|Reviews for The Murdered Do Haunt Their Murderers|
| optimisms chapter 25 . 12/12/2020
ali ali ali ali ali ali i love you so much omg!
it's been a few days since i finished the games, and i'd already read the epi, but obv with the semester ending and all that, i wasn't able to review until today.
i simply...i have no words. this was such a phenomenal story, from start to finish, every chapter was captivating and intriguing and suspenseful. the way that almost every death took me by surprise, not because they seemed unplanned but just...because i was caught up in the story, i guess!
i definitely see the improvement over the years but even the first few chapters were entertaining and worthwhile imo. i said this before but each and every character stood out to me; now, looking at this placement list, i can remember each and every one, even the fillers, and remember who they were, what they did in the Games, how they died, etc. you are truly skilled and dedicated and i have been so invested in this story since the first snippet i ever read.
im so honored that i was able to be a small part of this story, and it was such a blast watching you push through these last few chapters, telling chanel's story in the way she deserved even if it broke you in more ways than one. im so happy that i've gotten to know you these past few months and im soooooo excited for everything that is to come. i love you my darling and i can't wait for AGL!
| Alphabetta chapter 25 . 12/10/2020
Wow... Chanel... I never expected an ending like this. I suffered reading this. It's not fair. They lied to her. Although to be honest, I couldn't picture her going with Batiste. She's too stubborn for that. I wish now that she murdered him with a shard of glass. I want to think that she had a nice new life, but let's be realistic, she probably didn't. I can't believe we're at the end! I am going to miss seeing the email updates but 174k words, that's like writing a whole book. Congratulations on finishing! What you did is impressive. This story would have died before it started without you and im thankful for that. Thank you also for adding the original rank for comparison! I hope to see more works from you in the future!
| optimisms chapter 13 . 12/8/2020
One serious strength of your writing, and it's especially obvious here in the bloodbath, is that the physical/structural conflict does exist (by this I mean the conflict of "you're in the Games, you have to kill each other, the benefactors suck, etc") but the real conflict that you delve into and the conflict that really drives the characters forward is the inter-personal relationships and the internal dialogues/motivations. For me, the reason this bloodbath is such a compelling chapter is not only because of the voting and the desperation of the kids who die, but also because of the fact that the votes are revealed and aren't anonymous, and we see the different characters react to how their friends voted. We see people rationalizing their votes, pleading and begging for a chance, in complete denial of what's happening, sacrificing themselves, etc, and it all has very little to do with the actual structure of what is happening and much more to do with the characters and their development/arcs. It would be a completely different chapter with different characters and I think that's amazing! You really pulled it off here, and I've obv read the finale and I would say the same thing about that, there is a fight scene but the true appeal and effect of it comes from the characters and their arcs. I'm so impressed and proud of you!
| optimisms chapter 4 . 12/6/2020
I just wanted to leave a quick review and say that I am loving it so far (and I know I will continue to) and I am floored by how there isn't a single character so far that I don't like! I mean, some of them aren't nice, but none of them are even remotely boring. I've loved every single POV and I just can't wait to keep reading! That's a rare feat, at least from my time reading SYOTs, and it makes me *super pumped* at the thought of another one soon!
| Alphabetta chapter 24 . 12/3/2020
God, Chanel's story was harsher than I thought it would be. It was hard to see her crying because she's always so tough. I had no sympathy for Brandon. Especially not after he mentioned the miscomunication thing and how he excuses himself from what he did to Alaina. I knew Chanel was the winner but still, I suffered watching them fight. Finally Brandon is dead. Congrats for finishing this story! I enjoyed every single POV. What you've done here is impressive. Also congrats to Chanel for winning.
| optimisms chapter 1 . 11/30/2020
uwu babe ilysm xx
| Alphabetta chapter 23 . 11/30/2020
Brandon: Chanel is right, that is fucked up and he didn't have to mention Wes at all. What an asshole. But Shane became one of my faves and I like to see him mentioned. He was the first to go, but he had a stronger presence than other people that lasted longer. I don't like the fact that they can only see Madison in the map. I guess far away, in the mansion where the benefactors are celebrating the hunt, some of them really wanted to see Alex and Audrey meeting once more, and Madison decided not to fight so she was a goner from the start.
Audrey: This POV had me on edge the entire time. Audrey was in a very bad shape, and well, Alex too, but he seemed stronger, and with a deadlier weapon. Such a toxic idiot. I just couldn't stop thinking that Alex was going to kill her and I didn't want that to happen but I didn't see how Audrey would get out of this either.
Madison: She got literal days to go and find Audrey, I think it's a little too late now. I didn't remember her story and it was a nice reminder of who she was and her secret. O well, it doesn't feel like a secret, more like something she wants to forget and never talk about it ever again. It suits her escapist traits. It's true is 2 vs 1 but she has the element of surprise. She could have killed any of them, or the two, from there. Brandon was lucky cause I don't think he deserves to be there. He's an ass and yes, he was willing to get his hands dirty and is strong but he doesn't have a clue.
Alexander: What an amazing scene. One of the best of his fic, and a great ending for Audrey and Alex. Loved it. I wasn't ready to see her getting murdered by Alex, but she did it, she fucking did it and I am proud of her. RIP Audrey and good ridance Alex. He ended up consumed by anger and hatred.
Chanel: God, Brandon such a cunt. How does that matter? Only one lives in the end. Does it matter if Blake ended up living one more day? No. He made her suffer stupidly. He mentioned Wes just to trigger Chanel. Pls die.
| JabberjayHeart chapter 25 . 11/26/2020
I don't know why I'm giving you a review now when you just put my emotions through the wringer, but here we are. I'm so proud of you and everything you've achieved with this story. You've come into your own as a writer and I'm glad that my little creative nugget gave you the passive to make this unbelievable story come to life — better than I could've imagined or done myself.
This whole epilogue is sad as shit. You really did that. I always give my Victors remotely happy endings but you said Chanel didn't deserve that. You made her compliant and subdued — then you threw her into Detroit.
I'm honestly so sad right now and I'm so proud of you, too. Love you lots.
But we're no longer friends. Bye.
| Remus98 chapter 25 . 11/26/2020
Ali, this broke me. It was funny at times, it was heart-wrenching at others. It was truly beautiful overall. Idk who you think you are to feel it’s okay to play with my emotions like this, we’ve known weach other for all of three weeks and you’re already trying to kill me? And scream curse-words at 2am? Rude!
All jokes aside, I’m so proud of you Ali! I admittedly haven’t been with this project for as long as one Z (that girl deserves the world, I love her so much) but the parts I have read have been nothing short of perfection. I’m so happy Blake ended up in your hands. You really did him justice, and the idea that you connected even a tiny bit with a character i created makes my eyes… ok we’re crying in the club again.
Anyway, Baptiste needs to die. Anabel needs to die. Anastasia needs to die. They’re all horrible.
Again I want to emphasize how proud I am. As Haiden said, there’s been a few bumps in the road from start to finish, but you got out on the other side and you smashed it. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what the future holds to you (I’m excited about that bomb ass arena you’ve mentioned). Love you lots!
| District11-Olive chapter 25 . 11/25/2020
I'm very much not prepared to start reading this but let's dive in.
The first section is a good lead in. We see where she's been and how she'd been doing since the finale which is always what we want. I am glad to see that she still has that independence that a lot of us have come to appreciate, not wanting to take things from anyone even though she literally has to. At least they're taking care of her and making sure that she heals, even though it's still shady as all hell. Wonder what kind of pills these are that work in minutes like damn hmu.
I'm glad she still has her fight. Do we get to see her throw down with Anabel? I would be so happy even though I know Chanel would not win since they probably have more people plus she's hurt. I still want to see it okay. Then we also see the weakness in her, realizing that she's still young and she just wants her parents even if they've never been that present. "Feel free to be offended" - I am going to use this line irl I love Chanel. Baptiste is disgusting like he's actually terrible please leave Chanel alone. Her thinking about her family at the end of this was heartbreaking, like she's been through so much but appearances matter to them so would they still want her? That better be a yes I stg.
Chanel does honestly seem the type to just push all the emotions off and I guess that's what we've been seeing from her up to this point at least. Focusing on the physical aspect of her recovery is probably easier for her and like can't blame her for that. I'm so mad on her behalf like it makes total sense that she can't go home but also they suggested that she could and now she'll never know what her parents would think of her? That is cruel just kill her honestly. The outburst is so completely valid but so completely heartbreaking like it just reads as so desperate for explanation and they don't even have one. Both Anastasia and Baptiste act like they're sorry but they still did this to Chanel and deserve to deal with her reaction. Probably some sketchy shit happening and maybe they're not so bad whatever but they can still kiss her ass idc. This review is devolving and I can do nothing about this enjoy xoxo. He really expected her to just join up with his pussy club and sleep with him like I am going to be sick that is disgusting. Yes leave and don't ever touch her again I stg.
Once he left like her reaction is just so genuine. She clearly doesn't know how to handle this emotion (who tf would) and is looking for any distraction to drown it all out like mood. God these descriptions are good I love it but also hate how real it feels rn. It's all just rushing up around her and she's trying to control it but she can't, she just doesn't have the ability to. Literally going and breaking everything is completely understandable, and that line about the mugs breaking instead of her caused me actual pain. I like the continued theme of the pills bringing the end to sections/thoughts like that's pretty cool. Man I'm so fuckin broken right now thanks for this.
She just seems so? Sad? Numb? Like the anger seems to be gone in this new section but she's still so overwhelmed and trying to manage it. Is this why Baptiste left her for a few days? So that she would get through this huge reaction and be ready to be one of 'his girls' I swear to god I will murder this fictional man.
Graduation. Why did you do this to me I am crying in the disco and not in a cute way. Thinking about the fact that no one there knows that the kids were murdered is really crazy though. The line about Griffin like he did not deserve that and I'm emo just remember that horrible thing happening to him can we get a 'fuck brandon' out here thanks. Literally every mention of their portraits made them to be so pure like it really brings you back to where they started and now everyone is dead. Mentioning Gabby's brother is a low blow and I hate you! I didn't think it was possible for me to be more hurt after reading about the portraits but here we are!
I'm going to kill this man like how dare he tell her what she wants or to stop reacting to something that's so traumatic like fuck off mate. This entire conversation was so well done but I hate him so much. He seems to care less every time we see him, and then him basically threatening the people she cares about if she doesn't make life easy for him. God I hate him. More pills... different ones apparently that will 'stabilize her'. I am so skeptical about these, like the recurring theme is scary and I don't know what to think.
Dang that is a lot of increases over a (I think) short period of time like there is something up with these pills there has to be. There's the dream sequence, ugh so good especially seeing the context of she's being numbed to all her other emotions so guilt is all that's left. There's definitely something else with these pills making her literally more agreeable to him even though her mind is still kind of fighting back. He's trying to brainwash her somehow isn't he? Then with the electro-therapy like is that going to just destroy her further when the drugs failed to? Her begging the tech to help her was heartbreaking, but of course they're in on it too the HC wouldn't take that chance. Ugh I hate this for her. Are they wiping her memory? I really hate that as this goes on we're losing all the key character traits that made her standout to these stupid drugs like this really hurts.
They straight up are wiping her memories with this electro-therapy. I'm like half torn on this because yes it's cruel they are taking away everything from her so that she won't ruin their operation but also? This might be more humane than making her live with this forever? Okay never mind they're just going to straight up send her out onto the streets. After everything she endured and gave Baptiste they're just going to let her get lost in Detroit with the rest of the junkies, having no idea where or who she is. This is such a tragic ending for her? I'm really upset about this? It makes sense in a modern AU but why did you have to hurt us like this I just want Chanel to be happy and maybe not remembering will make her happy but also her life is going to be so hard from here and she doesn't even know why? Life is pain and I will never be the same.
Wow it's over? I'm so incredibly proud of you even though in this moment right now I hate you a whole lot for this epilogue. You persevered though this story and finished it which is so hard to do, and the story turned out amazing. This story has been an emotional rollercoaster (literally) and I can't wait to see your new fic. There is so much more to say but I'm broken and tired so this will have to do. Well done bb xoxo
| symphorophilia chapter 25 . 11/25/2020
congrats on finishing your first lengthy project/syot! its such an amazing feat and it's been a long time coming, as you said - youve gone through a lot since first taking on this project, and a lot of difficult things at that - but you kept with it and never gave up on finishing. that takes a lot of devotion, which is something you ultimately show in most everything you undertake. there is so much here to be proud of and i hope that you take pride in your amazing achievements to the fullest; you deserve to celebrate this story and how far youve come as a writer! its fantastic to see chanel's story finally completed in all its (tragic, painful, beautiful) glory - her ending was never going to be a happy one, and though its unfortunate, this epilogue - the loss of self and spirit within it even as she fought to hard to retain her identity and autonomy in the midst of the hunting club's malevolence - was a fitting way to tie everything off. honest to gods chills. amazing amazing work alison; tmdhtm is one for the ages.
| twistedservice chapter 25 . 11/25/2020
congrats babe, love you xx
| Cosmic Corsair chapter 11 . 11/24/2020
My first review is covering the days leading in to the 'Games' — as the students get situated in their cabins and become acquainted with each other. I thought the easiest way to do this was to go through each character and their arcs as briefly as possible. It's really interesting that save for a few, you managed to give every character their moment in the sun. There were certainly characters that appeared more frequently than others, but no character was completely forgotten. And even if you couldn't give each and every character their story-defining moment, you at least supplied enough backstory for the reader to form an opinion about them. There were only a handful, like Quincy, Doran, Wesley, and Nico, that weren't expanded upon for obvious reasons.
Jeremiah— This is the first student we meet as the buses venture to the White Mountains — advertised as a surprise end of the year retreat before graduation; but unaware to the seniors, their final destination. Jeremiah was a good character to begin this story because he's just like all of us; he's a writer, good-natured, calm-minded, and in general seems to be a good person, lacking the personal baggage and melodrama that seems to afflict most of his classmates in the story. It's Freya and Jeremiah who first notice that their phones no longer have service, and then that the buses aren't going where they're supposed to be going. This prompts Anabel to explain to the students that as a surprise, the school has sponsored a retreat for them up in the mountains, so they can bond, explore nature, and 'make memories together'.
Later on, Jeremiah attempts to create a poem, but struggles as he wants to be creatively unique from the rest of the group and doesn't know how. But then, during a meeting with Sawyer, Jeremiah learns that the counselors are in possession of files on each of the students. These files delve into not their grades, but deep into their personal life history. Jeremiah thinks about his mother and her selfishness, his workaholic father who never talked to him, and finally discloses to Sawyer that he wished his parents had prioritized family over their work. Despite his suspicions, Jeremiah is too trusting and polite to speak up, and continues divulging anything Sawyer wants to hear.
Shane— Shane's purpose in this story was very obvious to me, so despite his immature attitude and stupidity, I understood it was done to get the story moving. I found his first POV the most annoying, as he bragged about his suspension record and built himself up to be this misunderstood lone wolf and tough guy. He's very confident in himself and his ability to fuck with people and break the law, so I knew at some point that would carry over to something. Later, Shane for some reason decides to mess with the pipes and winds up completely busting the water main, causing the water to shut off, making everyone's lives miserable.
In response, Shane is beaten to unconsciousness by the adults as punishment, and afterward undergoes a stark personality change. Shane loses the cocky hooligan bravado and becomes a shell of himself. He can barely remember what happened to him and who beat him up. Shane's impulsivity and tendency towards troublemaking is the impetus for a lot of unease and dismay from both the students and adults — notably his friend Blake.
Mariana— I feel like I never quite understood who Mariana was or who she was trying to be, but I actually feel this was by design. She's kind of an actress — vain and pretentious, but doesn't go out of her way to be bitter or rebellious because she doesn't want to ruin her pristine reputation. Mariana dons a lot of masks and says things she doesn't mean to get a reaction out of people, and sometimes she's successful and sometimes she isn't. She tries to put on a positive front, but after her immediate failure to charm Milo, I feel like Mariana starts to fade. I felt she got lost in the shuffle among the catty more aggressive personalities of Alaina, Chanel, and Trina.
Madison— It's interesting reading Madison, it's been several years since I've read her form and I remember very little about this character. I was tapped for ideas back then — I had nothing to offer Corey but I still wanted to be a part of it nonetheless. Reading through this, and it's not your fault, I realize just how bland and nondescript she is. She's just an ordinary, quiet girl from an athletic background — a cheerleader actually, which is a new addition I believe you made that I liked. I didn't even think about that when I submitted her!
She's a nice kid, even though she doesn't exactly like to get involved in anyone else's problems. I feel like she's hiding some secret but I'm not sure what it is. She's sort of like Jeremiah in the fact that she's good-natured and loyal but isn't bold enough to be a standout protagonist. She's an observer and works best as that — although I thought her interaction with the perverted creep Sawyer was amusing, as well as her 'deer in the headlights' moment in the cabin when the girls started fighting each other. There's also a comparison that could be made, inversely, between Chanel and Madison. Both blonde former athletes that come from a wealthy background with doctor parents, opposites in every way aside from these details, especially in their height discrepancies.
I love what you did with her, even with what little I offered. I'll be honest when I say it was at a point in my life when I was really unmotivated and was kind of out of ideas. Wish I could have done something better but, it is what it is. But you did a good job addressing the points that needed addressing, such as her gymnast background and the situation with her parents. I really had a fun experience reading her stuff again.
Gabrielle— She reminded me of Shane, too much at some points. I wasn't shocked though, seeing that she was from Stockton. She's a very arrogant, competitive, and confrontational character — in this story, these traits are quite popular, but it's especially prominent in Gabrielle. She has such a "me against the world" mentality, it's so chaotic and like headache inducing to read. It's entertaining as hell though, so I kept anticipating when she'd show up again to stir up some petty shit.
Alaina— Ms. Prom Queen. I felt like Alaina was really unreliable as a narrator, sort of like Mariana, but in a slightly different way. Alaina's glare betrays her false 'prim and proper' persona. She's fake and also hypocritical in that she'll judge others who are fake. Alaina is most comfortable when she's guarded and rigid, keeping her secrets close and her enemies closer, feigning cordiality while trying to draw out their secrets. Later, Alaina's fake personality gets exposed when Eimer catches her with Brandon, and then all hell breaks loose when more baggage gets dropped on everyone. Somehow, Alaina slips away without anyone noticing. I feel like this is going to be common with Alaina later in the story...
Seraphina— Like Jeremiah and Madison, Seraphina is one of the nicest characters in the story, probably the nicest. She's shy too, which doesn't help this character's screen time that much. More than Jeremiah and Madison, she suffers from a lot of anxiety and self-doubt about herself. She wishes she were more disciplined and more focused. If she had these skills, maybe she would never have been sent to Haversmith. She has a nice scene early on with Freya, but it never materializes into anything. Later on, Seraphina begins to realize the truth about why her parents sent her to Haversmith. Turns out, they lied about her friends too. It's sad because you know Seraphina is so pure and nice, but at the same time, so gullible and trusting. She'll be an easy target for manipulative characters.
Harper— I don't really know how to feel about Harper. She had a really interesting highlight moment early on at the climbing wall, showing off her daring and escapist qualities. She's also a loner, so I'm really curious how that will translate to later. She attracted a lot of attention to herself, but it's not like she wants the attention. She has a weird contradictory personality but I do relate to it on some level. I really found the relationship she had with her parents to be pretty complex. That's all I can really say on Harper.
Yuto— Okay, this guy was funny. He's like some exchange student troll who runs around getting high and causing trouble. Every exchange student I've ever met was like the nicest person ever and then there's this guy. At first he just wants to have fun and get high, but he flies too close to the sun later on during his interview with Zara. I thought this was a great scene, seeing Yuto who's usually such a flippant troll, actually get scared when he notices the weird file. To his credit, Yuto isn't one to stand down, but what can he do against like five adults surrounding him? The fact that nobody wanted to believe him is kind of mad.
Gerard— Gerard is one of the few characters in this story who's actually nice, but he's unique in the fact that he's not shy or insecure. He's optimistic, knowledgeable, and eager to go out of his way to help others who need it. It's the kind of character people can relate to, but also an easy protagonist to read about since he doesn't really need other people to work off of.
Monica— You've done a fantastic job of making some characters actually unlikable. I don't usually dislike characters in syots, in fact before this story, I can count on one hand how many characters I've actually disliked throughout the years. In this story, I already dislike several. Monica is one of those people, but at first I only found her odd. She's nowhere near Trina-unlikable, but the smugness and pretentiousness radiates off of her scenes so tremendously. The fucking river drawing scene...she eventually won them over but man, that scene was tough. I'm sure Monica means well with her environmental preaching, but it's literally all she talks about and it's the way she says these things that is particularly annoying. I don't know, maybe I've interpreted her dialogue wrong? She just rubs me the wrong way, I guess.
Griffin— There's an intricacy to Griffin that may go unnoticed if you read through too quickly. You'll miss out on the contradiction of his character — why he hates lying and how it somehow ties into this fear of confronting his own past. I missed it the first time but I understood it now on this re-read. Griffin wants to maintain the impression that he comes from this great family with hard-working parents who supported him the whole way through. He doesn't want to taint anyone's perception of him because if they knew the truth of how he was raised, they'd have very different questions for him. Questions that Griffin doesn't care to answer.
Griffin could only keep up the lie for so long before the school used it against him. The whole debacle with Trina and Quincy was fucked up, certainly traumatic for someone like Griffin who wanted to protect his past. I think Griffin has gotten the worst of it besides Shane. He was emotionally vulnerable from the start and the school used Trina to exploit that. I think this is going to end horribly for Trina and Quincy.
Blake— I was really surprised with Blake that he wasn't as much of a jerk as I thought he was going to be. He's the all-star quarterback, the prom king, but he's not actually a bad guy. He can't be if he wants to maintain his good reputation. And looking back on when I was in highschool, that's actually how it was in real life for guys like Blake. All the prom kings and quarterbacks I knew were decent people. The realism of Blake, his talent for competition, taking charge and 'getting the victory' but also being a jovial and lighthearted person, is the reason I like him a lot as a character.
Freya— She's a superficial and naive character, but unlike Alaina and Eimer, Freya's warmth comes from an honest and innocent place. Freya's picture on the blog looks nothing like I imagined her to look, by the way. She looks so cold and calculating but she really is nothing like that. Freya likes to talk, a lot. Talking is basically therapeutic for her so she does it a lot. The funny thing is, she talks so much that even the popular girls are weirded out by her. She's a girly-girl who likes her material things and embraces the fact that she's superficial, but she's not mean about it and isn't prejudiced either. I really do like her.
Alexander— The fact that his last name is 'Grim', he smokes a lot, and is addicted to drugs, makes him the edgiest character in the whole cast. I'd probably like the guy a lot more if he wasn't so obsessed with his ex the entire time. 90% of the time, this guy is thinking about Audrey and nothing else. It's kind of sad but I understand that he's a teenager and he's stranded in the mountains in some cabin and everyone's hormones are wack. It's the Friday the 13th effect. Still, he's an interesting guy, but the fixation on Audrey made him seem so petty.
Trina— I won't mince words here, Trina is the textbook definition of a bitch. Constantly stirring shit for no reason, entitled, jealous, hypocritical, narcissistic...like the worst traits someone could ever have, Trina has. She's completely insufferable. The only good thing I can say about her is that she's...self aware? At least she's honest about herself. She's the perfect villain because there's literally nothing positive you can say about her. You want to see her die a horrible death so I'm definitely looking forward to that.
Juliet— Aside from her online gaming addiction (I can relate), I couldn't connect with Juliet, I think just because there was so little that differentiated her from people like Seraphina, Audrey, and Freya. With so many characters, especially with so many characters that have the same personality, Juliet fell into the background. She had a pretty wholesome and geeky personality, but the fact that there was no service at all really crippled her. Without that, she's a pretty normal kid.
Jackson— I like how Jackson is the only person in the class to walk around wearing a suit and tie. Amongst the drama, Jackson is a breath of fresh air. Even though he's rude and arrogant, his personality is starkly different from any of the other boys which makes him stand out to me so much more. Yeah he's a white-collar stuck up prick, but it's different from everyone I've seen and sometimes that's just enough for me to like someone admittedly. There's an interesting tidbit at one point with Monica, where she insinuates that Jackson slept with one of the teachers. It gives a whole new meaning to "teacher's pet".
Brandon— If Alex is the edgiest, then I guess Brandon takes the badge for the horniest. There's literally nothing else on this guy's mind but sex. He has an insane obsession with banging Eimer — this is his primary quest throughout the entire first half of this story, and unfortunately, it's never meant to be. He does everything he can think of to score with Eimer, and his desperation leads him to blackmailing Alaina in order to bang her to make Eimer jealous. I understand the struggle, but this man's thirst is off the charts. I'm not sure what to feel about Brandon — sometimes his horniness is funny, but then it becomes sad after a while. Getting laid is his main, his only priority. Like get a grip man.
Audrey— For some reason I can't explain, I really like Audrey. I think it's the fact that you put her in between these two catty, loud-mouthed girls, and by contrast it makes her look like an angel or something. She's very similar to Madison — the stoic eternal observer, doesn't want to get involved, just wants to keep her head down and mind her own damn business. I'm similar to that, so maybe it's the fact that I can relate to it so much. But Audrey has this calm energy to her that I just like — this patient stoicism. The only baggage she has is a literal person — Alex, a spiteful ex who refuses to move on. I feel kind of bad for Audrey in that respect. A personal favorite character of mine.
Simone— Another one. Although she has her goofy moments, like that hilarious scene in the showers, Simone becomes nearly intolerable as the story goes on. She's a gossip-obsessed, chatterbox who hounds people like some TMZ reporter begging for a scoop. It's not as annoying as Monica's global warming rants, or Alex's angst, but it's close. I don't think Simone is trying to be malicious, but damn, she's addicted to rumors and gossip, it's like she feeds on drama so she can spread it like a virus.
Dane— He bears a resemblance in personality and appearance to Jackson, but is much more refined in his attitude. I like the quirk of Dane acting like an old man — trying to prepare himself mentally for the adult life that lies ahead of him. A part of Dane wants to be more selfish, to make demands because that's what he expects to be doing one day. So there's that entitlement there that makes me very neutral on him. Like Juliet, he's one of those characters that faded into the background for me.
Gwen— I really love Gwen's sense of individuality, her carefree attitude and ability to just 'flow' and not get caught up with drama and gossip. She kind of takes pride in being so lazy and unmotivated — it's like a way for her to spite the wealthy lifestyle her parents wish for her. Her nonchalance is endearing and though she doesn't make a strong impact in the first half, somehow she's become one of my favorite characters.
Eimer— She's definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed. This test-taking scene was hilarious, it's like Eimer is so dense that she surprises even herself. She might even be more dumb than Yuto, and he's the one that's always high. I kind of like Eimer, but she hasn't done anything particularly remarkable. It's just kind of funny seeing how stupid she is.
Chanel— Honestly, I feel like Chanel is one of those victors that kind of just fades into the background and then pops out at you later. Chanel is not someone I have too many thoughts on — despite all the drama she's involved with, I find myself being more drawn to the other mean girls like Alaina, Gabrielle, and Trina. There's so many mean girls, and because of that, Chanel just kind of exists for me. She's there, but doesn't have a dominant presence yet. Perhaps she'll shine in the Games portion of the story.
So that was my review of chapters 2-11, sort of. While these characters are dealing with their own personal dramas, there's also the main plot with the school, who have done a pretty good job of dividing the students and making them all hate each other. Characters like Trina, Alaina, Gabrielle, and Simone are thriving on the drama in this environment. Others like Yuto, Shane, Griffin, and Harper are injured or on the verge of a mental breakdown. Others don't even realize what's happening or don't care at this moment.
This first half was really good. A proper balance of comedy and angst with touches of horror — like Riverdale slowly morphing into a Friday the 13th movie. What I like is that it really does feel like a bunch of teens stuck in the woods. The way they're behaving, their hormonal thoughts and misplaced priorities — that's how teenagers tend to behave and I think because you said you experienced this yourself, and were at a similar age when you wrote this, perhaps it helped you connect to these characters more. Being able to draw from personal experience must have been helpful and even surreal for you. Now onto the second half of the story...
Favorites: Gwen, Gerard, Audrey, Jeremiah, Blake, Freya, Harper, Jackson
| Alphabetta chapter 22 . 11/23/2020
Gabrielle: Gabrielle fought well, she's brave and angry, they didn't make mistakes except for those few seconds they lost and Gerard hesitating. RIP Blake and Gerard. I liked Gerard but I didn't expect him to go past this. I liked Blake too, but he was Brandon's puppet and let himself be influenced by him.
Brandon: He should consider himself lucky that he didn't have to kill Blake himself. It was sad, though. And Gabrielle is right. I didn't like her for most of the story, but I like her in this chapter, everything she says is reasonable. Brandon was feeling quite vulnerable here, it would have been the perfect chance to take him down. I know it was Eimer's time to go, but I hate Alex so much omg.
Chanel: Gabrielle is something else, acting like that in the face of death. "I hope it fucks you up". Loved it. Chanel did it well, and I don't think she needs Brandon but I understand killing one person and seeing Eimer die is too much for one day.
Audrey: Even sick and hungry she manages to sound hilarious. That was a shit move, giving her only Alex's location.
| Alphabetta chapter 21 . 11/17/2020
Monica: This is the alliance of people that felt useless and tried to be helpful and ended up killing each other. I can't believe all three are gone in one go. It's so infuriating, I get why Monica got mad, they were okay and they could have escaped but they kept coming back to the fire to find each other. RIP Better to end up like this than betraying each other.
Blake: I doubt he could kill Brandon if they were the only two left. He could have killed him now while he slept and he didn't. Like Brandon said, it has to happen sooner or later. I hate the way Brandom copes with all this. Making jokes about Yuto's ghost and that "top nine baby".
Eimer: It's always a difficult decision to know what to do during feasts, but Chanel is right. They're in danger anyway. I love Chanel's skill to make people feel better about themselves and lift the mood with just a few words.
Gerard: Good summary so far. Gabrielle is right, they're assholes. I can imagine myself getting addicted to look at the radar if I was there, like Gerard. Its funny how different their attitude is. Gerard so nervous and Gabrielle so determined.