Miss Snark's First Victim
A hard topic to swallow in the first 25 words of a book. I wouldn't keep reading this one.
Oh dear. Um. I might read more, but it would seriously depend on whether I was currently feeling like I could handle that kind of topic.
The juxtaposition between the pleasant night and the rape is too strong for me. Got to stop reading.
I agree the rape is too much this early in the book. It might even be the word rape. Perhaps describe action, instead of using such a harsh word.
Not something I'd read.
Though, I will say that was a very strong opener.
I disagree, the fact that you (the MC) is being raped is what grabs me. But I don't know if I like the sentence "AND I was being raped", maybe you could spice up the sentence a little bit. (I hope I don't sound insensitive to a sensitive subject matter, that's certainly not my intention.)
I cringed. This reads casual, even cavalier to me. And, I thought that the "no one was home" meant she was talking to God and felt no one was listening, not she was home alone, therefore being raped. It didn't work for me, sorry. But it's hard to tell potential in 25 words and it does make me wonder what's next - but I wouldn't read a book about rape.
The sentences don't flow to me. I might read a few paragraphs to see why she's asking for help this time. The "raped" part didn't hook me though.
The first part sounded interesting and then rape was mentioned. Um. That's really hard to start a story with.
woah. i recoiled at the word rape. its introduction here is way too jarring. not hooked.
I agree with everyone else. You have a hook but the word rape is pretty off-putting.
I would not continue reading. The word rape is offputting and it's also a bit of 'telling not showing.' Is there something that could come after 'No one was home' that would set the mood and not be so jarring?
I think the first sentence is beautifully constructed. The second sentence also confused me, because, like the other reader, I thought she as talking about God not being home. The rape is difficult to broach so early in the story. There's a delicate balance of action and character development that has to happen. This is a really tough one, and I wish you luck finding that right balance for your story.I would read on based on the strength of the first sentence.
It hooks me in. I think you have a "Lovely Bones" voice, which was very effective.
I'm not sure if I'm hooked or not on this one. I think I'd either read on a little longer or go to the jacket flap and see what the story is about.On the one hand (and as you can see from the commenters above me), it's a really hard subject for a lot of people. But on the other, I remember how hard it was to read the first chapter of The Lovely Bones. It was damned hard to handsell as a bookseller, but look at the success of the book.So, I'd read a little further. If what follows is a graphic description of the rape, I would stop reading.
I think the problem here is that the rape comes as jarring. Summer night. Southern Italy. No one's home. Rape. The first time I asked for God's help I was being raped. Yeah, rape is a lot in the first 25 words. But I don't have a huge issue with it being there--unless it's the we need to care about her first thing. For me it was the summery night in Southern Italy just didn't in any way prepare me for the rape. I was in some place entirely different. Even the asking God for help--I mean I was expecting to see a hot guy walk in the room instead of a devastating trauma.
I'm hooked. I thought the juxtaposition of the summery Italian night and the rape worked. I wasn't prepared for it, but it made me sit up and go "Whoa!"Bad things can happen in nice places, and you bring that home with this opening. And it doesn't necessarily mean the book is about rape. You say it right up front, so now it's out there. We know she was raped. The rest of the book could be about how she adjusts and comes through. The fact that your opening has affected so many people here, even negatively, says it has power.
Before being hit with a rape, I want to be planted firmly within a setting and overall context. A strong first paragraph can hint that something's amiss without giving away the rape. Something suggests you'll find a way to build the story before introducing something painful and degrading.
Too harsh for an opening, especially since it's considered Upmarket Women's Fiction...whatever that is supposed to mean.
Not really, since it tripped me up--if no one is home, then who...? Maybe it's just me.I think it would depend on how the scene unfolded, and how graphically described the rape was, for whether I'd read on. Since I don't know the protag yet, I'm not sure it would work for me. (I don't object to the content or the use of the word "rape" in the opening, it would just depend on a lot of factors and my mood for whether I would read this.)
I love the jarring effect of the summery night and the rape. (That sounds funny, but you know what I mean.) I would keep reading. Yes, rape is an uncomfortable topic, but the use of the word rape seems important to me, rather than some watered down "nice" sounding euphemism. In our society, "rape" is often watered down (i.e. non-consensual sex) and I hate it. Rape is horrible. It's not sex. It's not any other pleasant euphemism. If rape is what you mean, then keep the word. I don't think a showing of the rape would be as jarring, actually. It might be more confusing, almost gentler, as the reader tries to figure out what's happening. You've hooked me.
I love the title and I like the first two lines, but jumping to rape left me cold. I can't say there is anything wrong with it, but I personally wouldn't keep reading.