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The Sum of Who We Are

Young Adult Science Fiction Fiction

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#101 smithgirl



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Posted 23 September 2017 - 11:59 AM

After years spent recovering from processing her brother's suicide, nineteen-year-old Riley finally has it all figured out: she is lead singer of her band, dating the perfect girl, and is one of the brains behind her university’s experimental memory-erasing device. Then a close uncle rapes her. I actually like how you did this. I saw some other people though it was abrupt, but I think the contrast is good. And how you have a long sentence followed by the short sentence. Shows how everything comes to sudden stop.



When the trauma from her assault tanks her relationship, Riley seeks a fresh start. She leaves college and enrolls as a music tutor at a local high school. There no comma she is assigned to eighteen-year-old Luke, a music savant plagued with composer’s block since his mother’s death. As Riley reignites Luke’s creative spark, a romance blossoms.


But when she discovers Luke’s involvement in her brother’s death, Riley is devastated all over again. How is Luke involved? I think we nee some minimal info here. She turns to the memory eraser, unable to cope with being hurt by someone close for the second time. How does Luke hurt her? Now Riley must decide whether to use it to wipe her mind clean of all painful memories, even though it could delete her entire identity. Good stakes.


THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE is a 67,000-word young adult novel, with light science fiction elements, told in Riley and Luke’s alternating perspectives. The completed manuscript is available upon request.


Your story is clear to me until the last paragraph, when we learn Luke was involved in her brother's death. I just think we need to know something about this, especially to judge how Riley is affected. Should we feel sympathy for her? For Luke? I don't know how to take this.


I think you add a be more emotion into the second paragraph. While it's understandable the rape tanked her relationship, maybe just some words that show how she fees. Your query is about a very emotional topic but the query, itself, reads as unemotional. I know this is the hardest thing about query writing to keep at it.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fiction

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