Thursday, November 13, 2008

23 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Into The Woods
GENRE: Young Adult



Five weeks before his disappearance, Miles St. John pushed me up against a locker and kissed me. Hard.

This didn't exactly make it into the police report. A lot of things didn't. Not that night, not our plan, and especially not this little fact: I could have saved him.

Even the reporters, who descended on Verity with their news vans and power ties, didn't discover our secret. They badgered witnesses and dug up rumors, but not a single tabloid mentioned my name.

In a few hours, I could be away from it all. Suitcases and secrets in hand, I could get on that plane to Texas and never be caught. Those stories would stand and you people could go on guessing and wondering, your theories swirling around and around until pretty soon everyone loses interest. It would be yesterday's headline.

It would all be a lie.

And if there's anything my year at Verity Prep taught me, it's this: a lie, even one that no one suspects, will do more bad than good every time. So, this isn't going to be like before. I'm telling the truth now.

Not just about Miles, but about everything - the robberies, the fire, the curse.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? Uncle Dash says that the best quality in a good journalist is that she gives all the facts – from the very beginning, when things first get fishy, all the way until the criminal's confession.

So here it is –from my beginning to his end—the confession of Elizabeth Archer: amateur sleuth, total freak, and murderer.

26 comments:

florkincaid said...

Great start! I am hooked, both on the story, and the narrator who 'could have saved him', and didn't.

lo said...

Awesome! I'm totally hooked. Great writing.

Christy said...

Great hook. Great voice. I'd read on.

Anonymous said...

Love her calling herself a total freak. It's upbeat, has great energy.

I have a soft spot for books set in Prep schools, having gone to crappy public schools, so I'd definetly read this. Good luck!

ChristaCarol said...

I am hooked. Great voice, and though she's obviously done something wrong I want to like her for wanting to tell the truth. The only thing that stuck out, and I could be being nit picky, is the "you people" wording when she's talking about the media. Unless she isn't talking about the media? I dunno, just pulled me out for a brief second before I got pulled back in so it may be nothing of concern. Great job!

Windsong said...

Great voice and great set up. Character's very likable. :)

Serenissima said...

Oh yeah! I'm hooked. Great voice!

Secret Agent said...

Totally hooked. Great job!

Siobhan said...

yep, I'm also hooked. I'd love to read a prep school murder mystery--sort of like a YA Secret History!

Sponge said...

Amused... I might read on a little further, but I'm not entirely hooked.

Heidi said...

nicely done! I'm hooked

Sarah Erber said...

Sorry, I thought I already comment.

YES! I'm Hooked!

slhastings said...

Ditto. Hooked!

Andie Knight said...

Love it. My favorite so far.

ElanaJ said...

This is awesome. I would totally read on to find out about the curse and how she could have saved said boy who kissed her hard. Great job!

Meg Wiviott said...

I agree with all the earlier comments. I am hooked. But I am also a touch confused...maybe that's good, maybe not.

Your opening sentence is terrific! But I got a sense from the first paragraph that she is in on Miles's disappearance - "our plan" she says, but by the end of the first page, she's ready to tell all, as if she didn't agree with the plan to begin with. Did I miss something?

Picky point, I agree that the "you people" and "your theories" are a bit jarring. Just delete the pronoun and it works.

Otherwise, great job. I'd love to read more.

sraasch said...

Hooked, hooked, HOOKED. Fantastic.

Lori said...

GREAT opening! Love the character’s voice, the set up, the tension and conflict, and an intriguing mystery, right from the start. I’d absolutely keep reading.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm so hooked. And for the same reasons as everyone else.

sally apokedak said...

I love the conflict and the voice in this piece. I think you have a tense break--I think "loses interest" should be "lost interest" and the only other complaint is that a journalist doesn't tell all the facts, only the juicy ones, or the pertinent ones, I think, and journalists don't always report on crimes so that whole journalist part kind of gave me a little tug out of the story.

But this is great. Love "suitcases and secrets in hand" and several other lines that give this character an interesting voice.

Really nicely done.

BethAnne said...

Hooked! Like everyone else said, just really nicely done.

And, personally, I don't think you have a tense problem with "loses." The way I read it, this is your MC in the present, recounting past events and possibilities for the future - so all your verbs are in line. Tricky to do, but great job here.

Archetype said...

Hm, definitely interested. It was the hard kiss, I think, that drew me in.

MaryF said...

One of the best first lines I've seen! Loved this!

Denise Jaden said...

Why don't you have an agent yet? No, really.

I agree, one of the best first lines I've seen.

If the rest of the book is this strong, I could imagine a quick sale for you :).

Secret Agent said...

This is really well-written. Totally hooked. Good job!

Steph said...

You know, in a way this reminds me of THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS by E Lockhart. The set-up, at least: an announcement of a prep school misdeed with a promise of explanation. (Though there are differences, of course - DISREPUTABLE is about feminism and pranks and told in third person.)

Anyhow, great opening :)