Reviews for Dear Lillie
WildBoots chapter 1 . 2/9
It’s long overdue, but here I am!

[The future felt like a mountain pass laid out in front of me, rocky and shrouded in fog, but with something miraculous waiting at the top.]
This entire opening sequence is full of great imagery, but I especially like this. A trainer would know exactly what it feels like to stare down a mountain pass.

[when you took my hand]
Bless you.

[unless we wanted to trust Mom's life to mysticism and traditional herbs]
Ooh, double mommy issues.

[I've never been so good with words, and I thought you were saying that was okay. That you were answering a question I hadn't known how to ask, and saying yes.]
Oh NO. This is a such a YA protagonist move. I don’t relate at all, but this feels very true to life. It’s also fitting for a player character: Moon just smiles. : )

[Professor K]
Yeah, that checks out.

[The people spoke too quickly, as if they were in a hurry to get the conversation over with.]
Oh man does this check out. I love this maybe-nod at N’s canon fast-talk … and, yup, that would explain our boy Mark’s speaking style, too. God, Unova is the best/worst.

[She wasn't sure how much the medical bills would be, she told me. And she was afraid her savings wouldn't go very far.]
Yeah, parental illness brings down all the walls about money and other things they try to keep to themselves to avoid freaking us out.

[I thought the prize money I'd saved up in Alola would help—but when I took it to the conversion exchange, it hardly amounted to anything. Alolan currency doesn't mean much, it turns out, in Unova.]
Sad Lena sounds.

[nothing like battles back in Alola, when my toes dug into the sand, when I could hear every movement my pokemon made]
I never would’ve thought of this, but it makes sense. HMMM tradition vs the creep of technology and urbanization strikes again, huh?

[I promised my pokemon we wouldn't compete in any more tournaments. I'd help my mom some other way. The next day I found a job in a local cafe. It doesn't pay much, but it's something, at least. It's enough to make a difference.]
Ooh, but this is still a sacrifice for the pokemon, isn’t it? Because then what are they doing all day? How much do they get to be out? D:

[Since, it's you, I can tell you a secret. Well, and it's not like you're going to read this anyway.]
Oof and oof.

[Your mom was horrible, and you would have given up everything to take care of her. It makes me a bit angry, actually. I sometimes wish my mom had a daughter like you, and I had a shitty mom like Lusamine.]
OOF, the sequel.

[It was so simple that first time, when I flung my body over Nebby's and felt the spearrows' hard beaks against my back.]
Wow, so apt. The things Lillie needs saving from in the end are both bigger and quieter than that, harder to break away from. Turning your back on family members, even toxic ones, is a scary thought. Then what? And the toxic ones are good at keeping you in place.

Excited to read the rest when I get a sec. Who’s surprised, but this is hitting all the right notes.
Act chapter 4 . 1/15/2020
I was right, I can't finish it, haaa. But this has been really phenomenal.
Act chapter 3 . 1/15/2020
This is too real, it's like some weird pokemon fictionalization of my life (or, perhaps more accurately, Mr. Act's). I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to finish it because of that, but I'm just so floored by how well you painted Moon's desperation and what medical situations can do to even people who think they're very prepared. In a world of FiOSes, I wish there was more sicklit like this.

Also something about pokemon

Guest chapter 5 . 5/9/2019
Great read. Thanks.
Keleri chapter 5 . 2/19/2019
"I'm coming with you, Moon."

good good good good good
Keleri chapter 4 . 2/18/2019

Keleri chapter 3 . 2/18/2019
I like the worldbuilding about pokemon not doing well outside of their original habitats, that's all too true for real plants and animals.

Ugh! Unova, get some socialized health care already. :D
Keleri chapter 2 . 2/18/2019
Haha oh nooooooo, I love/hate the culture shock of this chapter. The immigrant story is all too clear, Moon's hard-won skills refused by the region or not applicable.

[and as a full-time worker, she was ineligible for a Unovan license.]

Wings Made of Procrastination chapter 4 . 1/13/2019
You’re so incredibly good at conveying emotion. I felt like I was riding Moon’s emotional rollercoaster from the minute Lillie walked in the door, to the hesitant sort of greeting, the laughter that only long-distance friends share after missing each other for a while, to the rage and unbelievable notion that Lillie had been planted by her mother’s side as a maid for months instead of traveling, to the giddy excitement that Moon’s life would be turning around. I love Lillie’s diction and how it contrasts against Moon and Gladion’s rougher language, and I love how you can tell how organized she is. At first I wondered how a child could be Moon’s manager, but Lillie’s got it all on lock.

The only (smallest, tiniest) nitpick I have with this story is that Moon’s mom has cancer, and Moon is just ready to up and leave? I mean, I’m not sure how close Moon is with her mom but it seems really sudden. Especially because Moon’s mom still has her right mind and still cares about her daughter—it’s not like Lusamine, who might be vegetating or in a state of unconscious from the Nihilego toxins. I know Moon said she was selfish, but I hope we get a chapter that explores the dynamic with her mother before she leaves.

Other than that, great work!
Hydroxy chapter 3 . 1/8/2019
Whatever you do, *please* keep writing! This story is the most engaging thing I've read in several months!
Mr. Grool chapter 2 . 1/6/2019
You can thank Farla for reeling in this reader. "A front page story that the Scathing Seel, herself, enjoyed?" I thought. "Impossible!"

Your prose (or descriptions and word choice, if I'm thinking of the wrong term) is incredible, borderline masterful, in these first couple chapters. To put it in context, you made a guy who's never had to deal with moving and massive change feel something. And boy, did I feel something. Moon's emotions are perfectly conveyed through both her thoughts and circumstances. That prologue was particularly well written. I can't even write a real letter with that much feeling!

Great job, your exposure is definitely well-deserved.
Wings Made of Procrastination chapter 3 . 1/6/2019
I absolutely love this story. Moon’s reaction to moving is exactly how I felt the many times I moved—the unfamiliarity of a new city, the inaccurate representation of your home and adjusting to a new way of life are all struggles that I feel I can relate to, and really brought the story to life to me. Although the first chapter is a bit sorrowful by chapter three it looks like things are looking up for Moon! I’m already rooting for her and I really want things to work out in Unova. I love Unova—it’s my favorite region, so I’m excited to see how she fares.

Your characterization of Gladion is stellar, I can imagine him saying every word. He’s one of my favorite characters, and I think you did a great job of portraying him!

Overall I really like what you’ve written. Keep up the amazing work!
Aardvark123 chapter 2 . 1/5/2019
Jeez Louise, this is a much harsher take on life as a pokémon trainer than I was expecting. Still, it's beautifully written; I understand how Moon and her pokémon feel without anything needing to be spelled out explicitly.
Farla chapter 2 . 1/4/2019
[ If she hated living in her tiny room, what must it be like for Medusa, trapped in a bathtub, barely able to turn herself around?
After a few weeks, Medusa's vivid coloring had begun to dim, and the slick firmness of her tentacles had softened, the flesh yielding frighteningly to Moon's touch.]

Oh no!

As bad as things are for all her pokemon, I love how much she's trying to accommodate them to the best of her ability, even if that's often little more than checking in and asking them if they want to do one thing or another.

[There were laws against non-trainers who kept high-level Pokémon, that much she was sure of. She didn't have a license anymore; without that protection, her Pokémon could be taken away if they misbehaved.]

I'm not clear on why she's lost her license so quickly - is it an ongoing fee she couldn't justify keeping up when she's decided not to battle, or did it lapse automatically when she stopped battling? Was she in a grace period using Alola's licensing before and never got a Unova one at all?

(You're also hopping back and forth on the capitalization.)

[Each day, the bright Alola she gave to customers grew more insincere. The cafe was a mockery of the culture she'd left behind, distilling a world of dark azure ocean and hidden groves to a cheery postcard image and a few exotic dishes.]

Another perfect bit of misery!
Farla chapter 1 . 1/4/2019
[I thought the prize money I'd saved up in Alola would help—but when I took it to the conversion exchange, it hardly amounted to anything. Alolan currency doesn't mean much, it turns out, in Unova.]

I'm impressed by how well this all works. It's often awkward to try to make the jump between the player character winning everything during the game only to end up struggling right after, but Alola is so very, very different from the previous regions. It makes perfect sense that everything would end up wrong in another region, from the money to the battles.

And trapping her through her sick mother addresses the other half of the issue, the question of why not just take off again if things aren't working out. [I'm pretty horrible, huh? Here's my mom, on the edge of dying, and I want to leave her.] Such grounded, well-constructed misery where there isn't an easy solution.
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