Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Are You Hooked? Young Adult #8

TITLE: The Truth about Justyce
GENRE: YA Realistic/Crossover

Cassie Thompson skips town on her eighteenth birthday to escape a scandal, changing her name to Justyce. But an accident, a musician with his own troubled past, and a pattern of behavior that leads to disaster, causes her to rethink her old, and new, life.

I spit out the first glob of the god-awful cereal. Not only is it crap, it hurts like hell to chew. It’d be just my luck to survive the accident only to die of starvation.

Everything hurts. Trying to move, even a twitch, about kills me. Lift my head from the pillow just a tad and my head pounds like my worst hangover. Trying to talk is a bitch, too. So I just lie here in a dream-like state, wondering what’s next on my big agenda.

Doc and these nurses keep telling me I’m lucky to be alive. Considering my life so far, that’s not such a prize.

That said, it’s not all bad being in a hospital. It’s not like I have any place else I need to be. I hurt—hell yeah, I hurt—but most of me doesn’t much care. Anytime I have the slightest discomfort, they give me these chill pills. I just may plot to extend my stay here at “Club Med.”

When they told me how I got here, it took me awhile to process it all. Everything’s pretty foggy. I know I’m in this hospital far from where I used to call home, but that’s about it. I feel like I’m in an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” that old TV show Dad used to watch reruns of. They say I’ve been here for days, the first two are blanks since I was in a coma. But little by little, things are coming back.


  1. Your pitch hooked me immediately. Great voice too. I'd keep reading. Just to be picky...give examples of what hurts so the reader gets a clue of what happened, even if your MC doesn't know. As far as filtering, I'd get rid of I know and I feel in the last paragraph.

  2. I like it, but it seems like the whole page could be trimmed. But maybe it is because I am not a fan of "explanation" openings and would prefer if we could get to something more happening. I don't know if I am hooked or not!

  3. This is really intriguing. Your voice is extremely strong. I am WITH this character. I'd totally keep reading!

    Your logline is excellent as well. We have where the character started, some conflict, and a hint that things will change.

    The only thing I'm worried about is that we seem to be starting the book in the middle of your logline with the accident. Thus, I wonder if from page 2 we're in a flashback, a 'here's how I ended up here" that lasts for half the book before moving on to how things change. Or, perhaps, we're going to be in a back-and-forth time weave as the MC remembers pieces of what happened. I've story structures both ways work fantastically well. I've also seen them fail. So, if you have a non-linear structure ahead of you, I'd make sure you have some strong betas to make sure pacing/interest/clarity stay strong.

    Good luck!

  4. AIT: To be more clear, the story begins after she left home and hopped on a stranger's motorcycle and they crash. So it opens at that point. Very little flashback throughout story, until things head toward the climax. Thank you all for your helpful and kind words!