Monday, March 1, 2021

Are You Hooked? #12

TITLE: Wish I Was Here
GENRE: YA Contemporary

I sometimes wished I was invisible, just to make life easier. That was the ironic part.


Wednesday--Day 0

When the bell announced the end of fourth period, jolting me back to the present, my thoughts scattered along with the notebook and pen on my desk. Someone behind me snickered, but I was used to that. I took a moment to reorient myself to clase de español. As usual I’d been daydreaming about this one guy I know. Or used to know. Sort of. Whatever.

I sighed, collected my stuff into my bag, and filed out of the classroom with my fellow sheep. In the hallway, students gathered in clusters around their lockers, but I kept moving. Someone spotted me and said, “Hey, Ana. Where were you last period? The moon?”

Another kid slapped the first’s arm and said, “No, Uranus,” then laughed at his own joke.

When are they going to grow up?

At a hallway intersection, Isaac fell into step beside me, his sandy blond hair flopping over his green eyes. He pushed it aside, only to have it fall back again, as always. "How many?" he asked.

“Just two a minute ago. For a while I thought today would be a shut-out for you. How’d you do?”

“I think Brad was feeling nostalgic. He tried to trip me, but I hopped over his foot.”

“Nice.” I held up a hand. He slapped me a half-hearted five.

“Then Jim called me Beaker Brain.”

“I’ve always liked that one.”


  1. I very much like the easy going writing. It flowed nicely, but I'm not hooked. Nothing about the day or the MC stood out to me--but that said, I would still read on for a bit to see where it was headed.

  2. The descriptions are really nice (I loved the description of Isaac's hair) and the dialogue rings true. I am a bit confused as to what's going on. I can tell the MC has some sort of physical or mental issue that her classmates notice (and that Isaac knows about) but I'm not sure how it relates to the invisibility referenced in the first sentence or whether it does at all. I'd like a little more clarity in the first 250, but I'd read on to see if I could get my questions answered.

  3. I loved the banter between Ana and Isaac - nice way to show us they deal with this every day. I also liked the hint about the guy she used to know (which, I assume, will come into things later). I wanted though a little more about what makes Ana and Isaac different from all the other middle school kids who get picked on at school. I didn't get the invisibility reference either, so if that's significant, then you may need to make that a little more explicit. Right now, the dialogue is what would keep me reading, but I'm not hooked yet on the story as a whole. That said, the dialogue would likely keep me reading until the end of the chapter.

    1. (Sorry, meant "high school kids," not middle school.)

  4. I liked the opening line(s). What followed felt like the standard "kids getting bullied" set-up. The spark that caught my interest, however, was that Ana and Isaac seem to be keeping a tally. Consider pushing this aspect a bit more to make it stand out, as that gives it a unique twist (i.e., maybe they keep an actual tally in their notebook, like a contest between them; maybe there's even a prize; something like that). Nice writing overall.

  5. Ohhh. I want to know why Ana's desire to be invisible is the ironic part. I can tell there is more to this. The writing is smooth with nice detail. I would like to know why the other kids snicker at Ana for daydreaming in class. Most kids do. Maybe a hint of what makes her different.
    Ana and Isaac have what I sense is a very likable friendship. The tally is a fun ice breaker. And I get that Isaac is not the crush. Curious who is. Loved the line about Ana thinking of another guy with the "whatever." Good luck!

  6. Great dialogue between Ana and Issac.
    The mention of “the guy” and the label day zero had me curious to read more.
    I was unsure what ‘shut-out’ meant.
    Great teen voice. Good luck querying!

  7. The opening sentence is intriguing. Perhaps tighten the beginning? What if Ana emotionally experiences being bullied (for whatever reason she's bullied), instead of letting it wash over her? The way it reads, Ana is disconnected from the experience, therefore the reader is as well.
    I agree with the other comment concerning bullying. Creating a unique twist will help keep it from becoming "white noise."
    Good luck with your manuscript!

  8. Nice clean prose, competently written dialogue. A bit hum-drum as an opener, but 250 words isn't often enough to form a solid hook. I'd read the next page or two, hoping for something unusual to snap up my attention.

  9. I like the relationship between Ana and Isaac. I always appreciate supportive friendships in fiction because it makes whatever hardships are bound to come a little easier to bear.

    On the other hand, I'm ambivalent about some aspects of the story. Mainly, I think the problem is that I'm kind of over the whole "these characters are outsiders, see how everyone picks on them" beginnings for stories. If that's an important aspect of the plot, it's one thing, but if not, is there another way to show that they don't quite fit in?

    But I do like the fact that the obnoxious remarks don't actually seem to faze them, that they shrug and move on. That's a nice touch and says interesting things about the characters.

    The voice is good, and the dialogue between Ana and Isaac is believable.

    I think you have a strong start here. Best of luck and thanks for sharing.

  10. I liked the sigh. It's so reflective of a teen. The first line before Day 0 was a real hook for me. I'm not sure about a Day 0 though. Day 0 made me think SciFi (since that genre tends to play with time), but this is contemporary. The dialogue flows well, and adds life to the very first sentence for me. Thanks for sharing

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