smircle

Tír na (not so) nÓg

A vet student from Éire with a penchant for procrastination, so I'll likely be here avoiding my responsibilities 😜 Drop me a message for review swaps 👍 Best of luck writing, daoine. Sláinte!

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Eerie yet endearing

(completed)

This is definitely one of those books I wanted to binge read but ended up having to read it over a few sittings, but that didn't diminish the effect at all! The writing style was engaging and suited a child/young adolescent's perspective. The writer adapted the style to capture Lucas' growing up, which is something that could've easily been overlooked, so props to the author for thinking to convey that.

I liked that it started on the reason for his night-time activities; it was much better being shown this in the moment when it happened, rather than it being hidden and told in a flashback somewhere later in the story. It was a great insight into Lucas' character and definitely helped me - not understand, as such, but sort of 'get' why he was doing it; or why he was intrigued enough to want to do it (I'm starting to sound like a psycho myself, he's a bad influence on me xD).

I wasn't really expecting a romance to develop, but it was quite naturally done. I didn't at all approve of Lucas' inclinations, but at least he was there at the right time (well, wrong time, given what happened; but right in a justice-y kinda way, if that makes any sense) and did the right thing by trying to help his friend. It didn't exactly work out as planned; I felt that the ending was more of a daydream than realty, but whatever the case, at least Lucas showed some morals and seemed to have changed his ways by the end.

All in all, really good job with this! :)

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Twisted indeed ...

(completed)

Well, I don't know what I was expecting from this, but whatever the case, I was definitely not disappointed - horrified, enraged, shocked, heartbroken, and a whole other heap of emotions, for sure, but overall, very impressed with how the writer handled the delicate subject matter. Adolescence is a tricky time to live through, which makes capturing it in a sympathetic way difficult, but each character was developed and explored at an ideal pace, making it very easy to engage with and feel for them. They were all distinct from one another, which is even more impressive given that they were all male and around the same age and so should've been easily confused with each other, but twas not at all the case here - props to the writer for managing that so successfully!

The actual plot was rough to read - not writing-style-wise, but the actual content. Every form of child abuse was seen along the way, a lot of it in an uncomfortable amount of detail - but it was relevant to the plot, not just added for the shock factor, so bear with it if you can.

The dialogue was well done throughout; I very much enjoyed the addition of different languages, it made it all the more realistic (and I always enjoy learning new swear words, regardless of the language xD) and also was a reminder as to the beautiful setting and cultures encountered. The dialogue itself was age-appropriate and read like things people would ACTUALLY say, rather than the usual formal, robotic shite you'd read in many stories, so fair play to the writer for taking that into account. The bickering between siblings/friends was a much-needed reprieve from the darker chapters, though I have to say, I appreciated the dark humour too, even if I felt like a horrible person for being entertained by it ... xD

There were times when it was a tad more tell-y than show-y; but I suppose kids tend to be like that, so it reflected their age and thought-process. I'm personally not a mad fan of first person, so it took me a while to get into and sometimes had me stopping during the earlier chapters to remind myself whose POV it was, but I think the first person narrative was best here as it added an even more childlike touch to the piece and definitely helped me engage with it all the more in the end.

Anyhoo, that's more than enough of my ramblings! I'll definitely be reading the next book as soon as I get the chance. Great job! :)

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Mr and Mrs ... Graveyard Dudes?

(completed)

I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting from this, but whatever the case, it certainly didn't disappoint! The opening was very different from any I've read before - it was abrupt but engaging and instantly drew me in.; it set the tone well for the rest of the story,

I enjoyed the humourous approach taken; I've seen it attempted before in horror/action novels, but it usually comes across as forced and out of place, but it worked very well here. It made the story even more engaging, especially naming him "Graveyard Dude" and the remark about how the person to scream "do something!" never actually does anything themselves xD Little quips like that made his character very relatable and all the more realistic.

The characters were well written and we learned a lot about them. There was a fair bit of information told rather than shown at the start, but as the storyline progressed, this changed for the better. The dialogue was good too and read like something you'd actually hear people saying in real-life, rather than the usual robotic formalities you so often read in stories, so props to the writer for that! The descriptions were great too - gory and vivid, but not just for the sake of it; they were woven well into the narrative and definitely had me making "yucky faces" like the girls at times xD

Really good job with this! :)

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Creepy ...

I haven't read many short stories in the horror genre as I find it hard to build the atmosphere in so short a time frame, but this was very well done! I liked how it was written from different students' POVs as we got an insight into each of their characters and their own theories/thoughts on what was happening. Having some characters believe it was suicide vs 'the jacket did it' helped to build suspense and was a clever way of going about doing it.

The mixture of long and short sentences was also a good way of building tension, especially during the attack/fight scenes. The descriptions were well done, as was the dialogue, and I liked how all the characters got their fair share of scenes rather than being made to be side characters.

The ending was good too - very 'WTF' and eerie ... Great job! :)

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Informative and Intriguing!

(ongoing, read til the end of chapter seven)

This was a really interesting read! I've always had an interest in Greek Mythology, but it's a tough genre to write well, but the writer did a great job. I especially liked how they chose to write about lesser known figures and the story of Pandora's Box, which isn't something I've come across very often, so props to the writer for making the story come to life.

The descriptions were very well done and I liked the angle of the MC writing a story about her family. It made the information about her background seem more relevant rather than it coming across as an info dump. Cupid being a detective is also a very different angle to take but quite an entertaining one - the analogy of him reaching for a gun rather than the usual 'bow and arrow' was well placed and definitely was an interesting take on his life on earth.

I also liked that the writer added about how difficult it would be for Gods to adjust to a life on Earth - the imagery about being thrown into a foreign land with their limbs torn from them was very powerful and really conveyed the hardship they must face.

Really good job with this! :)

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Short and sweet

(completed)

This was a lovely read, one of the few on here that I've finished in one sitting. It was short, but the writer managed to convey the relationship between the MC and her love interest in a natural, organic way that came across as real and believable.

The descriptions were well done, especially regarding Janet's feelings and thoughts about Ken and their burgeoning relationship and what that later came to entail. Their intimate scenes together were lovely and well written; the hesitation and tentativeness reflected Janet's personality well, and I liked that they talked about it/things afterwards - it showed a maturity and trust between them that was refreshing to read.

The dialogue was good for the most part, but it felt a little too formal at times; it didn't always seem like two young adults were conversing; it rather felt like it was set in an old era sometimes. There was quite a bit of 'telling' rather than 'showing', which I understand is necessary at times given the shortness of the story, but being shown that she doesn't get on with her parents/other students, rather than being told this, would've done more to develop her character and let the reader gauge for themselves how to view her.

I'm a pretty cynical person, so I wasn't a mad fan of the ending (I won't say what as I don't like to leave spoilers in reviews) especially since they'd only known each other for four or so months, but his parents seemed nice and it was interesting to see the difference in the environments in which they were raised.

While I appreciated the necessity of the final scene with her mother (again, no spoilers), I felt Janet was a bit of a push-over; I'd been expecting her to say more, but I suppose she took the mature approach to things which is admirable.

Another review mentioned this was quite fairytale-esque and I'd have to agree - not that that's a bad thing, not at all, I'd just have liked a little more conflict other than her parents not being great. Some conflict with Ken too, perhaps - I know it was the honeymoon period and all, but a little fight/tiff about something wouldn't have gone amiss, just to show they're not both perfect. (But again, that's just my jaded, cynical take on things, so take it with a bucket-load of salt xD)

Apologies if any of this came across as harsh/rude, that really wasn't my intention. I enjoyed the story and wish you all the best with your future projects - good job! :)

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Interesting start!

(Ongoing, read chapter 1)

This was an interesting opening! The opening paragraphs were very relatable - even though I quite enjoyed Maths, I never really understood what was actually going on in it xD The dialogue was well written and definitely the way people of their age speak - the "your mom" insult was especially apt xD

I wasn't expecting a sex scene so quickly but the writer introduced the situation well. The descriptions were good, and I wanted to smack him when he said what he said to ruin the mood .... The paragraph about not knowing how to describe a kiss was well written and added a new layer of depth to his character.

Good job! :)

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Interesting start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 14)

This is a really interesting plot! I like how the writer reveals the details about her past through dialogue rather than throwing all the information into a block of text and making it an info dump. The dialogue was well written and gave a good sense of the characters. The changing POVs were also helpful; they allowed us to learn more about each character from other characters' perspectives, so well done to the writer for using that technique.

The writer describes the emotions of Amelia/Ayra well too, especially in the opening chapter when she learns her diagnosis. The relationships between the characters are well developed, though there were quite a few characters introduced, so I found it a little hard to keep track of 'who's who?' at first, but once I got into the story more, it became easier to remember them.

Really good job with this :)

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Interesting start!

(Read the first chapter, still on-going)

This was an interesting opening! We learned a lot about Sol without any of it coming across as an info dump, which is a hard feat to pull off, so props for that. She seems very lonely and at odds with herself - she doesn't seem to have any self-confidence or belief, which is no wonder given the way her father treated her and her brother being sent away. I like how she interacted with the maid - the maid seems quite comfortable around her, not holding back in sharing information about the Count's exploits, so it appears she treats the staff well, which gives a great insight into her character.

The dialogue was good - formal, but it suited the atmosphere well. The maid's details about the Count's scorned lover were entertaining to read too and added a humour to the tone I wasn't expecting but really enjoyed xD

One little thing I'd say is to maybe make the ending a bit stronger - the rest of the chapter was intriguing and had me wanting to read more, but the ending paragraph didn't really have the same 'hook'. I assume something happens at the Ball, but maybe alluding to that in some way would add a little more 'oomph' - but that's just me being fussy; apologies if that came across as rude.

Anyhoo, really good job with this! :)

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An interesting start!

(Read til the end of chapter 9)

This was an interesting start! The author describes the emotions of the characters very well, as well as the settings. The descriptions are well done, especially in the opening chapter, it was very vivid and passionate.

The characters come across well too. I liked that the MC had a good relationship with her parents rather than the usual angst-y interactions seen between teens and their parents. It was a nice dynamic, as was the MC's relationships with her friends. It was a refreshing approach that worked well here. The dialogue was also well written and realistic, so props to the author with that.

There were a few times times where the tenses changed (especially the prologue) and some of the paragraphs could be shortened a bit to help with readability, but all in all, twas an interesting opening with some lovely descriptions.

Good job! :)

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Intriguing!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter four)

THE DESCRIPTIONS! <3 I'm an utter sucker for vivid imagery of any kind and this story had that from the moment it began in heaps, I was instantly sucked into it. The writing style comes across as quite formal but it suits the mood and atmosphere to a T, as does the third-person narrative. There's a foreboding, ominous kind of atmosphere that had me on edge throughout the chapters, while the detailed imagery engrossed me at the same time, so props to the author for creating such an engaging setting.

The characters were very well done too - the dynamic between the brothers is intriguing and they both come across strongly in their own right. I liked the changing POV and the insight it gave into different characters about whom we may not have known much otherwise. The author did these perspectives well and managed to make each character have their own voice.

Brilliant job! :)

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An interesting read!

(Still reading, this is based on the first 7 chapters)

This is a really interesting read! I figured it'd be a high-school romance with some of the usual teenage drama thrown in for good measure, but I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be different. The author has a good grasp of their characters and has developed them in an interesting way, especially the MC and her friend, Demi. Though Demi did something to betray the MC's trust, she isn't the 'baddie' in the situation, and I like that the author has created this grey area where the characters aren't only good or bad. It's very realistic and makes the story stand out more.

The descriptions were also really well done. The author conveys the MC's emotions very well, especially during emotional scenes such as at the graveyard and during the fight scene in the dojo.

The first-person narrative is also very well done; usually I find it to be quite robotic and hard to engage with, but that wasn't the case here at all, so props to the author with that.

I hope to add more to this review as I read on. Really good job! :)

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Really good start!

(Ongoing, read until the end of chapter 5)

This is a really good start! You've set up the family dynamic very well, and I really liked that you made it different from all the other 'step-parent' relationship stories. It was refreshing to see that she had a good bond with her step-mother; it made me a little sad to think that if she and Gia got along too, then Kalani could've had a family like before her mother passed. It's unfortunate that they don't, but Gia doesn't seem like a nice person at all, so I don't blame Kalani for wanting nothing to do with her.

The characters are developing well; I liked the interactions between her and her father, and her step-mother. They were warm and loving, which contrasted greatly with the icy, tense encounters with her sister. The fact she's marrying Kalani's ex is a bit weird (does she know they dated?). He comes across as a dickhead - messing around with Kalani while his fiancée is in the same building! It's completely unacceptable behaviour, regardless of how Gia has acted in the past.

One thing I'd say is to make sure each bit of dialogue (from a different person) has its own line. (For example: "I went out last night," Bob said. (new line) "I didn't hear you leave," Jim replied. "Where did you go?" (new line for Bob's response) etc.) It helps with readability and makes it so that you don't need to clarify who's saying what all the time.

Anyhoo, good job with this. Keep writing (and welcome to Inkitt)! :)

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Completely gripping!

Updated review (now finished)

Absolutely thrilling! I've little to add since my first review since I thought it was brilliant back then too and nothing has changed in that regard. I love horrors and thrillers but find there's usually something missing - but that was not at all the case for this story! Skillfully written, excellent tension building, a well researched and intriguing storyline - and the ending, I loved the jab at the movie/entertainment industry's vacuousness, and how she turned the traumatising ordeal into something that actually was to the benefit of the natives (a fitting ending given that Jim started off trying to exploit them).
An excellent read; can't wait to read more from the author :D

===

As much as I want to binge this, I'm making myself take my time 'cause I don't know if I'll find another story quite like it! It's thrilling and gripping - the author balances the eerie atmosphere with just the right amount of humour and light-heartedness from the characters, it reads like a charm.

The writing style was perfect for the piece - the varied sentence length and structure, coupled with concise but graphic visuals, made for a tension and suspense that was entirely immersive, I flew through the first few chapters and could barely stop reading to leave a comment on the writer's wonderful skills.

I'll add more to this review as I continue reading on, but if the rest is anywhere near the standard of the first 8 chapters, then my rating won't be changing in the least! Excellent work :)

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A harrowing opening

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 4)

The opening of this book was so unexpected (warning: flashback to a rape scene). The author skillfully captured the dissociated state that follows such trauma; I felt so helpless and angry at what happened, I was absolutely raging by the end of the chapter.

The next chapters are about the MC's childhood, which involved being in close proximity with the scumbag/rapist. It's an interesting narrative to adopt after such an intense opening, but the author captured the youthful voice very well, they have a talent for writing from different perspectives. The descriptions were also beautifully done; there was some lovely imagery that really added to the narrative, it was lovely to read.

Really good job with this, can't wait to read more! :)

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A gripping read!

(Ongoing, read til chapter 8.5)

This is a really well written story. The author has developed the world very well and I especially liked the little extra details/mentions that set it further apart from reality. The glossary at the start was helpful for reference, but I found that I didn't really need it as the author manages to make the unique concepts come across in the main narrative, so props to them for that :)

The author has developed their characters very well. There's a mystery behind the main character's mother that the author has yet to reveal, only giving hints thus far - this suspense has made it even more interesting and mysterious, fair play for keeping the reader hanging and intrigued!

Really good job with this :)

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Such a lovely writing style!

(Ongoing, read until the end of chapter 8)

This was a really good start! The author has such a lovely writing style, the words flow so well and it really draws you into the story. The imagery was very well written, as was the dialogue - it came across as very realistic and youthful through the use of words like 'dude' and such likes, so props to the author for capturing that.

I also really liked the chapter titles, they had me curious about what was going to unfold. The changing POV was also handled very well; each character developed a distinct voice in their own perspective. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Inigo when it was his POV, but when it turned to Amora's, I was furious at what he had done - the author captured both their perspectives brilliantly, it made me conflicted regarding what happened.

Really good job with this, absolutely love your writing style! :)

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Interesting start!

(read til the end of chapter 5/number 12)

This was an interesting start! I like that the writer used a journal as a means of providing details about the history/background. It was much more effective than using flashbacks, as it gave an insight into her character and helped the reader to understand her more; sympathise with her for what she'd gone through.

The family dynamic was at first a little confusing but once the journal entries began, it became clear why their relationships seemed strained and distant. The dialogue was well done throughout and read like something you'd actually hear people say in real life - especially when she was talking to her friends. I liked the swear words dropped into the narrative; it made it feel more real and a lot more entertaining than the usual bland first person narrative you see on here xD

I wasn't a big fan of using emboldened italics for some of the dialogue. I understand that it was to convey that the conversation was taking place in the past, but it took me out of the story a bit.

I liked the back-and-forth between the present and the past (journal entries), but it got a little tedious at times. I was more interested in the present and would have liked a few chapters in a row dealing solely with that, rather than flicking back to the 'dear journal' side of things. (But that's just a personal thing of mine - I dislike when POVs switch between characters in the same manner too, so it's not a criticism about the style, just me being annoying xD)

Anyhoo, really good job with this :)

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A memory you'd rather forget ...

If Sir Alegria ever invites me over for dinner, I think I'll be declining .... xD

Good job with this! I liked the explanation of what a dagli is; it's kind of like flash fiction, but the name is a lot catchier and intriguing. You built up the suspense well, especially given that it was such a short piece. The dialogue was good and definitely read like how people actually talk in real-life. Ending it with a line similar to the title was a great way to tie it all up and make the reader feel just as horrified as the characters.

Good job with this :)

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I don't know what I just read, but I want MORE xD

(on-going, read til the end of chapter 7)

Well, that was a wild ride! I was expecting something light-hearted and quick to read, but this was not that at all and I'm delighted that it wasn't xD It was humourous, entertaining as feck, completely unpredictable and satirised the world of politics more than politicians (unintentionally) do themselves, which is an impressive feat in its own right xD

The characters were well introduced and developed, and they were all distinct from one another. The dialogue was good and had some creative quips/comebacks that I shall definitely be implementing in my own life ASAP! I loved the diversity and inclusiveness of the characters and the dynamic between them all; they fit together well in a mismatch-y kind of way that was refreshing to read.

Really good job with this, I hope you continue it soon :)

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Gripping read!

(complete)

This is one of the few stories on here that I've read (and finished) in one sitting.; the shorter chapter lengths definitely helped with that, but it was definintely the intriguing storyline that kept me going.

I'm not familiar with the game on which this is based, but that didn't hinder my enjoying the story. The set-up is well done and the main characters are introduced in a clear and distinct manner. There were a lot of characters included, so it took me a while to figure out who was who, but I found the dynamic between the friends entertaining and realistic - they definitely came across as a regular group of teens with their banter and relationship drama.

The descriptions were well done, especially during the more action-y scenes. The dialogue was great too and read like something that this age group would actually say in real-life, instead of the robotic, formal claptrap seen in other stories ... The writer has a knack for creating tension and suspense; the change in POVs really helped in achieving this.

I found that some of the paragraphs were a bit long and could've been broken up more for ease of reading. I'm not mad on using capital letters to show that a character is shouting, but that's just a personal thing. I'd have loved to have read more of Josh's POV, but I understand that that couldn't really be done in the earlier chapters without giving everything away.

All in all, I enjoyed the read (even if it ruined 'Frère Jacques' for me forever xD) - great job! :)

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Cute start!

(ongoing, read the first chapter)

This was a lovely start! The MC is introduced very well and she comes across strongly. I like that the writer gave away bits of information about her background without making it into an info dump - opening the first chapter on her leaving the dinner with her mother was a good way of showing the poor relationship between them, rather than just being told they don't get on, so props to the writer for that!

The descriptions were well done, especially when describing the new fella she's met. He's interesting - quite mysterious, but not in a broody kinda way since they talked and teased one another a lot. The dialogue between the was well written and flowed well - it was casual and read like stuff you'd actually hear young adults say, so the writer did a good job in capturing that.

Really good job with this - keep writing! :)

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Gripping!

Shub Agar has done it again - an epic, emotionally driven piece about life, loss, love and regret (for things done but also left undone). It drew me in from the very start; the frantic worry and desperation felt so real and was only the beginning of the heart-wrenching array of emotions conveyed throughout the piece. The writer's grasp of emotional writing is excellent and truly made this piece engaging.

I liked the format of the story: the pre-war bits about the dance company/their life together vs the war and the letters. The pre-war scenes were a much needed reprieve from the intensity of the war scenes, especially as the story moved forward and his letters became more desperate and depressed. Adding the dates and years was a good indication of the passage of time and worked especially well in adding tension and suspense when they were captured and a long time had passed between letters.

The revelation at the end (I won't say what) was well placed and added an even heavier air to the atmosphere.

One little thing I would say is that there were quite a few sentences that started with 'I' or a pronoun in the first few sections and it became a tad repetitive. This sorted itself out in later sections, so it's nothing to worry about and is just me being really nit-picky xD

Anyhoo, great job with this; you have a wonderful ability to capture so much emotion in such short pieces, please keep writing! :)

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Great Anticipations

Just giving this the five-star rating that it (if it's anything like the previous two in the series) no doubt deserves - I'll update this properly when more chapters are posted, but trust me, it's definitely going to be good xD

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Vampire Baby - need I add more?

(ongoing, read til the end of chapter six)

I do love a good horror/thriller, but I can't say I've seen many horror/humour stories about - or, at least, none that have managed to pull it off; but this story certainly did just that! It was humourous without being humourous - it wasn't slapstick or forced jokes, there was just something distinctly entertaining about the writing style that had me snorting (at likely highly inappropriate times).

The writer also did a great job of building up suspense and tension throughout; Chris' declining mental state was portrayed realistically (well, how I'd imagine one would react to being stuck in a sewer with a vampire baby for the foreseeable future) and I like that the writer didn't shy away from the gory side of things - tis a horror, after all.

Anyhoo, really good job with this, can't wait for more! :)

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Very engaging!

(completed)

This was a really interesting read! I love stories set 'back in the day' and this one didn't at all disappoint. The writing style was quite 'old time-y' and definitely added to the atmosphere of the piece. The writer developed their characters very well, especially Blythe: she was a strong, independent woman who certainly gave Mackenzie a run for his money (literally!). The dynamic between them was intriguing and I felt they were very well matched - which made the ending even more heart-breaking, though I very much admire the writer being realistic about that.

The descriptions were very well done too, as was the dialogue. I liked that the writer didn't shy away from gorier scenes, especially given the nature of Mackenzie's enterprise. I also liked how Blythe's relationships outside of Mackenzie were developed rather than having everything be about her romantic attachments. The dates and locations given at the start of each chapter were a nice addition too, not something you usually see, but they fit well here and gave a sense of the passage of time.

There were a few grammar errors (misspellings, tense changes), but nothing that detracted from the story. A good edit will surely catch them all no bother.

Good job with this! Congratulations on finishing your first story, it's a wonderful feeling and achievement :D

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Gripping!

(ongoing, read til the end of 13)

This was a very interesting read! The first chapter was a whirlwind of emotions and the subsequent chapters were very much the same - the writer has an good grasp of emotional writing which was crucial for allowing the reader to emphatise with A, who isn't your usual run-of-the-mill character; he's in the greyscale for sure.

The descriptions were brilliantly written, especially when it came to describing feelings and emotions. The dialogue was well done too; each character's was distinct and, as you read further along, you could nearly tell who was speaking just from the word usage, so props to the author for capturing those distinctions.

The dynamic between A and Ezra was very intriguing - A was very conflicted about his feelings (and for good reason) and the chapters where he was trying to overcome that were heartbreaking to read, but very realistic.

There were a few tenses/grammar issues, but nothing that can't be fixed with some editing. All in all, a very intense and emotionally driven story - great job! :)

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Intriguing start!

(ongoing, read til the end of chapter nine)

Really interesting start! I really like the writing style, there's some very engaging about it that draws you into the narrative. The chapters are quite short, but I feel that adds to the mystique of the piece; it definitely had me clicking the 'next chapter' button more quickly than usual xD

The imagery was very well done, especially when describing nature scenes. The dialogue was good and tailored towards each character - some of it was formal and 'old time-y' (like something you'd read in a classic), whereas the MC Greta used words more closely fitted to nowadays, so props to the writer for thinking to make that distinction.

The dynamic between the MC and the 'master' (who seems to sort of be the antagonist at this stage of things) was intriguing and well captured. It'll be interesting to see if he manages to turn things around and get on her good side 'cause he'll certainly be needing that given what he's intending to do xD

Good job! :)

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Entertaining!

(read til the end of chapter 20)

This was an enjoyable read! I liked the author's humourous writing style, it was very engaging, especially with the references to a wide range of figures from Dr Suess to Billy Joel. The MC's internal quips were also entertaining to read and definitely gave a sense of her character. She was very relatable with her 'winging it through life' vibe (same xD), but she also stood up for herself and didn't take shite from anyone, which I really admired about her. One scene in particular I liked was when she called Blake out on his being late when he made such a big deal about her absence when she was meant to meet her friend. Most people would have let it slide, but she didn't, and it made me respect her character a lot more.

The dialogue was good and well-written; most dialogue in stories tends to come off as robotic and formal, but here it was casual and written how people actually speak in real-life, so props to the writer for that.

I'd love to have seen a little more about her life outside of work/Blake - the chapter where she met up with Jen and her baby, for instance. That could have been a good scene to show us more about how she interacts with people from home/outside of work and developed her character more. But that's just me being fussy - all in all, great job with this :)

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A "bud"ding tale

Having read the first book, I was very much looking forward to this installment and it didn't disappoint at all. The author continued to impress with their lovely writing style which made the settings and characters leap off the pages. The imagery was beautifully conveyed and really made each scene come to life.

The characters themselves - both old and new - were developed and built upon well. I was certainly rooting for Soo-Ah and Jung-In, but I appreciate that the writer didn't make that happen (despite the many situations when it could have ... or, in my very biased opinion, should have xD). Soo-Ah's feelings for the General were very real to her; I really enjoyed reading about her exploring her feelings, especially in an era when women weren't meant to feel or want such things (which is still sort of the same mentality in this day and age, but I digress). The dialogue and interactions between Soo-Ah and Jung-In were very well done and certainly made their relationship seem very natural and caring.

Another wonderful job - can't wait for the next instalment! :D

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An interesting read!

This was an interesting read! I liked that it was centred on the experience of two children rather than from a solider's perspective, which often is the case with many war stories. It gave a new perspective and allowed for more light-hearted moments to be had.

Making Max Jewish and Austrian made it even more intriguing - despite being a child, he was still sometimes faced with prejudices from his peers, though I liked that he had a group of friends to support him.

The corporal punishment scene - while sad to read - was true to its time and very well written. The scene where Max is telling her about the letter was also well done; you captured the emotions very well.

The dialogue was good but felt a little too mature at times - I know this is set in the 1930s where the pattern of speech was different and more formal, but I sort of forget they were children sometimes. I did enjoy the addition of different languages - German, French - and felt it added an extra layer of realism to the piece since it was a 'WORLD' war, so the different cultures and languages were a great way of reminding us of that.

The narrative was a little 'tell-y' rather than 'show-y' at times. Showing us the characters emotions - even with something as simple as "he frowned", "she clenched her first" etc - rather than being told "he was confused" or "she was angry" adds a lot to the story and allows the reader to become more engaged. This is something we all do though, especially in the first drafts; it's nothing a few edits won't fix :)

All in all, really good job with this!

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An enjoyable read

(Completed)

I personally dislike Shakespeare and have an internal feud of my own going on with Romeo and Juliet, so I wasn't too sure I'd stick with this the whole way, given the premise - but I was quickly endeared to Andy's sarcastic little quips and writer's woes; she was entirely too relatable. All the characters were - even the secondary characters underwent development and weren't just there for the sole purpose of giving random pep talks to the MC.

The relationship between her and Dan was lovely to read - sweet and awkward with a healthy (unhealthy?) dash of drama, they complemented (and complimented, much to Andy's surprise) one another well; they seemed natural together and I really enjoyed getting to see their friendship blossom throughout.

I'm still a bit iffy about the short story - I felt it took a little away from the main narrative, but at the same time, I thought it was a nice addition. I think I'd have been more engaged with it if the short story had its own chapters? Or was given in its entirety at the end? But that's just me being fussy xD

Anyhoo, really good job with this! I look forward to reading more of your work :)

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A heartwarming read

(Completed)

Given the overload of vampire/werewolf stories on here, I'm always glad when a non-fantasy book pops up, and this one certainly didn't disappoint. The premise was simplistic, but the author managed to make it their own by creating distinct and realistic characters who each have their flaws but obviously care about one another a great deal.

I liked how the storyline didn't focus solely on the MC's relationship; his friends played a big role in the story, which is usually something that is pushed to the side when an MC gets involved with someone (as was seen by his friends' relationship and how they took him for granted), so it was a nice change to see someone having more than one priority.

The dialogue was very well done; the banter flowed so well between them, it was lovely to read and definitely made their relationship all the more organic and natural. I was certainly rooting for them throughout and loved the addition of the epilogue at the end.

Really good job with this :)

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Intriguing!

This was really interesting! I liked that the supposed heroes of the story weren't made out to be the types of beings who can doing nothing wrong - they were riddled with doubts and worries and every other manner of issues, much like the humans they were created to protect. I believe this empathy they had for the humans was a big factor in gaining their trust originally; it certainly helped me understand their devotion in the opening chapter. The writer did a great job in conveying this throughout the narrative, rather than just throwing it into an info dump, so props for that!

The descriptions were well done, as was the dialogue. Each character had their own distinct voice, which is hard to pull off when there are quite a few POVs. I found the changing POVs very useful to give a good sense of the characters and their own individual struggles. The bond between the Monarchs was all the more clear as we were given the chance to see each Monarch's opinion/view on the others, which was done very well.

Really good job! :)

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Intriguing!

(Completed)

This was a really interesting read! I liked that the first chapter was mainly an introduction to Lyla's character - we learned a lot about her and it set a good basis for her character development along the way. The way she met Caleb was well written - there was an instant attraction there that came across naturally. Having the first sex scene just between them was a good way to get her comfortable with being intimate with strangers so that the addition of Jonah to the mix wasn't as intimidating as it may have been otherwise.

The descriptions were well done and I liked the blossoming relationship between them all - it wasn't all just about sex, they genuinely seemed to like one another, which made the ending all the more realistic and organic. Sara is a good friend - non-judgmental, considerate and really looking out for her friend. She'll be a good source of support for Lyla when she reveals the 'unconventional' relationship to others.

Really good job! :)

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Lovely writing style

This is the first short story I've read in the longest while and I honestly feel like I just finished a full-blown novel; the characters were so well-developed. The self-doubt (and almost at times self-denial) the MC was facing was all too relatable; the writer captured and conveyed those emotions well. I very much enjoyed the little quips in brackets spread throughout the piece; they added a touch of humour to an otherwise rather heavy story, and also revealed a lot about Advay's character.

The writing style was lovely to read - poetic and flow-y, it was so different to the usual styles. I also liked how it wasn't over-romantacised - the whole 'beautiful drenched stranger at my door during a storm' trope could've easily become over the top and cliché, but the writer avoided that and kept it real, which is very much appreciated,

Really good job with this :)

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A refreshing perspective!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 2)

I've read a few diary-type stories but they're usually from a kid's perspective - so this was definitely a new angle! It felt really real; the wandering ramblings and go-with-the-flow thought process made this seem like a real diary of a woman who's been bored for so long and is now finally getting to experience things how she wants. The freedom and relief comes across very strongly in the way she doesn't hold back with the details; it's refreshing to read, and I also really enjoyed the humourous tone it takes at times too.

Tis only two chapters in, but I'm looking forward to reading more. Great job! :)

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Intriguing start!

(Read til the end of chapter 8)

This is a really interesting start! I really like the author's writing style - there's something very engaging about it and it really drew me in. The descriptions about people - especially in the opening chapters - were beautifully done and conveyed so much emotion and feeling - it's a perfect example of 'showing' rather than 'telling'.

I liked the changing POVs too - the writer managed to make each of their voices unique, which is a hard feat to pull off, so props to the writer with that.

Zel's character's perspective is the one that I find most interesting - I can't quite figure out why, I just really enjoyed reading his chapters. That dream he had about his biological mother was intense and very tense - contrasting it with his relationship with his adoptive mother was a very good way to get across the lasting effect his past has had on him. It was intriguing to read, and the way the writer set the scene with their amazing descriptions made it even more engaging.

Really good job with this! :)

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Intense start!

(Read til the end of chapter 12)

Right from the get-go, this was certainly intense and dark in a way most first chapters wouldn't be; the author manages to pull it off very well though, and I think the use of first-person worked really well here - it added a personal touch to the piece that really made the reader engage and empathise with the MC all the more, so props to the author for that.

As I said, it's VERY dark - but the author doesn't romantacise the topic. Anastasia's conflicted, 'at war' feelings come across as very realistic: she spent a great deal of her life trusting him and feeling about him in a certain way, so for him to completely turn on her and do such things - she obviously hates him but there's still that trust/security from before, so the writer described that very well and realistically.

The changes in POV were also helpful to get a sense of Elijah's character in a way we wouldn't have known if it'd just been from Anastasia's POV. The varied sentence structure added to the tension and suspense of the piece and made for a very troubling, foreboding atmosphere throughout the chapters.

Really good job :)

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Interesting start!

(Read til the end of chapter 6)

The writing style of this story is so different to the usual styles I've read on here - I can't quite put my finger on what it is:: it comes across as quite dream-like, fey, like we're reading diary entries from Amelia's life. It's a lovely style to read and the writer pulled it off really well, so great job with that!

The characters are all very lifelike too - the interactions between Amelia and her sister and peers is very realistic and relatable (especially the younger sister - I have one and I don't think we can hold a conversation of any length without bickering). The descriptions were well done and I really liked the little quips/thoughts she'd think in different situations - they were very entertaining and really added to her personality and gave a good sense of her character.

Really good job with this! :)

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A breath of (much needed) fresh air!

Even if you don't plan on publishing, you NEED to read this - it's full of insights and perspectives you'd never even think about, much less think to implement or consider in your own writing. It's witty, humourous, engaging and personal; I can't thank Rebecca enough for sharing this, it's truly eye-opening and leaves me eagerly awaiting the next update xD

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Interesting start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 4)

This was a really good start! The opening few paragraphs were interesting and gave the reader an insight into the characters, especially the relationship between her and her mother. Using "yet again" in relation to their potential argument was a good addition as it was a clever way to let us know that this tension has been here for a long while. The narrative has a nice flow to it; the info about her family and college situations fit well into the story - it didn't seem out of place or forced/info dump-y, more like we were getting an insight into her train of thought. Good job with that :)

The author set up the relationship between her and her grandmother well, too. The little bits in the first chapter made the happenings of the next chapter seem even more realistic; I understood why she felt comfortable around her grandmother before the interaction between them, so it was a very natural and moving moment between them. The dialogue was good, too, and suited the ages of the characters well. I can't help but wonder if the Irish teacher has anything to do with this Celtic knot/design (or am I just stereotyping my own countryfolk in thinking that? xD). I loved her connection with her dog; it was nice to see that she had some source of comfort within her family home.

I felt the story was moving a little bit fast at times - tis only four chapters in and her magic powers have been revealed, along with some background info about the origin of these powers. I'd have like a little more shock/confusion on Kathryn's part about the realisiation; she seems to sort have taken it all in her stride quite easily. A little more description about the characters would be handy too; I don't really know what her parents (or Kathyrn herself) look like. There were a few times when the tenses changed and a couple of spelling/grammar issues, but all in all, twas a really interesting start.

Good job! :)

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Interesting start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 16)

This was a really interesting start! The opening set the scene very well and the author captured the emotions of the MC skillfully. It was sad to read about what she was going through, though it was nice when she laughed when meeting the fella at the airport; the author wrote about that feeling of relief well, good job :)

The dialogue was good, and I liked that the author emboldened and italicised the 'wolf speak'; it made it easier to distinguish between it and external dialogue. The plot is progressing nicely; the descriptions of the MC's emotions are well described, as are the descriptions of the fight scene at the end of the last chapter; there's a good mixture of both.

Good job with this :)

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Good start! :)

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 9)

This was an interesting start! The author describes the main character's thoughts very well; it was horrible to read what he's been through, the way his parents/guardians were treating him and his sister was disgraceful, I really hope they get out of that situation soon. His character comes across as strong and brave; the way he cared for his sister was admirable; their relationship was depicted well, so well done to the author for capturing that.

The dialogue was good and realistic for the ages of the characters. His relationship with this new student is interesting and well written; hopefully he can be a source of support and comfort for him as the story continues.

Good job :)

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Very engaging start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of ch2)

This was a very entertaining start! I'm loving the MC already; it's refreshing to read about a character who accepts herself and doesn't give a shite what anyone else thinks. She's bold, confident and happy with herself as she is, and it's just such a lovely change to read from an overweight character's perspective rather than them just being the side character for entertainment purposes.

The chapters are quite short but entertaining as heck, and we learn a lot about the characters from their dialogue and interactions. It's sad that Kevah's mother thinks she'll never find a partner because of her weight, I really hope she gets over that notion and supports her daughter in every way. Her interactions with her siblings were very realistic and amusing, as were her encounters in the restaurant with the two men.

I'll add more to this as I read on; really looking forward to reading more, great job! :)

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Interesting start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 10)

This was a really interesting start! The opening scene was very dramatic and vividly described, it set a very sombre mood that underlay the rest of the chapters. The horrific dreams the characters have are intriguing - very dark and haunting, and the author captured the feelings one would feel upon awakening very well.

The descriptions were well done; the author has a knack for describing settings and scenes, whether it's action-packed or something simple like a bustling town. The characters are well developed and come across strongly; I liked the changing POVs, especially Alice and Avice's perspectives, it was interesting to get an insight into their characters and learn more about the MCs from their insights.

Really good job :)

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Lovely start!

(Read til the end of chapter 7)

This was such a lovely start! Given that it's a children's book, I wasn't really expecting much in the way of writing style, but I was quickly proven wrong in that regard. The author managed to capture a lot of detail and emotion in very few words - it suited the piece perfectly given that it was from a child's POV. There was an innocent wonderment about the piece that gave it an Anne of Green Gables vibe, and I loved the pro-LGBTQ+ stance and the fact that there wasn't an issue with same-sex parents. I think that's such an important message to get across to children and there are too few books out there that deal with it, so props to the author for helping to fill in that unfortunate gap!

The characters themselves were very well written. Despite the simplicity of the narrative, they came across strongly. I really felt the connection she had with her new parents; shared love of reading and literature is a powerful bond across the ages. The author captured the childlike voice of Em perfectly; the dialogue and word choice reflected her age, which is something many authors forget when writing from a young person's POV, so well done with that.

I hope to read on soon - lovely job! :)

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Very insightful!

Another well written one-shot that skillfully captures the anxiety and uncertainty that comes in the build up to the arrival of a child. The author creates a tension almost instantly and allows it to build up and abate over the piece until it reaches it breaking point. I found this very realistic, especially since the breaking point was something as simple as undone dishes - it's a build up of the little things that makes us snap sometimes, so it was very relatable and understandable why she went off at him like that.
Really good job with this :)

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A lovely start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 3)

This was a really sweet start! There's something about it that hooked me instantly and drew me in. The characters are coming across strongly already, especially Yuki - she's compassionate, friendly, passionate about literature, and her interactions with her friends and family were wholesome and realistic; it was entertaining and .very engaging to read.

Tis only the third chapter, so I'll add to this review as I read on; but really good job so far; looking forward to more :)

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A chilling read

This was a spine-chilling read - very eerie; there was something almost manic about it; like we were watching a man descend into indescribable grief right in front of us - it was harrowing.

The author captured the desperation and denial of the character skillfully - using the second person ('you', 'our') was a really clever way to draw the reader into the story and make it even more gripping. It read like a train of thought; like we were inside the man's head, feeling and thinking everything he was.

Ending it off on the short repetitive lines only further added to the 'descent into insanity' feeling, but it also gave a finality to the piece; like he'd decided to join them in the only way he knew how ...

Excellent job! :)

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Interesting start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 10)

This was a really interesting start! The author set up the relationship between the MCs well: Sophia seems very conflicted about her relationship with Connor, and rightly so - he doesn't come across as very nice at all, I do wonder what she sees in him. The changing POVs between the pair of them is very helpful for getting a sense of what both characters are thinking; Connor's perspective was especially interesting as it shows he does care about her, but there's something holding him back from really expressing himself in a heartfelt, loving way.

The author has established the other characters very well. There's a genuine feeling of friendship between them all, with what their bantering dialogue and mannerisms, so the author did a good job in capturing that.

Good job with this! :)

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Entertaining and engaging!

(Still reading, this review covers up til the end of chapter 8)

I'm really enjoying this! The author has a very engaging and lively writing style that's refreshing to read; they manage to balance the bits of humour with the more serious scenes very well, it was a really intriguing approach to take that definitely paid off well.

The characters are really well done too; the MC comes across as very relatable and realistic, especially with the way she deals with the break-up in the first few chapters. I also really liked the personal narrative and referring to the reader with the likes of "ladies and gentlemen". It was very engaging and definitely gave a good sense of the MC's personality, which is highly likable and way too relatable xD

I'll add more to this review as I read on, which I hope to do soon! :) Great job!

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An intriguing start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 8)

This book was really well written. The author has a lovely writing style that really captures the emotions of the MC in an intense and heartfelt way. The words flow beautifully and made me feel for the characters very quickly - props to the writer for pulling that off.

The author also sets the scenes very well. They have a good mixture of cutesy, sweet scenes as well as more intense ones, as seen in the opening chapter. The author conveys both types very well and has a good grasp of transitioning between them.

I also liked that the story began at a future point than to the following chapters. It was an intense opening scene that created a lot of suspense, but the jump back in time was well done as it created a mystery about how she ended up in the situation she's in in the first chapter. Reading the lead up to that is a good approach on the author's part to tackling this story.

Really good job! :)

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A lovely start

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 3)

This was a really good start. The author did a good job of catching us up on the goings-on between the two MC (this is a sequel) without making it feel it feel like an info dump. The third person narration really helped with this; it gave the piece of a flow-y feel that allowed the author to cover a long stretch of timeframe without it feeling jump-y, so props to the author with that.

The characters are well developed and come across strongly. The perspective of both MC's is given, which is very helpful in gaining an insight into both their mindsets. Their love for one another came across very well this way, especially with the little extra details like the note he left for her in one chapter.

Really good job with this :)

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An intriguing beginning!

(Ongoing, read until the end of chapter 5)

This was a really interesting read! Though I was only born on the tail end of the '90s myself, the author set the scene of 1994 very well, using references that are well known even for people who weren't around in that era. The narrative was straight-forward and well written; I especially like the author's attention to the little details, such as one of the cars reeking of "french fries" - the extra details worked really well to create a realistic atmosphere without overloading the reader with unnecessary descriptions.

The dialogue was well written and realistic for the ages of the characters. I usually find that most dialogue written from a teenager's POV is way too formal and stilted, but that wasn't the case here, so props to the author for that.

Really good job with this! :)

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Really good start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter four)

This is a good start! You've set up the somewhat strained family dynamic well; there was a lot of underlying tension in the first chapter, and I liked that you didn't overload us as to why. Keeping the information about the mother until a later chapter and just letting us know about the father's passing made it feel less like an info dump, which is definitely a good thing to avoid in order to make the narrative seem more like a story, so good job with that :)

You described the MC's feelings very well, especially regarding her father. She seems to think about him a lot whenever she's with the horses, so I understood her upset when Jen started going on about selling off his last horse. I'm glad she realised it was for the best though; as heartbreaking as it is to do it, it's not fair to keep an animal if you can't provide the right environment and care to them, so it was very mature of her to realise and admit that. Cheers for getting that message into the story.

There were a few paragraphs that were quite long (especially in ch2, I found it hard to keep track of what line I was on within the big blocks of text), but nothing that can't be easily fixed with a quick run-through. All in all, a really interesting start with some lovely descriptions and characters that are developing well already. Good job! :)

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An interesting beginning!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter four)

This is a really good start! The author has done a great job in setting up this fantasy world and explaining its customs and differences to the reader. One bit that stood out to me was in the first chapter when the MC was giving information about the background behind the formation of the world: most stories would delve deeply into the backstory in a way that's very info dump-y, but the MC here admitted that she didn't know the whole story behind it. I liked this approach; it allowed me to get a sense of the world before being told about its origins and history, so it came across less like a history lesson and more like a story. Good job with that!

The characters are well developed and their voices are distinct, you could tell who was speaking even if the POV announcement weren't there. The descriptions were good, especially about the MC's feelings regarding being chosen for the role; I felt her confusion, worry and uncertainty. All the characters were introduced well: spaced out rather than being all crammed into the one chapter/section, so it was easy to get a feel for them individually before meeting another one.

Really good job with this :)

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An immersive experience!

Updated (finished)

This is the second book on here I've finished and it was definitely worth it! I don't have much more to add to the review below except to say it engaged me unlike any other books I've read recently. I'm currently reading the second book and thoroughly enjoying it - the writer has a beautiful way with words and a captivating writing style, you won't regret reading this! :)

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(Ongoing, this review covers up to the end of chapter 4)

I'm absolutely immersed in this book. The author's writing style is so beautifully done: it's gripping and heartfelt and there's something so engaging about it, it's amazing to read. I don't know much about Korea (where the book is set), but the author has described the setting so vividly and introduced the characters and culture with such clarity that it didn't take long for me to feel right at home in so different an environment.

The characters are so well crafted: the narrative doesn't follow any one character, instead it's a rather omnipresent voice that flows between them all within a chapter, though the main focus is on the Soo-Ah (the young female protagonist). The flipping between different perspectives should be messy and make it hard to follow, but that wasn't at all the case here. The author skillfully gives insight into each character in a way that's honestly maddening to read 'cause I don't know how they do it! It's a talent I doubt I'll ever develop xD

I'll add more to this review as I read on, but just wanted to write one now 'cause this book certainly deserves a 5-star rating! Excellent job, can't wait to read on! :)

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Completely enthralling!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 7)

I'm utterly captivated by this story! I haven't read a story set in the drag scene that has taken this angle - it's very refreshing to see a different side to drag culture, one that's less flashy and showy and more focused on the person beneath it all, but still maintaining the atmosphere associated with the life. The author does a wonderful job of capturing all this, props to them!

The descriptions are very well done too; the author sets the scenes skillfully, but they capture the emotions of the main character - Bee - even more so. From his tense relationship with his roommate to his interactions with the mysterious Viktor, his thoughts and feelings are portrayed with a clarity that quickly drew me into the narrative. He's a very well developed character into whom we're given a great insight, but he's also unpredictable and does things that surprised me, but not in an out-of-character way - more so that there's more to him than meets the eye, and I'm entirely intrigued to find out more.

Excellent job with this, can't wait to read on!

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A very engaging read

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 7)

This was a very engaging read. The author skillfully writes in the first person narrative in a way that flows well and comes across as natural. They also handle the changing POV very well; both characters have distinct voices that help give an insight into the general opinions of both species (werewolf vs human), which I found to be very helpful in understanding the mindsets and intentions of the characters.

Caelynn comes across as a strong, determined and mature character who - despite not wanting to accept the fate that is in store for her - has decided to use her circumstances for the 'greater good' of her people. It's an admirable feat; I like that she has a purpose, an intention behind accepting her new position, rather than just jumping at the chance to fall into bed with him because he's good-looking. It adds more suspense to the plotline and makes for well-rounded, three dimensional characters who are set apart from the norm.

Really good job with this :)

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Very engaging story!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 7)

This is a really engaging read! I found the first person narrative very immersive, especially since she's such a strong main character who doesn't take shite from anyone, family or employers alike xD The author sets the scenes very well and uses dialogue that is realistic and engaging. I especially liked the Slavic language used in the first chapter, it made it feel all the more authentic.

Really good job with this, keep writing! :D

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Really good start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 4)

This is an interesting start. The author has set the scene very well and has created characters that come across very strongly. The main character is especially well developed through the use of diary entries mixed in with the 'present' narrative, so props to the author for using that style, it worked very well.

The author describes the scenes and the characters very well too, especially the mysterious and handsome Mr Philips. The author also describes the emotions of the characters well, especially regarding the relationship between the main character and her partner at the start.

All in all, a really good start - good job :D

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Really good start!

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 8)

This is an interesting read. The author has a good grasp of their characters and managed the create a protagonist who made me feel for her situation. She's relatable, realistic and comes across as very mature for her age, like she was forced to grow up too quickly. She obviously cares very much for her family given that she has accepted to be a surrogate. It's a big decision to make and the author's description of the MC's feelings - the regret, uncertainty, constantly trying to convince herself to not/do it - adds to the realism of the situation, so props to the author for creating that mood.

The dialogue is well done, especially between her and Kelvin. They obviously love each other, but I do see why he decided to do what he did; but I also understand why she did too, so it's tough to create a 'villain' in the situation. The author has created well-developed, three dimensional characters, which is very impressive in such a short amount of time.

Good job! :)

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Good job! :)

(Ongoing, read til the end of chapter 6)

The author did a really good job with this, especially since it has such an intense subject matter. The descriptions were very well done; the opening scene was riddled with suspense and tension that was well built up; the graphic imagery only further added to this effect.

The author clearly has a good understanding of their characters and portrays them well. The changing POV was well done and helped give an insight into each of the characters individually, which is a very handy perspective to have. The bit of mythology about Yoruba was especially interesting, I'd love to see more of that in future chapters.

All in all, a very interesting and intense start. Good job! :)

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An intense opening

(Ongoing, read til end of chapter two)

This is a really well written story. It started off quite light-hearted and banter-y, but tension quickly arose in the first chapter that the author captured very skillfully. The characters are well developed already, and I liked the distinct dialect used in the dialogue, it added a realism to the words, which I find is often lacking when writing from a youth's perspective.

The author adds in moments of humour too which came across very well. The author has a knack for transitioning between moods and expressing the characters' emotions through very little words. I'm looking forward to seeing where the rest of this story goes. Good job! :)

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An interesting read

(Read til chapter 8)

This was an interesting read. The author uses some lovely descriptions in describing the characters' appearances, they came across very strongly. The MC's relationship with her mother was lovely to read, they're obviously very close, which is a nice change from the usual poor parent-child relationships seen in most stories these days.

The dialogue was a little choppy in places but no doubt the author will fix this during the editing stages. I'd love to have had a scene about her interaction with the children in the orphanage in chapter one, it would be a good chance to learn more about her personality as well as to highlight how important the donation is that she gave.

The fate/chance encounter plot is nice to read; the author does a good job of capturing the suspense about their potential meetings.

All in all, an interesting plot that the author has developed well. Good job! :)

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An intriguing read

(Still reading, this review is based on the first 6 chapters)

This is a very intriguing read; the author has managed to create a thrilling atmosphere that hints at an underlying sense of danger and mystique. It's very alluring and drew me in right from the first chapter.

The author is very descriptive; they describe the setting and characters very well so that they're all distinct, which is quite a feat given that a theme of the book is how you have to fit in in order to stand out. The author did a great job of capturing this - props to them.

The dialogue is engaging and comes across as realistic. It was interesting to see the development of the main character: she evidently doesn't want to act so rude and harsh to her peers, but there's a reason for her doing so that is slowly revealed to the reader. I liked that we weren't told outright about her motives; the gradual revelation drew me in and made me want to read on to find out just what had happened.

Excellent job, can't wait to read on :)

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An intense read

(On-going: read til chapter 5)

This is an intense read. The opening is shockingly violent and the rest of the chapters are similarly so. The author doesn't shy away from the grim details in such scenes (warning: sexual and physical assault), making them harrowingly realistic.

Though the characters in the book - the evil stepmother and step-siblings, the dad who doesn't care - should come across as cliché, the author manages to add little details that make them more realistic. There was a line about the father looking as though he was worried about her following an abusive scene, so the author is developing their characters well and making them stand out without trying to redeem them.

The grammar and spelling was good, very little to work on there, and the pacing of the story was well done. The author has a knack for capturing the passage of time and focusing on the scenes that are important to the plotline, rather than describing every little detail.

Great job - I look forward to reading more :)

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Engaging first chapter!

(On-going; read the first chapter)

This was an engaging opening chapter. The author's use of realistic dialogue made the characters very relatable. The first-person narrative style created a personal atmosphere, which suited the piece very well, as did the italicised thoughts used throughout.

The pace of the story is good; though only the first chapter, the author has managed to develop their characters well, as well as giving some background information without it coming across like an info dump, so fair play with that.

I also very much enjoyed how the chapter didn't focus on introducing the potential love interest but rather the MC's (Olivia) new roommate. This stood out to me, as most stories would tend to delve right into the romantic angle, so I thought it was a very refreshing change to see friendship prioritised over relationships.

All in all, an interesting first chapter that sets the tone for the rest of the story. Great job! :)

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