Reviewed by: jaeten
I liked the premise of the story very much; it reminded me of what the real-life experience of the young woman from The Island of the Blue Dolphins must have been like after she was taken from her island.
The story did take some time to start rolling, and the description at the beginning was a particular form of excessive: it painted a good picture, but it wasn't moving me forward in my understanding of what I was reading. An example of a line where it became excessive was "how it used to flow mellifluously through the slumber-laden air and echo back to my thirsty ears."
There is also quite a bit of sequential action as the narrator does this, and then this, and it leads her to this, etc.
However, I did enjoy the initial mystery of who "Me" was; I imagined anything from an underground-dwelling mermaid to an animal. I also liked how I couldn't be sure what world or time period we were in until more clues began to appear; this mystery of time and place kept me reading with great interest. The names "Clay" and "Claudia" had me wondering, and the appearance of the penny began to clarify things for me.
I was also impressed by the attention to detail, answering questions such as "where would the cooking smoke go if she's underground?" and "where did she get a wooden stick to cook with?" I appreciate authors who put this kind of thought into their stories and address questions the readers might have; it shows the author cares, and that is certainly not a given (though it should be!).
The appearance of the "single tear" image surprised me! But it's forgiven.
The passages beginning with her reaching into the bag were confusing upon first reading, because I lost track of what was memory and what was happening to her in that moment. Because the description of her memory of that first day of leaving the cave was quite lengthy, I became unsure of whether it was something that happened to her just as she was looking at the penny. This might just be me, though.
I thought the appearance of certain words, which she was unlikely to know or think, was jarring. Examples include "agoraphobia," "zombies," and "mass-produced." I also found it odd that she knew what pears, fruit, the moon, and dolls were but had no words for clouds and birds. Each time I noticed this, it took me out of the narrator's head a little; there could be a little more consistency here.
I was surprised by the fact that, though it's said her eyes did hurt when she went outside, she seems to adjust fairly quickly. I would've thought, as was said early in the story, that she would pretty much blind from her life underground.
Loved the moment when I realized she was talking about a Cabbage Patch doll! Brings back memories
A few other things that made me wonder: 1) that Kelly's mother came out and was hostile, yet let her keep her daughter's sweater and 2) that the narrator was so familiar with mirrors/reflections.
But this is a solid and entertaining story built on a fascinating premise; I like how her feelings of alienation are expressed and how her affinity for an environment which would alienate US is imparted to the reader.
Reviewed by: Mikey
And I quote the words.
I gave her what I thought of a decent burial.Then I sat and waited to die, too. But all that happened was that I got cold and hungry, and so to stop my constant misery,I had gone to the pond and jumped in, not knowing how to swim, and sank to the bottom. I tried to let my breath go and allow my life to dissolve into the cold waters, to let the darkness swallow me. Instead, the waters embraced me on all sides and offered serenity and peace instead of oblivion. Wow incredible!!!!!
This one awesome as well. I smile as I remember the circumstances under which I encountered the flower. I remember my dismay when I found out that, in order to keep it forever, the flowers beauty was sacrificed. I loved the flowers and delighted in being surrounded by them, but I decided I would much rather leave them where they naturally grew so they could stay beautiful for their natural lifetimes instead of turning them into ugly zombies of the garden whose lives are stagnant forever.
you truly have a beautiful elegance in your words a very rich tapestry of description , and I will have you know that you have done it again. I will never look or use the word music box the same way. This was a great piece so full and rich in details their are so many fine quotes I would like to give on this work but just know that this is a great story a small master piece if you will, as for my grade a high 4 stars almost a perfect 5 again a great story.
Reviewed by: Dan M.
Here's my opinion...
How you describe everything in this story really lets me see, feel, and almost hear what its like to be in this cave, and what the outside world feels to this character.
The story itself was a bit slow in the begining, but then picked up and gained my interest in the character after about the first third of the story.
I did feel one overwhelming similarity about this character to another character in the book "The Hobbit" named "Gollum". I was expecting at any moment for the character to pick up some item and start calling it, its preciousssssssssss! lol
But then when the character "Me" ventured out to the open cavern with the moonlight pouring in and started to reflect upon the time when "she" had ventured out of the cave and had met the family and had the experiences of the outside world, was then that I started to realize that this was a beautiful young girl, probably in her late teens.
Then as I read more toward the middle and the end, you get a real feel of how awkward the outside world was the her, and why she would want to go back to the cave and live there forever.
I thought this was a sad story and that it pointed out very well how some people just cant seem to understand other people who have grown up differently then themselves.
This story was of course very well written and for the most part I enjoyed it although it was kind of a "feel bad" type of story, sort of depressing.
I just couldnt help but feel a deep sorrow for the main character, and like the family in the story, wish I could help her somehow.
So overall I thought the idea of this story was conveyed very well, and was fairly interesting.
Three and a half stars!
Reviewed by: The Author Herself
This one's sort of sappy-strange at times. Of course, my idea for this, and its first draft, were born when I was in high school, and my writing style's matured since then. I think it can be a little confusing as to how the character ended up living underground in the first place, and how she ended up alone. I leave this up to speculation, but I think most people can't speculate enough based on what I gave them. I think that the points and observations the character makes in this story are kind of refreshing, and even though the present tense voice (switching to past) and the format of the story are unusual, it can still be enjoyed, and some may really like it.
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