Sat 04 January 2020
(Major spoilers follow, I am sorry, but I cannot explain my opinion on the story without revealing most of the plot; if you haven’t read the story, finish it first.)
I have followed To All the Wizards I’ve Considered Before by FullofWrackspurts first with excitement. It seemed like refreshingly “normal” story different from the pervasive cliches of most Harmony or Romione stories. Hermione which is as confused by the intricacies of love as we all are, who is not a super-heroine, not super-confident, and … well, the word is “normal”.
It starts as a classical comedy of errors: letters are sent to number of Hermione’s male classmates making an impression that they are some kind of her love letters to them. Farcical dialogues with those affected happen and in the end, she agrees with Dean to pretend to be dating so that they may evoke jealousy in Ginny and Ron, and persuade them to renew (or ignite) romantic relationship. Obviously what follows is that the pretended relationship between Hermione and Dean starts to change into something real and both of them are too bound by the pretence to reveal their true feelings to each other. So far so good, certainly not worse than three quarters of all successful Hollywood romantic comedies.
The obvious problem is the end game. Whole charade about purely contractual and pretence nature of their relationship started to break down around the Christmas, when Hermione visited her “boyfriend’s” family, and all Dean’s siblings are quite not believing their pretence. Since that moment, the clocks started ticking for some final showdown to happen. Two chapters or so of them resolving their problem and it would be a sweet romcom.
Unfortunately, that is the sixth chapter of the story, and it seems like just half of the story (in case the chapter fourteen is the last one). I guess, the author read somewhere in one of those “How to write a novel” guides on the Internet (or perhaps even in a book), that unresolved tension can keep readers attention for longer time, so she went with it. The problem with this advice is in my opinion, that it can keep such attention just for so long and it creates a debt to the readers. Longer you keep their attention with this artificial gimmick, bigger return on their investment they expect. With more than half of the story spent on observing how our two heroes behave like idiots, we expect something super profound to happen. May in the end the author go AU and Dean returning to Ginny letting Hermione hang out dry with the morale being “If you don’t snap them, they may go away forever”? Will they agree to be together and go for liberation of house-elves together (or whatever, Dean with his Black American heritage may have an unique opinion on that)? Will be there some super dramatic scene with for example Dean being seriously hurt after The Battle of the Astronomy Tower (kind of equivalent of the Bill-Fleur scene, or perhaps really dying)?
The result was that the author haven’t managed to do anything. In the chapter sixteen our heroes kiss (again, the previous tease was completely useless in the story development) and they still haven’t said a word about the nature of their relationship. Perhaps it is assumed they are boyfriend/girlfriend now, but it seems like after the betrayal of our expectations the author has left us hang out dry on the top of everything else.
After so perfect start the end is a huge disappointment.