Read the story now
Okay, here’s the intense critique as promised. These are the kind of critiques Scribwriter’s like to receive before submitting a piece to be professionally published.
Overall, I was impressed. You are a better writer then many who post here on Inkitt. But of course no work is flawless. Please remember too that most of my comments are personal opinions and may not always be correct. So please keep whatever advice works for your story and discard the rest.
For starters congratulations on using the present tense so successfully. Personally, I prefer past tense. I know it’s an oxymoron, but present tense has a way of feeling stilted and aged while past tense feels fresh and urgent. However, I must say you used present tense perfectly. I saw no flip-flopping between the two senses. (As you know flip-flopping happens often on Inkitt.) I also liked your strong narrative voice. There’s a sense of direction in this story. I never felt bored while reading.
I did have some issues with the chase scene involving Olivia and her Guardian. You did cover your tracks some, by describing Samuel’s speed-walking. But still, how can a teen on crutches possibly hope to catch up with another able bodied teen? And Olivia also stops to help a nurse with her spilled papers and still manages “... catch the stranger round a left corner.” I’m just not seeing it. There’s another scene where Olivia easily knocks down Samuel and pins him to the ground again while on crutches.
Now if there is some justification for her powers, maybe something revealed in a later chapter, (like she has an unusual physical capability, or she is a specially trained athlete) it would be easier for me to accept. And for all I know that very well maybe the case. (I stopped after chapter five due to time restraints.) At any rate I thought that was something to point out.
The pacing was perfect as far I could tell. I didn’t feel rushed or bogged down while reading. Let’s continue.
I have noticed that it’s the style on Inkitt and Wattpad to announce the POV characters at the beginning of each chapter. What’s interesting is that I have never seen this style in the professional publishing world either in books or magazines. The idea there is that it should be fairly obviously who the point of view is even when you swap to another character simply from the opening sentences. But I do understand that POV announcement is perfectly acceptable here on Inkitt. It’s almost like two different writing cultures in a way. Lol!
For the most part the descriptions were well done. Most of the scenes played smoothly in my head. (Well, there was the chase scene but we already went over that.) However I think I would have appreciated more of a physical description of the protagonist other then having the same shade of cacoa hair as her mother. You did a much better job at describing Samuel. As a matter of fact ...
“At the foot of the middle bed stands a scowling guy in his late teens. The thin gray sweater with the sleeves rolled up to just above his elbows and a pair of dark jeans with a silver chain Hanging from the side tells me he definitely isn’t a fellow patient.”
I felt that was your best written paragraph out of the five chapters.
At one point Olivia “ ...grabs a thick wormed out copy of the encyclopedia” Nice description. But does anyone in this day and age of tablets and cell phones still own a set of Book Encyclopedias? This struck me as a little dated.
Come to think of it, I’m not too crazy about the title of the novel. It makes me think of “I Married a Teen Werewolf’ or ‘I Dated an Axe Murder’. Maybe I just don’t like ‘I’ as the first word in a book title. It’s a crazy prejudice of mine. Again that’s just a personal taste thing. You certainly don’t have to change it.
Point of View
Could this story have been told equally as well from a third voice narrative? In this case I think first person works perfectly. Olivia’s strong personality is key to this story and that personality would have been less defined in a third person narrative. Good choice there.
Olivia is a well-developed character. I admired her inner strength and self-confidence. She also has the weakness of over estimating her own abilities. (Like constantly stepping on her bandaged foot. Lol) I liked that. It keeps her realistic and human and protects her from becoming a Mary Sue (an annoyingly perfect and flawless character.)
I didn’t get a chance to learn much about Samuel yet. He appears to be more easy going and laid back individual which is a nice compliment to Olivia’s more fiery personality. I can see them making a good couple, which I assume you’re setting your readers up for. It was a little disturbing reading about how he liked Olivia’s dark colored bras. It made me immediately think - Uh oh, has he ever seen her naked without her being aware? And how would Olivia feel about that. Now there’s an interesting plot point to explore if you haven’t done it already. Lol.
The mother comes off as a little psychotic. Even as a psychopath. Certainly not anyone who is capable of genuinely loving her daughter. I’m not sure if you intend this as a correct interpretation of Mina. (But if you have then please ignore the rest of this paragraph.) I first thought that this might be the result of an unreliable narrator (a narrator because of youth, inexperience or whatever reason has difficulty interpreting reality correctly.) But then Samuel confirms Mina’s abusive behavior. The problem with having a character this mean-hearted, is that she sucks up the oxygen from the other characters. As a reader instead of getting involved with Olivia’s and Samuel’s problems, I was distracted with ‘Why is Mina constantly attacking Mina? What caused her to be so cruel towards her?’
Also I’m convinced that with a mother this demeaning to her daughter, the daughter would unconsciously be doing all she could to please the unpleaseable woman. (I know unoleasable is not a real word.) And that doesn’t strike me who Olivia is. She is a strong, confident young woman, dependent on no-one.
I guess this is my sloppy way of saying Mina’s difficult personality might be a little too much. You might want to soften her a bit. Make her a bit more realistic. Again, just my opinion.
Grammar and Spelling
There were a few issues here, but not many. The truth is grammar has always been my Achilles heel in writing. I’ve never been terribly good at as I’m sure you discovered from reading my own works. But here are a few issues I’ve found.
“Then for the rest of the ride, he doesn’t glance at me again, despite me glaring straight at him.” The ‘me’ doesn’t strike me as proper English. I think ‘my’ works better.
“She needs to put the weight off her foot.” Awkwardly phrased. I think “She needs to keep the weight off her foot.” works better.
“Going to be at your back and call.”
Beck and call is the proper term I believe.
You are good writer. I’m not sure how that 4.3 occurred for your novel rating. It certainly isn’t deserved. I don’t say this to most of the writers on Inkitt but you might want to consider joining Scribophile. It’s a mostly free website of professional writers where we grade each other’s work honestly. The payback is that you’d be required to write just as intense feedback on their works as well. But I think it might be well worth your time. I know you don’t like to hear it, but you are a talented writer. (And while experience can build on your talent it can’t create it. You either have it or you don’t) I can see you becoming a professional writer some day. (If you’re not already.) At any rate, please continue to write and thanks for sharing.