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#1 anathebookworm

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 12:59 AM

Hey everyone! I'm pretty happy with how my query turned out (thanks to everyone who offered me a hand! <3), and now I started working on my dreaded synopsis...I don't think it's too bad, but what do I know? It super short and sweet, because all agents I want to query required 1-2 page.

 

Anyone who wants help with your own synopsis, just leave your link here and I'll be happy to return the favor.

 

Thank yooooooooou!

 

 

Thirteen-year-old HARPER BAILEY hates the words tattooed on her arm since her birth. Her soulmark is supposed to tell her who is destined to be her soulmate, but when she finds out it refers to the boy who’s been trolling her YouTube videos, she vows to get it removed.

 

The soulmarks are an unasked for gift from a group of immigrant aliens living on Earth called the Givers. Anyone under their care is given food and shelter for free. Their only rules are that no soulmark can ever be removed and that, once a pair of soulmates meet, they cannot separate.

 

Harper enlists her best friend’s help to spy on her mother, who works at the only place soulmarks can be illegally removed in her town. Her friend hates the idea of having a soulmate and wants her mark gone as soon as possible, but when Harper tries to repeat the procedure, she accidentally burns her friend’s skin to bone. Desperate, she bumps into NOAH QUINN, a boy who does everything to stop her from finding a Giver. He succeeds in making Harper back out, but it’s too late – her friend already called the Givers, betraying Harper.

 

To save her life, Harper’s friend rats her mother to the aliens, and this results in Harper’s mother being arrested by the Givers and the Governor, the human who controls the aliens against their will. They plan on publicly removing her mother’s soulmark – which is revealed to Harper by FIFTY-SEVEN, the Giver who is assigned to keep an eye on Harper since she broke the law. This procedure however, is bound to kill her mother – to make sure no one in Harper’s town ever tries going against the law again. Her stepfather leaves home. Harper tries to convince Fifty-Seven to help, but the Giver can’t go against the Governor’s orders.

 

Noah goes after Harper and takes her to a hidden community, where people are plotting how to take down both the Governor and the Givers. She learns her stepfather is living there, but they are still angry with each other because of him leaving their house. Along with Noah and one of his friends, she plans to invade the Governor’s house and her mother’s clinic to find clues about where her mother is before her execution.

 

When they arrive at the Governor’s Manor, they learn it’s being guarded by Fifty-Seven. Startled by the Giver, Noah

accidentally shoots her. Once again facing a life or death situation, Harper decides to try and help both her mother and Fifty-Seven. She manages to get help for the Giver, but Governor makes Harper watch as her mother has her soulmark removed in front of her.

 

When Harper comes back to Noah’s hideout with Fifty-Seven in tow, she is shunned for consorting with their enemy. Supported only by the Giver Fifty-Seven, Harper takes refuge on YouTube, and accidentally learns that Noah is, in fact, her soulmate and the reason everything started.



#2 Nonicks

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 01:21 PM

Hey everyone! I'm pretty happy with how my query turned out (thanks to everyone who offered me a hand! <3), and now I started working on my dreaded synopsis...I don't think it's too bad, but what do I know? It super short and sweet, because all agents I want to query required 1-2 page.

 

Anyone who wants help with your own synopsis, just leave your link here and I'll be happy to return the favor.

 

Thank yooooooooou!

 

 

Thirteen-year-old HARPER BAILEY hates the words tattooed on her arm since her birth. Her soulmark is supposed to tell her who is destined to be her soulmate, but when she finds out it refers to the boy who’s been trolling her YouTube videos, she vows to get it removed.

 

The soulmarks are an unasked for gift from a group of immigrant aliens living on Earth called the Givers. Anyone under their (by their you mean the Givers?)care is given food and shelter for free. Their only rules are that no soulmark can ever be removed and that, once a pair of soulmates meet, they cannot separate. (I'm not sure I understand what a soulmark is. I mean, I know what it's supposed to do, but how does it look like? You said it can't be removed, then it's a physical object? I think a breif description would solve the problem)

 

Harper enlists her best friend’s help to spy on her mother, who works at the only place soulmarks can be illegally removed in her town. Her friend hates the idea of having a soulmate and wants her mark gone as soon as possible, but when Harper tries to repeat the procedure, she accidentally burns her friend’s skin to bone. (absolutely cool)Desperate, she bumps into NOAH QUINN, a boy who does everything to stop her from finding a Giver. (what's the connection between burning her friend's skin and this boy? seems like there is no connection between sentences)He succeeds in making Harper back out, but it’s too late – her friend already called the Givers, betraying Harper.

 

To save her life, Harper’s friend rats her mother to the aliens, and this results in Harper’s mother being arrested by the Givers and the Governor, the human who controls the aliens against their will. They plan on publicly removing her mother’s soulmark – which is revealed to Harper by FIFTY-SEVEN, the Giver who is assigned to keep an eye on Harper since she broke the law. This procedure however, is bound to kill her mother (why? earlier Harper tried to remove her friend's soulmark. Didn't they know it would kill her?)– to make sure no one in Harper’s town ever tries going against the law again. Her stepfather leaves home. (irrelevant)Harper tries to convince Fifty-Seven to help, but the Giver can’t go against the Governor’s orders.

 

Noah goes after Harper and takes her to a hidden community, where people are plotting how to take down both the Governor and the Givers. She learns her stepfather is living there, but they are still angry with each other because of him leaving their house. Along with Noah and one of his friends, she plans to invade the Governor’s house and her mother’s clinic to find clues about where her mother is before her execution.

 

When they arrive at the Governor’s Manor, they learn it’s being guarded by Fifty-Seven. Startled by the Giver, Noah

accidentally shoots her(shoots the Governor or Harper?). Once again facing a life or death situation, Harper decides to try and help both her mother and Fifty-Seven.(why? it doesn't seem like 57 needs help) She manages to get help for the Giver, but Governor makes Harper watch as her mother has her soulmark removed in front of her. (this is a really confusing paragraph)

 

When Harper comes back to Noah’s hideout with Fifty-Seven in tow, she is shunned for consorting with their enemy. Supported only by the Giver Fifty-Seven, Harper takes refuge on YouTube, and accidentally learns that Noah is, in fact, her soulmate and the reason everything started.

 

A solid synopsis. I think you need to clarify a couple of things and that paragraph near the end, and that 's it. It was easy to follow, and that's the most important thing in a synopsis.



#3 anathebookworm

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:49 PM

Thanks Nonicks! You're always wonderful, <3

 

Is it less confusing now?

 

Thirteen-year-old HARPER BAILEY hates the words tattooed on her arm since her birth – her soulmark. It’s supposed to tell her who is destined to be her soulmate, but when she finds out it refers to the anonymous boy who’s been trolling her YouTube videos, she vows to get it removed.

 

The soulmarks are an unasked for gift from a group of aliens living on Earth called the Givers. Anyone under their care is given food and shelter for free. Their only rules are that no soulmark can ever be removed and that, once a pair of soulmates meet, they cannot separate.

 

Harper enlists her best friend’s help to spy on her mother, who works at the only place soulmarks can be illegally removed in her town. Her friend hates the idea of having a soulmate and wants her mark gone as soon as possible, but when Harper tries to repeat the procedure, she accidentally burns her friend’s skin to bone. Desperate, she runs into the street to seek help from the Givers. She bumps into NOAH QUINN, a boy who does everything to stop her from finding a Giver. He succeeds in making Harper back out, but it’s too late – her friend already called the Givers, betraying Harper.

 

To save her life, Harper’s friend rats her mother to the aliens, and this results in Harper’s mother being arrested by the Givers and the Governor, the human who controls the aliens against their will. They plan on publicly removing her mother’s soulmark – which is revealed to Harper by FIFTY-SEVEN, the Giver who is assigned to keep an eye on Harper since she broke the law. This time, however, the procedure is bound to kill her mother – to make sure no one in Harper’s town ever tries going against the law again. Harper tries to convince Fifty-Seven to help, but the Giver can’t go against the Governor’s orders.

 

Noah goes after Harper and takes her to a hidden community, where people are plotting how to take down both the Governor and the Givers. Along with Noah and one of his friends, she plans to invade the Governor’s house to find clues about where her mother is before her execution.

 

When they arrive at the Governor’s Manor, they learn it’s being guarded by Fifty-Seven. Startled, Noah accidentally shoots the Giver. Running out of time, Harper decides to try and help both her mother and Fifty-Seven. She manages to get help for the Giver, but Governor makes Harper watch as her mother has her soulmark removed in front of her.

 

When Harper comes back to Noah’s hideout with Fifty-Seven in tow, she is shunned for consorting with their enemy. Supported only by the Giver Fifty-Seven, Harper takes refuge on YouTube, and accidentally learns that Noah is, in fact, her soulmate and the reason everything started.



#4 jphollis

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 11:03 PM

Thanks Nonicks! You're always wonderful, <3

 

Is it less confusing now?

 

Thirteen-year-old HARPER BAILEY hates the words tattooed on her arm since her birth – her soulmark. It’s supposed to tell her who is destined to be her soulmate, but when she finds out it refers to the anonymous boy who’s been trolling her YouTube videos, she vows to get it removed. (Great intro.)

 

The soulmarks are an unasked for gift from a group of aliens living on Earth called the Givers. Anyone under their care is given food and shelter for free. Their only rules are that no soulmark can ever be removed and that, once a pair of soulmates meet, they cannot separate.

 

Harper enlists her best friend’s help to spy on her mother, who works at the only place soulmarks can be illegally removed in her town. Her friend hates the idea of having a soulmate and wants her mark gone as soon as possible, but when Harper tries to repeat the procedure, she accidentally burns her friend’s skin to bone. Desperate, she runs into the street to seek help from the Givers. She bumps into NOAH QUINN, a boy who does everything to stop her from finding a Giver. He succeeds in making Harper back out, but it’s too late – her friend already called the Givers, betraying Harper.

 

To save her life, Harper’s friend rats her mother to the aliens, and this results in Harper’s mother being arrested by the Givers and the Governor, the human who controls the aliens against their will (So this human who can control the Givers is on the same side as the Givers? That's how it reads, but I'm not sure if it is correct.). They plan on publicly removing her mother’s soulmark – which is revealed to Harper by FIFTY-SEVEN, the Giver who is assigned to keep an eye on Harper since she broke the law. This time, however, the procedure is bound to kill her mother – to make sure no one in Harper’s town ever tries going against the law again. Harper tries to convince Fifty-Seven to help, but the Giver can’t go against the Governor’s orders.

 

Noah goes after Harper and takes her to a hidden community, where people are plotting how to take down both the Governor and the Givers. Along with Noah and one of his friends, she plans to invade the Governor’s house to find clues about where her mother is before her execution.

 

When they arrive at the Governor’s Manor, they learn it’s being guarded by Fifty-Seven. Startled, Noah accidentally shoots the Giver. Running out of time, Harper decides to try and help both her mother and Fifty-Seven. She manages to get help for the Giver, but the Governor makes Harper watch as her mother has her soulmark removed in front of her (This seems superfluous).

 

When Harper comes back to Noah’s hideout with Fifty-Seven in tow, she is shunned for consorting with their enemy. Supported only by the Giver Fifty-Seven, Harper takes refuge on YouTube, and accidentally learns that Noah is, in fact, her soulmate and the reason everything started.

 

I think the synopsis is quite solid, but I don't feel like this is a very happy ending, but perhaps that's not what you're going for. But I would worry that the reader might feel like this is not enough of a conclusion for a stand-alone novel. I mean, I'm not even sure if Harper is happy that Noah is her soulmate. I didn't get any sense of romance brewing between the two from this synopsis.


My Synopsis: House of Ashes

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#5 anathebookworm

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:20 AM

Thank you jphollis! <3

 

To answer your questions - no, the ending wasn't supposed to be happy. But several CPs said that, when reading it, it actually felt more bittersweet and hopeful than sad, because Harper really comes to love Fifty-Seven and is in fact friends with Noah. Other than that, Harper is thirteen - and so is Noah - so there's no romance between them, of course. They are friends, and that's it. I make it clear at the beginning of my query letter that you can have any sort of relationship with your soulmate, it's not just about romance. Since agents who'll read my synopsis also read my query, I'm thinking that's alright. Besides, I don't think MG audience cares much about romance (at least my brother and his male and female friends don't).



#6 Patomac

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 06:20 PM

Thirteen-year-old HARPER BAILEY hates the words tattooed on her arm since her birth – her soulmark. It’s supposed to tell her who is destined to be her soulmate, but when she finds out it refers to the anonymous boy who’s been trolling her YouTube videos, she vows to get it removed.

 

The soulmarks are an unasked for gift from a group of aliens living on Earth called the Givers. Anyone under their care is given food and shelter for free. Their only rules are that no soulmark can ever be removed and that, once a pair of soulmates meet, they cannot separate. (so question about the Givers-- does everyone on earth know about them, or are they a secret alien society hiding on earth? I found myself asking that question multiple times through the synopsis, so you may want to clarify)

 

Harper enlists her best friend’s help to spy on mother, who works at the only place soulmarks can be illegally removed in her town. Her friend hates the idea of having a soulmate and wants her mark gone as soon as possible, but when Harper tries to repeat the procedure, she accidentally burns her friend’s skin to bone. Something about this sequence is confusing to me. I think maybe I didn't make the logical jump from "place where soulmarks can be removed" to "Harper trying to do it herself" if you know what I mean. Why doesn't Harper's friend just go and have the soulmark removed by the (semi-)professionals?Desperate, she runs into the street to seek help from the Givers. She bumps into NOAH QUINN, a boy who does everything to stop her from finding a Giver. He succeeds in making Harper back out, but it’s too late – her friend already called the Givers, betraying Harper. Betrayed may be the wrong word-- Harper's friends injuries sound really severe. Maybe something more neutral would be appropriate. (Or you can cut the "betraying Harper" bit altogether.

 

To save her life, Harper’s friend rats out her mother to the aliens, and this results in Harper’s mother being arrested by the Givers and the Governor, the human who controls the aliens against their will. They plan on publicly removing her mother’s soulmark – which is revealed to Harper by FIFTY-SEVEN, the Giver who is assigned to keep an eye on Harper since she broke the law. This time, however, the procedure is bound to kill her mother – to make sure no one in Harper’s town ever tries going against the law again. Harper tries to convince Fifty-Seven, the Giver who is assigned to keep an eye on Harper since she broke the law, to help, but the Giver can’t go against the Governor’s orders.

 

Noah goes after finds Harper and takes her to a hidden community, where people are plotting how to take down both the Governor and the Givers. Along with Noah and one of his friends, she plans to invade the Governor’s house to find clues about where her mother is before her execution.

 

When they arrive at the Governor’s Manor, they learn it’s being guarded by Fifty-Seven. Startled, Noah accidentally shoots the Giver. Running out of time, Harper decides to try and help both her mother and Fifty-Seven. She manages to get help for the Giver, but Governor makes Harper watch as her mother has her soulmark removed in front of her. So... does this in fact kill her?

 

When Harper comes back to Noah’s hideout with Fifty-Seven in tow, she is shunned for consorting with their enemy. Supported only by the Giver Fifty-Seven, Harper takes refuge on YouTube, Something about this phrasing bothers me. Maybe because it makes like Youtube sound like a physical place? And since I'm still not clear on the aliens relationship to the physical world (ie, secret vs. nonsecret) I'm a little confused. Is she recording videos? Recording videos about the secret alien resistance (or the secret aliens) sounds like a bad idea. and accidentally learns that Noah is, in fact, her soulmate and the reason everything startedAnd where do we go from here? How does she feel about that? Does it set up the beginning of another book? Don't get me wrong, your conflict does feel very much finished, but I guess I want those little epilogue-y type thoughts unless Harper finding out about Noah is literally the last thing that happens on the page.

 

So I think your synopsis follows logically most of the time. I just find that I want a few more details, which, I know, is hard



#7 anathebookworm

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:07 PM

Hmmmm... I tried something new. Is it better?

 

Thirteen-year-old HARPER BAILEY hates the words tattooed on her arm since her birth – her soulmark. It’s supposed to tell her who is destined to be her soulmate, but when she finds out it refers to the anonymous boy who’s been trolling her YouTube videos, she vows to get it removed.

 

The soulmarks are an unasked for gift from a group of aliens living on Earth called the Givers. As compensation for allowing them between humans, the Givers also provide economic and technological equality to all races. Because of their efforts, every disease has also been eradicated. However, the Givers have rules: no soulmark can ever be removed and once a pair of soulmates meet, they cannot separate.

 

Harper’s mother is the only one in their district that works with removing the soulmarks of those who don’t want it. Because of this job, she had to spend her whole live moving whenever the Gives came too close to figuring her mother out. After slipping to LACEY HOLMES accidentally about what her mother does, her friend manages to convince Harper that they can use her mom’s methods to erase their soulmarks in secret. It goes downhill when Harper burns Lacey’s skin to the bone while trying to remove her friend’s soulmark and, in a fit of rage, Lacey rats Harper’s mom to the Givers.

 

Because of their naturally caring behavior, every Giver called to imprison her mom pities Harper. Unfortunately, the Governor – the leader of the Givers – is not so benevolent, and decides to keep Harper’s mom locked up for a while before broadcasting her execution. To make sure Harper won’t interfere, the Governor assigns FIFTY-SEVEN to take care of Harper. While she resists for days, Harper slowly comes to care about Fifty-Seven, and ends befriending the Giver. After spending two weeks together, the Giver reveals to Harper that the Governor created a plague to weaken the humans – if they refuse their soulmates, then he doesn’t believe they deserve to live. Fifty-Seven tries to explain that he only does that because the Givers need to keep pairing soulmates up, otherwise they are going to die. Givers need to serve, and they believe they are serving humanity by pointing out people’s soulmates. Knowing this shakes Harper and Fifty-Seven’s bond, and drives them apart. Already grieving for her fellow humans, Harper receives the date of her mother’s execution. She begs Fifty-Seven to help her, but the Giver refuses.

 

An old acquaintance, NOAH QUINN, appears at Harper’s door shortly after, sent to fetch her to go in hiding with her stepfather. Noah makes promises of helping Harper with her mother, but is ultimately turned down when the leader of the group in hiding says they can’t risk themselves for one person. Harper learns that the group is not only hiding people, but working actively to kill every Giver they find. It shakes her to the core, because a part of her still cares for Fifty-Seven. Struggling with her secret feelings, Harper begs her stepfather to help her save her mom, but he refuses because he can’t go against his leader. Seeing her suffering, Noah and one of his friends offer to accompany Harper to try and gather more clues about her mother’s whereabouts, so they can help her.

 

They travel to the Governor’s Manor, but their plan comes to halt when Harper learns Fifty-Seven is one of the Givers guarding the place. Startled by her presence, Noah shoots Fifty-Seven. Not able to choose between saving her mother and the Giver, Harper decides to enter the Manor to hand Fifty-Seven to the other Givers while she tries to find her mom. However, when the Governor sees her there, he decides to start her mother’s execution sooner than expected. He heals Fifty-Seven after this, and tells Harper the Giver is now hers to do whatever she wants.

 

With nowhere else to go, Harper returns to where her stepfather is hiding with his friends, but she is shunned for consorting with the Givers. Supported only by Fifty-Seven, she immerses herself in YouTube, but accidentally learns that Noah is, in fact, the same person who was harassing her online before – her soulmate.



#8 Chuck_Spragins

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:24 PM

From one south American to another ....

 

Hope this helps. Perhaps you can critique my synopsis, RIVER PLATE BASIN.

 

Thirteen-year-old HARPER BAILEY hates the words tattooed (word choice? Tattooed brings to mind girls with nose rings dressed in black that pop over to the maternity ward to work on the new borns. I suggest 'marked.') on her arm since her birth – her soulmark. It’s supposed to tell her who is destined to be reveal her soulmate, but when she finds out it refers to the anonymous boy who’s been trolling her YouTube videos, she vows to get it removed.

 

The soulmarks are an unasked for gift from a group of aliens living on Earth called the Givers. As compensation for allowing (word choice? It sounds like the Givers are very powerful and that humans probably did not have much choice in the matter of allowing them to live on earth or not.) them between among humans, the Givers also provide economic and technological equality to all races. Because of their efforts, every disease has also been eradicated. However, the Givers have rules: (Grammar check - pretty sure this should be a semi-colon.) no it is forbidden to remove the soulmarks can ever be removed (The soulmarks can, in fact, be removed. As we soon learn, that is what Harper's mother does.) and once a pair of soulmates meet, they cannot separate.

 

Harper’s mother is the only one in their district that works with removesing the soulmarks of those who don’t want it.(This is understood.) Because of this job, she Harper hasd had to spend her whole live moveing whenever the Givers coame too close to figuring catching her mother out. After accidentally slipping to telling LACEY HOLMES accidentally about what her mother does, her friend manages to convince Harper that they can use her mom’s methods to erase their soulmarks in secret. (Why does Harper need someone to tell her that her mother's methods can erase soulmarks? Surely she knows that already. And how can they keep it a secret? Once removed, everyone will know that it is gone.) It goes downhill when Harper burns Lacey’s skin to the bone while trying to remove her friend’s soulmark. and, iIn a fit of rage, Lacey rats Harper’s mom to the Givers.

 

Because of their naturally caring behavior, every Giver called to imprison her mom pities Harper. Unfortunately, the Governor – the leader of the Givers – is not so benevolent, and decides to keep Harper’s mom locked up for a while before broadcasting her execution. To make sure Harper won’t interfere, the Governor assigns FIFTY-SEVEN to take care of her Harper. While she resists for days, Harper s  Slowly, Harper comes to care about Fifty-Seven, and ends finally befriendsing the Giver. After spending two weeks together, the Giver reveals to Harper that the Governor created a plague to weaken the humans – if they refuse their soulmates, then he doesn’t believe they deserve to live. (Confusing. Is the plague to weaken them or to kill them?) Fifty-Seven tries to explain that he the Governor only does that because the Givers need to keep pairing soulmates up, otherwise they are going to die. Givers need to serve, and they believe they are serving humanity by pointing out people’s soulmates. (Confusing. In the previous sentence you say the Givers pair soulmates because otherwise they die. In this last sentence you say they pair soulmates because they need to serve. It seems to me that those are two different things.) Knowing this (Which one?) shakes Harper and Fifty-Seven’s bond, and drives them apart. Already grieving for her fellow humans, Harper receives the date of her mother’s execution. She begs Fifty-Seven to help her, but the Giver refuses.

 

An old acquaintance, NOAH QUINN, appears at Harper’s door shortly after, sent to fetch her to go in hiding with her stepfather. Noah makes promises of to help Harper with rescue her mother, but is ultimately turned down unable to when the leader of the group in hiding says they can’t risk themselves whole group for one person. Harper learns that the group is not only hiding people, but working actively to kill every Giver they find. It shakes her to the core, because a part of her still cares for Fifty-Seven. Struggling with her secret feelings, Harper begs her stepfather to help her save her mom, but he refuses because he can’t go against his leader. Seeing her suffering, Noah and one of his friends offer to accompany Harper to try and gather more clues about her mother’s whereabouts, so they can and help her.

 

They travel to the Governor’s Manor, but their plan comes to halt when Harper learns Fifty-Seven is one of the Givers guarding the place. Startled by her presence, Noah shoots Fifty-Seven.(This sentence is akward and does not flow well.)  Not able to choose between saving her mother and the Giver (You need to explain that previously 57 was shot, but not killed.) Harper decides to enter the Manor to hand Fifty-Seven to the other Givers while she tries to find her mom. (Aren't the Givers supposed to be guarding the Manor?) However, when the Governor sees her there, he decides to start her mother’s execution sooner than expected. He heals Fifty-Seven after this, and tells Harper the Giver is now hers to do whatever she wants.

 

With nowhere else to go, Harper returns to where her stepfather is hiding with his friends, but she is shunned for consorting with the Givers. Supported only by Fifty-Seven, she immerses herself in YouTube, but accidentally learns that Noah is, in fact, the same person who was harassing her online before – her soulmate. 

The last two paragraphs fail to bring an interesting story to resolution. Does Harper's mother die? What happens with Harper an Noah? ... and 57? .... and why do they have numbers and not names?  

 

 






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