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Author: capturednature

Genre: Mystery/thriller


I find the cover to be a perfect match for your story. I immediately expected a kidnapping or scandal of some sort, and the cover appears to be done professionally. It's very appealing and attention-grasping. The title also combines the cover and the story, and it makes the reader question what kind of deception is to occur in the story. 

Your vocabulary and word usage is spectacular, and I didn't notice any overused words or phrases. Your grammar is also near flawless, but I did notice a couple of things that you could keep an eye out for. The first thing I saw was in Chapter 1 where you wrote "No one but him and I." In this case, the phrasing should be "No one but me and him" or "No one but him and me." If this sentence were referring to Alex only, the wording would be "No one but me." This rule applies when referring to multiple people as well. I noticed this a few times throughout the story, but it is something that is easily overlooked and not to be stressed about. I also caught one sentence in particular in Chapter 1 that made me look back and reread the paragraph. "What a tough question. However, I think I would like to know you better," Jackson said. The use of "however" really stood out, as it is primarily used when contradicting a statement, not adding onto the current direction of the conversation. I only caught this because it seemed to halt the flow of the paragraph. Otherwise, your grammar is superb and it flows very easily throughout the story. 

I did notice that the dialogue was choppy in certain sections. When the characters use "I am," "they are," "do not," etc. excessively, it stops the flow of the conversation. Although there is nothing wrong with using the full words, it would sound less formal and more realistic if the characters used words like "I'm," "they're," and "don't" in casual conversation. 

Some elements that were rather inconsistent throughout your story were the sensory details and descriptions. You did a great job of explaining smells and physical feelings, but you did not clearly explain the setting. For example, the beginning of the story took place at The Java Hut coffee shop, but you did not explain how the coffee shop looked. How big was it? Was there any furniture or was it primarily a to-go café? You also didn't clearly describe Alex's appearance. You mentioned that she had blonde hair, but you didn't give many additional details. What color is her skin? What color are her eyes? Is she short or tall? On the other hand, your explanations of Jackson were very clear and I could imagine his hair, eyes, smell, and clothing. How old were Alex and Jackson? I think these descriptions could be sorted out earlier in the story rather than being brought up as it goes on. 

The story is also primarily told rather than shown. We only understand Alex's thoughts because she only seems to think about Jackson. What is she like? Is she more quiet or outgoing? How did Jackson first find her? Although you cover these details more as the story goes on, I think it would be helpful to include some background details earlier in the story. This would help your readers understand the characters and the plot more clearly.

The plot as a whole is very enticing and suspenseful, but I find that it progresses at a rapid pace that is almost impossible to keep up with. One moment Alex meets Jackson and he almost kisses her the next time he sees her. The timeline doesn't make much sense considering that they only spend about half an hour together before Jackson tried to kiss her. I find your story to be lacking the suspense that it could potentially have due to the fast pace. For example, why was Alex so attracted to Jackson in the beginning? Why did she also feel afraid of him? By going deeper into these points, I think your readers would become more interested in what is to come later in the story.

I find that the characters' reactions and attitudes were a bit unrealistic, making their encounters difficult to clearly imagine. When Jackson first met Alex in The Java Hut, he seemed very pushy and the situation appeared uncomfortable. Personally, I would have acted fairly reserved and I would have felt anxious. Alex seems to brush off these feelings and interact with Jackson completely normally, despite how he was acting. Jackson was also portrayed to be almost too obsessive throughout the beginning of the story. More time needs to pass between encounters or else he seems very creepy and clingy. People like Jackson generally stretch the timeline and become acquainted with the person over time rather than dramatically and suddenly. They usually have ulterior motives behind every encounter, so I think Jackson's meetings with Alex could be explained more thoroughly. I also think that Alex should be more afraid about how quickly Jackson seems to be moving forward with the relationship. 

Despite the fact that Jackson turns out to be completely different than Alex expected, I think the relationship progressed much too quickly. I would personally be more drawn to the story if their attraction to one another had been elongated. It would be more satisfying to the readers if Jackson and Alex slowly came together and got to know each other. It's difficult to relate to the characters when we don't know who they are or why they are interested in each other. 

Overall, I found the story to be incredibly interesting and original! I haven't read many stories in which the dreamy boy becomes the villain, and I love reading about how Alex responds to the innocent date that quickly became something that she never expected. The story was very appealing as a whole, and I really enjoyed the twists and turns that came throughout the chapters. Once some more details are added, the story will be very suspenseful and attention-grasping! I'm excited to see what comes next!

Anybody who reads mystery novels such as "The Girl on the Train" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" will love this story!

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