

Author's Response: Dinny thank you so much for your lovely review! I'm so pleased you enjoyed this story-in spite of it being in the first person :p I don't really understand people's aversion to the first person- I know it can be very self-centred/ badly done but that's the same for all stories- however I'm pleased you enjoyed Viv's narration :)

I'm so pleased you found Viv interesting. I think her--well not relative, but the Viv she's named after is a more interesting, but very different, character. That'll be the person you remember me setting up an OC thread for- though she changed quite alot between setting up that thread and me writing her story :) She is confident in her family, and the love her fathers have for her, but not as a person in her own right, if that makes sense. And she felt she needed a boyfriend to be validated in that way- does that make sense?

Hehe Augustus is rather adorable. His namesake is far less appealing, I assure you, if you ever wish to read my earlier stories--I'm glad you thought he had an impact on Viv with actually only a few conversations. His mother is a very nasty piece of work, though she does improve--

I think Viv is quite pretty-but she doesn't think she is, and this matters to her more than she likes to let on. And this is what first Darren and then Russell rely upon in some way--I'm pleased this was very much Viv's voice and no others- I try to wwork hard on making my first person narrators sound very different :) Russell--well, I didn't give him much thought, other than he's not a very nice guy who thinks its okay to have a rather possessive/ angry attitude to his girlfriend. And first class sadistic jerk about covers it.

I'm so pleased you enjoyed this story, and left such a lovely review for it! And, ha, I often think English Lit is mostly psychology but without the science, lol. Thanks again :) Alex

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 11/06/11 9:26
Chapter: One-shot

Awww, happy ending! Wow, DeathLex, what has come over you. (I am so nicking that tag from Natalie - ha ha)

Have to admit, at the start of this I was quite uneasy. I hated Vivian putting up with this crap from not one but two boyfriends. I really disliked the fact that she'd got herself dragged into another abusive relationship, and I was going to call you on it. However ... as I read on, the explanation of hers that she wants her and Russell to grow, and that she knows he is different from Darren started to make a lot of sense. And then when Augustus makes the connection between her strength which makes her want to sort out her own problems ... well ... that was a great piece of psychology.

Great story, Alex, and I hope you get the reads and reviews you deserve. ~Carole~

PS: yay to Theo's happy ending :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review Carole! It really cheered me up :) And DeathLex is by far the coolest nickname I've ever had, so I'm pleased you're using it :)

I did think through Viv's character a lot. I think she wanted to avoid her relationships becoming a pattern, and because of this wanted to try and make it work with Russell, in the way she hadn't made it work (well, Darren's fault, not hers) with Darren. And in doing so, fell into the same pattern. I'm pleased at first you were uneasy, but the psychology of it made you see it as a real situation. If you ever think I don't manage to show that, then I'm glad you seem willing to call me up on it, because that sometimes that needs to be done.

Anyway, I'm pleased you enjoyed it and thanks so much, again, for reviewing. Though, honestly, I don't know what's come over me, because if you think this was a happy ending, then wait until you see the Dean/ OC story, which was destined for an unhappy ending but changed. Thanks again for the lovely review :) Alex

Reviewer: HeRmiONe923
Date: 11/06/11 4:41
Chapter: One-shot

I LOVE THIS, I LOVE THIS, I LOVE THIS! The history repeating itself, for the better, is just too sweet of an idea! This might be my favorite in the Thin Red Lines stories--although I've loved them all! :)

Author's Response: I really wasn't going to write anything about the Rookwoods/ descendants but then this idea took me and it was too sweet, even to someone as cynical as me :) I'm glad you got the idea of history repeating itself, although with a more optimistic ending than the last couple to have those names. I'm really pleased you've loved this whole series and thank you so much for reviewing! Alex

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