Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Secret Agent #21

TITLE: Multiple Choice
GENRE: Contemporary YA

It's just a little pink box, Maddy thought, trying to calm the twist of her stomach as she opened the front door to her house. Covered by a Walgreens circular, triple-wrapped in plastic bags, and shoved in the very bottom of her gigantic purse, the pregnancy test box made her feel like a terrorist sneaking a bomb through an airport. She glanced at her reflection in the entranceway mirror. Was her face flushed? Did she breathe too quickly? Everything about her said one thing: guilty.

She motioned behind her, encouraging her best friends, Nina and June, to follow. The clinking of glasses told her that her mom was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher.

"Is that you, Maddy?"

"No mom, it's your other daughter," Maddy said, like she did every time her mother asked that question. Except her voice wavered and cracked like a boy going through puberty. Hello, obvious.

"Hey Ms. Ferguson," Nina said, loud and clear. Maddy shot her a grateful look.

"Thank you for having us over tonight," June added.

"Oh, no problem." Maddy's mom peeked her head around the kitchen doorway.

Maddy clutched her purse, and her heart skipped. When she was little, her mom told her that all mothers have x-ray vision, in addition to the extra pair of eyes hidden beneath their hair. A part of Maddy still believed her.


  1. Funny with just the right tone and tension. I really like the writing- it's very natural and polished.

  2. I like this! Great YA voice and nice humor even though we're dealing with a serious topic. This first page immediately pulled me in.

  3. Really like this. And I can totally identify with this teen and what she's going through.

    BTW - mom's do have extra eyes. I'm an old woman, and I know my mom did. She somehow knew things I did before I even did them.

    Did I say I really like this? Sorry, but I can't find anything to criticize.

    Good luck!

  4. LOL! This is great! Hooked!

    Good luck with SA!

  5. I was immediately pulled into the MC's state of mind - how nervous she must be to be sneaking a pregnancy test into the house under the nose of her unsuspecting mother.

    Good job with voice. I would read on.

  6. This works well. Pregnancy test scenes are very common, but you've made your voice stand out enough that I didn't think, "Oh, I've seen this a million times before." Things like the X-ray vision line lighten the tension just enough without lessening the urgency of what's going on.

    Only one nitpick - the line beginning with "Covered by" is long and, for me, a little hard to follow. A little bit of tweaking might help to clarify its meaning.

  7. It's good, but this topic has been done a lot and I'm wondering how you'll make it different.

  8. I really liked this, except I felt like it read more MG. The main character somehow felt too young to be sneaking a pregnancy test around.

    Also, with the "covered by a Walgreens circular" sentence (what does that mean?), I got a bit lost as to what was being described.

    The friends surprised me as well, as I thought she'd come home by herself.

    I loved the x-ray comment! I can totally identify with that feeling.

  9. I liked it. You might want to mention the friends in the first parg. They come as a surprise later. And cut the 'hello. obvious' because it comes too late and 'like she did every other time" says the same thing anyway.

  10. I love the part about part of Maddy feeling her mother has X-ray vision. Good job describing how she sneaks the pregnancy test into the house, although I don't think Walgreens is a national chain. Some people might not know what it is. Try switching it to "drug store."

    I am hooked. I'd keep reading.

  11. Not my type of thing, but you hooked me. Good start. I'd read on.

  12. I tripped over the "Covered by a Walgreens..." sentence, so maybe if you wrote, "The pregnancy test box, covered by a Walgreens..." it would work better. Otherwise, no criticism. I loved the voice and would definitely read on. Nice job!

  13. I want to read more. Good voice and tension. I like the metaphor: like a terrorist sneaking a bomb through an airport. Not sure about the sentence starting w/ covered, though. I understand that you want to have the reader wondering what is in the bags, but it is too long & doesn't give the proper emphasis on your great metaphor.

  14. Great voice, but I already have a client with a teen pregnancy YA. So while I'd probably keep reading, it would have to be REALLY different for me to take it on.