Monday, January 14, 2013

Bouncer Post #32

Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 60,000


Seventeen-year old Taylor is supposed to be the homecoming queen, not the girl who shows up drunk at school and barfs on the vice principal. She’s spent three years climbing the social ladder at her prestigious private high school, snagging the hottie tennis star boyfriend, and landing the head cheerleader spot, all while maintaining a perfect GPA. So what if she needs a few drinks to cope with the pressure of maintaining her miss perfect image.

But that was before the hottie dumped her and she walked in on her dad banging a blonde bimbo. Suddenly, a couple of harmless drinks a week become a few dozen. Several benders later, Taylor is showing up at school drunk, tanking exams, getting into drunken fistfights at house parties, and sabotaging the chance at a relationship with the intriguing college guy.

One frigid December night, drunk and pissed off after an argument with her arch-frenemy, she gets behind the wheel of a car and slams into a tree – and the truth. She’s doesn’t know how to survive without alcohol and she'd rather die than give it up.

GRIPPED is a contemporary (edgy) young adult novel complete at 60,000 words. It would appeal to fans of Sara Zarr, Courtney Summers and Amy Reed.

First 250:

I’ve worked my tail off to get where I am. Everything is falling into place, and just in time for Senior year.

Captain of the Varsity Cheer squad. Check.

Hottie tennis star boyfriend. Check.

All honors and AP. Check.

My parents should be proud. I’ve done everything they’ve asked the last three years. Now maybe they’ll back off. Let me enjoy being a senior without all of the pressure.

I slip on the dark wash skinny jeans I bought at the mall yesterday. They fit like a glove, making my legs look long and skinny. Blake will love the way my ass looks in these.

I'm scanning the shoe rack for my leopard-print ballet flats when the screen on my phone lights up with an incoming text. Olivia. I dial her number, putting her on speaker.

She picks up immediately. "Hey. What are you doing tonight?” Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is blaring in the background. It’s so loud I can barely hear her. She always listens to that song when she’s getting ready. Over and over and over again.

"I’m trying to finish getting ready. Blake’s picking me up any minute," I yell, setting the phone on the desk.  I zip across my room, looking for some nail polish to fix my chipped pinky finger.

"Oh shit. I forgot you had a date. Are you sure you want to hang out with Blake tonight? You’ve been dogging us all summer. We miss you. Come out with us instead."


  1. Such a great query! I'm not really into contemporary, but your query still hooked me.

    Good luck!

  2. You really pull us in with your opening lines. You have a comfortable style that I like to read. I love the title GRIPPED too. Wish you the best of luck!

  3. I love the idea of this!! And I think your query is pretty darn good as is, minus a couple really minor changes (I’d probably capitalize Miss Perfect, and “THE intriguing college guy” makes it sound like he’s been mentioned before, but he hasn’t).

    I like the writing in the first 250 a lot, too, and I like how it starts off with her checklist. The only thing I don’t like about it is that a teenage girl getting ready in her bedroom is a bit cliché, and with this rich of a premise, I’d think you could find a more exciting, punchy place to start. Don’t get me wrong—I like it well enough, but I can tell it could be even better!

    Even though I’m making these suggestions, I think this is a really strong query and 250.

    YOU’RE IN!

  4. Great query; strong voicein the opening. My concern would be whether it is able to be a unique story and resist falling into didacticism when the "issue" part of the book emerges. I agree with Champagne that a less cliche opening setting might help.