Reviews for Learning to be Helga
Captain Kristos chapter 28 . 7/6
I understand that this story was written over a considerable amount of years. Knowing that, one could tell that the author was slowly maturing over those years. The first 27 and a half chapters are a really SLOW burn and build. It's super cute and sweet, don't get me wrong, but I have to admit that even though I do love this story, most of it is overly detailed and very long winded. I skimmed through a lot of chapters and even skipped a couple. Only because there is a lot of repetitiveness and some characters, later on, recalled earlier details anyway. Not that any of this is necessarily a bad thing, I'm just not a fan of dragging things out.
I have no doubt that the author worked very hard on this and I don't want to diminish that but I feel like a lot could be pared down. But other than that, I was really not expecting the last chapter and a half. It's like the writing style completely changed. While the characters stayed consistent and the sweetness lingered, it was a shock (but very much welcomed) when they started growing up. I LOVE so much that Helga and Arnold spent time apart. That Helga didn't like the fact that her life had been all about Arnold. I feel like the last 2 chapters could have been its own story and I would have enjoyed reading more about this time in their lives.
In a way, I liked spending so much time with them as 10 year olds. And my dear author, you captured that innocence beautifully. The shyness, the mystery, the fear, the unexplored want, the things that as adults seem so innocence but are beyond risqué when you're a child. It was all very perfect and definitely transported me back in time. And spending so much time in that lovey dovey, first love and discovering passion together period for so long then being jerked out of it as they were growing up and growing apart honestly broke my heart. So much sadness, angst, longing, and confusion. Again, you captured those pivotal growing up moments beautifully.
Mithril Molar chapter 28 . 1/24
TLDR: 10000000 out of 10, stop reading reviews and open the fic. Abandon your social life and enjoy losing the rest of your week reading. Great even for non-fans if you're willing to hit a show wiki every couple chapters to check for episode references.

Lengthy version:

Holy Cow!

I've read dozens of books by respected authors who couldn't coax out a tenth of the emotion you drew out of me with this fic. Over the course of a 4-day binge reading (including a few sleepless nights) I loved, laughed, gripped the screen in frustrated fury and shed manly tears of joy and/or grief.

Although it probably isn't for everyone the slow buildup of the relationship between the two of them was easily the best part of it for me. It was nice for an author to actually dive deep into what both Arnold and Helga were thinking, even about small or inconsequential things (i.e. the 101 different times they became awkward for a minute or two over a comment) in order to really build up some payoff for those big moments in the story.

Before I gush too much more, let me sum up my POV and reaction based on it:

A. Never liked HA! as a tv show when I was young.
B. Very little patience for stupid sappy crap.
C. Usually find stories without fantastical elements or serious and frequent action rather droll.

Basically this fic was the polar opposite of everything I love in literature. Despite all of that, I found this story to be masterfully written, engaging and well-paced considering the chosen style. Also I may or may not now be totally obsessed with the show and its characters purely because of this fic. If it was sold in book form I would buy it in a heartbeat!

As I always want to leave at least a little constructive criticism for any author (particularly one who demonstrates such talent!) I had two primary issues that came up during the story (WARNING SPOILERS):

Firstly, some major character revelations happened very early in the fic but might have been better sprinkled into the middle, perhaps during the courtship chapters. Honestly even as engaged as I was in the story I still felt that those drug on a bit long without a major conflict point and a longer-building twist (perhaps related to the closet shrine which wouldn't have been dealt with so early) might have spiced them up somewhat.

Secondly, the gradual improvement of Helga's family out of their dysfunctional mess. Although I loved that and thought it actually added a lot, it would have felt more meaningful for Arnold/Helga to have had a greater hand in fixing those familial issues. After all, it means just that much more if the couple can overcome adversity beyond themselves with each other's help, right?

Thank you very much Azure129 for your masterfully told story. I look forward to reading your other works as soon as my heart recovers from those last two chapters.
1 HEY ARNOLD FAN chapter 21 . 5/12/2015
i cried i laughed and I REALLY LOVE THIS STORY PLEASE MAKE MORE CHAPTERS AND I LOVE YOUR WORK IM 11 AND IM LOVE HA A LOT SO SORRY FOR PRESSURE LOVE YOU
MikeWeezy1323 chapter 28 . 4/1/2015
I finally finished both TA and LTBH! It was an amazing experience and one I'll remember. It took me the better part of 4-6 months to read both stories with the little time each day I have to read but it was worth it. These 2 fics had it all. Funny parts that made me laugh. Intense parts that brought me to the edge of my seat. Loving parts that made me read more. And sad parts that I'm not ashamed to say, brought tears to my eyes. I've liked and favored other fics before but these have to be my favorite ones made yet. Keep up the great writing!
LPDracobeatsall chapter 28 . 3/14/2015
Wow...you weren't kidding when you said this was a long one. It took me what...a month and a half? And that was reading non-stop 24/7!
Like with "Tutoring Arnold" I am just so mystified by this story and your writing, it is unbelievably fantastic! It's like you just KNOW the characters, you write them so perfectly (are you sure you're not Craig Bartlett?) Seeing as this one was the last of the series, I thought maybe I'd give another author a chance to dazzle me with their HA! knowledge and writing, but I just can't do it. None of them get the characters like you do, write them like you do. So I guess maybe I'll just have to stick around here a little longer : )
I'm onto "Perfect Ten" I think next (unless one of the other ones would be a better one to start with) so you'll be hearing from me some more.
I did have one thing that bugged me about LTBH but I'll PM you about that because who knows, maybe I'll end up writing a companion story on it (if you'll let me).
Anyway, thanks for being awesome!
ChicaRica chapter 28 . 2/24/2015
You used 862,957 words to MAKE this story
I only have one word to DESCRIBE it
AMAZING
jioanfikamznxcmnajeapu92u83u34 chapter 7 . 10/6/2014
Alright, so let me start off by saying that this isn't something that I usually do. When I find that a story had already been finished by the time I got to it, I almost always just read it all the way through, then just make some really long review of all of my notes. I don't really believe in that review each chapter nonsense unless I actually am there for the update, you know? I just don't think that if I'm going to be reading all night long that I have to keep reviewing all of that. So I'm just saying that so you know that I really just never do this, so don't get used to it. But I am a quarter of the way through already, and I just need to say some things.
I honestly think that it's crazy that a fanfiction could have so many words, and as a sequel no less! And honestly, I was worried that with so many words, it would get boring or something, but it definitely is not boring. This story is just so good, and I absolutely love what you're doing with it! I really like how not only is Helga's relationship with Arnold changing, her family life too. I just love all of this, and I like how you're writing Miriam in this. All of this has been really funny so far, and I just love all of the awkward conversations. Anyways, I'm going to go back to reading, and just so you know, I probably won't be reviewing for a while. Thx-alexham19
The-Snowy-Owl13 chapter 28 . 7/27/2014
I finally finished reading it, ALL OF IT!
And TA along before it, and it only took me... 6 days xD Eh, there's a 104 days of Summer Vacation... And I just spent 6 of them occupied in reading this beautiful, emotional, hilarious, brilliant, slightly philosophical, sweet "Fanfiction?". I laughed, I cried, I got seriously angry during the seperation snapshots, I stayed up till 5am one night reading it, and then I fangirled like a maniac the rest of the time. Btw, the ending was superb :D I ADORED Katie! She is just... Oh my lord... Perfection. All in all, I'd right a super long review, but it's 6 in a.m. and I'm just emotionally drained. So I'm just gonna say it was: Lovely, Glorious, Adorable, Enjoyable, Wonderful, Marvelous, Extraordinary, Epic, Clandestine! FANTASTIC! Indescribably grand! All in all a good all round fic. Probably the longest Fanfiction I've ever read of any kind ever. And believe me, I've read an exuberant amount. I think you beat out this very-well-known-in-the-Phineas-and-Ferb-fandom fic known as "The Seer" which is like four books long so that's saying something :)
Thank you for writing this
It was awesome, amazing, and just perfect.
AWESOMENESS100 chapter 2 . 7/5/2014
I like the story, but can you have a side problem? And, I know I'm only in CH. 2, can they be in school too? Also, about the side problem, can you focus it on people besides Helga and Arnold? I don't know if you did this already in the other CH. though... CONTINUE PLEASE!
HandheldIbanez chapter 27 . 5/25/2014
I was going to save my big review for the last chapter, but this works just as well.
This story...is epic in a great many proportions.
The length, the plot, the characters, and the shear weight of emotions that are in it.
I can't even begin to comprehend how it is even possible.
The reality of this chapter is something I can't understand because I am just now starting my adult life, but the optimism and love and happiness is something I can understand very well.
You put it all so thoroughly throughout this story and I like how you make up for any sadness or pain with your intended conclusion.
Everyone you foreshadowed would be together came together in the end.
And Arnold and Helga are a very complete couple.
It seems that they all have their intricacies.
In short, this story is a pure work of art.
It had a few confusing moments during the time skips, but that's nothing a good ol' rereading can't fix(:
Thank you very much for this adventure into the heart of the story behind Arnold and Helga.
You truly captured everyone perfectly.
You are a very talented writer and I would nominate you to write the script for any upcoming Hey! Arnold movie or series.
To a very talented woman and writer, I commend you.
Sincerely, HandheldIbanez aka Austin M. Sayer
TheWonderfulShoe chapter 18 . 5/10/2014
XD Oh my...I am kind of surprised Arnold didn't spontaneously combust from all that fire bursting out of his face in a blush like that! ;D
heyarnoldforeverandever chapter 15 . 4/8/2014
FINALLY! I finished this chapter...finally. I have been so busy with my own stories, school, and reading so much my eyes are going to fall out of my head, that it took me forever to finish this chapter! (That and your awesome detailed chapters. lol) I loved this chapter though. It was ADORABLE! 3 I just loved the whole braiding thing. CUTENESS! GOOD JOB! (:
Guest chapter 28 . 3/29/2014
Honestly, wow! Am I ever happy to see this story finished :) I think you do a fantastic job at writing about Helga and Arnold as adults! I love it :) I already fell in love with Katie and Brighty, it would be interesting to see a little bit more about them in the future! I would love to see a Jimmy Neutron story as well, I have always been interested in that couple as well. Hey Arnold, Jimmy Neutron and Danny Phantom are my favorite stories to read on this site :). Hope to hear again from you soon and good luck with novel and novella! :)
Guest chapter 28 . 3/24/2014
This story is finally completed. I have to admit, I'm a little sad. I didn't discover it until, like, 3 updates ago, but I read all of TA straight into LTBH. All of it was incredible. You are an amazing writer and I look forward to seeing your imagination again in your other stories.
BartWLewis chapter 28 . 3/26/2014
Amazing ending for your fic. Katie, and Brighty are so cute together hahah
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