Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #29

TITLE: Macha and the River Blue
GENRE: YA contemporary romance with supernatural elements

I pushed a little white pill out of the packet and onto my tray table, thought about it, then popped out one more.

“That’s double the recommended dosage.” Jim looked up from his Flora and Fauna of Costa Rica book. “It’ll knock you out.” My best friend’s forehead shone with perspiration while I shivered in the air-conditioned cabin.

“That’s the idea.” I threw the pills in my mouth and followed with a swig from my water bottle. I could barely handle going across town, let alone a five-hour flight, without hurling.

Jim unfolded a map from his book. “Look, here’s where we’re going.”

Like we hadn’t already done this fifty times with other maps.

“The green denotes vegetation.”

The whole freakin’ paper was green.

He pointed at a tiny dot labeled San Antonio. “That’s where I’ll be. Your town, San Rafael, is right next to it.”

Yes, the even smaller dot. Salt meet wound.

“We’ll be neighbors,” he said, “just like back home.”

I forced a smile. Back home was where I should be. Two months ago, this trip meant everything. Now with Dad gone, Mom needed me. Which is why it made no sense that she refused to let me back out of this ten-week exchange program.

Jim buried his nose in his book. “Did you know Costa Rica has 52 species of hummingbirds? And over 1,200 kinds of butterflies.”

I eyed my tin-foiled pack of pills. Surely three never killed anyone. Or four.


  1. Great opening page! I got a really good feel for your characters and the set up of the plot.

    I feel like you could add something a little stronger to the paragraph where she mentions her dad being gone and her mom needing her, a hint at your MC's feelings.

    Overall though, I am hooked!

    Good luck!

  2. I was intrigued. I really want to know why the MC is taking pills. I liked your voice, I would keep reading.

    Oh, and just a little thing not to do with the story. I think, but not 100% sure, that contemporary romance with supernatural elements would be classed as magical realism?

  3. Love your protagonist already. Great voice. I want to read more.

    One little nit-picky thing re: "I could barely handle going across town..."

    Do you mean that she couldn't handle going across town in the bus because she gets so carsick? Or that she get anxious from just leaving the house? I wasn't sure.

  4. This was a good opening. I right away found myself liking the MC. I have a thing for these cynical like characters. The problem is already presenting itself with the pills. It's a good start.

    Critiques, I think the information revealing her situation with her Dad passing and her mother went by in a rush. I would have liked to hear a little more. Also, the genre name caught my eye as well. I think it does classify under Magical Realism.

    Otherwise, I think I would read on. Good job.

  5. I love the voice of your MC and the humor presented with the pills. I would definitely keep reading this. Good job.

  6. I'd keep reading. I like her voice.

    And I like him. It's great that he's telling her about the hummingbirds and the butterflies.