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Review #4536069
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by A Guest Visitor
Review of Seeing Straight  
Review by Satuawany
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
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Hi there. Hello there. Hey there. *Cool* I've been wanting so badly to get a moment to reread since your portfolio got all unlocked! I don't have time to do it today, and so today was a perfect day to do it. (You gotta know what I mean.)

I had a hard time choosing between reading Anael or Xan, but in my head, I remembered less of Xan's story and so here I came. I was surprised to see I hadn't reviewed this back in the day, but I'm guessing that's going to be a thing I run into a lot here—so much discussion in emails! (And also, probably, all in my head. *Laugh*)

And I see I missed your account anniversary by a day! Happy belated! And so, as the image at the head of this review likely gives away, we're calling this an Anniversary Review. It was just one more thing that made me get over here today.

Okay, I do usually get my “general” thoughts out as I'm doing line-by-line comments, but I have some general thoughts that are beating at the insides of my brain, so I'm going to let them out before starting back at the beginning of the story and going through the lines that jump out at me. *Bigsmile*

First of all, I love how you tied the whole story together in the beginning with that “Bad things happen in threes.” That gets me wondering what he'll count as the three bad things—or the two he knows about—and that's just one layer of many, but it's nice to have this tally to look for on top of the other stuff unfolding.

Such as the progression of information/hooks, like why would Molly care about Justin's dad, why she flinches at hearing Justin's sister call her father an honest man. And oh, how I go from wondering about how it seems Molly had a connection to Justin's dad that Xan wasn't picking up on and then him realizing the same thing during the funeral. My impressions of the characters evolve throughout the story as Xan shares more and experiences more and it's just radically addictive, especially in conjunction with Xan's distinct and entertaining voice.

And through him, I get such clear pictures of everyone else!

I am still wondering about Molly's reactions at the funeral, but that mystery is in here in such a way that I'm confident I'll find out later, in another story. I'm glad, really, that we didn't find out yet because I get the impression it's going to be a bomb, and there's a plenty big bomb in this story already—“Bad Thing #3.”

I'm glad, though, that we did find out why Xan was so reluctant to go see his father on his deathbed. And it made complete sense to me that the events of the funeral and afterward would get him to finally go, though I also feel like Xan would have a hard time explaining himself. That's part of what makes him such a fun character to read, though.

Such a great voice for narration, he has. Molly's right that he's messy, and I loved her for telling him so.

Oh! And I liked wondering why Molly seemed to know Justin's dad better than Xan did, then finding out that that was because he knew the grandparents better since they were the ones who brought Justin to the Shore during summers. It was also a hook knowing that Sebastian and Justin are Xan's best friends and have been since they were kids, but it also feeling like they weren't always around one another (and I can't even point out all the reasons why without getting really irritating—it's nuances, like the fact that Xan thinks of Molly as Justin's obsession, but doesn't really seem to've been around her as much as Justin.)

It all sounds mundane when I put it like this, but the way the information is trickled down, making me wonder and then answering those wonderings, pulled me deeper into the story. And Xan's voice makes it all come across so naturally, I get pulled in even more.

It's all so real.

Girl, I missed your writing so very much.

All right, I don't know that I've left myself anymore to say in the line-by-line, except dry and slight suggestions. Let's see! *Delight*

*Vine2* *ButterflyV* *Vine1*

“Bartenders are supposed to ease people’s troubles, not make the worse.”
         Just a typo: make them worse (I think I remember seeing another one or two, but I'm almost certain to miss them this time through. You're far from taking my Typo Queen title, though.)
         And this bit might be weird or nitpicky or something, but since this story was written I have reached some kind of tipping point on seeing people in stories both written and onscreen wiping glasses in a bar. Maybe Xan would agree to be putting stools upside down on the bar or some some other closing-type activity? *Bigsmile* On the other hand, it could definitely just be me, and I could also see him deciding to be “Bartender Wiping Down a Glass” out of spite. *Laugh*
         One more thing and then I'm moving on, I swear! (I am bats about openings, though, yanno.) Anyway, this is in the department of “future expectations because of what I read in this story.” Because we never see Geoff again in this story, I fully expect to see him again in other stories. That's because it seems odd to introduce him just so he could deliver the rule of threes and skedaddle out of the tale for good.
         Oh! He also makes it clear, through the conversation about Molly, that he knows everybody. It could be that he hangs out with Xan outside work, but the impression I got was that Xan's friends (and Molly, too, haha) frequented the bar. And that's good groundwork information, but somehow that adds to be expecting to see Geoff in later stories.

he’s still all up in her shit, doing anything she asks him to do.
         And you know what I love? I'm still not sure if this is hyperbole or not. *Laugh* I mean, one of the things I love about Xan is that he seems the type that unabashedly gets things wrong sometimes. And at the funeral he even effortlessly admits (at last to himself) that there's more to the picture than he's known. But anyway, I love that being in Xan's head makes me picture Justin acting like a body servant to Molly, though he never actually does. Special circumstances, sure, and we don't get to see him much, and that's what leaves it up in the air. I don't really believe it's quite to the extent that Xan makes it out to be, but I am curious to what extent it is—and that's yet one more of so many things that makes me want to read more stories!

but I flip it open just before it would have skipped over
         Oh, flip phones! And later, a phone book makes an appearance. I love it. I hope you don't bring the story closer to modern day (though I also 100% believe it will be every bit as great even if you do.)

“But --,”

“I’m hanging up.”

“Xan --,”

         Hey, did you know, since you've been gone, we have a WritingML code for an em dash? I mean, really. (Okay, I know it's easy to do in a word processing program, but it's also just fun to know on WdC, too: {emdash} I'm weird like that, though.)
         Also, that comma shouldn't be there; an em dash is sufficient punctuation. (So are ellipsis points, by the by, and I saw a few instances where you put a comma after ellipsis points in dialogue. You should be able to do a search for …, to find them. *Wink*)

“I’m here for you, not him.”
         Oooh, I forgot about this line (right after Justin tells her she didn't have to come.) It matches the way I was feeling even before her reactions to the eulogy, though, so I'm guessing it gave me the feeling it needed to give me regardless. It all adds up to make me very curious about their behavior in regards to Justin's dad.

*Vine2* *ButterflyV* *Vine1*

The whole funeral scene is perfect, in fact. That Xan keeps kicking the stand the casket is on is just...so Xan, and such a needed comic relief and so very much something I can see happening. And it ties in nicely to Molly's breakdown.

The whole damn story is like that, though—with all these rich little details that make everything so real and so absorbing.

And I know! I left off the line-by-line early it seems, but I just got to reading and enjoying the story again, and that made me realize that I have more thoughts, but they were wanting to come out this way. *Smile* Really, I could point to every thing and be like, “Also this is great for all the above reasons.” *Laugh*

And of course you set everything up to go where it did. That progression! And now I'm wondering very much how the visit to his dad goes—but I'm ravenous to see the fallout of what happened at Molly's place. I'm wondering very much to how much and in what way Justin will be affected when he finds out, as I'm sure he must, eventually, because I can't imagine that this'll be a secret forever.

I am just so very hooked, all over again. God, I love your characters. I could hang out with them for days and I love how you let me get to know them—how Xan brings himself and the rest of them across.

It's been too long since I've said to you—if I failed to go over anything in this review you were hoping I'd mention, please let me know! Also let me know about any questions this review made you have.

Finally, welcome back! And Happy Account Anniversary!

*ConfettiV* Chy

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
   *CheckG* You responded to this review 03/04/2020 @ 4:37pm EST
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