Thursday, November 13, 2008

3 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Forever Ever After
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Kay flopped down on her beach towel. The familiar excitement in her hazel eyes set me suddenly on edge. I’d seen that look oh-so-many times whenever she spied a good-looking guy.

“You have to see the new counselor who started today,” she gushed. “Vali something or other. He’s teaching archery.”

“Is he cute?” Nikki said, her voice burning with curiosity. She was already sizing him up as a potential summer fling.

“Not so much cute as impossibly hot.”

“You mean hotter than Brian?” Nikki stripped off her hoodie to reveal her daring red tank top. “So when do we get to meet him?”

“Great,” I muttered, rolling my eyes, “another guy who thinks he’s god’s gift to females.” I conveniently ignored my annoyance at the stereotypes lumped against me. My experience with good-looking guys, especially the athletic sort, taught me that they really were conceited when it came to their sex appeal with the opposite gender. And a handsome face did nothing more than hide a dangerous nature that lurked beneath.

Kay chose to ignore my comment, not expecting, of late, anything less. Nikki, of course, threw me a look of pure exasperation and disbelief. How I could disregard the poor guy before I’d even met him? But I didn’t have to meet him to know he would be no different than the others.

A man in his mid-twenties jogged past. His eyes turned in my direction and he stumbled.


  1. Great writing! I don't see any mistakes!

    It starts off straight into the story.

    Good job! ;-)

  2. Hooked. Strong verbs, great writing. I'm looking forward to seeing where this is going.

  3. I LIKE. Hooked. Nice work. :)

  4. I had to read this a couple of times to understand what's going on and I'm still not sure. One of the things that tripped me up is the nameless pov character who makes the assumption that the new counselor thinks he's god's gift to females. Where does she get the idea he thinks this? It's the other girls who are gushing over his hotness, not him.

  5. Not really. Sorry. :) More of it has to do with this just not being my thing.

    I would want to understand why the POV character has the opinions she has. Maybe put in an example so the reader could understand a bit better?

  6. I'm thinking she must have recently just got dumped or ended a relationship to come to her conclusions about the counselor thinking he's god's gift before she actually meets him, and if this is the case, it somehow needs to be intertwined into what's going on, personal thoughts, etc. Not really an info dump, just a little nugget of info for her rationalizing to make sense.

  7. Good dialogue.

    I personally like a little less description, i.e. take out "hazel" when describing Kay's eyes; Nikki's voice doesn't have to be "burning with curiosity."

    But the last line totally hooked me, and I'd read more.

  8. It starts out like one of those nice, fun chick-lit novels--effortless to read and smooth, smooth.
    I'd read on--but wouldn't expect it to be earth-shattering

  9. I had some trouble with technical issues in this one that disrupted my enjoyment. A POV break toward the end. And some overwriting made some of the sentences hard to understand.

    For instance the sentence about conveniently ignoring her annoyance at the stereo types lumped against her. I don't know what that means for one thing, I don't think she ignored her annoyance for another thing, and I don't know why it would have been convenient if she had ignored her annoyance for a third thing.

    Unfortunately that kind of stuff pulls me out of what otherwise looks like it would be a fun story.

  10. POV was a little throwing, and I had a hard time telling if the speaker was a girl or boy. I'm assuming from everyone else's assumptions (and the last line) that it's a girl. I wasn't wowed, but it's not bad.

  11. I was confused by the POV. There were quite a few characters in the beginning with the nameless protag...

    I think it has the potential to be very interesting, but I'm not quite hooked as is, sorry.

  12. I'd give you a few more pages to hook me, but I'm not totally committed right now. I'd like a name for the MC too, and do her friends care that she's basically telling them that they're stupid for falling all over some egocentric guy? There are little hints that she's had some "guy issues" in the past and that intrigues me.

  13. It's got a good YA-chick-lit-y voice, but there's nothing in it yet that sets it apart from other books of this sort.

  14. Thanks for the great comments. I do want to remind you, though, this is a fantasy, so it isn't quite what you all think. Also, the typical reader would have read the blurb so this would have made more sense to her. Unfortunately, you don't have the information before reading this. Oh well.

    Oh, and the protagonist name is revealed shortly in the missing dialogue.

  15. Sorry, but it's a no for me. Nothing really happens plot-wise, and some of this feels a little Bridget Jones-esque with the unnamed narrator (a teenager) waxing philosophical about boys and sex appeal. She just didn't come across as a reliable, real, teenaged narrator to me. Sorry.

  16. I'm not quite hooked, but I'd keep reading. I'd be looking for a little more explanation on why the narrator jumped to conclusions about the archery teacher.

    But the line about a dangerous nature hiding under a handsome face piqued my interest. I want to know what happened to the narrator to cause her to make such assessments.

  17. I think the dialogue up to and including Nikki's last line is all great. Capturing the voice of teens is tough.

    Alas, everything after that was sort of a non-starter for me. This line in particular made no sense to me: "I conveniently ignored my annoyance at the stereotypes lumped against me."

    And the immediate negative reaction to a guy s/he's never met (The gender of the first person narrator isn't given so I can't assume it's a girl) is off-putting.