Monday, May 20, 2013

Team Krista #3: THIS IS HOW IT ENDS

Genre: YA contemporary
Word count: 71,000


The girl in Dr. Blumenthal’s office is broken.

She wasn’t always broken, of course. Just over a year ago she was a hopeful ninth grade student looking forward to four years of adventure with her new best friend. But that was Before.

Before her best friend committed suicide. Before she found the diaries. Before her whole understanding of the past became a confused and jumbled mess.

Unable to articulate all that has happened, the girl offers up a leather-bound journal as evidence. The journal contains a series of diary entries written by two girls, Jessie and Annie. Their words and memories have been woven together to tell the story of a tumultuous year--a year of betrayals, boys and bullying.

One of the girls will not survive the year. The other will become the wounded girl in the doctor’s office. Only the journal will reveal which girl is which.

First page:

"I understand you've been through a traumatic event. That you've lost a friend?"

The doctor clicks her pen and looks up at the girl in front of her. This is her last appointment of the day. A new patient. She glances down at the notes from the referring doctor: Recovering from the suicide of a close friend.

The girl is raw, all naked pain and wild eyes. She clings to a thick leather book as though it is a lifeline, her knuckles white with the effort to hold on. When she speaks, her voice is rusty from disuse.

"'s" The girl squeezes her eyes shut. There is so much to say, but no words. Within her boils an angry ocean of fear and regret and hot, hot pain, but none of it makes it to the surface. It eats her alive from the inside.

The doctor reaches for the book, and the girl's fingers tighten around it reflexively. She has laid herself bare on these pages. Laid both of them bare. To surrender it now feels like a betrayal.

The moment stretches between them. The doctor takes in the girl's hunched body and wills herself to slow down. "I want to help you.”

The words are scary to the girl. They hold the promise of hope. She is no longer sure she believes in hope. Or that she is deserving of help.


Maggie Young said...

Wow. This sounds like a very intense and emotional ride. I seriously want to keep reading. Right now. This is fabulous! Awesome job!

Marieke said...

Very intense! I love the mystery of it! Good luck :)

Noelle Henry said...

You pull a great deal of emotion out of this query and first 250. Very well done! Great, intense writing and a unique take on POV that we don't see much at all. This holds the promise of a very intense read! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the idea that the girl's identity is part of the mystery. I'd definitely want to read to find out. Good luck!

Copernicus Nerdicus said...

Your opening 250 are KILLER!! The voice and the emotion is so strong, I'm immediately invested in the character.

Great job! GOOD LUCK!

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

Whew. This is intense. I've had those kind of friendships and it guts me to even think about that kind of pain. Great job making that real.

Ashley Turcotte said...

I seriously want to read this right now. Your query is brilliant, and there's such powerful emotion in your opening. This looks like it's going to be incredible. Good luck in the agent round, and go Team Krista!

Jennie Bailey said...

I love the emotion in this - it's so powerful in the query and continues in the first 250. I don't read much contemporary, but this made me want to snatch it off the bookshelf and keep reading. It's mesmerizing. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

L. T. Host said...

I loved this one from the beginning! Can't wait to see the requests pour in! Good luck :)

Laura said...

I love this concept, and your first page totally pulls me in. I can tell readers will be in for an emotional — but awesome — ride.

Anonymous said...

Sounds so intense! You can really feel the girl's anguish, and I love that it's a mystery. Good luck!

Wendy Parris said...

The query and first 250 are both excellent. So compelling. Well done!

Mollie Glick said...

I'm intrigued! Happy to request this.


Christa Heschke said...

I'd love to see more!

Monika Verma said...

Would love to read more of this!