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Reviews For Bluebird

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 27 Aug 2018 03:06 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

Here for our swap! This one spoke to me right away.

 

My goodness, your descriptions are i n c r e d i b l e. This is no surprise at all, because you have some of the most beautifully evocative writing on this site, but honestly every time I read something by you I just get so fully immersed in the settings and the descriptions - and this one felt especially beautiful because it sort of feels like only Ariana notices the things that she points out - like her focus is on something different than the rest of the people around her see, she zooms in on different details, and I really liked what you chose to focus on. You conjure up such wonderful images - even after reading it I still have in my mind's eye such perfect pictures of the snow dusted meadow and the snowflakes melting on her arm, and all the imagery of sparkling things like the snowflakes as diamonds, the shiny noses of the goats, her glittery laugh, etc. I just love that theme in this piece, and how it continues from the much lighter first half even into the darker second half.

 

Of course, it became apparent pretty quickly that much of this story happens in Ariana's head, and some of it doesn't, and she can't tell the difference at times between what's real and what's not. The seasons kind of blend together, like how the descriptions of the summer snowdrops are pasted right over the snowy field and how she sees herself with teeth at the end as she lies there dying. Can I also mention how much I LOVE the use of second-person for this story? I can't see it being any other way, it's perfect.

 

Butterflies, electric blue and turquoise and soft periwinkle, flutter out of your mouth with every breath you take, quick and skipping, darting off into the ether; they all only ever make it a few heartbeats, a handful of seconds, before their wings stiffen and weaken and they fall, littering the forest floor with a carpet of greying, dusty bodies. -- this imagery is kinda morbid but I really like it? :P One of my favorite lines of the piece actually. Like this line alone just shows Ariana's imagination and detachment from reality - surely she sees something, probably her breath in the cold air, and to her it is butterflies.

 

And on that topic - the entire second half of the story, honestly, is quite dark as I'm pretty sure it's about Ariana's death - but it's written so lovingly, so beautifully, that it's hard to feel too upset about it. (Does this make me sound like a terrible person? ...) I also like that she doesn't see herself as dying - she sees herself as becoming free and is suddenly this animal with teeth, at a direct contrast to how inhibited she has been before as mentioned by her many skirts and the corset. Even at the end she sees a strength in herself that others don't see, and I really like the way you wrote her frame of mind - like she is just out there enjoying the beauty of everything and doesn't see herself as this fragile object as her brother sees her.

 

Speaking of which, I also like the metaphors you chose to represetn Gellert and Albus as well, and the way they were introduced into the story. Gellert with the feathers and the wind imagery, and Albus with the fire and glowing imagery - it's perfect, in the way Gellert is sort of the air that fans the fire and encourages Albus along, changes him. Gah, it's so good. And you did this without even mentioning their names once. *bows down to your skill*

 

I did find one (possible) typo here-

Laughter bubbles up, melodic and sweet, floating over to her in baubles of silver and soft, gentle gold -- I think you meant to say 'you' rather than 'her' - unless she's seeing herself in third person which is actually kinda possible in a story about Ariana, but figured I'd point it out :P

 

I'm so, so glad you posted offering a swap and that I read this story, it was phenomenal. You are such a talented writer and I will never get tired of saying so! ♥♥♥



Name: justawillowtree (Signed) · Date: 15 Jul 2018 03:07 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

HI I AM SO EXCITED TO BE GETTING TO THIS FINALLY.

 

[Here for our swap hehe!]

 

This one-shot has been on my to-read list since like the very beginning of time, and it’s shameful that it took me so long to get here. But I’m here now, and fully prepared to lavish all its due attention and compliments onto the story, so here goes! <3

 

I know you probably don’t mean your stories to be this way, especially with the content you usually write about, but your descriptions are honestly so, so cathartic. I literally felt my heartbeat flutter at the first paragraph as the image you painted bloomed in my mind, and, yes, it’s not a calm nor a serene picture, but the very idea that someone like you exists in the world who can make me feel like I’m literally travelling elsewhere into your stories gives me so much happiness, let me tell you. (Also omg are my reviews getting repetitive? I feel like I’m saying the same things again and again, but I can’t help it because literally all of your stories are of such high quality and I always want to weep while reading.)

 

That entire first phrase is the most beautiful thing I’ve read in a while: [Dull and bone-deep, it thrums inside your head, heavy and low, making your whole body vibrate, tremulous; curled on the edge, your eyes plastered shut, dusted with white and silver-tinted drops…]

 

Also I never thought that descriptions of flowers would be so delicious-sounding that I would just want to consume them all, but you managed to make it happen. They all sound so beautiful that I wouldn’t mind drowning in them tbh (which, let’s be real, is pretty much how I feel about all of your descriptions always haha). But I love that you’re writing a story from Ariana’s point of view, because just the overall focus of the descriptions is so different from when you’re usually writing from Tom’s – while Tom wouldn’t stop to think about the good, nostalgic memories and the beauty of the world around him and the names of things, Ariana definitely would. And the fact that she’s remembering her mother with such fondness and grief is depicted so beautifully here.

 

The depth of the metaphor in this piece is so, so beautiful. Everything is represented through something else (and I’ll get to Albus and Gellert in their animal forms in a moment) and it’s just so beautiful and I don’t know how you do it?? The way you write Ariana is just masterful – I love her innocence and naivety and confusion, and how things aren’t quite going right in her world but she loves nature and pretty things and her brothers anyway. This is such a stunning, unique way of writing from Ariana’s POV (and, what I’ve come to realize is, you are so!! good!!!! at second person POV) and I enjoyed every single second of it.

 

When the baby blue bird began flying, I was holding my breath, but then the next paragraph says: [Then there is a brush of wind, edged with rust-brown and deep, mellow greens, and the butterfly is dashed against the swollen, scratched trunk of a tree, falling in a shower of glittering pieces.] And if that isn’t the perfect metaphor for what happened to Ariana, I don’t know what is. Everything that happened to Ariana was so tragic, from the attack by the Muggle boys to the fight between her brothers and Grindelwald, and all of that is just written so, so beautifully here, slipped so subtly yet remarkably between the lines.

 

The contrast between her brother and his friend – Albus and Gellert – is striking. The small comfort she receives from her brother’s hands is immediately chased away from the unfamiliarity, the predatory quality of her brother’s friend. The look that Albus always gives Gellert is somehow sweet but also nervewracking at the same time, because I just want to shout at him, “No! He’s not the person for you!” But the descriptions of these two as their respective creatures are just so beautiful and I can’t dislike what they’re doing because of that. (Also can I just say, I love how iconic your Albus/Gellert is. <3)

 

The ending broke my heart. And you wrote it beautifully.

 

I LOVE YOU AND I LOVE YOUR WRITING. <333

 

~Eva



Name: AbraxanUnicorn (Signed) · Date: 07 May 2017 11:39 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

Hey, Aph! BvB time and I thought, I'm team bronze, why not review something Blue? So I'm here.

Um, can I just take a moment to say Wow?

I'm absolutely blown away by your writing here. Gosh, the imagery in this story is simply spectacular! I think this is the most vivid piece of yours that I've read yet.

2nd person narrative works incredibly well for this story, which revolves around Ariana, clearly. I don't think I was more than a few sentences in before I understood who you had captured. And from what we know of her in canon (precious little), you've done a stunning job in bringing to life her instability, as the writing dances swiftly through different moods, all light and brilliance one moment to dark and despairing the next. So creatively done! From the intense use of colour, to the soft, inquisitive nature of the goats (was that a shout-out to Aberforth?), through the sounds and lights, I feel like I'm seeing, hearing and thinking the world through Ariana's eyes and mind. It's made me really emotional, TBH.

From all of your sentences, it's the butterflies that have stuck in my mind. How their colours last only seconds before their bodies turn to grey corpses. Such haunting, melancholy words.

Brax X



Author's Response:

Hi Brax - thank you so much for stopping by! :) 

 

Ahhh thank you - I'm so so glad you liked it! This was so much trouble to write, but so much fun in the end, even if it did take a long time :P It was fun but a bit more difficult than I was expecting it to be - to write a story completely in metaphors, as much as I enjoy description. 

 

I loved writing Ariana: it was difficult to get her voice right in the beginning, but she was so fun to write - how she's so unstable and locked inside her own head. I sort of drew a lot from the Obscurus in Fantastic Beasts as well as from Book 7, to create Ariana: I loved how the Obscurus was so dangerous and deadly, even if the person hosting it - so to speak - isn't either of those things. So there's almost two Ariana's, and she kinda sees herself that way too: as herself and then the Obscurus. Yes, the goats were for Aberforth! :) Also because I've always liked the idea of Aberforth raising a couple of goats in the Dumbledore household, for milk and cheese and butter, yk, especially since goats are native to Wales, where Godric's Hollow is. 

 

You know, I actually wasn't sure whether or not to put the butterflies line in, haha - I wasn't sure if it would be too much or not. So I'm so glad you liked it! :) 

 

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review! :) 

 

Aph xx



Name: victoria_anne (Signed) · Date: 01 May 2017 09:48 PM · [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

Just here to transfer :)

Laura ♥

OH MY THOR, I AM SO HORRIBLE, and I'm so sorry it took me so long to get here! But I'm super excited you wrote something new with such a beautiful title and beautiful words and all that is holy and good.

Ariana's love of nature is magical (no pun intended.) She sees the beauty in every tiny thing, and it calls to her. And of course, the language you use makes all of it come alive.

I can't remember if using second person is something you've done often before, but either way, you've done it perfectly. There are times when I read second person and it's all I see, like I'm so aware of it, and I think what I'm loving the most is how naturally this reads. Nothing is out of place to distract me from the story.

As for the change in style, to be honest I didn't really notice a difference (and dear Merlin I hope that's not an insult because I don't intend it to be ♥) It's the beautiful descriptions that everyone associates with your writing, and I just want to wrap myself up in them and live there.

I love all the tiny mentions of Albus and Grindelwald, and how Albus will always be looking at him, never forgetting he's there. (And you just had to sneak them in there :P)

The metaphors are the plot. I love that you've managed to tell a story with them, and you've successfully conveyed the mood and message without stating it outright, and once again I'm in awe of how you do this. All the references to her drowning or just being in water send shivers down my spine!

So this is the first time you've written Ariana, I think? It better bloody not be the last, because this is so amazing. Like I said, I love your descriptions, but to have a softer, more feminine side to them is something I want to see more of. This is really, really, wonderful, Loz ♥ ♥ ♥    



Name: Lost Muse (Signed) · Date: 24 Apr 2017 12:06 PM · [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

Angie here for your challenge review. This was absolutely beautiful. I loved it. Your characterisation of Ariana was so wonderful and the entire one-shot being a metaphor worked brilliantly. The descriptions flowed smoothly and were so vivid I could visualise eveyrything. Your use of vocab is so brilliant. "He's beautiful your brother's friend, perhaps these places are beautiful too?" - there is so much depth here. And the way she imagines the places, wow.  "It is lace over silk, trailing on the ground behind you, and you feel like a queen." Wow. Simply wow. 

The ending bit made me gasp and brought the strongest emotions really. "Blood soaked hands" - god the visual itself is terrifying and horrible and heartwrenching at the same time. 

I have no more words really. There is so much in my head and so much I want to say about this fic but you have pretty much left me speechless and captivated and I don't know if any praise I further say is going to do justice to how absolutely beautiful this is. 

I loved it, every word of it. Great work!

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Author's Response:

Hi Angie! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! 

 

Ahhh thank you so so much for that! I'm so so glad you liked her! She was surprisingly hard to write at the beginning - it took me a while to get her voice right and a proper handle on her character. (I have to admit that the one-shot being a metaphor in itself was mostly because I misread the challenge instructions and thought that was what we were meant to write, so I think I should probably give the credit for that to you :P) 

 

I loved writing it, though - all of the description, how it was solely descriptive and with no dialogue at all, even though it was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. It helped that Ariana's voice meant I could take it in all sorts of strange places, with different seasons and images and roll them into each other within the same story without - I think, I hope? - losing connectivity. 

 

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review - I'm sorry for the short reply, but this was so lovely and I just don't really know what to say other than to repeat thank you again! 

 

Aph xx



Name: teh tarik (Signed) · Date: 23 Apr 2017 08:27 AM · [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

Laura <3 <3 <3

This is the long overdue review that I owe you, & I'm truly sorry it has taken me this long to write this. Since that time you first told me that you'd dedicated this gorgeous piece of writing to me, I've read this several more times. & I'm just really so blown away every time. By the amazing-ness of your writing, & also because you've gifted a fic to me of all people.

So. thank you. thank you so much. this means a lot to me *flails* *sobs* *dies an ineloquent death*

asdasfkjhkj THANK YOU for writing Ariana for me!! I love her character & I love fics that explore her in detail, because she has such a wasted narrative arc in canon, one that is always overshadowed by Albus. & your fic is a gorgeous rendition of her character, and her instability & all the traumas that afflict her. I really, really appreciate the level of detail that you've gone into to write her character, and how you've incorporated the myth of the Great Lynx, and how it ties in so deeply into her character. I had to look up the myth because I know nothing about Native American mythology, and I'm glad I had the chance to learn more about the Mishipeshu. Also! Apparently the Mishipeshu is always in opposition to the Thunderbird?? And Albus is the Thunderbird, if I remember correctly from your Kendra-centric fic (which is one of my favourite one-shots written by you!).

you shudder in time to the swish and the sway of the water below as it tumbles and gurgles a few feet below. It is solemn and discordant, a continuous rush of sibilant, miserable whispers - damp and weak, even as the wind rips at it from above, clawed hands scraping and catching at the tips of waves, ripping them taller, driving them away, away downstream and towards the sea.

^ sigh. Right from the beginning, such vivid gorgeous descriptive writing form you. & I always associate Ariana with water imagery, so this is just  wonderful.

wild flowers, dropped like breadcrumbs leading round and round in endless, wandering circles to nowhere, a shower of jewels in dimmed, shaded blues and buttercup-yellows, imperial violets and bright, violent crimson. In the weak sunlight, the darker colours sank and the lighter colours - the pale, blushing pinks, and the brilliant whites, ephemeral sky blue petals and tiny cream blossoms bursting out of their buds

^ wow!! your description is so vivid, so striking and I just, halskdjlkasjdas gorgeous use of colour and visual imagery. It also struck me that this is probably taking place in Ariana's head, and that she's not really 100% living in the real world.

You do not shiver; instead, you merely watch, fascinated, how if you breathe on the flecks, white-grey mist blossoming out of your mouth and reaching out long fingers to trail across your skin, they warm, melting into you and leaving only the barest trace of themselves behind.

^ this is just lovely detail! *heart eyes*

Butterflies, electric blue and turquoise and soft periwinkle, flutter out of your mouth with every breath you take, quick and skipping, darting off into the ether; they all only ever make it a few heartbeats, a handful of seconds, before their wings stiffen and weaken and they fall, littering the forest floor with a carpet of greying, dusty bodies.


^ excuse me while I die at the creepy beauty of this image alskjdlaks HOW DO YOU DO THIS THIS IS AMAZING *swoons*


Oh, Ariana, you hear again, and as the leaves shift overhead in the breeze, there is a sudden burst of light, bright and fierce and shimmering, and you see yourself reflected in rich blue eyes, a lock of auburn hair still heavy with water slipping down and leaving a trail of tiny, sparkling drops across a cheekbone.

^ I love how Albus is introduced in your fic. (I'm assuming it's Albus...if I'm wrong, please throw a buffalo at me...) I think Ariana kinda idolises him, the way she sees him with so much power and grace and beauty. I love how he's associated with the wind and light and all the things she's not - the contrast between them is done so well.

A single eye, light and an icy, eggshell blue, glints in the dark; you cannot see another, and you shiver - wrong, wrong, wrong. walking

^ oooh, is that Gellert?? that icy eggshell blue eye of his is such perfect word choice. Perfect and also very unsettling. I love all the wrongness about him, and how intuitive Ariana is. She's so much more intuitive than Albus.

In the light, oil-blue and slick, sly, your brother looks older, tired, halfway to dead, with hollows under his eyes and strands of black littering his hair, ash amongst a fire; but when he glances at his friend, always, always a few steps behind, there is a hunger and a sweet ferocity, alive and dancing, which you do not recognise.

^ & here comes the Albus / Gellert. And all the unhealthiness of it. :p This paragraph sums them up so well - how Gellert changes Albus, and not for the best.

In the pool at your feet, reflected, you see the dark, vicious gleam in your eyes and the white points of your teeth, bared and snarling, the supple, languid way your arms and your legs move, your head rising first, too smooth and too elegant to be human.

^ I'm kinda imagining that Ariana looks into the pool & sees the Great Lynx as part of her. She too, has that wilderness in her, and there's something savage & predatory about her in this moment. she isn't just a traumatised girl; she definitely doesn't feel helpless, even if the whole world is against her, or if the whole world overlooks her as a person. I love this vicious other side to her character.

&& & I think I've gone through the whole thing again!! I'm still just so honoured that you wrote me this. It's absolutely beautiful & I love this so much THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

and OMG that note at the end. 18 months of planning & writing this fic? that is a LONG time, it's a LOT of work & i'm just humbled that you've taken so much time and put in so much detail. it truly is the perfect gift for me.

Laura, I'm so glad to have met you (online) - you are an amazing friend. & you always check up on me even if I'm not very active on the forums, or even on Twitter. Just know that you are an absolutely wonderful and beautiful person. And that you truly are an incredible writer with an amazing talent for creating the best descriptive prose, and the most well-crafted characters.

Thank you once again, truly.

much love,
Nicole



Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 13 Apr 2017 05:28 PM · [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

Laura! ♥ ♥ ♥ (also this is my first review on the HPFT archives, yay!)

So it's taken me far too long to get to reviewing this story, but I am finally here and I'm so excited to be giving it some much-deserved love!

To put it quite simply, this is wonderful. Fantastic. Brilliant. I don't have enough words to tell you how amazing this story is (and I'm pretty sure I would max out the character count entirely if I quoted all my favourite parts back to you). I know this took you quite a while to write, but I'm so, so happy that you finished this and wrote about Ariana ♥

This really is a masterpiece of description. I mean, I should be used to reading pieces like this from you by now, but I feel like this story takes it to the next level. I've actually read this story multiple times since you first finished it, and every time I read it, I manage to absorb something completely new from it. There are just so many wonderful elements to this; it's composed so beautifully, and every line sings with something new, and it's really just a total pleasure to read.

I feel like your choice to use the second person narrative voice in this piece was so intelligent and well-matched to the story. This is so metaphorical and lyrical, but I think it's a lot easier to understand and get drawn into the story because of the use of second person. It helped to immerse me properly into this story, even with the slightly whimsical nature of the narrative - the way that it follows Ariana's train of thought. I'm not sure if that was the reason you chose to use it, but it was a fantastic choice.

I'm going to return to the description and imagery for just a second because ♥ ♥ ♥ It's really incredible, and I have no idea how you manage to invent such original and creative metaphors. There are times when the pictures that you paint with this story are so vivid in my mind that it feels like I could reach out and touch them, and that's honestly so impressive and rare.

The way this story started was so lovely - so gentle and soft and beautiful, and it felt like we kind of floated into the story with Ariana and her thoughts. It was like you reached out to me and invited me to join in on this journey that I wanted to be part of, and I didn't realise until later that it was going to end tragically and break my heart (really, I should know much better by now, shouldn't I? It's not like you don't have previous on this).

Ah, the introduction of Gellert in this piece was just so fantastic here - the way that Ariana was so unfamiliar with him, so unsure of what his presence meant. It contrasted so well against the way that she reached out and understood the world around her, because he was wild and untamed and there was danger there. I think one thing I loved was that Ariana seemed to see it straight away, the danger and threat that Gellert posed, even if she couldn't entirely understand it herself, and Albus can't see it because he's so besotted with his 'friend'. It was so wonderful to see that juxtaposition - of the girl who doesn't always know what's happening around her, but who has this brilliant natural instinct.

(Also the descriptions of magic, and the memories of what Kendra told her to try and help her make her way through the world - I know they're just little details but they really built this story up and it was fantastic.)

I think the animal imagery, and the way that Gellert appears to be a predator when he's around Albus, was so effective. It added this glint of fear in Ariana's world, which seemed to penetrate through the confusion of her thoughts. I read this line:
'You imagine him pouncing, panther-esque with claws outstretched and teeth bared' several times - it's just really brilliant, and I love the picture that it paints.

Then the ending... wow, that was just so powerful. I don't know how you managed to write about Ariana's death so beautifully? The way that you wrote it was so poetic and compelling, as if it was something that was reaching out for her and wanted to take her gently. I'm not sure that I should enjoy reading about it, especially when I feel so sorry for her, but even when I'm reading about her slipping away, you manage to make it beautiful.

Those soft words calling out to her a couple of times through this piece - especially towards the end - were such a brilliant touch, too. It was as if death was calling out for her and although it was lamenting what had happened to her, there was something soft and gentle about it which made me think she might actually be in a better place? 

I feel like I've rambled on a lot here and I'm not sure any of this made proper sense, since I'm just in awe of your stunning writing and in love with this story, and thank you so much for sharing it with us ♥

Sian :)



Name: TreacleTart (Signed) · Date: 06 Apr 2017 05:48 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Bluebird Chapter: Little River Running

Hey Aph! 

 

Ok. Give me a minute to form coherent thoughts.

 

THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! THIS IS EXACTLY HOW DESCRIPTION SHOULD BE DONE! PLEASE, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

 

Seriously. This is possibly the best piece of description I've seen from you, which is saying a lot because you always write gorgeous prose, but this is a whole new level. Sincere brilliance.

 

I love the way the story starts out so light and beautiful. As always, your words pulled me into the gorgeous world you were describing and I could see and feel the things that Ariana felt. I loved how playful the elements of nature were and how whimsical everything felt.

 

Then out of nowehere. Bam. Things start getting strange and I had that terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that this was going to crush me. And crush me it did. Even at the end, when things are falling apart, the description is so lovely. How do you make tragedy sound so appealing? The last section from "Ariana, Oh Ariana!" is just sheer brilliance. 

 

I also loved that you wrote in 2nd person. I think that's a really brave choice to really immerse the reader in this world. It gives everything a sort of chaotic feeling that I think goes really well with Ariana's mental disorder. You really handled that spectacularly. I felt like I was spinning in circles with her. 

 

I've been keeping a list of things to nominate for sitewide awards. This will certainly be going on that list. 

 

Beautiful work as always, Aph! You never cease to amaze me. 

 

~Kaitlin



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