Reviews for Picture This
Qinlongfei chapter 31 . 8/28
This is definitely one of the most enjoyable romance story I read on FFN so far, and it's kind of interesting it's between the the 'villain' and the 'heroine' of the original work. I think you crafted a very believable story where those two characters both slowly works out their relationship and discover about themselves.

What I like about the story is how you made the relationship start unhealth, and gradually makes it into a healthy relationship as the character start to slowly learn more about what they truly want. Having Gaston start out essentially wanting to make Belle into one of his trophy, and Belle begrudgingly accept him because she's lonely feels natural in term of their character. In a way I feel how they develops their relationship back and forth is actually more interesting than the original movie (might have to watch the movie again to make sure since it's a really long time ago when I was very young). While the ending of having Belle become a teacher/mother could be seen as a betrayal of her character from the movie... I personally feels like this line of thinking kind of miss the point. In a way, the movie and this story focuses on completely different theme, while the movie is more of Disney's typical 'embrace your childhood fantasy' story with a very wishy-washy Hollywood magic plot, I feel the major theme of this particular story is about 'embracing reality and grow up'.

In term of character, I have to say Gaston from this story came out very well done. The pompous hunter is definitely not what you associate with a traditional hero with how egotistic and inconsiderate he start out. As I stated before, I like how you have him start out chasing Belle for complete selfish reason since it fit his character (he's essentially chasing Belle to stroke his own ego because he can't stand the idea of a woman may reject him), and slowly have him develop real feeling towards Belle because he realize how boring the other women are compare to her is as believable as it can be for a Gaston/Belle story. I also like how you makes him gradually puts more effort into being a better person, first only for Belle so she'll like him and slowly he start to feel good because others show him more appreciation. In a way he kind of reminds me of Joey from Friends: strong, stupid, but can also be sweet to people he care about (although he is much more egotistic and inconsiderate than Joey). By the end I'm surprised how much I'm invested in this flawed, but also likable character you slowly build him into. It's really fun to see this pompous jackass slowly turns into a pompous family man.

As for Belle, her character change is not as dramatic as Gaston although she does also go through a character arc equally as important. At one point Belle makes a comment about she wants to 'move on' with her life, although I'm not sure I fully agree with her (and probably you as an author) analysis. I think her character arc is more about growing up from a childhood fantasy, and settle down in reality. She starts out star-eyed and dream about having great adventures like her books but slowly realize the mundane everyday life she's been blocking herself out of can be equally interesting. This 'we can't have a perfect life, but we can make best of it' theme does resonate with me much better than the original movie... And speaking of original movie, I'm probably going to contradict myself a little here by thinking this fanfic and the movie is probably not as different as they first look. While Belle from the movie does go on a great adventure, in the end she settles down with the prince in a castle, and correct me if I'm wrong... but wouldn't her life in the castle be very routine afterwards? If she continue to dream about adventure after the movie finishes, I can't help but wonder if she'll find the prince very boring very quickly (and I'm probably over analyzing at this point).

With that being said... I have to say the biggest weakness of this story is the original character Herve. Since Gaston basically fills the role of the Beast from the original movie (a douchebag who slowly realize he cares about Belle and start to put more effort into being nice to her... without that whole 'I kidnap you and keep you inside my home' uncomfortable elephant in the room) I can't help but feel Herve is basically Gaston in the original movie from the other end of the spectrum. Both Gaston in the movie and Herve in this story basically being that inconsiderate guy who simply assumes Belle will like him without having to change anything, except one is a dimwitted brute and the other is an intellectual snot. Since Herve and Belle's relationship basically takes about as long as Gaston and Belle's relationship, it effectively makes the second part of this story feel like a slog to get through compare to the first part where it's interesting to see what will happen next.

Although credit where credit is due I like you makes Herve being a perfect gentleman instead of making him into a complete dickhead like most of other romance story on FFN in order to make the hero look good. And their break up scene has to be the most clean and civilized break up I ever seen in any fictional work (or real life for that matter), which is very classy of you (I'm so tired of badly written romance story with love triangle on FFN where it's basically one dickhead try to outdick the other dickhead, like Adam Sandler movies). Although I definitely feel like there's something wrong with the priority when a fictional relationship's best part is the break up. And I like you later devoted a chapter where Herve meet the perfect lady for him so it makes him feel less like a tool you simply throw away after he finishes his intended purpose (making Belle realize her dream is not as good as she thinks it is).

I guess you can say how Herve's uptight personality is you keeping true to his pre-defined character (kind of like how Herve's girlfriend later analyze Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet... that's actually a nice touch by the way), and yes I know there is real life people that's just like Herve but I don't think it works in the story for a various reason. One, even if you are trying to make some literary statement with your story it's generally a good thing if you also keep it interesting through out, and having Herve be a complete tight ass who won't budge his position makes the second part very boring. It paints him into a very unlikable snooty jerk (and it doesn't help we will inevitably make comparson with your story to the original Beauty and Beast movie and draw the conclusion Herve is just here to fill Gaston's original role) not to mention boring character compare to Gaston. Having Herve be a complete jerk in this regard also drains away any possible stake drama and suspension I have at who will Belle choose in the end. Since Herve spend his entire relationship with Belle draining away the good will he earns at the start rather than trying to build any good will (as oppose to Gaston who pretty much start out on the wrong foot but put more and more effort into earning it), it becomes painfully obvious at the start Herve is just digging his own grave, and the second part becomes a painful slog to see how much Belle will inevitably realize she likes Gaston more. And for a story where I praise how natural and believable Gaston and Belle's relationship feels, this makes Herve feels like an obstacle the author deliberately staged into the story to give Gaston and Belle's relationship a bit more bump, as well as manipulating Belle into thinking she should give up her fantasy rather having her realize it more organically. Maybe that's the point, having Herve and Belle's relationship be a complete contrast to Gaston and Belle to establish a black and white contrast in themes but I can't feel it could be pulled off more elegantly.

Instead of having Herve won't budge anything about his personality and pretty much just do what makes himself happy, how about making him also put some effort into making Belle happy. For example, in the snow day scene having him actually begrudgingly go do the sludge ride with Belle, but ends up being very miserable about it afterwards. It would make him look much more sympathetic and likable than having him be dismissive about anything Belle loves as well as giving more weight to Belle realizing she's forcing Herve into doing something he hates just like she did with Gaston. Maybe in a follow up scene where he has his inner monologue (kind like the scene where you have him assuming Belle will like everything about him, that scene also makes him very egotistic and unlikable which is very unfortunate) you can make him be very anxious about finally meeting a woman who can match his intellectual and he wants to put more effort into their relationship because he is as lonely as Belle was in the beginning. Maybe the idea is you are afraid Belle will choose Herve if he actually put effort into the relationship but personally I think it's a none issue. No matter if Herve put more effort into the relationship or not, the fact remain Belle actually has more things in common with Gaston than Herve so they can't really share a life together. Maybe in the end, having them mutually realize they are simply forcing themselves into accepting each other and making themselves miserable in the process and still has a clean break up like in the story. I think that way there will be more drama and suspense about who Belle will choose in the end, which keep the story interesting and have me on the edge of my seat in the second half.

Overall, a great romance story about an unlikely pair (at least in term of the original story) that came out as natural as it can be. Like I said, the second part where a love rival comes in could be done in a more interesting way but I personally don't see it as a deal breaker. Congratulations in writing a highly entertaining romance story.
ZtheSOI chapter 5 . 8/20
Up to this point, I think the person who's truly "smarter than he looks" was LeFou. Seriously.
aesopdark chapter 31 . 8/7
An amazing story. I'm glad my friend suggested I read the.
Nykia chapter 27 . 8/1
You know, if Gaston and Belle were real people living in our generation I can't help but think that Mariah Carey, Joe, 98 Degrees - Thank God I Found You would be their song. I mean, listen to all of the lyrics, it is absolutely perfect for everything that they went through in this fictional version of BATB. The song fits them perfectly! Especially during their wedding day 3

Does anyone else agree? Disagree? I'd love to see other people's POV :)
Liliumconvallium chapter 31 . 7/29
I am almost lost for words. I do not quite know what to say...other than I am, undeniably, in utter admiration of your writing. I have read oh so many books, articles and fanfiction. This is more than fanfiction, this is not the writing of a hobby fanfic writer - this is the writing of a real, talented writer. Sure this is a beauty and the beast fanfic, but...gosh I am in complete awe. Thank you for posting and completing this story.
Lumy12 chapter 9 . 7/27
Okay so I was gonna just reread this story quietly and all but I just HAD to share, the line about those silly triplets fainting and Gaston not even noticing anymore made me LOL. For reals.

That is all :)
Lumy12 chapter 1 . 7/8
Hello there! I first read this story years ago, when a friend of mine with a account would forward me the word when you updated. I couldn't believe anyone could make me ship Belle and Gaston but you sure did! I recently made my own account and it occurred to me that perhaps you were still updating the sequel and my friend just hadn't bothered to tell me as I hardly ever talk to her anymore... thought you'd like to know how unforgettable you are ;) Anyways it's been a long time so I'm going to reread this story, a little at a time, and catch up to where you're at now with the sequel. Thank you for being awesome!
easilyaddictedgirl chapter 26 . 6/16
Aww It's nice to know he would have someone too!
The Living Dr. Two-Brains chapter 1 . 6/11
I love this story. Where do you come up with such wonderful fanfics?
unclemeag chapter 1 . 4/28
Okay since you specifically said "I want to write a believable gaston/belle pairing story" I'm just going to highlight on what I found to be unbelievable: the ending you gave belle a life that she totally did not want to begin with! I'm not saying don't let her and gaston get married but the becoming a teacher/mother? Also the whole ball section I think could've been done away with. When do 18th century French peasants hold balls? Also that snooty intellectual guy could've been completely cut from the story. I understand you wanted the reader to find gaston a better suit for belle an thus gave her the exact man she would've wanted but he just served to be a snooty intellectual stereotype instead of serving as a relationship builder for the pair.
Now what I did like? I loved the poem! That was a smart move. Also the sewing circle was a good incorporation but I wish you could've taken the time to talk about belle's dead mom. As for Marice I wish you could've made him less of a passive character. Anyway I liked the concept I liked a good chunk of it. Don't take what I say as me being an asshole I just hate writing reviews just talking about "how much I love it blah blah blah". I wanna help a writer bc I would expect others to tell me how I sucked.
writingislife27 chapter 31 . 4/20
I jus finished the last chapter. Your work is absolutely amazing. Not only do you handle sensitive subjects well but you also have true class. Especially on things like the wedding. You normally get so much...other material. You stayed true to the characters as well and your little nuances and extra additions from other Disney tales, well, it's truly astounding. I love your work and respect the effort you have put into this. Awesome!
Guest chapter 1 . 4/3
This fanfic is really good!
fro.m the Mountains chapter 30 . 4/2
Sorry to make two consecutive reviews at the piece's end- I wasn't able to articulate the only actual reason I felt slightly uncomfortable with the story, which perhaps leaked out a little from the tone of my original review. It was because I'm not very fond of Gaston's personality, namely his boastfulness. But your writing was successful enough to develop a romance between him and Belle that's credible and an empathising background of Gaston's character; those earn further respect for this story.
fro.m the Mountains chapter 31 . 4/2
This is an interesting plot design in my opinion- unexpected, realistic, as well as thought-provoking. Although the original tale contained more fantasy and I still think Belle would have more resources to accomplish her goals being married to the Beast, your story made me think for the first time: "I can actually picture this.". Well done and thank you for sharing this piece!
bookworm18 chapter 9 . 3/22
that has to be the best scene ever...
belle: what are you doing? (calmly stood on the bank)
Gaston: (splashing desperately in the river) trying to rescue you.

THanks xx
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