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A Story Slowly Discovering Itself

By Scott Scherr, author of Don't Feed The Dark

Aug 10, 2017: Note: This review is based on the first fifteen chapters (first two story arcs).

Entirely Presenting You (love that title) begins with a young girl, Alexis Barnett, celebrating her sixteenth birthday at an old plantation home turned secluded teen party spot. Later that evening, Alexis is out walking when she is viciously attacked by . . . something . . . which results in a life altering experience, setting up the bizarre story that follows.

I was easily reeled in from the first chapter, enjoying the whole walking-alone-at-night vibe, which the writer does an excellent job of creating, by describing Alexis’ eerie surroundings and amplified through her own anxious thoughts—you realize very quickly that something dreadful is about to happen. I did find it a little odd reading the "first person" account of the attack as Alexis describes, in brutal detail, what’s happening to her as it happens.

From the second chapter forward, what started as a horror story slowly drifts away from that first terrifying night, shifting into a slice-of-life, action-based story as victim becomes heroine by the second arc. Personally, I preferred the horror story I was introduced to in the first chapter and after reading the first two arcs, it never really regains that horror vibe again.

As mentioned in the title, for me, this story reads like it’s slowly trying to discover itself, starting out of the gate very strong, but quickly losing momentum and direction from the second chapter onward as a lot of time is wasted describing mundane trivial school affairs through the excessive thoughts of the main character, halting the pace of this tale with a plot that feels very random and strange at times. For example, after being attacked and waking up with no recollection of what happened, Alexis has an almost nonchalant attitude at first, even though her friends tell her it made the news. Rather than inquiring immediately, she seems more interested in catching up with her social life, studies, volleyball practice and trying not to piss off her mother. Later on, as she makes more horrific discoveries about herself, that same "Oh well" attitude takes over, as Alexis’ thoughts quickly drift away to other matters that seem less important considering what she’s going through. For me, this unusual attitude steals from the credibility of the character.

As I got into the second arc, the story’s momentum picks up rather quickly, a definite plus, but where the first arc spends too much time obsessing over the mundane, the next arc is moving so fast that the subtle moments expressed through the main character’s reflections in regards to what’s happened to her, are now overpowered by excessive action scenes and a plot shift that essentially abandons, "What the hell am I?" for "How can I protect the people I care about?" abruptly pushing the story in another direction, and perhaps, a bit too soon.

I’ve only read the first two arcs and the writer is currently writing the sixth. I’m hoping this tale has found its true path, a bit more balance in regard to plot and pacing, and stronger character development. Entirely Presenting You seems like it will continue to grow and get better with each new arc.

I believe it’s worth a read (with some patience to get through the first few chapters).

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