Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adorable Editors Winners #6

GENRE: YA Contemporary Romance

Removed at author's request. :)


  1. Hi author,

    Your opening line is fantastic and oh so easy to relate to! I get a real sense of Andrea's frustration and jealousy, but she's still sympathetic, which I think is hard to pull off. By the time we get to Jarrod being there for her (instead of her perfect sister), I'm hooked. Really excellent work.

    A few minor points: I don't know what AlaTeen is, although I'm British so maybe that's why? Without that line, the paragraph would pack a lot more punch to me.

    The line about her grades is a little jarring compared to the line before and the following paragraph -- I think because it suggests that she ISN'T in trouble yet because of the A-, but then clarifies that she IS in trouble because Laina tattled on her. Maybe if you left the A- out and just went with 'It's not like one little D in biology is going to ruin my life' and then move on to 'I could've convinced Mom...', but others may disagree.

    Anyway, great job. :)

  2. Fantastic. I'm hooked and read this with an ever-growing smile. Very clever ways of illustrating the perfect sister with the clothing drive, tattling, etc.

    I also liked the set up of the boy coming over for her and would love to see more of where this is going.

  3. This one is almost a homerun for me. First sentence is a perfect hook and the rest pulls me in and leaves me wanting to read on.

    My one and only thought was that going from “Hello, my name is Andrea Andersen, and I am a second-class sibling” to “And if my sister weren’t so freakishly perfect, I wouldn’t be grounded” was a tad bit jarring for me because there was no mention of perfect in the immediately preceding line. The second sentence felt like a bit of a jump. I would add in a transition or start “And if my sister” on a new line.

  4. Love the first two paragraphs! Sets up the story quickly! Love the voice!!

    This sentence bothered me: "Maybe if the entire school wasn’t obsessed with Laina, I wouldn’t need a break from the boring classes." The school (I'm assuming the students are obsessed) being obsessed with Laina wouldn't necessarily make the classes boring.

    You could pile on more description about Laina in the line: "I’m so not in the mood to sort through my clothes for Laina’s annual clothing drive." I’m so not in the mood to sort through clothes for my flawless-complexioned, 4.0-GPA, Junior Homecoming Queen, do-gooder sister's annual clothing drive. (Just having fun here!)

    I'd think the MC would be more surprised (and maybe suspicious) that Jarod's come over for her, if he's never done that before.

    Really like this!

  5. Strong opening sentence.

    Love the voice and would definitely read on!

    I like how you show your main character's emotions and make us wonder about the guy at the door.

    There is a fine line between a snarky, unlikeable main character and someone the reader will root for, but I think YA readers will relate to this.

    I want to know a bit more about the sister. Why is the school obsessed with her? Maybe just a small detail. ("Ever since she won the Miss Utah Pageant and had her face on the cover of Style Beat Magazine...")

    Good luck with this!

  6. Oh to be the younger and less than wondrous sister, especially when the older Miss Perfect Do- Gooder USA is also a sniveling tattle tale. I so feel for Andrea. She wouldn’t be grounded if it weren’t for Laina, or at least that’s how Andrea presents the situation. It is poetic justice that Jarod has come to visit Andrea, not Laina.
    I like the tone of the submission. A little smart alecky, a bit whiny, a lot wistful, and quite funny, so teenage girl. The title might be a bit of a problem. Those who know what the twelve steps refer to might be put off by it though I totally get why you chose it. Maybe do a little marketing research to see what other folks think about the title.
    This sentence threw me for a crazy loop: Maybe if the entire school wasn’t obsessed with Laina, I wouldn’t need a break from the boring classes. The two ideas don’t complement each other but you can easily write this to say what you mean.
    You’ve nearly nailed this. Great job.

  7. You've right on the money with the voice in this young adult romance. Keep going!

    I think she should be suspicious of Jared coming to talk with her if all he has ever done before is drool over the sister. I am!

  8. Love the voice and would definitely read on. You've set up conflict well and given us the Jarod hook. Well done.

    My only problem is that I got a bit confused about the grounding. I found the sentence that starts "I grab the last . . ." jarring and difficult to follow. And I assumed by the way she was so angry and put out at the beginning that she had just been grounded. Then it felt jarring to realize it had already been two weeks. That was a big disconnect for me.

    I also don't get why her sister's perfection makes school boring. That line didn't make sense to me.

  9. This has good voice and gives the MC lots of character. I'm hooked and would read on.

    The lines after Andrea’s mom tells her Jarod is here bother me. I’m not exactly sure why it isn’t working for me, but I don’t like the last paragraph. Maybe because she should be more surprised that this guy, who it seems she has a crush on, is there for her since he's never done that before.

    Other than that, I agree with the comments previously listed about AlaTeen and the line about perfect sister=boring classes.

    Good luck!

  10. The beginning really pulled me in. I want to know more about this not so perfect person we can all relate to.
    I was a little confused by the punishment which first she seems to blame on the D in biology but then turns out to be for cutting class thanks to Laina telling on her. I think it would make more sense to me if she complained about Laina's part in it first. Start with blaming it on Laina for telling her mom that she skipped class. Then she can admit it was tied to the D in biology.
    Also, she is very believable so far but I'd like to know something good about her, besides the A-plus in history. If Laina runs an annual clothes drive, what does Andrea do that shows us that she is also helping people/animals/environment and also gives a clue to what her interest is. She could also complain that her cause is always overshadowed by Laina's.
    Great start and I would read on.

  11. Love your opening line! But I would've waited to explain why she's grounded until after her mom tells her Jarod is here. Otherwise, the reader doesn't have a question that needs to be answered and there's no real reason to continue to read, except for your voice. And I'm not sure it's strong enough to propel the reader down the page.

  12. Love the voice from the first sentence. Would definitely keep reading.

    Picky thing: "I grab the last handful . . ." makes me think that she's grabbing empty hangers. "I grab the last handful of clothes out of my closet and hurl them . . ." may be clearer.

    Why does her sister do the clothing drive? Is she altruistic or padding her extracurriculars for college? Want to know if the sister is genuine.

    I see the others' point about the final lines. Maybe they don't show her surprise at Jarod's visit? You could have Andrea think/say to herself something about how crappy she looks for his visit?

  13. I really liked this one and would love to read more. There are just a couple of tweaks I would offer to make it stronger.

    I'd drop the last sentence of the first paragraph, maybe even the last two sentences, and combine the first two paragraphs into one. I'm also wanting to change "And if my sister weren't so freakishly perfect," to "Because if my sister weren't so freakishly perfect." That would lay out the cause/effect better.

    I had the same concern as some others about her reason for skipping classes. Maybe she wants to skip because people keep comparing her to Laina or expecting her to be just as wonderful as her sister.

    I was thrown off about Jarod because the way her mom announced him made me think he must be her boyfriend. Then she's pleased that he's there for her and not her sister but not as surprised as I think she should be. Maybe instead of starting to get ready to see him, she could ask her mother, "For me? Doesn't he want to talk to Laina?" That would make it clear that this isn't normal and she could then be excited about it.

    Like I said, these are just tweaks. It's already very strong.

  14. My thoughts are the same as everyone else's. The grounding seems like it's just starting, then we learn it's been going on for a while, and the sentence where her sister's perfection somehow makes her classes boring doesn't work. The first half of the sentence doesn't work with the 2nd half. Both have simple fixes. But otherwise, strong and interesting, and easy to relate to.

  15. This is a great opening and I’m immediately hooked. I have a sense of Andrea’s voice right away, and her frustration and one of her driving forces are both present immediately. If I were considering this as a submission, I would definitely keep reading.

    A few things I would suggest fixing---like others have mentioned, it feels a bit clunky to mention the A-plus in history as if there’s a chance she might be saved from consequences when she’s already been grounded. I would remove that, or tweak it so it says “it should’ve balanced it out.”

    Aside from that, my biggest note is that I wanted to more about Laina. We’re getting the sense that she’s perfect and a tattle-tale, but I wanted more of her. Why is the entire school obsessed with her? What exactly is it about her that makes her so “perfect” that she’s the favorite child at home and at school? It seems like the story is about to go into Jarod and who he is, so before that happens I wanted to get a sense of Laina and more of the dynamic between the two sisters at the very least. What is Andrea like in comparison to Laina? What is their age difference? Is Laina the big sister or the little? Is it just grades and skipping or is Andrea more of a bad girl? Is her sister totally evil, just a goody two-shoes, or cluelessly oblivious about what to say and not to say in front of their parents? She seems like she means well (given that she does charity drives) but then she tattles on her sister, which gives the reader the sense that her sister is not as good as she seems.

    That’s a lot of information to include in an opening, and I’m sure you have a lot of this coming out later in the first chapter, so even just an initial glimpse at Laina and the dynamic between the two sisters would be good---something you can build on later but that gives the reader something to hook them in like those first few great lines did.