I just saw your announcement in the Puff common room and I had no idea this story was so close to finishing! Congrats!!!
It had been a while since I'd last read a chapter of this story so I just re-read the whole thing and was reminded why I love it so much. You are so talented at conveying so many feelings in a small number of words. That is hard to do, and you make it look easy. There is just so much emotion in this, and I loved readng about Hannah's path of self-discovery and becoming confident in herself. Over the course of the story I think she also comes to love herself a lot more and that's so important.
The end was so clever, as well! I loved what you did there and how you never actually specified which lover this is. In my mind it was Neville (just based on the chapter that came before) but it could just as easily be Susan - or even someone else? But honestly I loved that you kept their identity open, kind of like Hannah's relationships ;) It seems like a very fitting end for this story.
Not only was this story a joy to read but I also loved the positive represntation of polyamory. When I first started reading this fic years ago I was somewhat new to the idea of what polyamory meant and reading this definitely helped me 'get' it. But at its heart (and it has so much heart!) this is a story about love and growing up and that's pretty universal. Beautiful.
Wonderful work, Sam. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this story. ♥♥
omg Kristin thank you SO much! <3 Since posting the last three chapters last night I've been eagerly awaiting feedback, and teh fact that you came and reread the whole story is sweeter than I can say!
I also really love what you say about Hannah coming to love herself more over the course of the story. I think that's subtle, but it's absolutely true. I don't see this story as a romance so much as a story of self discovery. That's why in the story stummary I call it "a Hannah Abbottstory" instead of defining it by the ships.
I am really relieved that you liked the ending. I was starting to wonder if it would work as I intended, or just annoy people, so I really appreciate your feedack.
I'm glad I could help your understanding of polyamory grow =)
Thank you so much for your review and all the love you've given this story and me! ♥
So I've only read a few chapters of this but I really love how easy it is to read. I'm really interesting to see where this story is going. I think you've done a wonderful thing where you say so much in your stories but you use few words to do it. you're able to get across so much emotion and give the reader will the information that they need without over doing. you still manage to get some really stunning imagery to, my favourite in this chapter is 'the sunlight dancing playfully against her wavering chestnut hair'
I thought this was a really nice chapter and Susan addresses some really interesting issues within it. it's interesting to know that it is Susan whos teaches Hannah about her way of living You put it forward to such simple terms so I can see how it makes so much sense to Hannah now. you use the word 'beautiful' a lot witin this chapter and I think it's really good word to use that really does sum up this chapter. I'm really looking forward to seeing more about Hannah and Susan's relationship. I love how cute and fluffy this story is. I'll be back <3
- Abbi xo
Hey Sam, here for MAGIC!
Ahh, you know I love your fics, so this was never going to be any different! (and at least this has a happy ending, well this chapter anyway, I better not jinx it!!)
I love the way you get across Hannah and Susan’s characterisation, by using what the other thinks about them. It’s a great way to show not only what they’re like, but also how they think about each other. And it’s clear that they both really like each other!
It’s strange, you haven't explicitly said what their friendship was like at Hogwarts, but you’ve definitely managed to give off little subtle hints that give us an idea which is a really nice way to go about it so we’re not bombarded with a lot of information or backstory straight away. It makes it feel more natural which is nice.
The line “the calls of vendors and children must reverberate. But now none of that can reach us.” does hint that maybe something happened when they were at Hogwarts and the other kids were anything but nice and supportive, which is sad, but at least now they know that kids are mean, and no one should stand in the way of their happiness.
This is such a cute chapter, it’s like a teenage romance with all the blushing and hesitant touching and electrical energy, it’s adorable! You do write really great romances Sam, and this is no different! Great job! :)
Aww... poor Hannah... :(
I'm glad she has Susan, though, and I love how wise and perceiving Susan is. I love this sentence: I know it seems like your world is ending, because you let Ernie be your world. It's about being ourselves and not let others define who we are, even when we are in love with them, right?
This chapter is so powerful, so painful and so sweet at the same time. I love how you can put so many emotions in so little chapters, it's really impressive!
Might be back for more another time!
Much love, darling!
Taking the excuse of a very late appreciation month present to go on with this and see how Hannah and Susan are doing...
Oh, my Merlin! I can't believe Ernie! Such a git, how dares he?! Poor Hannah...
Well, I don't really know what else to say, except I'm so impressed that you can show so much in so little words.
Also, not important, but... Mondays... that employment thing... urgh... so glad it's Saturday today!
See you on the next chapter!
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Hi Sam, here for CTF.
Man, I really need to read more F/F. And here is a great place to start with that project.
I really enjoyed this first chapter. It was so beautifully written. The way that you described Hannah's emotions, everything that she was feeling upon seeing Susan again, was really moving. To me, it was almost a little bit melancholy, because it had been so long since they had seen each other and the whole chapter had a sort of quietness to it.
It was interesting that Hannah's new feelings for Susan were, well, new, because the way Hannah described Susan gave me such a vibe of familiarity. I mean, obviously they were friends at Hogwarts, so there's that element to it, but the tone here just sort of made me wonder whether Hannah had had feelings for Susan while they were at Hogwarts and had been repressing it. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it :P
Either way I thought this was totally gorgeous, and the way you described the scene really got at how all-consuming seeing Susan again and feeling these new things for her was for Hannah. That's best exemplified by the line about Susan's voice being soft, yet resonating through every cell of Hannah's body. Another great example is "There is a light in her eyes that keeps me searching - it is buried deep inside, beyond twists and turns, but it is there and it is glowing for me."
Again, I really enjoyed this and I'll definitely be back sometime to read more!
Ack, I didn’t respond to you on here or on hpff? For shame!
I like that you said that the emotions in this chapter almost felt melancholy in a way. I am not sure that I intended that exactly, but I did intent for it to be a complicated mix of emotions. When you have an encounter so meaningful, you don’t feel just one thing. I think one of the aspects that I was going for, was that sudden realization that they had both been missing out on something in their lives by not having each other in their lives during those years, so yes, melancholy does fit in a way. There is also another layer of why Hannah may be feeling that way, but that’s kinda a spoiler for the next chapter.
I don’t think you’re reading too much into it. I think Hannah had feelings for Susan, but hadn’t quite had the words for them. At the time she thought they were just close friends, but with maturity and feeling the force of those feelings again after time apart, Hannah realizes what they really are. I don’t think Hannah was ever really repressed sexually, she just hadn’t always considered all of her possibilities.
Thank you very much for the lovely and thoughtful review!
So Capture the Flag - Transfer for HPFF
I'm really liked this little chapter, I think it's cute that Hannah and Ernie are together though I'm obviously getting too out of touch with the stories as the first Ernie I thought it was the knight bus driver?! ha ha. that'll be a different relationship all together! So Hannah and Ernie and they live together etc..this is quite unexpected from the first chapter I think.
I love their relationship, it's so comfortable and fun like they know each other so well. the dialogue I felt was pretty natural. I can image myself and my partner having similar conversations. I read the first chapter too. It's so impressive that you can create and building these relationships in such a little amount of words yet they still feel really developed.
I love how cheeky this relationship is, Hannah seems very happy so what's going on with Susan in the first chapter then? it's like a bubbling mess of emotions...it's interesting, very interesting!
your chapter does very clearly refer the lyrics that you've chosen for. I've been reading a lot of angsty lately so this is quite a nice little change. they're happy at least for now...? who knows what's going to happen! xo
Haha, I never considered that Ernie might be considered for the Knight Bus driver XD
I am really glad that you think that both of the relationships feel really well developed. I think the key to this is not giving a lot of backstory, but making the moments we see be very grounded and intense and real - a lot of context can be gleaned from that.
This story is all about exploring polyamory, and while Hannah is not polyamorous at this point, I wanted to create that sense in the readers’ minds in these first chapter by showing how natural it can be for her to be very happy with two different people.
The chapters for this fic were entirely inspired by the song lyrics and the tone of each chapter inspired by the tone of the song, so they make great supplemental listening ;)
Thanks for the review!
We are a daisy chain of ice cream cones and lovers. That sounds like the most beautiful thing in the world.
I can't even say much about this chapter except how happy and full and warm it makes my heart, especially to see the three of them together, eating ice cream. What a beautiful, tangled constellation they are <3
"I tried to discover myself in secret with a stranger instead of in the light with you." Look how poetic Neville is <3 I'm sorry I keep quoting half the story back to you but there's just so many beautiful sentences in here!!! Teach me your ways!!!
I like that even thought Neville and Ernie hurt Hannah in the same way, they've reacted differently, and that Neville possesses (Is that the right spelling? Looks like a lot of 's's) so much caring.
Omg that last line is hilarious, haha!
Hannah has so many feelings and they just leak out of the page. Well, screen. Betrayal must be a very real feeling in polyamarous relationships, though you wouldn't think so at first. I hope Hannah figures out what she wants to do and how she wants to feel soon.
I love the tiny detail of Hannah knowing Susan will count to six before coming in. They really have become so close. This is literally a dark moment for Hannah :( But I love that she's human (or like me, at least.) She needs to cry and then move on in the morning <3
Can I just live in these words: Susan's luminescence and Luna's iridescence. Thanks.
Nooo where did the happiness go?! Will Hannah ever feel stable? I genuinely care for her so much, you've created some real and relatable and I love her and want her to be happy.
I love the description you put into these tiny scenes. It's so easy to feel like I'm there at the party.
Not sure if I've said it before, but I love the lyrics at the beginning of every chapter.
I love this: "Those landmarks aren't so much on my map. I'm more of an offroad girl." But I totally understand Hannah's concerns about not having those milestones with Susan. They're what make a relationship feel stable and solid and progressive. But of course it's not like that for everyone, as Susan says. I love how you highlight these differences between them, and the nervous treading of water Hannah's doing in this new territory.
I'm glad their feelings are still so strong for each other <3
Sam! I've been meaning to read this story for the longest time, because I love your writing, and now that it's been nominated for Best Novel I don't really have an excuse not to read it, do I?
This was only a short chapter but it's such a great start to your novel, and I've already been grabbed by this story and want to know more. I loved the way that you opened this so simply - with the greetings, two names that felt like they held so much more meaning than that, almost as if they were questions without being questions. I don't know how to explain it properly but it was really compelling.
The description in this piece was so lovely, too. There was this really light, gentle feeling to the imagery that you used but again, it felt like it wasn't actually as light as it seemed with the tensions that are underlying here - I'm so intrigued about the history between the two of them. Why haven't they seen each other for five years? What happened between them? So many questions!
I'm so impressed by the way that you managed to capture the tension between Susan and Hannah in so few words. It was brilliant to see the way that their reunion sparked something more so quickly. Just the way that catching each others' eyes and the briefest touch seems to be enough to kindle something more there, and I'm so intrigued to see more of them and see the way that you develop this!
Sian! I am so glad you finally checked this story out! =D
I was actually really surprised to see this story nominated for Best Novel, as it is so short! All of the chapters are about this length, so when it’s complete it will be in the Novellete category. Still, I am super flattered that so many people wanted to nominate and vote for it!
My way of explaining the simplicity of the opening would be to say that some moments are so intensely charged with emotion that they can’t fully be described, and I find that sometimes not trying to describe it has the most accurate effect.
Since the chapters are so short and focused on action over backstory, you won’t get a ton of context, so if you want context - I think they haven’t seen each other since school for the same reason a lot of people don’t. They may have gotten along great at the time, but as with a lot of friends after high school and college, between time and distance you can forget to stay in touch. You’ll also get a bit of a subtle clue about why they weren’t closer in chapter two.
I love this chapter so, so much. I loved Hannah's rant about the patriarchy. I love that you point out such important truths about our society in such a fun way, i.e. while they're all eating ice cream together and Neville accidentally gets strawberry in Hannah's hair, you point out how people judge what they don't understand, but if they don't know the story they'll rationalize it into what fits into their worldview (i.e. the people who'd just see Hannah and Susan as friends) - which is totally true in a heteronormative society. And most of all, how people aren't really thinking about Hannah and co. as much as she assumes they are, as Susan points out. People focus on their own selves and aren't thinking about you as much as you imagine they are, so be who you are because other people's fleeting judgement doesn't matter. How do you fit such deep ideas into 600 words? You're incredible. Anyway, this chapter has a great message. Lovely work ♥
PS, I love the first line (after the song), about the daisy chain, that's such a creative description.
Eep a review already? Thank you Kristin!
I am really glad you liked this and felt that it covered a lot of interesting ideas without feeling crammed! I normally write these chapters in one sitting but because I started this one in November and just finished it I wasn't convinced it felt as cohesive as it should so I'm very thankful for your feedback.
Hehe I like the daisy chain line too and am glad it's not just me =)
Thanks again! ♥
***Transferred from AO3***
(Well... I'm trying to catch up with the Hot Seat reviews I missed... but that's an excuse to come back to the stories I love... ;) )
So, this chapter...
It made me reflect a lot. Susan's perspective is really interesting to read. Like this sentence: “You feel what you feel. There’s no putting rules on that. How you act on those feelings is up to you.” It's so obvious and simple and true. I love it.
And as always, I love your writing, the way you express concepts and emotions with such simplicity. There are so many sentences that just stood out for me.
"At first I thought it was as if no time had bad passed since we had parted ways at Hogwarts. But that is not it at all. So much time has passed, and in that time we have somehow grown into people who fit so seamlessly together. Whatever it is that we have now, it is totally new." This paragraph is so beautiful, I love the idea of time passing and renewing things. It's such a different way to put it, but much more beautiful and true.
And this one made me smile. "Susan always tries to make things so simple in such a complicated way." (Actually, this reminds me of a scene I wrote in Liar, with Remus confiding all his uncertainties to Sirius... Hannah's reluctance reminds me of all Remus' doubts a lot... :P)
And of course this: “Living is kind of beautiful, period. People just complicate it by making up rules and pretending it’s not.” Such a beautiful closing line! The world would be a better place if we allowed ourselves to do what makes us happy...
Such a great chapter! Your writing is incredible! I love it so much!
Snowball hug rolling your way!
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I'm back for another chapter! :)
Aww... Ernie is such a sweetheart, he clearly cares about her so much! I so loved the homely atmosphere of this chapter! The whole scene was just so cute!
There was a bit of tension when Susan was named. I wonder how things will develop. I must admit, polyamory is a bit of a foreign concept for me, I still have a lot to learn... *hides behind imaginary couch*
Anyway, this was another lovely chapter. Your writing is flawless, as usual, and your characters are just so sweet. Love this so much.
I'll be back! ;)
Lots of love,
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How are you, dear?
So, I've been wanting to stop by your AO3 page for a while now, but I always got distracted by thousand of other things... Anyway...
I decided to take a peek to this story, since you said it's one of the works you're most proud of. And, well, I can see why!
I so loved this first chapter! It just reads so beautifully, the tone is so sweet and so genuine and it just dragged me in!
I loved the way you wrote their encounter, after years of separation. The joy of meeting an old friend, so heart-warming! And then, the confusion of the new feelings, and the stupor and elation of those feelings being returned. And the perfect connection between them. All this expressed so wonderfully through your flawless writing. Really, this is just perfection! All I can do is gush over this forever!
Greetings my friend. I am the Crumple-Horned Snorkack, out for a quick adventure away from the northern forest in which I normally live and hide from humans. And once I stepped out from hiding in the forest and swiftly moved to hiding in the internet, I happened to come across this wonderful little story. I admit I do not know much about humans, because I spend most of my life hiding from them, but this is such a lovely story about them.
The nuances of the various relationships between characters is so well done. And especially in these last few chapters with the comparison between what Ernie did and what Neville did, and how Hannah has changed in between those two occasions. While she's opened up a new part of herself and it's brought out a new confidence and happiness in her, Neville's actions have kind of brought up old wounds. It's so sad that this happened to Hannah, but I like that you took the story in that direction; I think it's important to acknowledge that cheating isn't limited to monogamous relationships, and happens in open relationships as well. The fact that Neville saw someone else isn't the issue, it's just the lack of communication between him and Hannah that was the source of the betrayal, and that he didn't tell her about Judith. I'm so happy that they patched things up though. Neville's honesty and earnestness here does a lot to imply that this sort of thing won't happen again, and he's only just figuring himself out, in a way. And he has Hannah to help him navigate through this now. :)
I also enjoy the sporadic cameos of my favourite human, Luna Lovegood. She has made a number of expeditions up to my forest to try to find the Snorkack population, but we Snorkacks are stealthy, and most of all, shy. I do appreciate her open-mindedness, though. She is one of probably two people who even believe I exist. Anyway, because of her unconventional way of seeing the world it makes perfect sense that she would be polyamorous - it suits her personality. I wonder if she will bring Susan on any of her expeditions to the forest. Well, say hi to Luna for me, if you would!
I have had a wonderful time reading this fic! You are a very talented writer. I'd stick around, but the internet is a crowded place for a shy Snorkack like myself, and besides I promised Bigfoot I'd meet him for tea and I don't want to be late. Cheerio!
Oh, thank you kind Snorkack!!
I can be shy myself, so it means a lot to me that you dared to venture out and find my story! You have some very nice things to say about it, and I really appreciate that.
It was really painful to watch Hannah suffer when Ernie betrayed her, and when that pain resurfaced with Neville, but I am a sucker for parallels and development, and I am glad that you appreciate that as well.
I really like Luna as well, and am glad that she makes cameos as well. She has not and will not have an actual appearance in this story, but I think it is still important that there is an awareness of her involvement and significance in Susan's life, and by extension Hannah's.
Enjoy your tea with Bigfoot!
Down with the patriarchy!!!
Sorry, had to get that out of my system first ;)
This chapters makes me have thoughts and feelings. Don't say I didn't warn you...
What actually bothers me most in this scenario is the way the girls police each other. That's not a story flaw. It's true to life - I just find it infuriating. Of course Sally-Anne is annoying in telling Hannah to play the demure, girls-don't-make-the-first-move princess - and I love Hannah a lot for doing her thing anyway. But Hannah goes against her initial instinct of ignoring Sally-Anne's cautions because Susan told her to listen to her friend. And, like, shouldn't Hannah be trusting her own intuition? Up until now, Susan has seemed almost without faults. She has a very egalitarian, harmonic presence that seems like the oppostie of tension or conflict.
Even though it makes me a little sad, I'm glad you reveal a more nuanced side to Susan, and in doing so, also display some of Hannah's vulnerability. I'm very curious whether you see manipulation betwen them in this chapter, or if that's something I'm putting onto the story from my own experiences. Or, maybe both.
Yay for Susan and Hannah. Yay for Hannah and Neville. Goodbye and good riddance to Sally-Anne and the patriarchy!
I fully support thoughts and feelings.
I totally agree how upsetting all the policing that happens with each other - society polices women, and women police each other, and women police themselves. It all becomes so ingrained and I want it to die.
I do give Susan the benefit of the doubt here. She encouraged Hannah to lean on her friend because she expected Hannah to be nervous, and while Hannah would have like to have Susan's support, Susan wanted to be sure that she had someone to lean on in her place (it's very connected with her poly mindset in a way). Of course, if Susan had known how this particular friend would define being supportive in this situation, Susan would be right there shouting Down with the patriarchy and Sally-Anne to boot.
You're definitely right that Susan is overall potrayed as without faults. This is something I have mixed feelings about. I want all of my characters to come off as dynamic and complete people, and I'm not always ceratain that she does. Susan definitely has faults in my eyes, though they are not very strongly focused on in this story. The story is decidedly from Hannah's perspective, who doesn't see much in the way of faults in Susan. I see Susan as simultaneously very good at conflict resolution, and very fearful of conflict. She does a lot of work to smoothly distance herself from situations where she detects potential conflict, and she structures her relationships around situations she wants to avoid, which I think speaks both to her self knowledge and her fears. So you are very right by saying she is a harmonic presence/the opposite of tension and conflict, but I think that has some depth that suggests some of her shortcomings. There are flaws buried in her virtues. For example, she is very trusting of the best in others, which in this chapter is part of what puts Hannah in this unfortunate position with Sally-Anne. I won't really be exploring Susan's shortcomings in much depth in this story (it's tempting to do elsewhere, though I don't have a worthwhile plot in mind). I think it's significant for this story that Hannah sees Susan as pretty close to perfect, and there's a subtle tension that comes along with that assumption.
Funny enough, the chapter I'm working on today has Hannah shouting at the patriarchy. Or muttering at passers-by.
I should be writing a paper, so naturally I decided to review this story. I make good choices.
I should start by saying, I am incredibly biased in favor of this chapter. I know you wrote it some time ago but still. "And today my heart’s smile seems to be larger than ever as I try to comprehend what an amazingly lucky lady I am. I have the most amazing relationship with the most amazing woman, and all that she seems to want is for me to continue to become more amazing." Um, yes. I adore this, it is sweet and wonderful and mmmmmmm.
To be fair, I think they underestimate Neville's courage :P
You know I'm a sucker for so called florid language, and you keep the language more streamlined in this chapter. Objectively, that probably makes it stronger, but I confess to missing you turns of phrase when you get a bit more poetic. You know? Very elegant language though.
It's beautiful how this is love building love. Susan and Hannah in love, but also reaching for more love, and not at all competetive or greedy. That is an amazing thing.
much love to you!
Bias is good.
It's true that the language here is less florid. Which could be in part that my fingers were less magical on that particular day, but I'm going to say it's also deliberate (beyond the fact that I try to keep these chapters as short as I can, and with a lot of dialogue in this one there wasn't much more room). BUT my main explanation is that the emotional tone of this chapter is much more simple and comfortable - it's not Hannah getting swept up in amazing new emotions, which is when I like to be the most florid. There's a comfortable simplicity to it, Susan and Hannah in bed together giggling about a boy one of them wants. It feels right to me that this chapter feels more down to earth in its language than ethereal, as each kind of language has its place in different scenarios and chapters.
Yes all the growing love yes.
Apparently I didn't review this before? Well, I get to review it now, then!
There are so many beautiful, weighty lines in this chapter. My favorites are these-- "I am hers in body and in soul, and yet I am more my own than I have ever been." and especially, "This isn’t just being in love. This is my eyes being opened as I feel the full possibilities of the world around me and, for the first time in my life, chose to fully accept them."
asdfjkl; SO BEAUTIFUL.
Also, that first line. Oh my. You're giving me heart palpitations. THIS IS NOT FAIR. I'm just kidding. It's great, you're great. Double entendre is great.
Except, now that I'm thinking about that opening bit, I'm not sure I'll manage to leave the rest of this review. :P I'll give it a try.
Susan and Hannah definitely have chemistry together. I can see Hannah growing more at home with herself, bit by bit. It is, as you might guess, a metamorphosis I hugely appreciate. In particular, it's cool to see her becoming aware of polyamory and the beautiful possibilities of it, and surprising herself with her ability to rise to those possibilities.
I find myself feeling really grateful that I get to read these words you write. *squish* They're so impeccable - emotion, rhythm, warmth, originality. You're so good.
OH OH OH and also NEVILLE! YAY! I love him so much! :D :D
And also I love this story. And also you.
Oh wait, this is a totally new review? WowWheeWoah! <3
Yay, I love all of your favorite lines extra much for being your favorites. And I am glad you appreciate my double entendre.
One thing that I pride mself with this story (not being modest, there are a lot of things I pride about it because I love it) is that even with such short glimpses of chapters, Hannah really learns something about herself in every chapter, which I think makes it both fun to read and write.
I love your review and your words, and I commend you for keepin going when you weren't sure you'd be able to manage the rest of the review =P
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♥ ♥ HAPPY BIRTHDAY BESTIE! ♥ ♥
I had been really wanting to continue with this story anyway because it's fab, so your birthday was exactly the excuse I needed to stop by.
I wanted to leave you a crazy long, gushy, fangirling review - but I'm too distracted by THIS LINE:
"What was so wrong with letting Ernie set the rules if it meant I would be happy?"
Something about that just punches me in the gut. You don't take the easy way out, and I really admire that. It's so sad that Hannah feels guilty for not preventing this situation, not taking a stronger stance. I think she greatly underestimates herself, and so maybe she could have taken stronger positions on the "rules," as she puts it. But that wouldn't have changed anything - she's blaming herself for Ernie's faults and it fills me with righteous indignation. DOWN WITH ERNIE.
Yet, at the same time, I agree with her - she's only human and she was happy with Ernie and she shouldn't be blamed for doing what made her happy at the time. You've spotlighted a very real dilemma for a lot of women: the idea that women cannot be independent and also experience love. Which is obviously FALSE in every way, and I'm so glad you're addressing it. No one could do it better! ♥
Also, what Ernie said about her changing clothes: GET LOST ERNIE YOU JERK. I mean, seriously. DOWN WITH ERNIE.
I really want to read more and get to a place where Hannah is happy - and perhaps Erie gets his just desserts :P However I've got TV to watch [hmmmmm, I wonder what I was watching :P], so that's all for now. ;)
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[I didn't include a greeting I guess? HELLO LOVELY!!!]
Back with your 4th (and final) prize review for the HPFF Review-A-Thon.
Can I just take a moment to say that the song lyrics fit each chapter, like, /ludicrously/ well? It's amazing!
*reads first line* Hmm, yes. I can see that Hannah and I are of the same mind on this topic. Jerkface.
Susan is quite an interesting character. I loved how she was so calm while Hannah was raging. It was such an interesting contrast. [Susan seems to view things with a remarkable clarity. She doesn't get bogged down in petty immaturity or jealousy or superficiality, and Hannah wants to learn from that but doesn't quite know how. I am doing all the relating.]
Poor Hannah - it's the worst when what you think and what you feel don't match up. Very upsetting. [Brains are stupid jerks.] (Hugs for Hannah!)
When she tried to blame herself I was so sad for her. It's very, very believable that she would have that reaction, though.
I'm glad she has Susan - Susan better not hurt her, though! [This seems unlikely to me now. It seems far more likely that Hannah will be hurt by her own indecision or uncertainty.] It's interesting, the way they talk. Sometimes it's like any two best friends, and then other times it's something more. [indeed]
This is a wonderful story, Sam! I'm so, so glad I've had the chance to start reading it. I definitely plan to continue, even though your prize reviews are done now.
I'm glad you said that about the lyrics. Once I got the rough idea for this story (a prompt from Kapa essentially asking for a polyamorous Hannah story) I knew that I wanted to use Lesley Gore's music. I listened to as much as I could find, and essentially came up with ideas that could fit with each song, and selected a bunch and put them in order. So really, the music came before the plot did, which is a really interesting way to play with this story. There is a definite added layer if you listen to the songs with each chapter, as I did my best to match the tone of the chapter with the song. Not to mention, I got inspiration for much more of the lyrics than I could pick four lines for.
I'm really glad you like this story so much! I totally understand if you want to spread the love to other authors for the Review-A-Thon, but I look forward on hearing your thoughts on future chapters. Also, thanks for hosting the great challenge!
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Oh, sorry. I'm here for the HPFF Review-A-Thon with prize review #3.
(yes, I skipped reviewing chapter 3. I'm so so sorry, but I just had to read on right away. I HAD to. It's not my fault this story is so entrancing!)
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah...
How could Ernie do that to Hannah?!? I don't like him anymore, by the way. Hannah is actually *in love* with another person, but she hasn't cheated. What a total hypocrite!
Also, his dismissal of polyamory is no good at all! Obviously. (I was guessing that was the idea here, by the way, but I'm glad you laid it out for me because I'm not super knowledgeable about these things, so that was helpful.) [Knowledge has increased haha]
You made the blow absolutely brutal here, because the beginning of this chapter is so innocent and fluffy, except for the polyamory discussion. But Ernie's response would seem to suggest his own fidelity, so that also upped the impact.
NOT that she should have to choose, but I think I like her better with Susan. *throws tomatoes at Ernie*
absolutely wonderful, again.
[I'm all for increasing knowledge.]
Haha, I totally understand the need to rush on with such short chapters. I was just concerned at first that you hadn't read chapter three and had skipped the cute feelings chapter before jumping to the feelings that you have outlined in your review ; )
I get a cruel satisfaction out of reading peoples' reactions to the emotional roller coaster that is these first several chapters, and you do not disappoint!
This story was written with the assumption that most readers won't have much background knowledge of polyamory, so it is kind of introduced slowly as Hannah learns about it. I am glad that pacing works for you.
It is perfectly reasonable for somebody to be with more than one person but still not have to be with the jerkface.
Fun fact: Most people comment about wanting to punch Ernie. To my knowledge you are the first who has thrown tomatoes.
[[Transferred from HPFF with some edits]]
Here for the HPFF Review-A-Thon with prize review #2
Yeah, you go Hannah! I already love her, Sam. :D [i think you're right that she has a sort of neutrality ccomparred to most of the other characters. But she still has personality. When she gets all playful in the kitchen... definitely personality. ;)]
The relationship between her and Ernie is really sweet. I have to confess that it feels sort of, I don't know, simple? Not in a general sense, but in contrast with the depth of affection you created between Hannah and Susan. That could be deliberate on your part, in which case I think it's expertly done. And she does seem to really like him and be excited about seeing him. The playful banter between them was quirky and cute and also believable.
And then there's this exchange, where you tell us so much more than meets the eye:
“I’d like to see her again.” I speak timidly, a hint of a question in my voice.
“Well, sure.” He turns to take out plates for dinner. “It’s not like you have to ask permission to see your friends.”
Her nervous desire to see Susan, his failure to realize the depth of that desire (although I love him for his response)... it's setting the stage for something. [Now I wonder more about my iniital reading of this and other possible interpretations. But of course I was only using limited knowledge during my first review.]
Ernie is different from how I remember him from canon, but that's fine. We hardly know him at all from canon. He seems light-hearted and I like that... Hannah seems to like it too. ;)
I am SO SO INTERESTED to see where this is heading.
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There is very definitely a contrast here between her relationship with Susan.
On one front, she is just developing feelings for Susan, so the energy is very different than it is with Ernie, who she has been with for years. Also, he personalities of Ernie and Susan are very different, which is a definite factor. Also, on a writing level, I took the tone for this chapter from the title song, which has a VERY different energy than the first chapter's song.
I am really glad you like Hannah so much! There is a bit of neutrality about her, but I'm glad that can be done in a way that makes readers still like and relate to her.
People have very different reactions to this chapter, and I LOVE reading them all. Yours is certainly no exception.
[It's also interesting to see your change of perspective when rereading this! This is definitely a chapter that has a VERY different impact depending on whether you know what's coming or not, and I enjoy that power ; ) ]