Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are You Hooked? #19

TITLE: Aether
GENRE: YA Paranormal

All Cassia Clarke has ever wanted is to be normal, to go to a normal school, maybe kiss a normal guy. Of course, when your mom's a witch, normalcy is hard to come by. She's never met her dad, but she soon discovers that her uncle--and her two cute foster brothers--need her help if they want to find him. They belong to an ancient order of sorcerers, who have never been on good terms with the witches. It's up to Cass to unite the two groups, and rescue her missing father, or risk being captured herself.

"You sure you want to stay here all by your lonesome, Cass?" A spit of chaw punctuated Jody's sentence.

I wrinkled my nose and avoided the nasty brown glob as I dragged Ma's suitcase toward his truck. "Got college applications to finish, so, yeah."

Not to mention that spending two weeks in those mildewed old cabins in the woods with Jody and my mom's kooky sisters was pretty high on my list of things I'd suffer excruciating pain to get out of doing.

"Shee-it." Jody spat again. "And I guess Ole Miss ain't good enough for ya?"

No school in the entire state of Mississippi was good enough, but not for educational reasons. I just wanted as far away from home as I could get. Right now even Louisiana was looking good.

"I'm applying there, too." Because Ma and everyone else expected me to. "But the engineering program is so much better at MIT. They'll have to give me a full scholarship if I want to go there, though."

"They'd be stupid not to," he said, one of those rare sweet sentiments I never knew whether to believe or not. His dimples flashed as he took the bag from me.

Why did the good lord have to waste such a hot body on such a thick head? An Adonis in a trucker cap and wife beater, ring of Cope worn through the back pocket of his jeans, Jody was about as persistent as he was crude.


  1. Excellent voice.

    Excellent character portrayal re: Jody.

    Dialogue believable, sets the location/mood so well.

    "Lord" should be capitalized.

    I'm hooked!

  2. This one really took me by surprise, based on the logline. I too like the voice. I would definitely read on to see when the paranormal stuff kicks in.

  3. Generally I really struggle with any book that starts out with "all he/she wanted was to be normal" as a premise. I feel like that is done and overdone. However, the snip was engaging, with great voice. And I thought Jody was well described.

  4. I also liked the voice and would read more to see where there is going.

  5. The premise totally put me off, seems like it's been done a million times before. But then I really liked the first page, so I'd definitely read on. Only thing that threw me was that I thought Jody was a girl's name, so I had to reread the first few sentences a couple of times.

  6. I very much like that you took this beyond the all too often cliched politically correct thinking patterns of a YA heroine. Who among us hasn't had errant thoughts, rejected of course? For instance, wife beater, truck driver etc.

    In that sense we have an opinionated MC who might be an unreliabel narrator. I love your sophisticated approach.

    So fillet me like a Mississippi catfish. Hooked.

  7. Liked the voice a lot and I would definitely read on.

  8. I was hooked by the end of the first paragraph. I'd buy the book. :)

  9. I love the voice, the narrator, Jody, the sense of place, everything. Hooked!!

  10. Ooo...great character dynamics. Hooked.

  11. Hooked. I really enjoyed this. The only glitch for me was having to reread the beginning because I didn't realize Jody was also a guy's name.

  12. Quite liked this! Though, as the others said about the logline, I was worried about the "she just wants to be normal" thing. But I'd keep reading for the voice.

  13. Way too cute for me - just not my style. (You also sort of lost me at a spit of chaw.)

  14. I don't know~ I like the voice; it's got a good edge, but the situation felt threatening to me for some reason-- I kept thinking that Jody's motives were going to turn a lot more sinister. I wasn't all that sure about being thrown into that sort of conflict right away. I think that there's a better way to open this without entering into that major of a conflict as well as showcasing the main character's impending departure.

    I do like the voice, though. :D I want to read more, but a different scene.

  15. I really enjoyed the voice you've established. I do wonder how you're going to continue this and keep it interesting, since it seems many stories start with the beginning of some kind of trip. I would keep reading to find out.


  16. Dialog and character development is nicely handled here. "Spit of chaw" in the first 'graph jars me because that's the narrator speaking and later her voice is much more sophisticated than that. I'd also lop the first sentence off the logline and begin with, "When your mom's a witch ..." This isn't my sort of story but if it was, I'd have been hooked - nice work.