It Happened Last Year
This story was truly emotional. I enjoyed how you wrote Hailey, and the issues she faced in the story. The scene with Daniel in his bedroom that first time... was raw. I feel like you truly captured her struggle and the struggle I feel that all victims of sexual assault deal with. Hailey’s need and desire to self destruct and conduct in dangerous and toxic behaviors was realistic and authentic. I appreciated that from her character. I like that she wasn’t just magically healed overnight, which made the story better and more true to reality. I believe the plot line with Harrison’s dad and Daniel could be explored more. It felt a bit open ended. What “bad guys” did Daniel have to deal with for Harrison’s dad and why? Will Harrison’s dad continue to do shady things like that? And while I love that Hailey got a happy ending, which she full heartedly deserved, it was a bit too happy and neat. It seems like she forgave her mom a lot more easily than what would have happened realistically. I guess what I’m saying is that adding a little bit of bittersweet to the ending wouldn’t have hurt. I also think the plot line with Hailey and Mr. Russ could have been explored more. While she does tell Daniel about that relationship, she doesn’t really dive in to why she went there with her teacher in the first place and the implications of a student teacher relationship. Sorry for how long this is! I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. I loved this story and its characters, and I commend you on writing about an important topic such as sexual assault and doing it with such finesse.
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