Thanks so much for the helpful critique. I hope I can be as helpful.
My comments are in red and my suggestions in blue.
Perhaps consider starting with her age. Thirteen year-old Claire never
thought believed that Nutella could tasted like skunk pee, until she stayed tried a sip at her grandma’s house for the that summer. She'd actually have to taste the skunk pee to know the difference. It adds the "yuck" factor to your hook, which is definitely an attention grabber. At first Claire thinks her grandma is nuts. So do I at this point! I mean, who keeps weed in their chocolate and rubs the leaves of tomato plants as if both plant and human were friends holds a tomato plant's leaf like a close friend's hand? But it is through Grandma’s tales that Claire learns how strong females are formed I don't like this phrase so much. it just feels odd, as though something else, other than they themselves, makes females strong. It's also impersonal, not relating to Claire. Might I suggest something along the lines of: how to find her inner strength.
Grandma weaves fiction with truth as
she attempts to reach This is written from grandma's perspective and then you hop back to Claire. I find it just a bit jarring. The following would correct that: Claire through gets to know two concocted characters: Lyn and Hope. As You just used "as" in the previous sentence. Claire struggles with her own self-worth , she is. Break the sentence here so you can shorten this 38-word-long monster. She's drawn into these stories about girls who dine on over-the-top chocolate period brownies, who battle a silent parade of scorpions, and where one ends up murdering her own stalker. She’ll have to learn how pansies cannot survive in the desert and prickly pear blossoms are the norm in order to know that she has value. I see the significance of pansies not surviving in a desert, but how is learning that prickly pear blossoms are the norm needed in order to know one has value? Also, you might consider adding something of the stakes here. What does Claire need to do to overcome her feelings of low self-worth, and what are the consequences if she fails?
PANSIES CANNOT SURVIVE HERE is a young adult, coming of age novel complete at 42,000 words At 42,000 words, it might be considered a novella, but I'm no expert on that.
I teach English from grades 7-12 in a remote desert town. I’m currently working on my master degree in TESOL. I read an agent specifically say that ones experience as a teacher no more qualifies you to write young adult literature than birthing a child makes you an expert on parenting. In other words, unless you have some published stories, novels or been awarded literary prizes, or have experience which is absolutely vital to your ability to write this book (usually regarding nonfiction) leave this space blank. You might instead consider adding a comparison between your story and a similar, well known, young adult coming of age novel.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I can tell from this query that your story is imaginative and could well be a gripping tale for your target audience. I hope some of my comments were helpful.