So this caught my eye because obviously all the characters are OCs which is a really brave thing to do but it's so exciting. You've always been a fan of your OCs, it's such a credit to your writing that you create OCs but always seem to give them so much depth so I really just had no worries because how can this story not being really awesome?! I think it's cool because you're using your own head canon in this story which really comes across like you're passionate about this project.
It was always going to be difficult to introduce so much new characters into this chapter because I saw just from the banner that your main cast is quite big. I thought you were able to add the characters in quite naturally though, I thought it was nice how you added things about them through their actions like 'pushing some of her blonde out of her face.' , you haven't fallen into the trap of overly long description about everyone's appearance which can be overwhelming and information dump on the reader. So well done for that.
I really like how the dialogue is forming most of the information for the chapter which sets up the main conflicts and themes through the story. A little touch which I really enjoyed was Thea saying that Charlene was shorter than she imagined. I don't know but I just found it like a relatable thought process. I guess it is the little things like that you use to build your characters' thought process/personalablity. (is that a word? maybe not! ha ha). I'm really looking forward to knowing more about this world, I find myself wanting to get to know the characters more and found them to likeable.
This is a really well rounded first chapter which has captured my interest for the future chapters. I thought all of it felt quite natural, I can't wait to see all of this world developed and expanded on.
- Abbi xo
THEAAAAA! *snuggles* (Also hi hello, here for swap 2/2!)
I just want to snuggle her. The poor team looks and feels so exhausted, they really need suitable rest. And someone should kick Sterner and remind her that the team is made up of humans and need proper care, ugh.
I love the way you included school to show how the No-Majs have been living alongside the magical folk. Really, all of the world-building is fantastic in this chapter, and I love how you expanded on it later on in the chapter as well. It's very interesting and everything makes so much sense, and I love how it's just sort of an accepted fact in this town. One less thing everyone needs to worry about, as long as everyone can co-exist.
Ugh, poor Thea. That encounter with Nicola is so so awkward, as it should be, and as always, the moms are completely oblivious to what's happening. I want to feel like Thea's mom knows a little bit and just doesn't say anything for Thea's sake, but knows. I hope I'm right, because otherwise I'm just going to want to hug Thea more. And just the opposite of last chapter, I love how this chapter was more focused on Thea and her relationships with both her family and Nicola; the balance in this fic between main and secondary characters is so so good.
Anyway, I love this! So much! Thanks for putting up with swapping with me :P And please keep writing this, I want to know more! Homecoming should be exciting, and Spirit Week that was mentioned in the last chapter sounds super cool!
Keep up the great work! ♥ ♥ ♥
Claire hi hello, here for swap 1/2!
Do I really need to tell you again how much I love this story? Because I will anyway, I love this so much. I love the world that you've set up here, and all of the characters -- including Coach Sterner -- feel so real and relatable. I think, apart from Thea, Hannah is my favorite, though. I love her honesty and her loyalty to Lou, and I'm definitely getting the same vibe that she is: Sam is no good. He seems a bit controlling and possessive, and I'm super curious to learn more about his relationship with Lou (and Thea) since they've been together so long.
I also really enjoyed that you actually went into practice details. It makes so much sense for Quidditch players to run drills, even suicides (though from being on my high school track team, I can totally sympathize with the girls!). It felt like a great way to see the team together, and see them already start to rally against Sterner, even Hannah.
I thought it was interesting (in a very good way!) how Thea seemed more like a background character in this chapter, but it gave us a great idea of her voice and the other characters she surrounds herself with. Lou, Hannah, Thea, and Ricky all seem super close and you did a great job of making a normal lunch fun and interesting; such a regular thing which we don't often see in fic. ♥
Anyway, I love this, and I'm sorry I've been neglecting it!! Excited to see what the next chapter has in store for everyone ♥♥♥
Why is this the last chapter? More when the inspiration hits you, plz. :P
I LOVE THIS. I love the integration of magical lessons with normal high school classes - it just feels so fundamentally different even from canon note-taking in classes, and I mean that in the best possible way. I can see so much of my HS experience in this (though we never had Spirit Week or anything), and that makes it feel so accessible and relatable. "That's what Google is for" hell yes that's what google is for! :P I love that everyone else has noticed how exhausted the team is - I can absolutely see them struggling with classwork and staying awake when Sterner is so harsh.
Thea's mother is both amazing and so, so clueless. I love that she's all about donuts, but come on - it's so, so obvious that there's tension between Thea and Nicola (ex-girlfriend tension? I hope so!), and her mother is just so oblivious to it. Parents, amirite?
This was so good!
Obviously I'm not done with this yet. It's too much fun!
Oooh, as someone who used to do sports/dance, the extent to which I empathize with the opening of this can't really be captured in words. It's sounding like Keating wasn't a very good coach at all and probably deserved to be sacked, but at the same time, going from that kind of structure to... well, Sterner's "go until you drop" practice routine has got to be hard, and you capture that perfectly. This is probably good for them in the long run, but in the short run? "I'm going to puke" and "Don't lay down because you won't get up" is just all kinds of perfect.
I'm also continuing to really enjoy your world-building! It's so quintessentially American in so many ways, right down to the lack of boarding school and the hanging out after school/practice-with-the-most-evil-coach-ever. :P
I've been wanting to check this story out forever... and now I have an excuse!
I love, love, love the way this starts! As a soccer fan, that excuse/rationale felt 100% realistic to me.
I wasn't shocked to hear that the new coach had (possibly? it's not totally clear to me whether this is rumor mill stuff or not) been fired from her old job. "Nothing personal but playing musical coaches will solve All The Problems?" Uh-huh. She definitely seems very demanding - that can be problematic in terms of man management, and whether she got fired or quit, I bet that entered into it. I'm curious to see whether that serves her well here, though - a little strictness might be what they need, after an awful season.
On the story as a whole: it can be so, so hard to set a story in a completely different place, where there's minimal canon structure. You're about at far off as it's possible to be and still remain in the Harry Potter universe. I love two things about that: first, that you have the guts to do it, and second, how you executed it. <3 Amazing job so far!
Hi Claire! You know how I excited I am about this fic and honestly it's embarrassing that it's taken me so long to get here and leave a proper review but I am here to shower you with praise, at last! :)
I think that starting out with a newspaper clipping was a smart move, established a lot of mystery! I was already curious about Coach Sterner (found her name to be rather funny and very apt!) and was making predictions about whether she would help the team or not, etc. I was also curious about the characters who left, like Nicola (who I'm really curious about, seeing that Thea obviously likes her—and um, I already ship it? #Thecola!).
I really love how you integrated the setting of American high schools with a Quidditch infusion; it was really clever! I also liked the scene where they were discussing the rumors about Coach Sterner; it had a funny Mean-Girls sort of vibe which I liked! Honestly, this entire first chapter was hilarious and you did a great job establishing the characters' dynamics. I love Thea and Mason, they're literally me and my sister every morning haha, and the camraderie between the players on the team is honestly so adorable, they are squad goals.
I think I've said this before in previous reviews but I have to commend you again: your characters are so likable! I already like Hannah and felt irrationally angry when Coach Sterner sort of picked her out and feel really bad for Hannah and want to give her hugs—and that attachment is sort of crazy considering I barely know her. I think that a lot of this can be chalked up to how realistic your dialogue is; it sounds exactly like teenagers having a conversation and really makes the characters pop off the page. I also noticed that you rarely use verbs other than 'said' and instead allow the dialogue itself to speak the way it should be heard--which is clever and difficult (so I'm a little jealous).
Loved it! <3
Claire! So I'm actually late with this review because I meant to get to it at the weekend, but I'm so happy to be here :) (you also have Julie to thank for recommending this story when I asked for things to review the other day - but I suspect you know that already :P)
I haven't watched Friday Night Lights, but I love the name for this story and your concept, the way that you've integrated the high school setting with the magic school and a Quidditch academy set-up. There are so many stories which seem to have an American student on an exchange in the UK, but I love the originality of creating a new school where people can go in the US - and it gives you so much more freedom!
Thea is an interesting main character, too! I already really like her and want to get to know more about her. The photos in her locker were a really great way of giving us a glimpse of the background between the characters - and I'm so intrigued about Nicola, too. All the questions already :P
I really liked the opening too, and the way that you kind of added to the cast of characters gradually but in a way that made a lot of sense, with them going to school and picking people up on the way. It was a good way of introducing us to some of the main characters in this story.
The suggestion about making the car shrink so it could fit between gaps in traffic made me smile - it was a really nice nod to the Knight Bus.
The way that all the team were talking about Coach Sterner and building her up before she appeared in the chapter was really good too - it would definitely happen in a school - whenever anyone starts at a new school there are just so many rumours flying around. Especially with her having left in a hurry. They really built her up and made her into this intimidating figure and then she appeared and was even more intimidating, if possible, in real life. She's going to be a tough cookie to deal with, I think - I'm so curious about why she's here now!
Hey Claire, Just here for the review swap (and secretly praying that this isn't the flag story for CTF)
I'm one of the few people who hasn't seen the show Friday Night Lights but I am familiar with the synopsis (I'm from South Texas and we live and breathe High School Football and San Antonio Spurs basketball) so I think it's great that you've come up with a story based on the show.
I thought this was a great first chapter and loved how you introduced the main characters and some of the dynamic between them, it really sets up the story nicely and establishes the relationship between your characters for good or bad (somehow I think the coach is going to be one of those bad turned good dynamics) and the way you ended the chapter left me wanting more.
I'm not really a sports person, I was the girl who went to the games for a friend who was in the band or in JROTC when I wasn't running the concession stand so I tend to stray away from stories that are based around quidditch but this seems like an interesting concept and from what I remember of "Friday Night Lights" it was centered around American Footbal without actually being solely about football so I really want see where you are going with this and what you're going to put your characters through.
The writing is brilliant and I can't wait to see what you come up with next!
Peace, Love, and Tacos
Hello my lovely, here for our review swap!
Okay so I've been excited about this story since you've mentioned it on twitter, and I'm even more excited now that you're actually writing this. I've never actually seen the show Friday Night Lights, but I love what you've done here by weaving public high school with magic and Quidditch. I'm assuming this is sometime in the future, so why couldn't there be a situation like this?
I also find it interesting that Thea, the main character, isn't the captain of the team but rather just best friends with the captain. I find it a fresh take on Quidditch fics, which this is in general because I've honestly never read anything like this. :)
Oooh, and Hannah's got a bit of a mouth on her. I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy her character and I doubt that is the last of the showdowns between her and the coach. (I mean, it totally makes sense for them to work on cardio before practice, but I could see where they would groan about it.) ALSO, I loved what you did with the pictures in Thea's locker to show how both she and Hannah have changed over the years, and you gave us a bit of intrigue into Thea's history with the mention of Nicola.
On a technical note, I found this: The sound of about halfway through the chapter. There's no indication as to what it connects to so I thought I would point it out :)
You have a really unique concept and an intruiging start. I'm super excited to see where you take this! Great start!