Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Are You Hooked? Young Adult #22

TITLE: Bumper Cars
GENRE: YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Being seventeen and pregnant isn't easy.  But when Ainsley is diagnosed with ovarian cancer at twenty weeks, the impossible decisions of motherhood can't wait.  Putting the life of her baby first, Ainsley starts a journal and writes down everything she would like her unborn baby to know about life before her own life comes to an end.

June 16

     I am a child without a mother who is about to have a child who will have no mother.  That's all they're gonna remember about me when I'm gone.  They're not gonna remember that my GPA was 3.9 or that I ran the fastest times Hamilton High had seen on the track field in thirty-four years.  And they sure aren't gonna remember that I've taken care of my little brother, Mo, practically by myself, for the last four years, but that's mostly because nobody knew.
     When your dad owns buisinesses all over town, working his fingers to the bone so that his heart doesn't have time to remember that his wife isn't waiting for him at home because the cancer treatments were more than her body could take, you spend a lot of nights at home alone.  Or in my case, with Mo. That's okay though, because Mo and I do alright on our own.
     And we would have kept on doing alright on our own if it hadn't been for three things:  Penny Parker beating my record in the 400 meter, Jacob Singleton's grayish green eyes, and those damn bumper cars.


  1. Let's start out with the title. I love it and I can't wait to see how bumper cars fits into the plot.
    I love epistolary novels and yours starts of with a heart wrenching twist. I like how you show her maternal nature with Mo, it sets the stage. It is nice how you have dad working to forget his troubles. Damn that Penny Parker. I'm getting a Fault in our Stars vibe with the mention of Jacob Singleton. Again I can't wait to find out about the bumper cars. Good Job. I'm hooked and would read on.

  2. I agree with Rick. I'm hooked. You seem to have broken the rules of don't have your protagonist ruminating. You have not grounded us as to where she is. We are just in her head. I think though in the next paragraph we shall break into a scene. And I will see her waiting for Mo or in the school bathroom with morning sickness. I would like to see some type of action while this information is being given to us.

  3. Thank you! That is exactly where I am going in the next part - directly into a scene. I really appreciate you being specific so that I know I am going in a good direction.

  4. logline: Perfection

    Opening line: Perfect and heart-wrenching

    Already hooked and need this book in my life! Forget the rules, you have broken them beautifully. It's a feat many try and many fail and you have it spot on. God, if I can't just sit here and gush about how EVERYTHING I read so far just works, then I will have to pick at one tiny thing.

    There is one hell of a run-on sentence happening in paragraph two. Even though it technically works, if I hadn't already been excited to keep going this may have cause hesitation to read further. It should be broken down a little more, giving it more of the emotion the book promises. Sometimes when your sentences go too long you lose the heart behind them.

  5. I'm definitely intrigued! And glad to hear you're moving into a scene right after this, the timing is good. Journal entries can be very effective - as this one is - but keep 'em short. :)

    I do have one small niggle with the logline... in the last sentence, the construction makes it seem like keeping the journal is what she's doing to put her baby first, not choosing to sentence herself to death so the baby can live. Not the end of the world, the stakes are pretty obvious, but if that can be easily fixed I think it will make the pitch that much stronger.

  6. Very intriguing! You already have me hooked!

    I agree about the run-on sentence, but I want to know what happens next!

  7. I am hooked by the log line, but the opening isn't as strong. The journal entry doesn't read like a journal. I feel disconnected from the mc because there is too much telling instead of showing. Put in the emotions and that will help.

  8. Yeah, that sentence in paragraph 2! I am another one who couldn't help but notice the construction in that one. I like the voice though, just as long as it's more than feeling sorry for herself. I'll give her just one page of that before I'm out, lol.

  9. The premise is good and the writing. I agree with the need to move into action ASAP and also there was just a tiny bit too much 'feeling sorry for herself' as Amy said. If that could be balanced by some irony and humor it would be all good, good, good.