Aren’t I just everywhere in these featured story discussions? I love coning to these threads for rants and criticism.
Long paragraph and opinions up ahead! Read at your own risk.
Okay, so I read the community version of Kiss List (which indeed is different to Episodes version), and that story is waaaay better than I expected. Kiss List by @mariam.stories is a very unique high school story with interesting characters and an MC who actually has a life! Unlike the MC in The K*ss List (why does the I have to be censored, Episode?), Nour actually gives time to bond with the 4 guys off the Kiss List and even show signs of guilt for hanging out with them for a bet. At least with the Kiss points, the bet may not even matter in the end if the guys still like us (depending on the amount of points you earn from developing a friendship with them). And I like how much care Nour shows for her parents despite keeping the secret that they might go broke soon.
Now with The K*ss List… The only conflict with the MC is when Riley wants to sabotage the MC’s chances of kissing the other kids (okay). Not only is this story an almost exact copy of Mariam’s story, but it’s not even that good. Besides the gem choices, the MC of this story has no qualities that make her unique or likeable. And one thing that really bothers me about her is how much she can do. Everytime she meets up with a new person from the kiss list and that person has a hobby, the MC just somehow has already had experience with that hobby. For example, when she’s about to meet up with Wolfgang (that’s who I chose on the list) and his band members don’t have a bass player, the MC somehow already knows how to play the bass thanks to meeting Ed Sheeran’s family (what?!). And unlike Nour, it doesn’t take much for the person to like the MC. She sweet talks them, they spend time together, and BOOM! They kiss; there’s no friendship development or anything.
To put it in short, here’s the similarities and differences between @mariam.stories version of Kiss List and Episode’s version of K*ss List:
Kiss List by Mariam
- Episodes are short and sweet, but straight to the point
- The MC is a cool person that has hobbies, is eager to try new hobbies, and applies for a simple job
- The friends are funny and cool (Lucy is stupid but still cool) and actually support the MC in a positive influential way
- Sometimes the humor is cheesy, but that’s what I like most about the story.
- We actually learn a bit of information about Nour and the 4 LI’s cultures (and her friends and mean girls too thanks to her Insta post)
- Before any kissing takes place, we can make choices on developing our friendships with Liam, Caleb, Jason, and Andrew.
- There’s no stereotyping any characters, especially when we learn in episode 8 that the football player Allen is gay.
- Not that it has to do with the story, but Mariam makes an effort to fix any misrepresentation issues that are involved in her stories!
And now for The K*ss List… Ugh.
The K*ss List by Episode
- The MC is a Mary-Sue that plays around with boys and girls like it’s nothing and has no shame.
- The reason for why she has to take over Kentwood Academy doesn’t excuse anything. You’re not a savior to anyone.
- The points we earn towards certain characters (Admiration, Fear, and Desire) don’t mean anything. Sure, we’ll unlock certain things, but none of the characters in this story mean anything to me.
- All of the kids in Kentwood Academy are f*cking so stuck up. I choose to wear the plain Jane outfit in Episode 1, and one kid calls me a dud. Well, excuse you *sshole, but I don’t have to wear Chiffon and Prada and revealing clothes in school to show I’m rich. What’s wrong with you?
- The sidekicks we can choose from in Episode 1 are so stereotypical. Jenna is your “typical beta-bestie” (whatever that means), Lewis is your black gay best friend—and of course, her has no personality besides being gay—(2 tropes in 1 character? Wtf, Episode?!), and Artie is your redhead nerdy loser who has a hopeless crush. Just—why?
- It doesn’t matter that the main mean girl is Asian—she still has no motive for ruining other students lives (especially the MC, even though she’s unlikeable). Oh, and she has 2 sidekicks that don’t do anything. Also, the side girl is POC. Yippee.
- Why does the MC treat her sidekick like a f*cking maid? Just because he’s your friend and you want him/her to help you doesn’t mean you give him/her a hard task. It’s just a party.
- When Riley assigns that kiss list to the MC, she has no second thoughts of how the others on the list might feel about the challenge. She just does it.
- Like I said earlier, there’s no way that everytime the MC meets a new person from the kiss list that she coincidentally knows how to do what they know how to do. Just no.
- The only LI we have is Kris (all three possible options are named Kris instead of Episode giving them all different names). And he/she’s not even that interesting of a character.
- We can turn our friends into worshippers? Excuse me, but I’m not a goddess. I’m just a hoe who feels the need to take over a school like it’s my kingdom. Bow down to me, you peasants!
- There is no character development. When Riley exposes our actions, the guilt doesn’t even feel genuine. It’s just there for conflict.
- It took you 10 months to create this story, but you didn’t bother with making it feel realistic, or realizing that this story concept already exists, but it’s 1,000 times better than your story? You could’ve just featured Mariam’s story to try and fix things!
- This story tries to be Kiss List 2.0, but it fails miserably at making it original or unique, or even better than Mariam’s (no offense, you are a great author, Mariam)!
And that’s it! I have missed a lot of things in this story, but you guys have already pointed them out in this thread that I don’t need to edit for more points! But yeah, I’d rather this story didn’t exist and we just root for Mariam to continue her version of Kiss List (which was literally published 2 years before Episode’s version; check her posts for proof).