|Reviews for Give Way|
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 13 . 8/17/2013
Dang, I completely forgot to mention this, but back in ch.12 you misspelled "healed" when Riku was thinking about the emotions behind not looking people in the face (you spelled it as "heeled") and there's an instance in this chapter in Sora's section where you probably should have put "had" right after his name as it would complete the sentence.
Okay, now onto the good stuff. This review will be for both chapters 13 and 14 since it would be slightly more challenging to review 14 again given this site's perimeters (plus, I already reread 14 in combination with this chapter).
Now, to top off *does drum roll* COMIC RELIEF! Heh, and center stage goes to, again predictably, Roxas and Sora. I love how some of their mannerisms are linked here. It's just a joyous connection for me and I like how Riku just takes it all in stride. The descriptions of Riku once he has a better handle over his fear is nothing short of endearing. It's hard to make a guy "glow" without making him seem too girlish or feminine. Heh...except maybe Sora. Those scenes were appreciated and the dinner Sora and Riku shared really adds a nice lightness to the story before it's shattered again by the bar fight.
Then Riku's dad has to mess everything up.
Before I get into all that with Riku's second semi-unpleasant reunion, I'll go back to the moment with Riku and Sora in the car ride. That was another major moment in the series that I actually forgot, the ultimate moment where Riku realizes how lucky he is to have met Sora and how much he means to him as a friend and as a person who touched him when no one else could. It's a very sweet moment, especially when Sora downplays it as a factor attributing to the fact that it was all "random" or unplanned. But really, it's a touching scene whether you go for the pairing or want them to just stay friends. Whichever it may be, you know this bond will probably last for years to come.
Now, the second major moment is when Riku confronts his father for the second time. It's a powerful moment for sure, definitely wrought with confusion and its share of doubts. But, ultimately, I think the main purpose of this was to show Riku that he didn't need to be afraid. As people, sometimes we feel like we owe each other, especially family. But there comes a time when we realize that kindness and respect is a gift, and we can choose not to give it. Riku is an adult now, and given how his father is draining (symbolically and physically) Riku is no longer entitled just because this man is his father. A role reversal is shown here, and Riku chooses to move on because, ultimately, he can't change his dad. Only the dad can choose to change himself, but it isn't Riku's responsibility and this allows Riku to walk away and drop his burden because the burden is unnecessary.
It's a heavy thing when families reach this point. It just reminds me how blessed I am to have parents who love me and don't push their own struggles on me, no matter what happens in the divorce or remarriage, I'm their daughter and they treat me as such.
Anyway, Riku is free now and that's what's important. It's a nice conclusion and it gives us all a nice sense of closure. Sora brings us out of the heavy mood and with Riku's acceptance we can all relish in the peace that follows.
And it ends there.
Safe to say it was just as pleasant reading this over the second time. I really did enjoy myself. It was fun to go on this ride again, not only to read the story but also to reflect on how far your writing has come. I can tell this is one of your earlier works after reading stuff that's come after this point, and it's nice to spot the changes, the slight subtle disparities in how you describe things.
Overall though it's still you and that's what makes this story special along with your other ones.
Heh, I know at times I've maybe been a little too nice. But...well, I wanted to give better feedback. It was almost hard as I found myself reading ahead again (it's generally easier to review right after I've finished the chapter, but I usually disregard that fact. It's the main reason I didn't do this last time I read The Lesson, heh. I tend to like to take breaks and wait a while before I reread something. More fresh that way, heh).
Anyway, as always I enjoyed reading your work and you deserved a clearer picture of what I was probably thinking the first time I read this. So, I have to say, thank you for posting.
(p.s. I seriously wanted to get this story up to 100 reviews and I'm so happy there was enough chapters for me to make that happen)
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 12 . 8/17/2013
A nice mix of progression in terms of both Riku's and Sora's personal journey (acceptance and coming of age, respectively).
This is what I'm talking when I talk about Sora's methods/genius. His ideas might not always make the most sense, but like Riku mentions in this chapter, the heart of the action is what matters most. And, to be fair, this idea was pretty spot on, almost a ball in the park for Sora. It actually fit Riku's situation perfectly and llowed him to face his fears relatively at his own pace. Sora's encouragement throughout is pretty awesome and his excitement over Riku breaking his record simply makes me smile. At times I wish I had Sora as a friend (and at other times I don't). I believe there's a little bit of Sora in all of us, though.
This was definitely my favorite chapter out of the whole story because of what Sora helps him accomplish here. Simply brilliant and I'm honestly sad this type of scene wasn't expanded or continued upon for the rest of the story. At the same time though it also fits.
Now, Sora grocery shopping...heh, it was mainly for comic relief but I really like that section too, especially when he's choosing the milk and soap. Haha, my cabinets would probably be more organized though cause I like grouping certain things together.
Anyway, a lovely chapter and a defining moment for this story. I actually remembered Sora's walk with Riku the most when I thought of this story. The frozen momento...
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 11 . 8/17/2013
Heh, okay, starting with comic relief again.
You know, this chapter just reminds me that Roxas has a dorky side. It's just a perfect combination of goofyness and snarky sentiments that just screams Roxas yet also connects him to Sora (with them both being blabbermouths and some of their physical habits). I think people forget this side of him, mostly. Usually, everyone makes him act more smart than Sora, but the truth is that Roxas had been the same at one point (even more naive and gullible when looking solely at 358/2 Days). So I like how you wrote him here (pfft, mistaking cranberries for raisins. Heh...Riku was probably mentally counting at this point).
Speaking of Roxas, in the beginning when he starts talking to Riku (about Riku not forcing him to do anything) there's an extra "actually" in the sentence that can be removed.
As for everything else, this is where the stubborn and most sincere parts of Sora come out. It takes guts and bravery to strive to fix a broken person, and Sora just jumps in headfirst, starting with the simple suggestion for Riku to look him in the eye. It's where Sora becomes clever in his own way. Whenever we get to this part of your stories (the equivalent for The Lesson would probably be when Sora says he's going to date Riku) we know the fun is going to begin for us (but not so much for Riku at first).
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 10 . 8/16/2013
Powerful from start to finish, especially towards the end where Riku unearths his burden and opens up to Sora.
This is the great thing about how you write Sora. People open up (even Roxas started talking to him of his free will when it came down to it).
The immaturity and dread Riku's father lets out (not to mention the smidgen of violence) just creates this desperate reaction in Riku. It's perfectly realistic given what has happened and I'm really glad you developed this part of the story (this is definitely not a cliche and Riku is not emo. I appreciate you stating this in the beginning).
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 9 . 8/15/2013
Hmmm, I shall get the comic relief out of the way and start off this review with another minor character who adds depth to the story, albeit on a lighter scale than Kairi: Roxas.
Roxas is interesting in that he brings in his comedy through his blunt, witty, sarcastic (or should I say caustic) attitude that immediately has Sora on edge almost. The one-sided competition it starts helps show the more stubborn sides of Sora's character while showing a jealous side to him as well. Seeing Roxas and Sora clash is almost refreshing, they bounce off against each other well in a sense that it's entertaining to read. It's a good set-up, and the tension is slightly built upon the fact that it's Riku's working place. I love how Sora treats the place as if it's sacred almost, instilling it with his roomate's aura even if Riku isn't present.
As for Riku's meeting with his father it really did create this awkward and heavy atmosphere that can only come from family members acting in such a taciturn way, the formality of strangers...it nearly exaggerates their presence together as something unnatural.
As more of the father's past and the reason for his visit is shown I feel the story also comments on the fact how certain perspectives and obvious solutions/issues can be missed in our old age. I think Riku's father does want to change for the better, but his lack of understanding in regards to Riku's struggles along with his casual reference to drinking at the end (the action that landed him in jail) shows that certain habits and ways of thinking may not ever be broken. This can be a desperate situation for a person like Riku (if he dwells on it).
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 8 . 8/15/2013
The inevitable meeting...
It's a very tantalizing start in the drama promised and predicted as the reader remembers Riku's strange behavior added to the history reveal in the last chapter. The way his father seemed so...apathetic realky strikes a core in the dynamic of the conversation. It's almost like the visit is a stir-of-the-moment kind of visit, and it definitely morphs Riku's building anxiety into a hollow blank pit of awkwardness.
Nevertheless, it was a smart idea to lead into this slowly along with having Sora offer advice that's profound and filling beforehand. It's a shadow of light in what js overall a very serious chapter (and given what you've told me about your desire to add in comic relief during these situations, you did a good job balancing it here).
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 7 . 8/15/2013
Ah, the laundry scene...I was wondering when I would reach that part again. Before I ramble about how awesome that scene is I just have to point out one thing about Sora's dialogue here.
Just...that whole scene where Sora makes up his own version of how Riku and his father will react without having something suitable to drink. That just...golden Sora moment there. It's just at time's like that where I remember how much I love your interpretation of Sora, and I just love those moments where he leaves Riku nearly speechless with his infinite wisdom and examples (this is the same case for The Lesson, except Sora does it more often).
Really...I laughed out loud. I seriously love Sora (aka, you) right now! Man...and Riku is probably just like, "Thar is so far from the truth," but it's Riku so he can just express this with a smirk and move on.
Anyway, the laundry scene is something special. I still sometimes get confused doing the laundry myself (at least I know quarters are involved. Poor Sora, I would have been pissed if I had such a huge load to wash and I didn't have any money on me). I really love your writing style in how you emphasize things when you finally use one line sentences.
Haha, aka, priceless and hilarious!
Heh, and now onto more serious moments..being the reveal of Riku's past. Kind of a mini climax in itself and it really was paced at the right time (halfway through the entire story). I like the fact that it's sort if summary-ish but at the amsame time it isn't. It's an interesting twist on child abuse that's very subtle yet also remains very powerful and morbid on it's own.
I honestly forgot that this story is practically founded by an innate/deep appreciation for Riku's eyes in particular, but it's definitely brought in some interesting themes to consider. What is hidden or assumed when we can't see a person's eyes? How are the traits Riku genetically inherited something of a curse now?
Riku's eyes have always been more symbolic than most, just start referencing the game in question and then you can really get into a debate.
But overall, you wove this trauma in beautifully followed by adding a nice sense of dramatic irony as Riku discovers that Sora had been snooping and as he prepares for his father's visit the coming day.
A climatic update to be sure.
(p.s. This is another chapter we're I spotted one of those typos we're you can delete one of the words in a sentence. Unfortunately, I forgot where it was. It's so easy to when everything else is so good it distracts you from helping with any typos. Heh, my poor, poor mind).
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 6 . 8/15/2013
That's the word that comes into my mind, a lot of contemplating...
This is one of those chapters where you have the mundane/everyday life habits that bring out more introspective moments in Sora and Riku. Not as interesting as some of the other chapters, but still captivating and engaging in it's own way.
I find myself still reading more and more. It's just interesting...you really do love contrast. I think you do a fairly good job of balancing out Sora's dorkyness with Riku's more serious musing (that goes for other stories too). The switch isn't unsettling, it still appears natural despite the differences in tone.
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 5 . 8/14/2013
After reading that magnificent love letter for college freshman that you gave me the link to, this chapter became even more inspiring and had impact.
Hand-written letters are so rare these days...in fact, my siblings and I are in the process of writing them (them for practice, me for showing gratitude). It's interesting the different effects these letters have on Sora and Riku.
For Sora, it's a reminder of his strong friendship/bond with Kairi. I really like how character connects him back to the things he's leaving behind, the life he's slowly disconnecting himself from. It's a process and on one hand he feels like he's leaving it forever, but on another hand he's learning to adapt and survive out on his own, as an individual person. It's just really enjoyable to see...and I really love how that has formed his character.
As for Riku, what he experiences is nearly the opposite. Dread, remorse, and apprehension all packed in that letter with familiar handwriting. It shows how much the past still bothers Riku, and if he feels like it will tear his carefully constructed life apart, then it also reveals that he never let the matter fully rest in the first place (obviously). It's something he can't avoid now, as much as he's tried to over the years, and that can be a scary thing.
I also find it interesting that you had Riku cry. It's hard to get past the stereotype sometimes, but men cry too. And this just shows the reader how serious this matter is. Creates a healthy dose of apprehension for us as well.
Very good update overall, did exactly what it's designed to do.
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 4 . 8/14/2013
This is one of the awesome things about Sora. You can just...make him do these eccentric/thoughtful gestures and it makes for some really wonderful scenes. I mean, who else can pull that off? He sort of reminds me of Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura (nice classic anime). Just a cheerful person overall with goodness to spare.
Riku's demeanor in this chapter is well IC. I really like the fact that you made him a baker in this story. It's just something you don't think about on a normal basis when it comes to Riku, you know?
Another nice update even if you disliked it at first.
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 3 . 8/14/2013
Ah, more of a lighthearted chapter here but still filling in the warmth it produces and gives off. It's one of those scenes where you make something as mundane as every day life (well, some of the boring aspects) interesting, which is not a easy thing to do.
I forgot how short these chapters were in the start, I'm really speeding through them.
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 2 . 8/14/2013
Awww, the first night to start Sora's journey into adult-land! On a serious note, I really liked Riku's and Sora's introduction here. Some parts were notable awkward (the good meeting-someone-who-won't-look-me-in-the-eye kind of awkward). It sets the stage for Riku's intriguing past while also setting up the friendship you build so well in your stories.
Hmm, as far as typos the one I noticed was the misuse of "your" when Riku says "You're friend..." (I used to make that mistake so many times in my older writing. I'm not even kidding, it was horrible). In the early paragraphs when the apartment is described you have this part of a sentence..."perfect shade of off white." "off" can be dropped. Then when Sora thinks of a logical solution to Riku's weird behavior, you put "an logical" which would probably sound better with "a logical."
Besides that, I loved the contrast you created between Sora's old place and the new apartment. It was a nice little delve into new experiences and expectations. Now the reader and Sora can look forward to what comes ahead with anticipation instead of dread.
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 1 . 8/14/2013
Here's one on the list of fics I'm rereading and reviewing for the second time. You're the only author so far who has made me want to go back and reread a story (and review every chapter since all I did was give a short summary of my thoughts last time I read this in my haste).
So, here is a proper view of my sentiments for this first chapter. I have to say, it's just a really nice reminder of all the humor and innocence following Sora's ultimate decision to move out. The descriptions spoke to his anxiety and in some ways calms me as I'm about to go through a similar change, so I can really relate to him at this moment.
Kairi's tough love and encouragement is alao well demonstrated and feels genuine. I like how the side characters in your stories have depth and help sustain the story. They still seem important (which isn't what a lot of fans do in relation to Kairi).
Well, this was a very enjoyable second read. It's going to be fun going on this journey again since this is only the second time I'm reading it. So more freshness for me! (and dare I say you really do have a way with cliffhangers. This chapter sets up a nice one that's pushes the reader forward without being too annoying).
| Rosemellen chapter 14 . 3/16/2013
God, that was too addicting. I just stayed up until three in the morning to finish this, and ended up getting up at one in the afternoon. Sounds like I'm like Sora. Anyway, Riku's job has inspired me to make mini cherry pies. As I am typing, I am eating one. God, these things are delicious. You did a wonderful job.
| Justice Tokidoki chapter 14 . 6/4/2012
Wow, what an amazing story! again, I laud you for the excellent descriptions and backstory with riku. Sora's journey into adulthood was humorous and sweet. I love how those two interact.
Thanks for sharing this. Its written really well.