Hello Soraya. Here is the long delayed review for Broken Glass (sorry about that). I really enjoyed this story, and you developed the characters of Lily and Louis absolutely beautifully. This is going to be a horribly rushed/ broadly chronological review, for which I apologise.
The beginning was interesting in that you managed a nice balance between those who will know why the Weasley and Potter families have had a difficult time, and those who haven’t, letting the former see the fall out and the latter wonder why they are in this state. It was very cleverly done.
Your greatest strength, however, is your dialogue. I love how natural it sounds, and you get a good sense of the strength of their friendship, and that they don’t have to explain stuff to each other but are supportive. I loved Louis in this. Really, he was lovely. I liked him saying that Alice wasn’t the prettiest girl in the year (before Lily knew he meant her) and that he accepted that it was fair enough on her part to say she couldn’t deal with it. I found it a bit unbelievable that Louis’ potential girlfriend’s would not know about the hardships of his family beforehand. It was pretty public, and therefore I think they’d know, but maybe underestimate the effect that it had on him. And the joke about him being maybe gay was nicely done :)
However, it’s obvious that he isn’t and I loved that holding her hand was just something that happened, and which didn’t really mean anything except friendship until he became aware of her next to him. The kiss was beautifully written, and I think it’s very realistic that in that moment the passion of it would overtake him, and he’d not register it. I loved the line: Well, no, he amended. “Like” wasn’t exactly the right word to describe the sensations coursing through him at her touch. because it feels so realistic, and says a lot about Louis character that he’s not one to be hyperbolic.
br>I don’t see Molly as being a grammar nazi. It’s a minor point, but since she only appears for a second, it didn’t seem that realistic to me. Percy, on the other hand, seems much more the type. But I liked a normal family gathering being disrupted by the labour, it was a twist, and injected some action into what had previously been a very good, but character rather than action driven story.
A structural thing--I don’t think you need to repeat New Year’s Eve. I knew that it was from earlier, and for some reason thought you might have changed the year so had to flick back. Once you’ve established that, I think you can just go by the time. And then when you cross over into morning, it will just be 1:05 am or something.
I can remember the day my youngest sister was born, and I just think you wrote this scene really well. I loved the strength of the friendship between Victoire and Louis, and that she wanted to see him first, the last two Weasley-Delacour children (sniff). However three pounds is---incredibly small. You might want to check with Carole or an actual mum, but that’s very, very unusual. I think five pounds would be a more reasonable small weight for a newborn (particularly as you then say ‘normal birth’ -- if the child’s that small, then obviously they weren’t getting the nutrients they needed in the womb, and therefore something’s gone wrong).
While in the first half of this story, Louis stood out to me, in the second half, it was Lily. She took the control by going to see him, wanting to discuss it, and recognising that something had happened between them which they couldn’t ignore since it was still happening (as Louis “sure he wanted to do more than just talking” comment showed). I love how assertive but also how gentle she is, and how Louis accepts this. Through their conversation--just so beautifully written and romantic. Even to me and my instinctive reaction to kick something every time someone says something stupid like “I promise I won’t leave you” -- here though I could understand why Lily, in that moment, felt able to say it. I liked the build up to the sex--it was quick, but romantic, and realistic.
I really enjoyed this story. I think the writing flows smoothly, and the characterisation was great, and my minor nitpicks aside, it was romantic and realistic. Well done--and I hope your exam went well! Alex
Author's Response: Alexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx! Thank you for such a wonderful and beautiful and thorough and not rushed review. You don't know how happy it made me after that exam (which perhaps didn't go as badly as I originally thought...).
Yayayyyyyyyy, you liked the dialogue and the beginning bit! I was really worried that the beginning would seem a bit boring, and in the version I sent to Carole and Maple, it didn't have that bit in it -- I had deleted it, but at Carole's suggestion, I added it again. And yes. They have always been good friends, from way back, as they were the same age and everything. Hmmm, I see what you mean about Alice not knowing about Louis's family, but I think it's less about the fact that they were all dead and more about how they were, well, murdered. You know? So that's kind of my excuse, lolol.
Oh, ha, the joke about him maybe being gay was rather funny for me to write, yeah, especially because my Louis could NEVER be gay (he's my husband, after all...). It's nice to know you think that too, lol. And yeah, Louis is not someone to be hyperbolic or OTT in any way.
I agree that Molly wouldn't be a grammar Nazi, but she is old-fashioned in that sense, and old-fashioned people -- at least in my experience -- often correct young people's grammar. Maybe it's just me :) And yeah. Remember when you said, ages and ages ago, that I have a tendency to violently interrupt seemingly normal situations with unexpected twists? Yep, this is one of them, hehehehehe. I see what you mean about the story being character driven up until that point -- and it’s good to know you liked the action :)
You have a point about the structure. I will definitely edit that when I have a mo. Btw, a lot of the hospital/baby stuff was inspired by my aunty and baby cousin (predictably, lol). And I did sniff a little at the thought of only two Weasley-Delacours left :( Tis sad. But ah well. I did kind of kill them off, after all...
Okay, I checked, and if a baby is a couple of weeks early, it can still be a normal birth with no complications. I know someone who was born two weeks early and weight I think two pounds, so while it's rare, it can definitely happen :) I think. But thank you for all that scientificcy stuff. Will need that for my bio exam in June, hehehehehe.
There's a lot of me in Lily, not gonna lie. So this feels like a big compliment to me :P On a more serious note, I'm glad you thought Lily was taking control. She *is* the more decisive one of the two of them, even in OF, so it's nice to know you thought so too. And Louis couldn't deny that he loved her, because it was just kind of obvious from everything that there was more to their relationship than just friendship or cousinship. And yeah, also, Lily's not meant to be forceful, just a bit fiery, so I'm glad it came across that way.
I'm very much a romantic, and as I'm sure you can tell from all my statuses on the LS and the fact that I'm OFing this, I'm in love with this pairing. It's just so versatile and lovely for me, so I had to write one of my soppy romantic conversations, because I am, like Lily, a hopeless romantic :) And I know Lily's promise not to leave him sounded silly (I would wnat to kick something too), but she was getting desperate. And she was wondering if, maybe, he didn't like her enough, and she had to be sure, and she would have been happy enough even if he didn't like her as much as she liked/loved him. (That's so bloody complicated. If that made any sense, you deserve the SPreviEW award like ten times over.)
Anyway, I am so glad you liked this, and that it now has the Alex seal of approval that I neeeeed for me to be satisfied with something (or close to that, anyway). Your review is lovely and amazing (and you are, too <3) and just thank you so much. Heart you lotssssss!
I just read your response to my review - when I was talking about Lily being like her grandmother, I actually meant her other grandmother (as in Lily Evans), although there are certainly elements of Molly in your Lily Luna. I just thought that was kind of amusing. But I think in my head, Lily Luna is always a little like Lily, and we know very little about Lily from the books, so that's probably just me haha. Anyway, going to review "Glass" now...
Author's Response: Oooh, haha. Right. I think it's because there was a bit of Molly in the story, lol. I do see what you mean about the similarities between Lily Luna and Lily Evans. In fact, I have a one-shot in mind for later on which features Lily Evans, so it's interesting you mentioned that :) And yayyyyy, you're reviewing Glass too! I don't know if you're planning on reviewing everything I've ever written, but either way, I'm not complaining. :D Thank youuuuu for the reviews!
About your other two sequels, do they take place before or after this story? Not to insult you, but I've heard many say sequel when it was prequel, so I just wanted to make sure.
Author's Response: A sequel is a story that takes place *after* the story takes place. So the stories I linked you to in my author's notes happen after Louis and Lily get together. I hope that answers your questions, though it would also be nice to know what you thought of the story :)
This is a great story. Louis' character is really well constructed - I could really feel his discomfort when he was at the Burrow, and you showed really well how much better he felt when Lily was there.
I loved that you included Victoire giving birth in this - given that she is his only direct family left, it's very likely that this would be a really significant moment for him. I think it also showed his character really well - yes he feels uncomfortable with the whole family, but clearly family is still very important to him. I liked that he argued with the Healers to stay - because at the beginning of the story he seemed a bit listless, and it really worked to show different sides of him.
I think possibly one of the best parts was when Louis went into Victoire's room right after Cara was born - you wrote the awkwardness well when he mentions Fleur, but I also liked the love it showed between the siblings. Also I thought it was great that Victoire called him kid - I guess in your head canon there's quite an age gap between them, because I usually imagine Louis to be more like James' age.
Lily was also fantastic in this. She makes me think a bit of how I imagine her grandmother to be - naturally very caring and aware of others and drawn to people who are, for want of a better word, a bit damaged. But I could also see a bit of her parents in her, and just all round I thought she was constructed well.
Okay so I'm not super keen on first cousins being together... but you did warn about it at the beginning, so I just tried not to think about that too much... and as characters, they really worked beautifully together.
So, as usual from you, a lovely story - and it's great to read a sequel of sorts to Blood and Roses and to see how Louis especially, but also Victoire, are coping with everything that happened then.
Author's Response: Katrinaaaaaaaaaa! You have no idea how much I was squeeing when I saw you had returned, and even more so when I came home after a horrible day at school only to find not one, not two, but three reviews from you. Thank you so much. It means a lot. :D
This story has given me a lot of grief, and I'm still not sure about this version, but I am so glad you enjoyed reading it. There are bits in this which I actually loved writing, but I think I had about ten drafts of the thing. It's interesting you commented on the section at the beginning -- I had originally deleted that part from the draft I sent to my betas, and Carole said it was too abrupt a beginning without any kind of introduction. It's nice to know I *seem* to have made the right decision there :)
Victoire being pregnant when the events in Blood and Roses happened is something Alex commented on while betaing -- she was saying that it was nice how even though things were going terribly in Dominique's family, there was something nice, too, about Victoire having a baby.So it's good to know you liked it. Something else I was a litte concerned about was how Louis stayed there all this time, but as you said, Victoire is his only remaining direct relative, so I think/hope it makes sense.
Oh, I did like writing the bit with Louis seeing Victoire after she gave birth. Yes, that was a rather awkward moment, lol, though I'm glad you liked the sibling love :) Speaking as someone with two brothers and a sister, I think I drew a little from personal experience there (my aunty recently had a baby, and her brother, my uncle, was telling me how awful it was just hearing her screaming when she was in labour).
What I love about Next Gen is how much free reign I had in terms of ages and so on. I think the age gap between Louis and Victoire was mostly so Louis/Lily could work -- the mere fact that they're cousins is difficult enough, so being almost the same age does kind of help :)
Yayay, you liked Lily! I won't lie; there's a bit of me in there, with how she's a writer, and she has insecurities about her weight (haha, you've learnt something new about me :P), but also how she can do things without really thinking about them, like kissing Louis. I honestly didn't notice the resemblance in terms of Lily's parents, but you're right, ditto Molly.
As someone who is surrounded by cousin couples (quite literally, lol) in her family, it's not really *that* unusual for me to write first cousins together, though I can totally understand why it might not be something you're keen on. And, actually, I am really flattered that you chose to read this story anyway, smut and all, despite your qualms. I do think they make a beautiful couple, not in terms of how they're written, as I am hardly the right person to judge that, but just in my head, I can see them very clearly, and if you hop over to the boards, my banner for this story is just beyond gorgeous.
I'm so glad you chose to read this. It ate a bit of my soul, seriously, and it just completely made my day to find so many lovely reviews from you. The flist and I have celebrated your return to MNFF -- you've been missed greatly. :)
After reading Blood and Roses I remember being intrigued as to how Louis and Victoire would cope with the loss of their immediate family, and for me this really answered my questions.
Louis' self-deprecating nature was perfectly executed, and Lily was a perfect foil to him, because she was a brilliant combination of Ginny's brazen fieriness, and Harry's modest nature.
I loved them together, and I love your writing style, in fact the final line really spoke to me; 'Damn propriety and tradition and normality and everything else, he thought; she loved him, and he loved her. They could deal with everything else... in the morning.'
So simple yet so powerful!
Author's Response: Woot, first review!
Oh wow, thank you so much! I'm very flattered that you've seemed to like my writing enough to visit my author page more than once, and I'm so glad you chose to read this. Despite stealing a part of my soul (quite literally, lol) and making me almost die of angst, I do like bits of this story, particularly their first kiss.
I had quite a clear idea of how Louis was coping after the deaths in his family, so it's nice to know this story answered your questions. And yay, you understood Louis :) Hmmm, it's interesting you mention Lily, and I'm glad (as well as surprised) that you saw Ginny and Harry in her, but I see what you mean. I think Lily's fieriness was somewhat unintentional, lol, although it is rather reminiscient of Ginny, yes.
That was one line I liked. Yay to that! The thing is, this story isn't just about how Louis deals with his feelings towards Lily, but also his problems with relationships in general. The reason he was reluctant to jump into a relationship with Lily was only partly because she was his cousin -- the main cause for his hesitance was much more about his insecurities as a result of emotional baggage. By the way, the inspiration of this story is mostly after listening endlessly to Take Care by Drake and Rihanna (though I only really like the Florence + the Machine cover), specifically this line: "When you're ready, just say you're ready/When all the baggage just ain't as heavy". I had had real trouble with this story to begin with, as you can probably tell, but after listening to the song, I think it came a lot easier for me.
I've been rambling for far too long, so I shall shut up now. Thank you for the lovely review, and if you want to find out more about what happens post-Blood and Roses, I would recommend The Highway of Regret :) Ta again for reviewing!