Reviews for Bring Me to Life
Rosemarie-ouhisama chapter 1 . 9/11/2003
Oh, I get to be the first to review! (Hehe)

My major criticism, if it can be called that, is that it ends too abruptly. Hm, that's actually a compliment. There are a lot of "Christian finds new love" stories but this is one of the best-it avoids the sappiness of most, and there is a delicacy of your prose that makes it fresh. I also like your structure, going back and forth between past and present. It's much more interesting than a straightforward chronological one would have been, and presenting these snippets of time is a wonderful idea-you don't tell me anything I don't need to know. There's a wonder leanness and economy to this story that feels just right.

You pulled in me almost immediatly-your writing is lovely, and I could go on and on about the wonderful sentences-"As the light reached his eyes, he cautiously blinked them open." Wish I had written that! A fresh and lovely way to say something that's so rarely said in an original way.

"He had never been a fan of the early morning." HA! Can identify there.

"Belle wasn't what people would call extemely gorgeous, but she was beautiful in her own unique way." I think one of the strengths of your prose is that you don't overindulge in unnecessary description, and yet I still manage to visualize what you've set before me. However, a touch more description here might be appropriate. Why is it that Belle wouldn't be called "extremely gorgeous"? What do you mean by "her own unique way"? In other words, a little more detail, perhaps one or two little physical quirks that make her unique or special in his eyes, and different from Satine (aside from hair and eye color), as you've described her only in the most generalized terms (although if that's your intention, thwack me.) Again, take this as compliment; I'm already intrigued and want to know more.

"porcelain skin" love the image of the dark hair and light skin (which I have myself and yes, the dark and light do compliment each other well in my humble opinion...ahem), but I wonder if the phrase "porcelain skin" isn't a little overused on the MR fanfic-I've seen hundreds of descriptions (or maybe it just feels like that) of Satine as having "porcelain skin". I think another way of phrasing that might set Bella off just a bit more as an individual and be more vivid and unique.

I love the fact that you make clear immediately that he's in love with her for herself, not just as a Satine stand-in; that he can move on and has the capacity to love other people.

"Her chest rose and fell with her even breathing, and Christian loved to just lie there and listen to it." I've got shivers. Lovely, tender and delicate-and again, so vivid I can almost touch it. (I wonder if the reference to her breathing is meant to contrast her health with Satine's illness? Just wondering.)

"...he knew they[her eyes]were a rich dark brown. Extremely soulful and caring. Those were the eyes that had brought him back from the brink of death a year ago." The phrase "the brink of death" ought to seem cliche by now, but it's perfect here, in the context in which you've placed it, as if you'd set in in a lovely gold ring. The description of her eyes is so simple but it blows me away because it it combines the physical fact of her eyes with his emotional response to them.

"I'm not going to stand out there and let." Let what? Is something missing?

"Toulouse Latrec's familiar lisp filled the room." Oh god I love you. Kudos and bravos a thousand times over for NOT literally writing his dialogue with the lisp (which I HATE more than I can say; many a fanfic has lost my interest because of that. It reduces the man to a clown. But you've handled it PERFECTLY-his "familiar lisp filled the room." God, why hadn't I thought of that? (I didn't even touch on it in Chapter two of my Fairy Tale No Longer, and that would have been so perfect. I'd be jealous if I wasn't so busy admiring it!)

"What are you trying to do? Kill me?" Ha. love it.

And I love the idea that he feels torn about what to do with the manuscript, rather than the usual he writes the story and publishes it to great acclaim crap. I think it's more realistic that he's uncertain, that he wants to hang onto it because he wants to hang onto her.

That leads to a question/comment, though. This was the only part of the story that I question the plausibility of If he's not sure he wants to let go of it, why doesn't he stick it in a drawer(which is what a lot of would-be writers do anyway. Heck, haven't we all?) If he wants to destroy it, why wouldn't he stick it in the fireplace or throw it into the Seine? If he throws into the street isn't there a chance someone would pick up the pages? (Don't get me wrong, I love the little "rescue attempt" by Toulouse, but I'd love to know what your thoughts are here. Again, rap me if I'm being a twit.)

"He was much too thin, having only sustained himself on Absinthe and a few morsels here and there for several months." So true to the film, and so true to his probable state of mind, and the way people often behave during depression-failing to eat, neglecting self-care. Most writers don't bother to remark on how he might have changed in this mourning period beyond the fact of the beard, as if simply shaving would make him a new man.

I think a description of the weather, of the setting as they go to the cemetary would be appropriate. You say August, but it could just as easily be taking place in November or whatever.

/...but the shorter man stopped at the gate. You have to do this alone, Christian. Only you can come to grips with everything that has happened." / Wonderous. You really do connect so well with Toulouse and portray all his sides-well-meaning, slightly comical (in the rescue scene) and yet also very loving, perceptive and wise. You make him very complicated in such a short space of time. SO few writers do.

Interesting that you depict Satine's grave as having been neglected-again, an original touch, as most people write about it as being well cared-for and heaped with flowers. It makes sense here-if he's not going to the gravesite, who would? (Well, actually Toulouse or Chocolat or Marie might, but I digres...)

/Every fiber in his body told him to turn around and run back to the safety of his apartment. He could close the door behind him and never come out again./ So emotionally and psychologically perceptive, so true.

"...a dark blue scarf..." I found myself wondering what kind of scarf, what kind of material? Headwrap, winter neck scarf. Knitted? Woolen fabric? or some beautifully embroidered and fashioned silk ladies' scarf, which seems most plausible that she would show her mother things she's made that are particularly lovely, as opposed to a run-of-the-mill neckwrap.

I love the fact that you say she's clutching a long green skirt. It's that touch of desciption that makes it vivid.

"...this was no whore, either." "Whore" seems somewhat strong here; he used the word in the movie, but that was in anger. I think that he's still generally well-bred enough that a gentler term might be the first to come to mind (a gentler term for prostitute? What-harlot? Who am I kidding?)

The characterizations of Belle-her dialogue and interaction is lovely. She's very much her own person from the get-go.

"I proudly show off my clothing to my mother." I don't know that she'd use the word "proudly"; seems boastful. It might be more appropriate to say "She said proudly.." also "show off" seems a little boastful; take away the "off" and it might work better.

The entire interaction works so well between them, that even him asking to walk her home seems plausible-she is a charming, perceptive, interesting woman in her own right. Who wouldn't want to walk her home? Many many kudos.

I guess the ending seemed abrupt because I so enjoyed my time with the two of them! But the last still seems a little short and abrupt, a lttle perfunctory compared to the splendid opening.

Last thought-at the beginning I visualized them in the garret because I had no clues to the contrary. At the end you suggest a new home or setting without going into detail. I don't know if you mean to be mysterious about the setting at the beginning, but at some point a better sense of his new surroundings-in contrast to what we know of the old-would be appreciated.

Hope that wasn't too-uh, too aggrevating and such. Do keep it up. I see this is your first MR fic and it's very good. Do plan others? And yes, feel free to email me.

-Janice