Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team Krista #4: AN UNCOMMON BLUE

Genre: YA fantasy
Word count: 89,000


Days before graduation, sixteen-year-old Bruno Nazaire makes the worst mistake a Blue can make--he grabs the hand of a suicidal Green, saving the boy’s life and forever altering his own.

In Télesphore, the glowing color of a person's palm determines their place in society, and touching hands with another mixes the colors permanently. Changing identities might not be so bad for the weirdoes and wallflowers, but Bruno is the most popular guy on the rugby team. Or, was. Now with a turquoise palm, the best he can hope for is a backbreaking life in the sewers. Only a last-minute arranged marriage to another Blue might save him. The problem is, he's already fallen for Véronique, a girl from the Red Slums who's opened his eyes to the suffering of the lower colors.

As classifications approach, Bruno sees only two choices: turn his back on the oppressed and embrace the posh life he was meant to live; or leave his family, hide from the law, and continue imparting his blue to give the less fortunate a chance at a better life. When he learns Véronique is in danger of falling victim to a lecherous member of the Royal Council, Bruno decides neither option will do, and he'll face the fight of his life to tear down the color boundaries and win the girl of his dreams.

First page:

The exam hit my desk like a textbook.

“Good luck, Bruno,” Madame Axelle said.

I tried to smile, but only managed a grimace. This was it, the last test before classification. I should’ve gotten up earlier to study. Maybe then I would’ve remembered the protein bars. Only two hours past lunch and I was already hungry.

The room went dark.

“Begin,” Madame Axelle said.

I picked at my eraser and waited for my eyes to adjust. I knew the school just wanted to make it harder for us to see our neighbor’s answers, but I’d never been any good at writing by firelight.

I flipped the test over and read the first question by the bluish light of my palm:

1.         According to Télesphorian legend, how did the first man and woman populate the world?

a.       One at a time through natural reproductive means
b.      Teaching wolves to walk upright and speak
c.       Bringing stones to life by touching them
d.      Planting their severed fingers in the soil to grow children

I grinned. Every kid in Télesphore knew the story of the couple that had wandered the planet touching rocks and turning them into people. Maybe this test would be easier than I thought.

I was already through two more questions when I noticed a folded piece of paper at the corner of my desk. I glanced behind me, where Drea sat smirking.

Yeah, right. Even if she was one of the prettiest Blues in class, there was no way I was going to get caught cheating for her.


Michelle Mason said...

It's great the way we immediately understand this world in your query. So glad we're on the same team. Go #TeamKrista!

Noelle Henry said...

This is such a cool, unique premise! The query alone hooks me, but I really like how your opening begins with something as simple as taking a test, and what you're able to say about your protagonist that way.

Sarah Henson said...

This is one of my favorite premises. Like a modern "Brave New World." Go Team Krista!

Becky Mahoney said...

I'm so impressed with how economically you've set up your worldbuilding here. I'm definitely hooked!

loritayseastep said...

I adore this. Completely hooked! Can't wait to see it on the shelves. Go Team Krista!

Suzi said...

I like Bruno already. Sounds like a terrific story. Good luck.

Lisa K. said...

I love the premise of this, and the first page doesn't disappoint! The Telesphore legend in the test made me smile. Go Team Krista!

erinpetti said...

I really like this query - it immediately creates the world in a clear way. Nice!

Jeff Krebs said...

I'm on pins and needles, what is going to happen? I want to read this book.

Jennie Bailey said...

I love the conflict in this! You've set it up so well in your query - leaving us wanting more, more, more!

T.L. Bodine said...

:D I've told you how hooked I am, right? Because I totally am hooked.

Ben Spendlove said...

I love the concept, and I love the plot setup, too. I even love the first page. I'd pay money to read this.

TYHatch said...

This was one of my favorites before anyone chose teams, and your changes have just made it more amazing.

Good luck!

Sarah Ahiers said...

LOVE THIS (as you know, right?) The query and the opening page are so strong - i would definitely keep reading

A. Lockwood said...

I want to read this so much! It sounds amazing. I find the concept really fascinating, and the writing is very good. All the best of luck to you!

Dahlia said...

This has always been one of my favorites and definitely would've been chosen for #TeamDahlia. Best of luck to you!

Becca C. said...

This setup is just awesome - totally fascinated by your world building!

Leigh Ann said...

Whoa, intense and scary social caste system FTW! This one looks very cool!
Good luck!

April Wall said...

This is very good, love the concept and the writing. Good luck!

erica m. chapman said...

SO cool. The colors. I love how you incorporate some important info in your 250. Great job!!

Valerie said...

I love the colors! And I love the risks that have been set up because of Bruno's heroism. I would read this in a heartbeat! :)

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I love how you show so much about your world with a test question. Very clever! Good luck to you!

Louise Fury said...

I vote for you.

Tara Dairman said...

#4 An Uncommon Blue


This query looks pretty tight to me. You’ve definitely got an intriguing concept! Nits: “Weirdos” doesn’t have an “e” in it, and I’d suggest adding a “that” between “decides” and “neither” in the last sentence.

First page:

I don’t have too many comments—this is a nice scene and you scatter clues about the world we’re in through it skillfully. Nits: “Neighbor’s” should be “neighbors’.” I think that answers a., b., and c. should all start with the word “By.” And you could use commas after “One at a time” and between “the planet” and “touching rocks.”

I’d definitely read on to see where the scene and the story are going.