Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surprise Agent Invasion #47

Title: My Sister's Memories
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Word Count: 65,000


For Sarah Baxter, the plan was simple; get through senior year, graduate, and go to college. Instead, the night of her 18th birthday turns tragic when the car containing her parents, her younger sister, Allie, and Allie’s boyfriend is hit by oncoming traffic on the way home. Now Sarah is faced with decision after decision; what her parents’ final outfit will be, where to bury them, and whether or not to become her sister’s legal guardian. With no one to guide her, Sarah signs paper after paper, giving up her path of attending college next year, having a social life, and enjoying her senior year, in the hopes that with her undivided attention Allie will recover. 

When Allie wakes from a coma, her brain only retains hard facts rather than friends and family. After weeks of observation, Allie is released from the hospital and the girls are pushed back into school. Here, Sarah must find a way to help Allie retain the memories she makes through the day, and somehow try to regain the ones she lost in the car accident. Fighting through their own grief, the girls must find a semblance of a balanced life, and get through the remainder of the school year so that Sarah can still be a teenager and a sister, and so both girls can accept who they’ve become after the accident, and become a family again.

First 250:

We don’t know anything yet.

I’ve been hearing this lie for the last six hours. Doctors, nurses, everyone who passes by me says the same damn thing. I think the worst part is that I know they all know something. Even I know at least one of them is dead. But I don’t know who, or if it’s only one of them, so until I have some information I refuse to cry.

Rather than celebrating my eighteenth birthday, this is where I’ve been for the last six and a half hours; unable to feel, unable to fully process what’s happening. A voice in my head that sounds strangely like mine keeps repeating, This isn’t happening, fuck, this isn’t happening, and I keep listening to it.

So I don’t cry. I don’t react. Instead, I either count the tiles on the floor, or if I see someone walking by, ask questions:

 “Are they in surgery?”

“Ma’am, we don’t know anything yet.”

“Is my sister okay?”

“We’re not sure.”

“My parents?”

Before I can ask anything else, they all walk away from me, saying, “I’m sorry, we don’t know anything yet.”


  1. The opening here is certainly gripping. We know something horrible has happened, but like the protagonist, we don't know anything yet, but we're going to keep reading. It would be difficult to put to stop after this first page certainly, since you have to find out what was going on! So good work!

    Now, on the book's premise, we'd need some explanation as to why the main character is left to manage everything single-handedly when she has, literally, just turned 18. There are no guardians named in the parents' wills? Why is no one at the hospital with her? Parents' friends? Her friends? Wouldn't a girl that age immediately call her best friends and closest relatives or neighbors to come to the hospital? Barely 18 isn't old enough to be guaranteed guardianship of her younger sibling, so work to make this authentic and overcome any obstacles she might face in being allowed to care for her sister with the two of them living alone. It sounds like a great concept with a lot of potential and room for character development. A very challenging plot! Good luck!

  2. I empathize and connect to Sarah immediately. I feel her frustration. Her voice is clear and strong. I like the idea of their sisterly bond playing a prominent role in the book, and I'm curious to see how the story unfolds. Could you send me the complete manuscript at: submissions at abliterary dot com?

  3. I loved this and would really like to keep reading. Great premise and voice. Please send the first 50 pages, attached as a Word document (.doc), to submissions@fullcircleliterary.com. In the subject line, please include my name and Agent Invasion. Really looking forward to hearing from you! This is just up my alley.
    All my best,
    Taylor Martindale
    Full Circle Literary