Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Hook the Editor #22

TITLE: Pane and Silver
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old piano prodigy Grace Armstrong doesn’t know which came first, her autism-fueled anxiety disorder, or the monsters she’s been hallucinating since kindergarten. When an adorkable guy from an alternate earth invades her bedroom mirror, Grace’s reckless experimentation with newfound magic—and long-lost romance—infects her best friend with fatal magic. Desperate to save her, Grace must escape a magical prison of mirrors, memories, and monsters by embracing an elusive truth—she’s worthy of saving too.

Mr. Lee’s wife put love notes in his piano again—pale-blue slips of paper wedged between every key. Stupid, lovesick newlyweds using the piano like a post office box.


  1. I feel like there's too much going on in the pitch. She's a prodigy, she has autism, she has an anxiety disorder, she hallucinates monsters--which of those aspects are crucial to the plot? Then there's a guy from another universe, and magic, and long-lost romance (whose? hers? with this guy? how?), a best-friend, magic that can kill... The magical prison of mirrors part is cool. I'd definitely keep that. Do memories merit a mention in the pitch? It's too vague. And also monsters? I have no idea what's going on. I think this is a classic less is more situation. She's worthy of saving too is nice. I'd also keep that.

    I don't really have a sense of where the story is going with the first two lines, but the romantic in me really likes them.

  2. NO
    Too much going on in the pitch. More personal preference, sounds too teen angst.
    The first lines actually made me want to read more than the pitch did.

  3. NO

    There's too much info in the pitch for me to be able to focus on what the book is really about. Love the first lines though.

  4. NO. There were quite a few elements that piqued my interest, but I got lost halfway through the pitch. I adore the tone of the first lines, but don't get a sense of the POV I should be in.

  5. YES The pitch is a little confusing, I had to reread a couple of lines to really understand what was going on, but it had a lot of interesting elements. The first two lines really won me over. The voice is strong and the imagery of the blue papers in the piano keys gave me an instant visual.

  6. NO, but it's a close call. For the sake of the query, I'm not sure it's necessary we know about the autism & anxiety. After that, we get to her reckless experimentation and I get whiplash. Someone who's constantly fearful is not typically reckless. I liked the second sentence of your opening, but it made me question why we opened with a different POV, at first. The first sentence makes it sound like it's not Grace.

  7. YES.
    The pitch might be a little too busy, but it has specific conflicts and stakes that sound intriguing. The opening lines have nice imagery and voice.

  8. YES. I loved the opening lines but was confused by the pitch.

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