|Reviews for It's So Fragile|
| Guest chapter 19 . 1/27
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 19 . 6/17/2015
UGH! I also completely fucking forgot to mention how IN LOVE I was with how simple Emily regaining her memory was. I'm so embarrassed, because honestly I had to stop reading to marvel at how proud I was of you. It was amazingly executed. So amazingly executed.
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 19 . 6/17/2015
Naomi and Emily. Inevitable.
Perfect chapter yet again. Honestly just perfect, and a very strong end coming back to forgiveness. They fought through, not just mentally, but because of Naomi's wound, a wound caused by her actions prior, physically as well. All the heartache and patience (and impatience, really) of season four is perfectly encapsulated in Emily's recollection of the past ten months. The entire reason of the story becomes crystal clear (although it was clear before this chapter, too!), and then to end it with them so connected, so happy . . . like you put it, they're home. They are finally home in one another, no unwelcome skeletons in closets. Just honesty and eyes forward.
An immense achievement, sweetheart. Beautifully written from start to finish. And for the record, I absolutely loved your Emily POV for this chapter. Not a single negative. Not a single "eh, okay". Perfect.
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 18 . 6/17/2015
A fantastic trip from start to finish! Fantastic in the sense that you're on the edge of your seat, not so much that Naomily is staring death in the face. I think you did an excellent job handling Matt, the key being giving him the intent to cause the most damage he possibly could to Naomi and knowing that that pain wasn't physical.
Having him at the crash site was a stroke of genius. Not every element in a story needs a through, and less still an obvious through, but to know that his presence permeated all the way back to even then . . . it really gets under your skin. Really shows the premeditation. Really shows the pain and rage in his broken justice.
My favorite quote was definitely, "I thought I was done falling in love with Emily Fitch . . . I was so incredibly wrong." Absolutely beautiful.
It's harder to focus on singular moments considering the nature of this chapter, but I can easily say it all worked and all worked together. Brave Emily. Selfless Naomi. Broken Matt. Everyone played their parts to a tee and the back and forth of it all flowed seamlessly.
And it taps so many emotions. You can't help but be heartened that Emily came back, and at the same time terrified for her, for them. Angry and yet sympathetic knowing Sophia's story, seeing it in Matt's actions. Thrilling at the word 'girlfriend' with Naomi, only to feel your heart in your throat as she's shot. And your heart in your gut as the gun clicks on Emily.
| mswitsend chapter 19 . 5/20/2015
this was fantastic. thank you for having written it.
| TheAeacusProject chapter 19 . 4/11/2015
I know I know I know-I'm terrible at properly reviewing because if something's written in full, I end up binge-reading until I finish and I don't stop to write my thoughts. Maybe because I want to see how threads weave together and how the characters progress more than just over a couple thousand words? I don't know. But unless it's an in-progress story, I have a tough time stopping and writing. But now I'm done, so writing time!
I wish I'd read this when you first posted it, not two years later, because I had just found Skins the summer before S7 and I think you captured, intentionally or no, that sense of hope and excitement and enthusiasm for the return of our favorite characters in the build-up to Fire, Pure, and Rise. Effy was consistent and solidly written; she's certainly as frustrating as necessary, but I'm glad you also had the courage to actually make her say things in small doses and express emotion and confusion about Naomi's choices at times because Effy does have her insecurities as a character and I think many authors lose that aspect of her in trying to make her perfectly mysterious and 'all-knowing.' There's a whole conversation to be had there about fan fiction-introduced tropes and characterizations that people take for granted as cannon, but really aren't, but we won't go into that now. While I'm on the subject of supporting cast and not falling into tropes, I want to commend you for painting a very realistic Gina portrayal as she is in and out, supportive and also missing when needed most. Also, choosing to leave Cook completely out of the tale works really well, I think, since he would have been lying low or completely gone from Bristol for a bit after everything that happened with Foster. He also seems to function at times as a crutch for Naomi in stories, dragging her through tough times to make her face up to things and not having him around puts that onus entirely on her own shoulders-it's better Naomi character development this way. The final supporting character I wanted to touch on was Katie. I thought you did a really good job of establishing her and her motivations through the first half of the story, and then she just falls away, which was a bit disappointing because I really enjoyed your Katie and having her just accept Naomi's involvement after the events in Leeds seemed too convenient. KFF is a layered character and wish she'd been a bit more involved towards the end.
As for Naomily, the enjoyment of a purely Naomily story without any other unnecessary pairings intruding on affairs cannot be understated. You did a marvelous job painting Emily's frustrations and her struggles to both relearn what she'd forgotten and also to press forward in spite of her trauma. I am a bit surprised you switched back over to Emily's POV a couple times to tell what motivated Emily to make some decisions as opposed to showing through Naomi's eyes some of that development on Emily's part since I know you're not keen on spoon-feeding readers, but even then I have to admit that especially the last Emily/Effy exchange with the box led to some wonderful moments, even if it didn't rekindle her memory completely. As for Naomi, this might be one of my favorite interpretations. I mean that. She certainly has flaws, has her brave moments, but also succumbs to weakness at the most inopportune times in spite of her true feelings. The claddagh ring is a phenomenal symbol and my hat's off to you for inserting it into their mythology so well. It fits, it truly does. There were several, really outstanding scenes in this story-the lake return, returning to the gazebo, Naomi lying her way through the break-up-and all of them hinge on your Naomi. Well done!
Tackling the Moores head on is a tall task for a first story, and I must say it surprised me at first. It didn't seem at all to mesh with the rest of the story and I'm not a huge fan of adding plot just to have more drama-as I'm sure you aren't either, since that's very un-Whedon. But I shouldn't have doubted as it tied back in to the original accident. Having him be as mentally unstable as he was, willing to grievously injure people is an interesting take on the character and certainly added an extra tension to the end of the story; I tend to interpret how he'd cope with what happened differently, but I think the way you depicted him was very much in the vein of Skins and how protective he was of Sophia. I wish we'd gotten a bit more of him at the end, before he dies in between the epilogue and final chapter (was this an epilogue? it kind of read as one?). I guess my real concern with the Moore storyline, which isn't tackled often enough in my estimation, was Sophia having a relationship prior to Naomi as I always took the events of 4x02 to imply she'd been singularly fixed on Naomi for quite a while.
Overall, I think you did an outstanding job at crafting a first Skins story with faithful depictions of the characters and placed them in a believable, heart-wrenching continuation of the canon story line; achieving both of those is incredibly difficult. You do know how twitchy I can get about grammar and the like, and like I've said, I'm happy to go back through and make those little tweaks for any story if you want to polish them off. In a way, I kind of see this as your 'Clean Sheet,' and 'Cry, Little Sister,' paralleling as your own opus, your ROYL, if you will, as you really hit your stride towards the end here, but definitely throughout that entire story. Great job...and now I'm off to go read a new 2:23 update!
| TheAeacusProject chapter 5 . 4/8/2015
I was primarily going to talk about the Effy/Naomi exchange even without your A/N prompt! Because I thought it was superb, a classic 'Skins' scene that felt true to both of the characters. Bringing Freddie's death back into the story was necessary at this point because it puts what's happening with Emily into context of a wider universe where time doesn't stop while she and Naomi sort out their problems. That's an important context to maintain. Makes things more tangible.
Also, Katie's reaction to all of this is something I expect you'll be exploring in future chapters, but I understand why she's pretty much cold-shouldered Naomi if slipped back into 'Because I love her more than you ever can' protective sister mode.
| TheAeacusProject chapter 4 . 4/7/2015
Oh my gosh! Stupid website logged me out again so I posted as a guest. Sorry. But yes, that novel of a chap 3 review was me! I just want to keep reading because I can and I enjoy palatable portions, but your Effy here was wonderful again. Also, great incorporation of a song! Always enjoy when those are executed properly.
| Guest chapter 3 . 4/7/2015
I'll admit, part of my reading this has been influenced a bit by our conversation on the story and its relationship with CLS and your own development as a writer. I have a comparison to another author's stories in mind, but I'll withhold that judgment until the very end (it's a positive thing, though). Okay, so first things first: you really do have a knack for setting a story and getting it moving in the right direction. Trying to force these first three chapters into one would have been a chore, but I could envision someone making that mistake. Personally, I probably would have had the first two be one chapter and then this be a part 2 of the introduction, but this still works well. The other interesting facet is the decision to put us in Emily's shoes for the entirety of a scene we all can recall perfectly, line for line, though I understand the need to establish Naomi's ultimate act of bravery as it drives her decision-making going forward in an impossible set of circumstances.
The amnesia storyline is one fraught with danger and has been done many, many times in so many mediums and fandoms, but I'm honestly not worried about this one because you take inspiration from the master of turning basic plot arcs on their heads and creating something new. I expect this will be live up to that admirably! I would like to say that I really enjoy your Katie thus far. Effy makes an on-point cameo as well; I look forward to more of both of them going forward. Writing believable supporting characters is vital to a story's success and I like where you're headed with regard to those two. Onwards!
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 17 . 2/6/2015
"It's how I knew . . . before Naomi told me . . . we were special." I love how you incorporated the "we were special", turning it almost present-tense in a way. Like yes, the recounting of it is in past-tense, but Emily's realization of it is a present realization at the time, and not a cry atop a rooftop of something lost. I hope that made sense.
I love the moment where Emily draws the similarities between Effy and Naomi, and am so destroyed that it all boils down to "nothing". It's also telling as to why Emily can keep battering at Effy in her anger, not that it is out of her character, but that Effy's almost . . . barely Naomi. And Naomi is no where to unleash upon. And won't be.
Ah, the famous and enigmatic, "You're Emily". The only way you could have ended that scene.
The "Emily Slept Here" note as the trigger for their truth is gorgeous. "This was the first time I told you I loved you." There's nothing else to say.
And because Emily is Emily, of course she is running to beg Naomi to be brave once more. Emily's faith wins out with a little help from Naomily's original shipper.
I really liked how the chapter moved. The events and actions felt spot on, but for me the first person did not translate nearly as well in Emily's voice as it does when you write Naomi. I can't pinpoint exactly what . . . it's not like you wrote out of character or anything. It just didn't feel as . . . right, I guess. Maybe that's more of a testament as to how easily you settle into Naomi's voice ;) Cheers, though. First person's a bitch for me, so I can't really talk.
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 16 . 2/6/2015
The opening memory was utterly fantastic. Naomily in every regard. The dialogue, the language of the foreplay leading off into a wonderful tease that when you snap out of, it really feels like coming out of a memory. It makes the transition into Naomi's present very cinematic.
Effy's characterization is perfect, and I particularly like the moment she finally breaks from her unyielding fury with Naomi's, "She's not like us". Not only was it visually on point, but it held a sense of time and gravity to it, like you could physically feel the mood shift and pinpoint exactly when.
"My tone was coated in the old eerie calm I used to sarcastically paint over everything . . . I hadn't heard it pass through my lips . . . Since before Emily." Gods, such a brilliantly unique way to once again reiterate the magnitude of Emily's presence in Naomi's life, prying her open to get at the heart she knows lies beneath. Pleading for Naomi to take down the walls and retract the barbs and just feel it. Truly unique choice.
"Those blue four dimensional eyes" . . . it's perfect, because are you refering to the layers upon layers of Kaya's/Effy's gorgeous irises, or are you referring to the fact that Effy Stonem sees on a deeper level than most? Physical and personality trait in one!
The mirror scene is magnificent in so many ways, how do I even begin? I guess first, I love that it is a literal and figurative mirror scene. You have this application of make-up with a smudge across the cheek that she has to rub away because it can't be there, it can't, and you realize where you've seen something like that before. Another instance where Naomi looked at herself, eyes ringed with red. When Emily's name had been blazened on her cheek. But this time, instead of breaking and calling Emily, she has to stiffen a resolve she's barely holding onto. Not to mention the sheer fact of having to face herself so long, unable to look away without delaying things . . . to know the face of a coward. Ugh.
There's no way I can cover this next scene completely in the review, and it's no doubt one we'll discuss at length, but it was perfect. Sheer, painful perfection. Every bit.
". . . you're turning this once beautiful gift into a dagger." Perfect.
"I kept my eyes forward and blank as I pretended not to care my heart had just joined the ring at my feet." Perfect.
It was agonizing. Completely agonizing, and if it hadn't of been, it could not have worked. I am extremely impressed with how well you balanced Naomi's internal dialogue and the details you chose for her to focus on in Emily's disbelief, rage, pain and passion. Then again, their ebb and flow is as natural as the ocean, so I'm basically saying your handle on Naomily is massively impressive. This scene could not be written by less.
The delivery of "Everything's. So. Fragile." and the leading up to it is a stroke of genius. Well done.
And of course you end with your famous cliffhanger. Bravo. There is no wonder in my mind as to why you consider this your favorite chapter. It is truly superb.
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 15 . 12/23/2014
A great chapter! Very original. I wasn't expecting Lana's tie into any of this at all, but it was a brilliant reveal and really puts the fear behind the suspense of Matt's messages. Nothing about this chapter was pleasant and I appreciate the extra care you put into making that more than blatantly obvious, down to the filth of the apartment and its locale.
The call to Effy at the end? Perfect chapter capper. I imagine a lot of people weren't happy with you on this one ;)
I wish I had more to say, but this was a lot of information to take in and I imagine the last few chapters will have me talking a lot more.
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 14 . 12/16/2014
Every chapter should start with Naomi running bare-ass naked through the rain on Emily's behalf. Make it so. And maybe next time, don't dash the gleeful image with Emily's poor choice of words. " . . . hauling your half broken body to the hospital". Ouch.
All of the stolen glances! Ahh! Again, breathing life into the canon, with a fun, sexy twist! Definitely a fan!
Effy's purposefully-stated "You've got mail" was a deeply-appreciated small detail.
" "No!" I very nearly shouted,
/Calm the fuck down . . ./
"I mean . . . of course not."
/Better. . ./ "
This whole exchange was great and really displayed your grasp of the characters. I felt like I was reading a canon piece of dialogue, and then the added bonus of seeing Naomi's train of thought? To see how well Naomi knows how Emily works, and that, despite herself, she cannot help her knee-jerk reactions . . . This is yet another indicator to me that you write the best Naomi in fanfiction. Period.
"I can't take my eyes off you." Perfectly Emily.
I could see Naomi opening Matt's latest package very vividly. It was a captivating scene from start to finish and really builds up a genuine sense of danger that makes the not knowing all the more of a painful suspense.
"I can't stand it. I just can't." Easily one of my favorite scenes in the canon, and you only made it better. Bravo.
The love scene in the shower is superb, and even with its brevity, still stands to rival the love scene in the last chapter. It's just . . . perfect. To break it down would be insulting. You've felt it or you haven't. And I have. And you know how to put it into words. Followed by Naomi's tender, literal cleansing of Emily, giving Emily time to feel her emotions and come to her own words while still assuring her that she's loved and cared for . . . It's a love language Naomi understands very well. They've always worked better without words.
Naomi scrambling for the phone she absent-mindedly tosses into Emily's domain is a brillaint detail. Naomi holds so much sentimentality inside of her that she can't disassociate Emily from anywhere the woman's been. Emily means that much to her, and this was a clever, subtle way of reminding us of that.
AH! What a final paragraph! EXCELLENT REVEAL and bone-chilling! And Naomi's second reaction after one, having time to digest and two, realizing she will not live a life without Emily and ever be as happy . . . it's perfect. She's going to fight. There is no running away.
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 13 . 12/16/2014
Wow. I'm afraid this review will be short because wow. I don't how words. I usually break away from the story and write notes to remind myself what I want to comment on because I'm bad at immediate response when taking in art, but I couldn't even break away to make myself notes. Overall amazing. This is Naomily. It just is. And I know you prefaced me reading this with the word "melodramatic", but the thing is, Naomily isn't. It's not melodramatic in the way we've come to know the word today. There was nothing excessive or over the top because Naomily simply is THAT charged and THAT emotional and to write them any other way . . . now THAT would be the crime here.
The few quotes I could muster before I got too invested . . . you had PLENTY throughout the love-making, but in this scenario, it was how each flowed into the next that really made each sentence better than the last.
"I don't need cat flaps when you're on the other side of the door." Very clever tie to the canon!
The reaction Naomi has when Emily curls the photograph between her fingers was a perfect focus point and a perfect lead-in to Emily's exasperation, making her "their goddamn kilts and gray food" remark both humorous, but telling of how not-the-point Scotland is, Naomi, you fucking maddening woman.
" . . . resulting in sensations so powerful, my hands flew like two stones released from a sling shot out to either side . . ." Such amazingly unique imagery! I was astounded by how well it works!
And of course Naomi and Emily's utterances of their names described as "swelling psalms" . . . an excellent metaphor.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this chapter. And THANK YOU for addressing the logistics of rain! Realism is SO SO IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY IN SCENES OF THIS NATURE. But you know that. Obviously. Kudos.
| ItFeelsSoWrite chapter 12 . 12/16/2014
Brilliant chapter, sweetheart! Truly charged with the core of who Naomi and Emily are, from their beaming strengths to their glaring weaknesses. Their constant pull-and-push. You built into it perfectly and once it hit ground, it never stopped running until Emily was out the door.
I'm just going to rattle off some quotes I particularly liked.
"The loud crack of the duct tape was abnormally loud as I pressed it against the cardboard, ripping both ends and sealing everything away." I love that you used the sound of duct tape to punctuate an otherwise quiet scene. Naomi's just trying to go through the motions and not think about what she is doing, but then you have this jarring, unpleasant sound that breaks the spell that could just almost work at keeping everything at bay . . . and it's just shattered.
". . .I sensed desperation leaking from her kiss. The saltiness of tears signaled me to pull back . . ." An extremely effective reveal, and poetic use of the word "leaking". The fact that Naomi is picking up all of this from a kiss is a testament to their love language and how sensual Naomily is. Period. Like I said, you really hit a lot of core traits in both Naomi and Emily, as well as Naomily as a couple.
"Unless . . . I do?" and "Ask me to stay" are so Emily it hurts.
"I don't think you should. Deal with it. Jut . . . fix it." And this was so Effy, it hurt, ESPECIALLY with the knowledge that the show's canon remains in tact as her past. On one hand, this is exactly the approach John Foster imposed on Effy, but Naomi isn't Effy and Emily isn't a car accident. Some things don't need to be revisited. The past is sometimes just the past. It's forgotten. It's remembered. But it's never the future. A future they could have, if Naomi could just move. Maybe I'm reading too into it, but it definitely struck me when I read it.
I love the twist. Your momentum is great, and I love how the focus evenly splits between this quiet, ominously-approaching storm (Matt's mail) and then the whirlwind that is the news of Emily's departure. You use the suspence of the first to elevate the tension of the latter and it works amazingly. Cheers, baby :)