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Dear Mr./Ms. Agent:
Seventeen-year-old Leslie Craven has picked up a few tips trying to dodge her mother’s mood swings: watch your step, stay on the sidelines, and take what you can get. Unfortunately, what keeps her under the radar at home works a little too well at school – sure, her football-player boyfriend has scored her a seat at the popular table, but nobody notices her sitting there.
Leslie wants a mom who thanks her for cleaning the kitchen instead of yelling at her for missing a spot, and a boyfriend who cares enough to be Rhett to her Scarlet at the big Halloween bonfire. When she discovers that the sparks flying between him and his lab partner aren’t limited to Chem class, she’s ready to throw in the tear-stained towel.
I can’t be sure since I haven’t read it, but it feels like this is where your story really begins, right? I’d find a way to shorten the above. That is, until she finds two unexpected friends whose families are just as screwed up as hers: Meredith, the cheerleader who rah-rahs her way through personal tragedy, and Dennis, the loner who substitutes smoke breaks for school lunches and always needs a ride. But when Meredith’s boyfriend I’m confused as to whether Dennis is the boyfriend or if that’s someone else puts his bad-boy moves on Leslie, she’s tempted to do more than help him cheat his way through English class, and I’d start a new sentence here she must choose between friendship, romance, and ending up right back where she started – alone.
ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS, a YA contemporary novel complete at 53,000 words, explores what happens when teenagers are forced to look out for themselves and each other because their parents can’t see past their own drama. Nobody likes being told how to feel about a book before they’ve read it and you’re flirting with that line. If you really want to keep this I’d rewrite this to say something like “features characters and explores themes that would appeal to fans of Sarah Zarr.” As such, I believe it will especially appeal to fans of Sara Zarr.
Thank you for considering my work, and I look forward to hearing from you.
This was a pretty good query, IMO. Though I do keep going back to “Leslie wants a mom who thanks her for cleaning the kitchen instead of yelling at her for missing a spot.” I think I’d take it out.
Also, I think I’d like a little more about Leslie. I feel like I don’t know anything about her that isn’t defined by her relationship with someone else. What makes her unique? Why should we care about her?
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