Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #143

Genre: YA contemporary
Word Count: 68,000


When sixteen-year-old Elliott punched the mayor’s son, she wasn’t “twitching” — her word for the jerks, grunts, and other fun little compulsions that are part of her Tourette’s syndrome. She wasn’t trying to spark a political scandal, either. She just wanted the guy to quit teasing her.

But in Elliott’s Pacific Northwest beach town during the image-obsessed mayor’s reelection, everything is political. Her parents, big-time donors to the campaign, drag her to rallies to suck up to the mayor’s family. Her only escape is spending nights on the beach with cute gamer Drew, who doesn’t think Tourette’s makes her a freak.

Elliott’s perfectly fine leading the Apathetic party — until vandals strike the homes of the mayor’s opposition. Add the mayor’s plan to revamp Elliott and Drew’s favorite historical site as an outlet mall, and Elliott’s fully on board with a rival candidate who wants to preserve the town’s history. Risking her family’s trust is tricky enough. Getting others to take her protest seriously, twitches and all? That’s a race she can’t stand to lose.

First 250:

For three seconds after my fist slams into Bryce Skinner’s jaw, I feel like a psycho killer in a cheap horror flick. The kind where the blood is obviously ketchup and the popular jocks are the first to get their heads chainsawed off.

I think I even grin a little.

But once I hear the collective tap-tap-tap of fingers on keyboards — texts zipping from my second period to the rest of school — my adrenaline turns to panic. I can’t get suspended for this again. And Bryce’s blood definitely isn’t ketchup. I freeze, even though every cell in my body screams to scrub my hands a thousand times immediately.

“What the hell, Elliott?” Bryce says, spitting something small and white and blood-covered onto his binder. Oh no. “You knocked out one of my teeth!”

I grip a desk with my non-stinging hand as my stomach fights cereal up-chuck.

“I’m not exactly the tooth fairy,” I say, hoping he won’t notice my voice shaking, “but I might have some quarters in my pocket.”

A few kids hide laughs in their sleeves, but Bryce turns beet. Ms. Lopez hurries down the aisle without pausing the French Revolution documentary no one’s watching anymore.

“Elliott, what on earth made you do that?” she asks.

Bryce’s insult tumbles around in my skull. No way am I repeating it. My cheeks warm, and a familiar sensation builds in my neck. A tightness. Like my insides itch, and there’s only one way to scratch.

No. Not now. Please.


  1. I love your title.
    I love the voice.
    I love the first 250.

    I hope I get to read the rest of this soon!
    Good luck from #173!

  2. I love the voice in your query and in the first 250. I hope I will get the chance to read more of this soon.

    The only suggestion I have is with this sentence "A few kids hide laughs in their sleeves, but Bryce turns beet." - it doesn't quite make sense to me. The other kids in the classroom are hiding their laughter by covering their faces with their sleeves but Bryce turns So his face is exposed? Maybe say something about how the kids are laughing but Bryce just sits there and his face turns beet. I'd play around with it.

  3. Really caught my interest with this one! I don't think I've ever read a YA with Tourette's. I agree with Rachel about that line being confusing though, but other than that, great intro. Good luck!

  4. This sounds so good! Hooray for contemp that doesn't sound like anything I've read before!

  5. This sounds like a great read! I love the incorporation of Tourette's syndrome too. I like Elliot just from the query alone and then when I read the 250...Elliot is someone I would totally hang out with when I was in HS.

    Good luck with this, it sounds like a really cool concept!
    Post #160

    PS Love the title also!

  6. Wow, I love this! Especially "I think I even grin a little." Awesome!

  7. I love this concept, and the first 250 definitely makes me want to keep reading. Good luck!


  8. Oh wow I was totally hooked by this. I actually live across the hall from a guy with Tourette's right now, and have been really meaning to pick up something that gives more insight into it all. Plus this looks so cute/funny/awesome. Love it! - #146

  9. Amazing. You are totally getting in with this one. It's so different!
    Good luck!


  10. Thank you all so, so much!! Rachel and Zoë, thanks for the feedback about that confusing line. I'll definitely work on clarifying it!

  11. Excellent concept! Drew me in right away. You've got some nice voice in your query, and it's succinct and intriguing. Spot-on.

    I adore the second line in the first 250. This shows some excellent voice, and made me chuckle out loud. I also liked the last paragraph, the great sensory perceptions of an oncoming "twitch." Very nice. I enjoyed all of this.

  12. Bouncers! Bouncers! Over here!

    I am not a huge contemp fan, but this grabbed me immediately. I would pull this off the shelf and read it in one sitting for sure. You're writing is riveting.

    I'm sure you will go far with this!

    Rachel #140

    1. And of course I was so excited I said "you're" instead of "your". *hides*

  13. Your entry was my favorite! Congratulations!