Peer Review by Ash (United States)

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A trip down memory lane - Part 4

By: roxy goth

PROMPT: Open Prompt


Nikki Roi

Well, here I am, writing in this stupid diary my mother gave me. I mean seriously, it’s pink and has a fairy on the front. A fairy. I DO NOT like fairies and she knows that. But she’s always hoping I’ll have some sort of ‘girlyness upgrade’ and suddenly start twirling my hair and wearing pink. As if.

I hate pink.

I start my new school tomorrow, Toppington Secondary school. Toppington, what a stupid name. And I’ll be moving there just after the Christmas holidays when everyone else in the class has already had a chance to make friends. The reason why is because my father has a new job that requires him to move to Coventry. I did try to persuade mum that I should be home educated seeing as dad’s job is only temporary. She said ‘the day I’m home educating you is the day the earth stops turning.’ For god’s sake, I’m not that difficult to entertain! Just leave me alone with some art stuff and don’t ask me to do any maths and I’ll be fine. 

Ugh, gotta go, the twin twits are shrieking me.

Just had dinner. Mum made Sheppard’s pie. I hate Sheppard’s pie, why can’t she make pizza and chips? I complained, but mum shot me a death glare and said I’ll be lucky to get anything if I carry on like that. As if I care. Then my brother Charlie, who is 18 and really arty, said. “If you eat it all up I’ll let you watch me make a wooden bird.” I do like watching him make stuff. So I forced it down while next to me the twin twits went “We’ve finished mum.” And mum went. “Well done girls. So nice to see someone appreciates my work.”

Which is totally unfair because I saw Megan pass half her Sheppard’s pie over to my other brother Barney [yes seriously], who’s 20. And she gave half of Molly’s to him as well. Barney really likes Sheppard pie, as does Charlie. Freaks. But being 8 and cute the twiddle idiots get away with murder.

I suppose, seeing as I’ve been ranting about them for half a page I better give a brief synopsis of the weirdoes I share a blood line with. Well theirs my parents, mums an artist, a struggling one ‘as every truly talented artist is’ she tells us. She often tells us that people will admire her after she dies. Now if that was me, I’d like my success to be while I’m alive so I can enjoy it. But whatever.

Dad’s a warehouse person. He moves heavy boxes around. He works for quite a big firm, but the downside is that part of his job means he has to move to where the most boxes need to be moved or something like that. I’m 11 and already we’ve moved five times.

Then there’s my siblings. Barney’s alright, he’s a really good magician, been practising ever since he got the kit for his 13th birthday. He’s tried to pick up a couple of girls that way, it hasn’t worked. He did have a girlfriend once called Rachel, but they split up last year. Her loss, Barney’s a great guy. He always lets me eat chocolates whenever mum leaves him in charge. He looks like me as well; we’ve both got the same nose and eyes. We have different hair though, Barney’s is black and mine is brown. Mum likes me to wear it in plaits. I prefer bunches.

Charlie’s cool. He’s 18. He really does look like me, brown hair as well. He’s also quite tall. He’s brilliant with his hands and can make anything out of wood. The bird is just one small example; he also makes animals like rabbits and stuff. He makes me cool angels as well. I love angels; they’re so nice to look at, especially the glittery ones. I have 25 Charlie Roi original bits of work. He did DT at school for GCSE and is now at a woodwork college.

There there’s Megan and Molly, or as I like to called them ‘the twin twits’. I don’t just call them that, I have a wide variety of names for them. I’m nothing if not creative. There’re the ones who have managed to avert the gene-pool somehow, they’re not adopted, although I wish they were, they just look like my deceased grandmother, who died when I was four. With their red hair, green eyes and pixie-like features. It’s quite creepy actually; you look at pictures of her and then at them and wonder if she somehow managed to pass on her soul to them. Wouldn’t surprise me, she was quite the witch from what Barney and Charlie have told me, and the twiddle idiots match that description to a tee.

Anyway, so that’s all the losers covered. Back to me. I must admit I am a little nervous about tomorrow, one thing I’ve learnt being constantly shuffled around from school to school is that, apart from school diners are terrible whichever school you attend, is that each class has to ‘top dogs’, be it boys or girls, or sometimes a mix. I wonder who Toppingtons top dogs are?



This is one of the books in my 'Guide to Friendship' series So, this is the first chapter, the second should be up soon-ish. I welcome comments, but please no flames. 

Message to Readers

Any, but no flames please. I'd really like to know what you think of the characters, please. Thank you for reading.

Peer Review

It's a story about a snarky eleven year old girl introducing herself and her family, told in the diary format.

Your narrator has a very strong voice. Whether she's describing herself or her family, you can always see her personality filtering in.

Since this is the first chapter in an over-arcing story, I understand that you can't just jump in to the main action. This piece just felt like it was an intro, getting us familiar with the setting and the characters. You told what the narrator's parents do for a living. I felt like you skimmed over the dad, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Think about his relationship with Nikki. Does he spend a lot of time at home or interacting with her specifically? If yes, you should probably add in some more details about him since he's the only character who has yet to show up (like at dinner). If you don't feel like he plays an important role in the story, then leave the description as is.

Reviewer Comments

Despite the grammar issues, I'm really enthralled by your story. I'd really like to see how Nikki's actions around her peers differs from how she behaves with her family.