All right. Time to try this formal reviewing thing out. Now, as the subtitle here suggests, I will be reviewing Owenandheatherfan's acclaimed one-shot Hope. Dramatic and descriptive, it attempts to humanize Heather and justify her manipulative, deceptive actions in TDI. But does it work?
Well, reading into this, there's one big theme I see in the story: Angst. A lot of it. From the first sentence, "she couldn't stand her life," the story seems to pile on as much sympathy as it can. And while that isn't always a bad thing--you do feel genuinely sorry for Heather--the angst here is rather overdramatic, almost impractical. Heather's grandmother would be unlikely to survive at all after the various physical mishaps the author describes. The angst nearly becomes lazy due to its unlikeliness to happen to someone as middle-class and average as Heather, dangerously close to Deus Angst Machina.
On top of that, Heather seems rather out-of-character. Even if you classify this as an Alternate Universe story, she seems more depressed, sad, and lonely here as opposed to just bitter and stressed out. In TDI, she seems incredibly unlikely to break out in tears of joy, or really any tears. Throughout Total Drama, she's established as a sour cynic that'd be more likely to fight than give up. There's also the whole issue of Heather cutting herself--something I'm pretty sure she'd never do, not even as a last resort, would be just sitting down in her pity and pain. Not everything about Heather's personality is out-of-character, though. After all, given her tragic backstory here, her life probably turned out different. Even canon Heather has some heart of gold, right?
Well, if there's one thing the story's magnificent with, it's the structure. The grammar and spelling are perfect, naturally, and the word choice works well into the drama. It lacks a lot of description, though, and doesn't go into detail much about Heather's backstory--just tells you the clear facts. Even so, the prose is excellent, and the lack of much dialogue is something I appreciate. My own Heather-humanizing fic used a similar tactic to convey her thoughts.
Even with all the angst and Heather's skewered personality, the story is still touching and makes for a good explanation as to why Heather got on TDI in the first place. It could only be really used as an Alternate Universe fic, though, as applying Heather's personality here into canon--something I'm not going to even try to do--is a mess. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give it a 4.