A Menace in Disguise

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Author: sailysud

Genre: Mystery/thriller

Mature


From what is published currently, I don't entirely understand the significance of the cover. I'm sure it will make more sense as the story continues on! I also don't find the cover to be extremely attention-grasping, and I'm sure your story would attract many more readers if it were a bit more detailed. I am also extremely excited to figure out what happens to Catherine as the story continues! The title fits perfectly with the plot of the story, and it adds some suspense. 

The story is entertaining and you do an excellent job of explaining the actions of the characters, but you do not describe the setting very clearly. For example, in Chapter 1 when you described how Catherine took a trip to Starbucks, you simply explained that she was in Starbucks. Keep in mind that the story is more appealing with additional sensory details. How did the coffee shop smell? How did the school smell? How did it look? Was it loud? How big was the campus? Where was it located? Little explanations like these can make a story seem much more lively than it would otherwise. 

I also don't understand how Catherine was able to start at school mid-semester. In order to get into a college, you must apply before the semester you plan to attend school and wait to be accepted. It doesn't make much sense for Catherine to start in the middle of the semester, because (from what I know) you can only be accepted at the beginning of each semester. 

I also didn't find the character's conversations to be too realistic. For example, in Starbucks in the first chapter, rarely would somebody curse at you if you accidentally bumped into him/her on your way out. Additionally, when Catherine's classmate said "Are you just gonna pretend now that you're not sitting next to me?" Is a bit unrealistic. In college, students generally don't care enough about who is sitting around them to call them out for not saying hello. I also suggest that you clarify that the boy sitting next to the main character in class is the same person who she ran into earlier, as it isn't mentioned until you said "I reproached him for his behavior in the coffee shop..."

The conversations as a whole aren't really anything you would encounter in college in real life. They sound more like stereotypical high school conversations that are guided by emotions. However, the conversations between Catherine and Reece were much more easygoing and natural. They flowed much more smoothly than with Kyle and Miranda, and the characters were respectful of one another. 

Grammar mistakes/typos:
Chapter 1: "After taking the last sip of coffee, I realised that I was getting late." Here, you wrote "I was getting late" rather than "it was getting late." 
Chapter 1: "Okay thankyou uh..." The words "thank" and "you" should not be combined. 
Chapter 2: "Rubbing my eyes I got up to get ready." There should be a comma between "eyes" and "I," which gives the sentence a proper pause when being read. 
Chapter 2: "I heard you trash's going to be hosting the eventing." I'm having a hard time understanding what this section means. Be sure to go back and clarify what Bridget is saying. 
Chapter 2: "I'll drop Bridget off so that we get some more time to chit chat. What say?" It seems that there's a word missing between "what" and "say."
Chapter 4: When Catherine is on the phone with the unknown person, you bolded his words. This isn't needed, as long as you make sure to clarify when he is speaking.

One thing I noticed is that nearly every sentence is written as its own paragraph. Keep in mind that when writing dialogue, each character's speech should begin on a new line, but you can combine general sentences with the same idea into a single paragraph. The reason I mention this is because it can be a bit confusing when characters speak if there is no explanation to go with them. For example, you wrote: "'I've cleared my schedule for this evening and was wondering if I could use you as my arm candy for Flynn's banger party tonight. It's gonna be so wild," and in the next paragraph you wrote "I got interrupted by a petite girl wearing a short black dress and red pumps." Here, you could add the second sentence right after what Miranda says. When the two sections are separated like they are currently, it's difficult for the audience to make the connection between the two paragraphs. 

Another thing that I observed is that you don't add a period after abbreviations. Make sure to always double check these and add a period whenever you notice that one is missing (Mrs., Ms., Mr., Dr., etc.). Additionally, steer clear of unneeded abbreviations, such as in Chapter three when you wrote "Bridget asked me as she completed her match Hw." In cases like this, it is best to spell out the world so that all readers understand what you are referring to. 

The story moves at a steady pace and nicely maintains the plot throughout. The chapters link up nicely and they also offer a fresh set of events. There is also a bit of suspense throughout the story, and the reader can never figure out if Catherine will end up with Kyle or Reece! They are both charming at times, and the audience can't decide who they like more. 

The second chapter in particular added quite a bit of mystery to the story, and it really began to pull the plot together. The sudden change in pace made your audience very excited to continue reading and figure out what happens to Catherine later on. You do an excellent job ending each of the chapters on a suspenseful note. The story currently just came together somewhat, yet still left me with many questions. I am excited to read the next update and see what happens!

The characters are all a bit underdeveloped and they don't seem too different from one another. They each have their own personalities, but they aren't detailed enough that the audience can relate to them. I noticed that a majority of your writing is described through actions and dialogue, so perhaps you could begin by adding in more of Catherine's thoughts. Little bits here and there about how she feels would greatly develop her character and make her more relatable. For other characters, you could explain their body language to help the audience understand how they are feeling. 

I also don't understand why Kyle stays with Miranda when he knows how rude she is to others. In the first chapter, he even tells Catherine that Miranda is horrible towards other people and that she is extremely mean. Personally, I would hate to be with somebody who is rude to others. Why is Kyle still with her if he can so easily admit how impolite she is?

Overall, the story could use a bit more development, but the plot is very interesting and suspenseful!

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