I liked the filtered photos; they were quite beautiful and fit the story nicely. The blurred sprites looked very natural on the backgrounds.
I also really like the GUI! It's simple and nice; I love the font choices. Though why is the text on the save slots white and not the same orange color as on the Prefs selected hover/hover buttons?
I got some weird glitch where the entire first part with the bench BG skipped when I started playing. The skipping settings were set to the default "skip seen text". Since I'd started the game for the first time, I hadn't seen that text. Also, I wasn't pressing anything. It stopped at the first line of the bus scene, but I'm still not sure what caused it. Going back to the main menu and restarting fixed the problem.
I got another weird glitch at the bench scene(I just wanted to listen to the music during that scene, so I started the game) where I had to double click on everything for anything to happen(clicking escape, I had to double click on the load, options, Main Menu, etc buttons). Going to the main menu didn't fix the problem, though restarting the game by quitting and reopening did.
I don't know the cause of these weird glitches, but I thought you'd want to know. I'm on a Mac, by the way.
Ok, now for some things on the story.
I know a lot of VN devs do this, but opening narration to tell the player about the main character is something I really dislike, because it has the writer tell the player stuff about the main character without it occurring naturally in the story. Ignoring that for a second, though, I like what was told during the opening narration, and what was learned about Lina during the bus and reading scene. I wish I knew her age, though(more on that below).
The first choice feels...disjointed. The way you worded it feels like Lina can only feel negatively about the book, but selecting "Sweet, but predictable" leads to her liking the ending. To give that first choice a positive feeling, it should probably be reworded to "Predictable, but sweet".
And speaking of Lina, I didn't know her name, so when it suddenly appeared on screen when talking to Orion, I was confused for a second!
And speaking of the music, I enjoyed the music selection a lot! Most of it felt very fitting to the various scenes of the game; nice job there! The only song I didn't like as much is the one that plays during the opening bench scene, because the sound effects/samples in that song are kinda odd. I very much enjoyed the rest, though.
Anyway, given that Lina and Orion talking about death, and this is one of the heaviest conversations in the game so far, I would have liked a choice.
For the 2nd choice, asking Orion to walk me home, I felt like Lina would say "No", especially since (A) she doesn't know him, (B) he hasn't done anything to earn her trust, and (C) he's only been helping her because he has "nothing better to do"-- which doesn't exactly make him sound trustworthy. I get what you were trying to do here-- earn a romance point(I'm assuming you used a points system in your coding?) or not, but it doesn't exactly work, since Orion isn't someone I can see as Lina wanting to walk her home. Also, Lina saying "I don't usually trust strangers" after choosing "No" kinda drives my point home.
And him saying he likes to "play with people" while on the bus(how did she get on the bus with no money...?) drives my point home even more! She has no reason to trust him, and that gives her even less of a reason. At this point in the story, he just sounds...creepy.
For the 3rd choice, I feel the same way as I do about the 2nd choice. Though he did say he was lonely, so I talked to him, against my better judgement. And even though Orion has still done nothing to earn Lina's trust, and is still acting like a jerk for most of the conversation, it was some enjoyable dialogue.
While I can understand the 4th choice, to go or not to go, the lack of buildup to it-- just "What should I do?" and then the choice-- makes it a bit unimpactful. Some more buildup to it, with Lina thinking about why she should go or not go, might have served this choice a bit better. As it is, it gives me the impression it's there for branching paths, and not as a natural part of the story. After all, why would Lina not go? Again, building up going and not going before this choice could have made it a bit better, and feel like both choices have equal merit, but as is, I choose to go because it seemed obvious to me that Lina has no reason not to go.
The 5th choices is definitely one of the best choices in the game, because it involves how Lina really feels about what Orion does, though it left me a little confused, especially because I have no idea what Orion means by "more friendly" activities. Does that mean nothing to do with stealing, and they're just going to walk around the part and whatnot, or does it mean they're going to steal, but smaller things, or that they're going to cause smaller pieces of mischief? This leads to the choice being confusing, because for "No, it's wrong", well, what is "it"? And for "Only if no one gets hurt", no one was getting physically hurt in the activities Orion suggested before. Lina defining what she means by "no one gets hurt" after choosing that choice doesn't help.
Also, I have no idea how old Lina is, and her age could affect how willing she'd be to participate in these pranks. I mean, if she's around 20 or younger she probably would, but if she's a working class woman in her mid-30's she probably wouldn't. Or am I supposed to assume she's in high school because it's a romance game? Note: that last bit was sarcasm; please don't leave a reader of your stories to assume a character's age based on genre.
I did like what they did in the "no one gets hurt" sequence, though I wish the "boy with a floating puppy" scene could've been shown to me instead of told to me. Since it leads to Orion talking about how he's never used his "powers" for good, seeing it would've given it more or an impact. I enjoyed their dialogue during that sequence, and their dialogue during and after they talked about using Orion's "powers" for good.
Lina dying feels...well, it doesn't feel natural. I feel like she got to know Orion, and now she's going to choose to either stay with him or go into the light. The dying is being used as a plot device, not as a natural part of the story, and it doesn't feel good. (Note: even though there was no choice in the dying scene, the death still feels like a plot device-- it lets Lina see Orion when she normally can't.
When Lina says "I talked to him about things I never would've dared to talk about with my other friends", all I can think is "What things?". The main problem here is the flash forward of a few days-- since their relationship developed off screen, I mentally feel like it hasn't changed from when I last saw it, and they weren't very close then. So, the flash forward of a few days didn't exactly help give Lina and Orion's relationship the development it needed. Maybe another day or two of them hanging out and getting closer both Lina's death could've helped.
And then Lina and Orion talk, and she lives, and he's gone, and she's grateful to him...honestly, because the whole "dying" thing feels forced, it really sets a damper on the ending, since the whole thing involves Lina dying-- something that feels like a poorly used plot device. I liked their conversation, but the whole thing just feels off. Lina living, too. It doesn't really add much to the story, since all that happens in the hospital room is 2 lines of dialogue and a bit of narration, and then she's grateful to him, which she could have said while going into the light.
Overall, I think the concept is alright, though I don't understand why Lina hasn't seen ghosts before, say, before her parents figured out she needed glasses. Or is that in an ending I didn't get?
Actually, this is kind of a big deal. Even when wearing glasses, there are still places out of the corners of your eyes that are blurry-- I know because I wear glasses. So, has Lina seen ghosts before, out of the corner of her eyes, but paid them no mind because she couldn't see them when looking directly at them?
Anyway, the concept is alright, Lina and Orion's relationship feels like it develops naturally(still don't think she would talk to him, though, and I don't get the impression they're particularly close by the game's end), but the dying near the end, and the events surrounding it, feels very forced and unfortunately makes the whole game a lot worse for it.