Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Secret Agent #35

GENRE: YA romantic suspense with supernatural elements

The books reeked of salt and rotting fish. I kind of liked it. The libraries back home only carried the scent of aged paper and dust. Not nearly as charming.

I continued to browse. I loved the search as much as the read. Cream cheese was my next stop. Running errands for Mom really bugged, but it gave me an excuse to get out. Alone.

New, shiny driver's license. Back pocket. Me? Stoked. But Mom? Not so much. The picture had turned out dreadful, but fortunately, a glamorous photo wasn't a requirement for the freedom it offered. Well, a little bit of freedom. Mom was still pretty stiff, but I would take anything to make my life less vanilla.

I turned toward the end of the aisle where a teenage boy sat by the window with a newspaper, bright colors parading over the comic section. He was watching me.

I froze.

He was dirty. Dirty and gross.

His eyes bore into mine, but I couldn't look away. An invisible darkness hung around him, so flawless I could almost taste its putrid flavor. But at the same time, I just wanted to gawk as my finger longed to slowly trace his sharp features.

Strings of black hair fell over his forehead, screening his sunken eyes, and the bones in his face poked beneath skin that could snap.

But there was more. Something ran deeper, radiated from within. Something I sensed more than saw. He was... different.

I could feel it.


  1. I love the title. The description of the boy as "dirty and gross" and his "sunken eyes" made me initially think zombie. But then the part about "the bones beneath skin that could snap"--one of my favorite description btw :)--made me remember some of the books I've read about fairies. I'm interested, and I love the fact that she catches him looking at her. I do wonder why she'd want to touch him if he was so gross, but I'm still curious about what's going on here. I'd read on :)
    Ninja Girl

  2. Read this one before. Liked it the first time aruond and like it again. Keep up the good work.

  3. Your initial description of the books and her reaction to their smell were what got me interested. I'm assuming your MC is at a vacation home or sea-side cottage. Unfortunately, this line of thought disappeared in favor of the dark, mysterious stranger. I get that that's sort of the thing to do these days, but it made me lose interest. Just a personal preference, however.

    Plot aside, your descriptions are vivid enough for the scenes to leap off the screen at me. Though it might not be my preferred storyline, I have confidence you'll do well with it! Good luck!

  4. Ok, me likey a lot. The only thing I would say is MC is talking like a teen and then when she's describing the boy she's a flowery little poet. Try to keep the voice a little more consistent, otherwise it's really good.

  5. You have a way with descriptions that is great: "reeked of salt and rotting fish," "skin that could snap." But the opening seems like one I've read before so make sure that you very quickly make this unique.

  6. I liked this one a lot. It held my attention until the end and I'm hooked. I agree what others have said about your descriptions, especially the "salt and rotting fish" line. My only nitpick is the "he was watching me" line. I'm terrible with passive vs. active verbs, so constantly have to correct it. "He watched me" may be better here, and more creepy...

  7. I liked the 'I kind of liked it.' It was a nice and surprising twist.

    I agree about the voice switching back and forth. The description sounds like a writer, not a teenager.

    You might cut everything from Cream cheese to less vanilla. It's all explanation and stops the story. You're telling the reader what you think they need to know instead of telling the story.

    Instead of saying "he was watching me" perhaps describe the look - his eyes peered into mine - whatever. You do it a bit later. Maybe move that line up?

    You might go beyond dirty and gross in describing the boy. It seems he will be important in the story, so take the time to expand on his filth and grotesqueness.

    It definitely sounds interesting but it could use a bit more work, I think.

  8. very clear voice. just watch your tense--He WAS dirty and his eyes BORE is switching from past to present.

  9. I'm very interested in the main character, but I have some difficulty following the story. You jump from books, to mom, to driver's license, to teenage boy with nothing to connect them. Why does one thought lead to another? What's the connection? Why should I care about this character?