Monday, February 4, 2013

Bouncer Post #131

Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 65,000


Brooklynn Summers hates mismatched patterns, cheap polyester, and Grayson Banks. No boy has ever publicly humiliated Brooklynn like Grayson has. When he suddenly moved away in eighth grade, Brooklynn happily wished him good riddance. Little did she know what first day of senior year would bring.

Grayson Banks is back and he is as gorgeous as Zac Efron (not that she would admit that to anyone). With his piercing blue eyes and a smile that melts icebergs, he is not exactly the boy Brooklynn remembers. Brooklyn quickly realizes that Grayson’s intentions have completely shifted, but she’s not sure if she can put their past behind her. Instead she focuses on her immediate passion: creating clothing that will brighten the world around her. But while Brooklynn dreams of becoming a fashion designer, her parents and near-perfect sister are relentlessly pushing her in the opposite direction. The only person who seems to understand? Grayson.

But when Grayson offers her a partnership she can’t resist, Brooklynn must decide if she’s willing to forgive Grayson for his merciless actions in the past or take a chance on making her dreams come true.

Complete at 65,000 FALLING BY DESIGN is a Young Adult contemporary romance about childhood enemies, big dreams, and taking chances. It is comparable to LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

First 250: 

“You are the worst person in the history of persons and I hate you!” Those were the words uttered by an eight year old me on the day I met Grayson Banks. Our relationship, or as I like to call it ‘a torturous coexistence on this planet’, began with a bang on the first day of third grade. For some unexplainable reason, every first day of school since then has brought the memory of his little grinning face. 

As I get out of my car the morning of my first day of senior year, my mind briefly drifts to that fateful day. I still remember the banged up knee I favored for days after, and the manic laughter of an eight year old as he glared down at me. He never changed, torturing me until the day in the beginning of eighth grade when his family moved away. Seventeen-years-old and I still hold onto memories of the boy who made my life miserable for years.

Not exactly the topic that should be running through my mind right now. 

Senior year. I can’t believe it’s my senior year. Even the air, which is hot and heavy in Arizona’s typical fashion, seems fresher. I glance around the parking lot, smiling a little to myself as I watch my fellow classmates step out of their vehicles. Our school is what one would call ‘a perfect example of a melting pot that is America'.


  1. I think with more specific details your query could be really great. I'd love to know what Grayson did to her, so we can hate him as much as she does. ;) And I'd like to know what the partnership is that he offers, so we know why she can't resist. Does that make sense?

    As for the first 250, if you're going to start with her reminiscing about the event that led to her hating Grayson, I think you should tell us what happened or at least give a stronger hint. When Grayson finally appears, I want to feel that dread at seeing him that she does.

    Seventeen-years-old and I still hold onto memories of the boy who made my life miserable for years. Eight grade wasn't that long ago. It makes sense that she'd still be holding on to memories of painful/upsetting experiences with him. I think you can cut this line.

    Also, it should be "eight-year-old" (with hyphens) and "seventeen years old" (no hyphens).

    I love that this story takes place in Arizona. I lived there most of my life and went to school in Mesa. It's definitely hot there, and usually pretty humid when school is starting. Not necessarily something you need to change because it's not always humid in August, but I don't know if "fresher" would be the best way to describe the air that time of year. Not unless it's overcast and rainy. Just my opinion, of course.

    Good luck to you! :)


  2. Abby is my hero. I keep running into her comments and they're just spot on. Overall, your query is strong. I want to request pages without reading the sample. The two things that she mentioned will knock it out of the park!

    I like where you start this book. You set us right down in her brief memory of Grayson and we know that this has haunted her every year since then. I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to hit that moment when she spots him - when she realizes that he's back!

    Good luck!

  3. A little more in the way of specifics would really help the query. I want to know what Grayson did and what he does to help Brooklynn out in the present.

    Nice place to start the book though. You throw us right into her problem and show us what it is.

  4. I love her describing their relationship as 'a torturous coexistence on this planet'. I agree that a clarification in the query on how exactly Grayson is going to help her would be great, because then we would really understand the stakes. Is he going to get her an internship? Is he friends with some fashion big wig? What does his help actually mean?

    Starting the story with a flashback did throw me off a little and I'm a little confused as to what exactly Grayson did. Did he push her down? Trip her? How did he give her that banged up knee? I think if you clarify these things, it will be really strong.

    ~Mandy (#130)

  5. Something about this keeps me comingback and rereading. I think I just really like it. The first line--and really the whole first paragraph--of your query is GREAT.

    Then, I agre with the above posters about details. I need more of them. Was Grayson really a sadistic little twit, or was this "typical" childhood teasing that the MC took hard? Specifics of what was so unforgiveable would be excellent.

    I'm also not sure I love the flashback, especially with the self-quote, as the opener in your 250.

    I think you've got some fabulous voice going on, and the more you can bring that out via unique details on the storytelling, the better.

  6. I love the first line of your query, and the way you've set all of this up I'd definitely read further to see some interaction between Brooklynn and Grayson. Best of luck in the contest!

  7. I would love to read this. It sounds really fun. I do question starting off with the flashback. I'm not sure this is the right starting point. I also start my MS on the first day of school (it's MG, not YA) and I've taken a lot of flack over it. So you may want to think about that, too. Overall, though, I'd read this in a heartbeat. Totally my kind of story. Good luck!!!!