Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #42

TITLE: Where Are Boys From, Uranus?
GENRE: YA Romantic Comedy

Maybe he’s just really shy. That’s why he won’t look at me.

“I like lots of different bands,” I say in response to my date’s fifty-billionth question. But I feel like I’m trying to get to know the steak knife instead of Tyson. All I’ve seen of him since we got to The Mango Grill is the top of his blonde, healthy hair.

He nods. Is it to let me know he’s listening? Or to make me think he’s listening?

Why did I say anything? If I keep quiet maybe he’ll actually look up at me. Maybe he spilled some sauce on his pants and the spot is shaped like a hula dancer.

I tap my fingers on my thigh. The Mango Grill is one of the few good restaurants in Cypress, so I’ve been here a million times. Decals of surfers and beaches cover the walls, and they use real cloth napkins and everything. They even serve sushi here.

“What’s your favorite book?” Tyson asks, bobbing his lowered head.

Sorry, are you asking me or your legs? I try to connect how this question has anything to do with what bands I listen to, or if I like sports, or what my religious beliefs are, or any of the other random questions he fired out before those. Up on the mini stage bordered by fake grass, a big Samoan guy starts singing.

14 comments:

Sharon said...

"Maybe he spilled some sauce on his pants and the spot is shaped like a hula dancer." HA! Love it.

Great voice, adorable title...a really solid start.

rbgreene04 said...

I liked the beginning and wanted to read more. However, I think you may have spent a little too much time telling me that Tyson isn't making eye contact. I want to know where this disastrous date is headed. I'd keep reading.

Stephanie said...

haha I love this. Such a standard ritual, but the way it plays out is unexpected. Nice job!

JL Dannor said...

Loved the title on this -- hilarious, and the awkwardness of teenage boys on dinner dates rings very true. I did feel your narrator chatted with the reader a bit much, telling us about the restaurant, and all the different types of questions her date had already asked. You could cut some of that, because you've shown us some of it, and I think you're giving up valuable real estate in getting us hooked into the story (maybe a second example of a question and we'd get the point). I liked the tone a lot though, and am interested enough to read on. Nice work :)

Metz Photography said...

The imagry rings true and I can so picture the awkwardness. Title is great. I'm intrigued as to why he's staring at his lap -- is he reading a list? Playing a game on his ipod? The line about the hula dancer made me smile. I'd try to work the description more into the narative rather than breaking the irritation of the MC with it. Good job.

Adrianne Russell said...

The hula dancer line made me laugh! The awkwardness and frustration is very apparent.

JEN said...

Lots of fun stuff in here. It made me think of the ad where the guy keeps checking sports videos on his phone, though. Tell us soon why the kid isn't looking at her.

Lisa B. said...

Well this definitely hooked me. The spot looking like a hula dancer? Genius! The only part that threw me was the line about his blonde "healthy" hair. A little odd. Don't all teenagers have healthy hair?

Still, I'd keep reading on voice alone. The added mystery is what is looking at? My guess is a text from his ex. Good luck with this.

sbjames said...

I guess I'm the unusual one, but I can't help but feel sorry for poor Tyson. Yes, he's coming across awkward and shy but he also seems like he's trying really hard to be a good date- trying to get to know her, not talking about himself, and taking her to a nice restaurant. Her reaction is making me sympathize more with him than with the MC. I'm thinking why doesn't she try harder- why not- pick a topic you like and go with it or ask him a question back. She's coming across as a little hard to please, to me. Only good restraunt, guy not doing enough. Sorry, but I'd need to see something soon to make me like her-maybe, she grabs Tyson's hand and makes him start dancing?

will1966 said...

I love the title, but it makes the story sound more like MG than YA. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the awkward atmosphere you've set up here.

DJ said...

This one definitely has promise!

Jo-Ann said...

The title made me groan, as it was a common joke back when "Men are from Mars..." was released.

I love the voice. However, I agree with the previous commentor that it makes the protag sound very self centred, as she's doing nothing to encourage discussion, and blaming him for the lack of scintillating conversation. Do you mean to portray her as lacking insight into her own actions? I'd read on, however, just to see if the MC stops being such a princess.

Pat said...

I agree with the comments that say the reader's sympathy lie with the boy. If he has been trying everything to be a good date and all he gets in return is negative energy coming from her self-centered absorption and lack of effort to make HIM feel at ease, I would stop reading. Unless, that is, the next scene is him coming to his senses and dumping the food he no doubt paid for all over her :)

Secret Agent said...

You have a good voice here but the whole excerpt is focused on Tyson’s lack of eye contact. Move on so you don’t lose your reader.

It could be really good but so far your main character hasn’t grabbed me. (And how on earth did she end up on this date if he can't even look at her?)

I do love the "Sorry, are you asking me or your legs?" line.