Review for Idioteque
It's been a while since I watched "Mean Girls", and I had forgotten why Regina and Janis stopped being friends. But, even though I only had a fuzzy idea of what was going on, your writing drew me in and on. And then I got to chapter four, with "You broke the rules!" (Good pacing in that scene, by the way. I could almost hear them in my mind, and that doesn't happen often) and it struck me, and I remembered.
When I went back to reread the story, this time knowing what the fight was about, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I still enjoyed it. I probably enjoyed it more, because I could see the nuances I'd missed the first time around ;)
I think you did a fantastic job writing this. I enjoyed the story as a story, and the story in the context of the bigger story. Does that make any sense?
I enjoyed how they were whiny and bratty and selfish and proud and just acted like normal teenage girls without being annoying to read. I liked how you maintained the tension between them, that you managed to show that they had a history together as friends even though they were fighting each other now (then?). It's what the story is about, but beyond that, I think you pulled it off really well.
It wasn't too obscure (I was able to read/understand/enjoy even when I barely remembered anything about the movie). Nor was it /un/subtle, for lack of a better term.
The italicized-parenthesized bits took some getting used to, and there were times I stumbled over them. There were times I didn't immediately grasp who was thinking which parenthesized thought, particularly in the second/third chapter, but if you asked me to point them out now, I wouldn't be able to because the first time I read a line, I'd be confused, but the second time I might know, only to get confused again by the third reread. (I, um, sort of read it multiple times before submitting this review...).
My favorite chapter is definitely the fourth. Not that I have anything against the first three, but the fourth really stood out the most to me :-) It's crisp and vivid, and it feels sharper, has more action.
I liked how you started by firmly placing the scene to just before the movie. I almost feel silly for mentioning it, but somehow, the first line just makes it more...real? After I read the fic, I went back up to the top and nodded agreement to the catalyst part.
What I liked most about the scene in the fourth chapter is that you can see they're both so proud and unbending and confused.
I liked the softer note in this line: (The truth is Regina's never had a clue why she went.) and also the one in this (And she knew Regina wished, because she wished she could forget too.)
I liked the pleading, almost desperate quality of their argument. And I especially liked this bit:
/(Because it wasn't fair that she could never feel at ease with it.)
"You broke the rules! Girls aren't supposed to like girls!" And she sounds like the thirteen year old she was before, when all this started./
It's a good blend of helplessness and confusion and indignation and "Not fair! Not fair!"
Finally, I like the ending because it's so final. Of course endings are supposed to be final, but this has an extra, quiet, finality to it. It feels good that it winds down like that after their fight.
This is going to come out wrong, I just know it will, but I like how the story isn't /one-note/. They're confused, and you can see that they're confused, and yet the story doesn't come off as indulgent or as wallowing in angst. They're experiencing conflicted emotions, and it shows, and it's good (not for them, poor girls, but it's interesting to read about).
One question: Was leaving the last parenthesized bit un-italicized deliberate or not? I know it's a strange question, but my curiosity won't stop nagging at me until I find out! :)
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