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Complete Could She Be, Could He Be? by munkeymaniac - M - Harry/Tracy

Discussion in 'Trash Bin' started by Taure, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Title: Could She Be, Could He Be?
    Author: munkeymaniac
    Rating: M (really it's T at best, at least up til now).
    Genre: Romance/General
    DLP Category: Romance
    Status: WIP, 140k words.
    Summary: Tracey Davis has moved and is now Harry Potter's neighbor. The two strike up a friendship, but will it last through the summer and into their fifth year at Hogwarts? M, just in case.
    Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7389073/1/Could_She_Be_Could_He_Be

    An interesting story.

    Well written.

    Characters are written pretty in-canon, with the exception of Ron. But his OOCness is noted by the characters and is part of the plot.

    The romance is straightforward and so far lacks any real conflict, but sweet nonetheless. And there are no moments where you just think "no, that's wrong/stupid". No retarded Kinsfire shit here.

    Mostly, this is an objectively bland if well written teen romance story - thus the DLP category. However, it does have action elements, especially in the later chapters. The Ministry storyline deviates from canon enough to be interesting. The ICW storyline looks promising. Dumbledore and Harry interactions also deviate sufficiently from canon to be interesting. As well as Tracy Davis moving in next to Privet Drive, the other major departure point from canon is that the Graveyard scene at the end of GoF ended slightly differently - with Harry being hit by a Killing Curse and surviving, destroying the horcrux within him (which then changes Harry and Dumbledore's dynamic).

    The only real criticism I have to the story (beyond criticism that would be criticisms more of the genre than this particular story - if you don't like romance, stay away) is the lack of character progression. As I say, despite it being a romance story there is an action side element. The war is definitely going to happen and there is definitely going to be fighting, but there has been even less focus on actual practising of magic and preparation for war than in canon.

    That said, I have a feeling that the story is reaching something of a surprise climax, as of this last chapter.

    4/5
     
  2. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    It's his least-bad fic. I stopped following this a few months ago, but from what I remember 3.5/5 would be appropriate. Rounded up, I suppose, for actually giving Tracey some personality.
     
  3. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    I've come across that story. Dunno why I didn't read it ... maybe it's the premise. I can't stand the 'XY moves and coincidentally ends up right next to Harry Potter'-device -- it's so unlikely and obviously contrived it makes baby Jesus cry. Plus, it means that the story (also) takes place at Little Whinging. In my Harry Potter stories, there is exactly one purpose for Little Whinging: To leave it for somewhere else. :|

    Edit: Also, the title. Wtf is up with that. I mean, a question? Essays or monologues have questions as titles. Off-putting to the nth degree.
     
  4. Mage

    Mage Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I'm torn on this one. I started reading it a while ago, and I do enjoy it. That being said I'm not sure its really worthy library material. There just doesn't seem to be much going on in the story in terms of character development and plot advancement. On the other hand, I did like reading it and it was a great time killer. Ordinarily I would say that it's closer to the Almost Recommendable Thread then here, but I think this is better then most of the Romance section. Tentatively leaving a 4/5 on it, but I plan to go reread it straight through (since I've just been reading chapter updates for awhile), and see if that changes my vote one way or another.
     
  5. sirius009

    sirius009 Minister of Magic

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    It's not bad; it's just so hard to get into. I hate stories where Harry meets Slytherin girl, Harry becomes friends with Slytherin girl (usually Daphne or Tracy), then they start dating and all of a sudden Harry, Ron, Hermoine, Ginny, etc. become BFF's with said Slytherin girl and her best friend (it's almost always Daphne or Tracy, because they're outcasts), it's just not believable, there is no conflict, couple that with the authors other stories (all of which are are Harry/Daphne, and are extremely similar to one another. ) and I just can't get into it.
     
  6. Carmine

    Carmine Unspeakable

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    Munkeymaniac's other stories are practically identical, and are also poor. This is... different. Enjoyable to read, at least. I'll give it a tentative 4/5.
     
  7. Another Empty Frame

    Another Empty Frame Fake Flamingo DLP Supporter

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    Thought you were drunk-reccing or trolling Taure, two chapters in and I guess I'll have to actually review it in a bit.
     
  8. saevanus

    saevanus Third Year DLP Supporter

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    I'd rate this a soft 4/5, only because I would call it slightly better than "average" and at the tail end of "good".

    It's a guilty pleasure/boredom alleviator not without redeeming aspects. Daphne/Tracey feel largely interchangeable from past stories. I would strongly hesitate to call it 'library worthy' for its overall Light-happy tone.
     
  9. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I read a bit of this a few weeks back, but haven't kept up with updates, because it isn't that noteworthy. I dislike the author, a lot. He has written a ton of bland and generic Daphne stories, even more than I have. This story is only marginally better, due only to the fact that he may be getting better as an author in general. This being his ninth story helps with the experience department I guess. He does complete most of his stories and updates are pretty frequent, so that is a plus. His past stories have always had problems with bland cliches, dry characters, and boring/generic plots, and this story does have more going for it than his past ones, but I still don't think it's good enough for the library. 3/5 is a good score, but there is potential for that to go up if the author sudden drops a ton of awesome and innovating chapters, but I'm not holding my breath. I've yet to see him make that sort of jump, and I don't think he's capable of it.
     
  10. thebrute7

    thebrute7 High Inquisitor

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    Well, for munkeymaniac being the author, the story is pretty good. But the lack of any real character development makes the story okay to read once, but not interesting enough to want to read again.

    3/5 from me, but I could see myself giving it a 4 if the story really started to go somewhere.
     
  11. Silens Cursor

    Silens Cursor The Silencer DLP Supporter

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    This story frustrates me.

    I mean, I can tolerate romance more than most, and for the most part, this story is interesting and has a good sense of light-hearted fun. Tracey, Harry, and most of the group do feel like teenagers (although I don't know why the author thought the typical Ginny cliches were necessary, and in contrast to better-defined characters, she really stands out as a problem), but there are issues with this story that I can't in good conscience overlook, no matter how inoffensive it might be.

    But first, some of the good. The writing is passable, albeit quite bland. I'm a little amused at how the author lampoons some of the common cliches of the genre - although not enough of them, and I'll get to that - and I genuinely do enjoy the characterizations of most characters, the stand-outs for me being Ron and Daphne.

    For instance, I find Dumbledore's internal monologues and thoughts to be both poorly written and not really in character, and the later chapters only show more of this with his dialogue. There's a certain calm and dignity lacking in those digressions that really annoys me. Furthermore, the dialogue is corny at best and cringe-worthy at worst, and maybe it's just me, but it really annoys me that Tracey's mom is referred to by her first name in the text. Since most of the POVs are from Tracey, it's weird that she thinks of her mom with her first name. There's also a few glaring grammatical errors that haven't been fixed (particularly the word 'drug' used as the past-tense for drag instead of 'dragged'), enough to the point where a beta could prove useful, particularly in pruning some of the unnecessary scenes and conversations that really don't add much.

    There's also the magical core and 'magical lord' nonsense that isn't well-written enough to be interesting or fresh, and the Ginny/Draco team-up is always absolutely insufferable (like always) - and frankly, the ending of their plan felt rushed, contrived, and more than a little stupid. In fact, the most recent chapters all really irk me. The author seems to have completely abandoned proper pacing, and sent Umbridge into an overdrive so ridiculous it's unbelievable.

    And with the most recent chapter... yeah, no, I don't buy it. It's way too rushed and sloppy and just plain unbelievable. The story really begins to nose-dive when they get to Hogwarts, to the point where the 'romance' between Harry and Tracey early on is really the high point of the fic for me. The author knows nothing about building suspense or emotion, and it really shows by the fact that there's absolutely zero subtlety in this story. The tepid blandness of the romance is one thing, but I prefer it to the sheer garbage shovelled out in the recent chapters.

    2/5, and it will probably drop.
     
  12. Andro

    Andro Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    The writing style is vanilla, painfully so. That's the first thing I noticed.

    Tracey moving next door to Harry by chance is the first dealbreaker.

    The strange thing is, the author is exactly right! That's why you don't write this shit in the first place! Yes, it kills the story since it's based on this stupid premise. That just means this story shouldn't have gotten off teh ground.

    The second dealbreaker, in the first chapter, is the ending, where Tonks watches from afar, approving of Harry spending time with Tracey. It's such a specific scene, yet it appears all over the place in fics. Even Tehan wrote it with McGonagall and Dumbledore in Contemplating Clouds, and I just couldn't stand it.

    This author writes like he's a mom telling a story to children. The tone is saccharine, Disneyish, safe, bland.

    2/5.
     
  13. thebrute7

    thebrute7 High Inquisitor

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    I actually have to disagree. While it is unlikely, and a rather obviously contrived plot device, it is not actually that implausible.

    As a matter of fact, my family moved in next to a person I knew only as a very distant acquantance from school, and since that we have been best friends for 11 years.
     
  14. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Anecdotal evidence, really? And the point is not that it can happen, the point is that it screams "I am a plot device inserted by the author to bring Harry and person X together". That's just off-putting. I'd rather the author randomly pulled the AU card and declares they always have known each other than this.


    And I still can't get over the title. It's got to be the worst one since about "Holy Morphs Envy a Radar". What the fuck does it even mean? I'll give it a try if someone can explain it to me (this one, not the other) :?
     
  15. Myduraz

    Myduraz Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I'm actually following this as a guilty pleasure. Still not library material.
    2/5.
     
  16. Rhys

    Rhys High Inquisitor

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    Wait, this isn't unredeemably awful? I've seen the title trolling around on ffnet for a while and stayed far away. I guess I'll take a look at it.
     
  17. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    It's quite funny, I didn't even look at the title until I came top post it here. Probably why I gave it the time of day in the first place.
     
  18. Darth Disaster

    Darth Disaster The Waking Sith ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Boring, bland, bad characterizations in too many instances..

    2/5
     
  19. Bill Door

    Bill Door The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    I started reading this three days ago and still haven't managed to get past the third chapter. There's just nothing in it that makes me want to read on, all I can think is that I've read this a dozen times before. This doesn't have anything to separate it from the crowd of other Harry/Tracey, Harry/Daphne and Harry/random slytherin girl fics out there. I feel like can predict everything that is going to happen for the next 100k words, and I just don't want to read them.

    Not library worthy for me.
     
  20. Zansa

    Zansa Fourth Year

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    The whole thing has the feel of an over-practiced speech. It's very smooth, but impersonal and cold. Very robotic. I feel like I can almost count down the words to each major milestone. I can't bring myself to read the story if I know exactly what's going to happen and when it's going to happen. There's no mystery or suspense here. If you like romance, you'll like this. If you like drama or suspense, this isn't something you'll particularly enjoy.

    I'd give this story a 2/5, but it accomplishes what it set out to do, namely portray a burgeoning romance between two teenagers. I'd rank this above mediocre but not quite good.

    3/5
     
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