If you'd like to submit your first impact material, send it to firstimpactAE@gmail.com. Details here.
Remember, anyone who offers their comments this month is eligible for either $10 for Amazon or B&N OR a 20-page critique from me.
This week we have a logline and first page for a YA Contemporary from Vanessa Shields. My inline comments are to the side, with overall thoughts at the end. As always, this is all just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
|The bit about him killing his parents|
hooked me. I wonder if that couldn't
I'm less sure about the last line.
|I was following this until the last|
line. Then I felt out of the loop. Why
does she feel like something's up?
“That’s great. Really great,” my dad said. He looked at my mom. We all looked at my mom. “Actually, we’ve got some news for you guys, too.”
A bad feeling in my guts stood at attention.
“We’re selling the house,” my mom said. A little sob slipped out of her mouth, which she quickly covered with her hand.
“What?!” I barely had enough breath to say the word.
“We don’t need to live in this big, old thing with Alex going off to school,” my mom said.
“Hey, Rachel, it’ll be okay,” Alex jumped in.
“Will it?” I glared at my mom. I couldn’t believe what my ears were hearing.
“Did you know about this?” I looked at Alex. His eyes found my mom’s, and then he nodded. Guilt shaded my family’s faces a bright hue of red. I pointed at them dramatically.
“You all knew about this! How could you not tell me?” I was shouting. I wanted to run out of the room, but my legs were concrete heavy.
“We should have told you Rachel,” my dad said.
I still felt like there was part of the loop that wasn’t being revealed.
I'm intrigued by the mystery, but I feel a little disconnected from the character. Nothing stands out to me as "wrong," but I think it's a combination of little things:
- The sentence in the first paragraph where she feels out of the loop, but I don't even know what signals she picked up on that made her feel that way. I'm still trying to get grounded in these characters and the acceptance letter and what that means.
- I think there's something lacking in her reaction to the news. Plenty of emotions are shown, but why is this so bad for her? What does this house mean for her? (Part of this might just be me: I don't personally identify with the issue because I've never felt that way about a house.)
- It also might be that nobody else seems to have any emotions (with the exception of when her mom covers her sob -- that part's great).
- Like the first "loop" sentence, I'm not sure what signals she's picking up on to make her think they're hiding more from her.
What do the rest of you guys think?