Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grab My Heart #7

TITLE: Ananke the Suicide Eater
GENRE: YA Historical

Fifteen-year-old Dewey battles his sexuality and the monstrous Ananke, who preys on the tragic by making them commit suicide and feeding on their corpses.

The draft notice came in the mail.

Dewey’s throat burns around the fritas he chews down. On any other day, he’d enjoy the hamburgers stuffed with French fries. They’re heaven in the mouth and stomach, but how in the hell can he enjoy anything ever again? Dewey has seen enough Selective Service envelopes tumbling in the school parking lot in piles of ash to know what one is by only glimpsing the envelope.

But the craziest part about today? Rio’s acting like he hasn’t seen the letter—like he ain’t going to end up dead in ‘Nam.

“What’s this?”

Dewey freezes midway while taking a bite of his second frita. Rio squints at him from the opposite end of the kitchen table with the other letter in hand. Jesus, Dewey forgot about it between brainstorming ideas for poems that don’t involve flowers, talking to his best friend on the phone about the importance of who’d win a fight: Dracula, Frankenstein, Godzilla, or King Kong, and there was something else he was busy doing earlier but can’t remember. And not to mention Rio will be going to freaking ‘Nam, only to return in a wooden box when the army is done using him up.
Dewey tries to change the subject. “I needa borrow the truck keys. Don’t we need milk and eggs and-”

Rio’s frown has him stopping his plan dead in its tracks. “I never said I was gonna let you borrow my truck. Walk to the store. I don’t wanna get another call from the cops about you doing that stupid—whatever it’s called—where you stop at a red light and switch seats.”



  1. I like your first line. It definitely caught my interest. I thought at first though that the letter was for Dewey. (My short term memory from the pitch is bad-15 year olds don't get drafted) Still, if a reader didn't know Dewey's age, it could cause a little confusion.

    Also, I know your reference is to the Greek goddess (I think), but do be aware that Ananke was also the name of the sentient spaceship in the recent Lightless trilogy (adult sci-fi). This shouldn't be a problem though since your story is YA historical, not sci-fi.

    How does Ananke fit into a historical novel? Is it the concept as opposed to the actual Greek goddess?

    Your pitch might let us know why Dewey is fighting his sexuality. What happens if he doesn't battle Ananke?

    Your story has a lot to offer. Sexuality and suicide are common themes in YA, but your approach is fresh and different. I'd read more.

  2. My biggest suggestion is this doesn't sound like a historical. The language used, especially the slang (craziest, freaking) doesn't sound like words used in this era.

    The title grabbed my attention right away. Very intriguing. The concept sounds amazing, too.

    I was also confused by the pitch and the 15yo getting a draft notice. I understand, after reading, it's his brother, but the pitch doesn't clarify that.
    Best wishes with this.