TITLE: Can't Buy Me Love
GENRE: Commercial upper middle grade
Is it totally wrong to be jealous of someone else’s coffin? I mean, it’s not like I have a death wish or anything, seeing as how I am only thirteen, but my great-aunt’s casket is seriously blinged out. It has actual diamonds in the handles. When my time’s up, I definitely wouldn’t mind flaming out movie-star-style, like Aunt Glinda.
Maybe if I’d ever laid eyes on her before this very second, I might be more into paying my respects instead of calculating carats, but until two days ago, I didn’t even know I had an Aunt Glinda. Dad says if Gran was alive, it’s entirely possible we wouldn’t even have been allowed to come to the funeral.
“Marnie, please move it along,” hisses Mom, under her breath.
Whoops! I realize I’ve been standing over Aunt Glinda’s casket for like two whole minutes and there’s a line of people backed up behind me.
“Sorry,” I whisper and speed-walk back to our pew.
It’s a little hard to get worked up for a stranger-relative, but from all the nice things everyone is saying about Aunt Glinda, it sounds like she was pretty cool. And RICH! Wow, do those diamonds catch the lights, especially with the sun coming through the stained glass windows. There are beams of color flying all over the place, like when Mr. Martin goes crazy with his laser pointer. He so does not get that pointing a red dot at Lincoln’s nostril does not make the Civil War more interesting.
AH. LOVE THIS.ReplyDelete
The voice is just great. I only have nitpicks: I'd contract "I am only thirteen" into "I'm only thirteen. I'd change both exclamation points to periods, and decapitalize "rich." I might also consider something other than "Wow" for right after "rich." Not sure why, but it feels like a strange exclamation to start a sentence. And I don't know if it's supposed to be this way, but I might change "catch the lights" to "catch the light"? Since we're talking about sunlight here and all.
Seriously, the voice is just awesome. I can basically hear Marnie's speech patterns. Not to mention that the funeral of a 'stranger-relative' is a wonderfully intriguing setting right off the bat.
Best of luck!
Great voice on this one! I don't really have any critiques (which doesn't help, I know).ReplyDelete
This is SUCH a small snippet, so take this with a grain of salt (or less), but I do wonder if you're over-emphasizing Aunt Glinda's wealth a bit. You establish it pretty well in the first couple of paragraphs, I don't know if you need to rehash it in the last one. Maybe give us an example of how else she's pretty cool. Just a thought, but it's a minor one.
Overall, I would love LOVE to read more of this.
The Voice--the voice. It's pulling me right along for the ride. The enthusiasm Marnie's experiencing is appropriate, especially for one so young, and never having met great Aunt Gilda, doesn't seem too callous.ReplyDelete
I'd like to read MORE!
wow the first line really caught my attention, and I love the voice. But I have to agree with Isaiah Campbell it does feel like you are overemphasising her wealth a bit,when I just want to get more into the story. Nice one, goodluckReplyDelete
Okay, I've never been lucky enough to get into one of these before, so I'm not sure if we are supposed to respond to comments or not. I just wanted to note that the wealth thing is VERY central to the plot. Marnie ends up inheriting a fortune from this great-aunt and the plot explores (in a funny way) the chaos that ensues, particularly with regard to her social life. The tagline is: "Being a teenage heiress isn't all it's cracked up to be." Thanks so much for the comments- they're so helpful and encouraging!!!!ReplyDelete
Yes, it's the Voice. And it pulls us right into an intriguing situation. We know there is some sort of family history/mystery.ReplyDelete
You've captured the age-appropriate reactions of Marnie.
Loved the laser on Lincoln's nostril!
Love the voice! Marnie seems very in-her-head & definitely thirteen. While it's good to know her age, I think the way you relay it might be a little on the "As you know, Bob" side. The last bit about Lincoln's nose made me laugh. :)ReplyDelete
Ha! I love the "blinged out" coffin!ReplyDelete
Great voice here. It sounds just like a thirteen-year-old girl.
I agree with Riley. The whole stranger-relative thing is very intriguing. I also like the crazy laser pointer line.
I'd definitely read on.
Like everyone else, the voice has me hooked. Fabulous first line. I'd definitely read on. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Adorable beginning! I'm loving Marnie already. She is a spunky little thing! You've really captured the 13 year old voice masterfully. I'd read more for sure. Well done!ReplyDelete
Fantastic! I don't really have anything to add that hasn't already been covered, just want to say this has great voice and I'd definitely read on!ReplyDelete
WOW! I have nothing to say except you have a great voice and although I'm not sure what the problem in the story is going to be I want to read on. Very nice!!!!!!!ReplyDelete
I love the humor! The irony of her thoughts while examining the casket is fantastic.ReplyDelete
My only criticism would be that I don't know what the story is about yet. I'd probably let it slide, though, to continue following this character's journey.
Nice writing. I'd definitely read more.ReplyDelete
You've got that elusive something most writers only dream of: VOICE!ReplyDelete
Of course I'd read on!
This is hilarious...love the the juxtaposition of death and bling!
Hope I see this one ON THE BOOKSTORE SHELVES!!!!
Nice thirteen-year-old voice.ReplyDelete
Hahahaha! I love this! Being jealous of someone's coffin?!ReplyDelete
This is the part where I hate you for having such an awesome opener!
Terrific opening scene! I'm definitely hooked...ReplyDelete
I thought this was fantastic. I don't read MG too often, but I would def. read this one!ReplyDelete
This is GREAT!!! The first line is terrific and you follow up strong. love the laser pointer and speedwalking to the pew and the blinged out casket. a winner!!ReplyDelete
I don't think starting a manuscript with a question is the strongest choice. Then the part where she says "seeing as how I'm only thirteen" is very swkward - as if you had to tell the reader how old the narrator was and chose this way to do it. I think you could find a way to be more subtle. But, the voice is authentic and so you've probably met a big challenge already. Good luck.ReplyDelete
The voice is killer. You had me hooked because of the voice. I'm also interested where this is going to go because of the title. But you really know how to write a mg girl with enthusiasm.ReplyDelete
Grobanite. I'm a firm believer in Jesus Christ. Patterson's best CDs to date.ReplyDelete