Thanks, everyone! This is a new version but by no means 100% changed. The last paragraph is still completely the same, but I still intend on working on it. If anyone has any more advice as to how to go about editing it, I'm all ears! There is the romance that I want to incorporate in that last paragraph in particular.
My science fantasy novel, THE BEST WITCHCRAFT IS FAME, is a YA Breaking Bad but with witches and time travel. (I've never seen breaking bad myself, but I'm willing to go with this.)
Sixteen-year-old Marie Barthe is not a witch, but she brews thyme better than any witch in history. A mental time machine in the form of a pill, thyme is illegal and highly addictive. But Marie has remained safe because non-witches aren’t supposed to be able to brew the drug due to their dyscalculia, a learning disability that severely inhibits math and science skills. (I'm not sure you need all of this, but I'm going to keep reading. Also, why does she do this? What is her purpose for this? Especially since it is illegal.) The impossible loophole allows Marie to tweak the formula, providing longer highs without the horrific hangover afterwards. However, when ex-police sergeant and witch Henry Wallace finds out Marie’s secret, he wants in. (Um, okay, but what does Marie want? What is her goal? You've told us she can make a drug she isn't supposed to be able to make, what the drug does, and that she is really good at it, but we don't know what Marie wants.)
Henry Wallace has one year to live. Desperate to leave his family financially stable after his death,( Hard stop - does this guy have a wife and kids? If he is going to be a POV character which I kind of fell like he is seeing as what he wants (his goals) are being discussed in this, and if that is the case this takes it out of the YA category. Not saying it couldn't become a crossover, but for marketing purposes (to send to a publisher) I believe it's age group needs to be clear. Where would this sit in a bookstore? With an adult MC it wouldn't likely be YA) he tracks down the witch responsible for the best thyme. He finds Marie instead (So she isn't the best?) and blackmails her to work with him. (So he goes from cop to blackmailer? And what does he blackmail her for? Money? What can a 16 year old girl give him? What does she stand to lose if she doesn't go along with this? You have cops and witches, so I'm not sure how your world works. Right now I'd assume if she was arrested she would go to juvie, what happens to her there is she is caught doing this? Also, why does she do it (meaning make this drug) in the first place? Just because she can? It might be important to have a little world building so we can better understand these character's motivations.) Overconfident in his abilities, Henry knows how to avoid detection, or so he thought. The two attract authorities when a drug deal goes sour. The only way out is to risk trying Marie’s new formula: thyme that can physically transport its user back in time. (I'm still not clear on what Marie wants in all of this. Henry's goal is to make a crap ton of money to support his family, and then they almost get caught, okay?)
The new formula works, sending Marie and Henry back five years. (Physically? Or Mentally? Above you say it is a mental time travel, so I'm a little unclear on what this drug does.) Their second chance at brewing only becomes more complicated, (I have lots of questions. If they are back 5 years are they also dealing with the fact that there are now two of each of them in existence? Also, why are they choosing to brew this batch again? Or are they brewing it so they can get back to their original time? I worry that this is your inciting incident, and that everything before this is just backstory. What is the thing that happens that means your characters can't go back to the way things were before? ) though, when they are hired by a powerful cartel. (Are they "hired" or forced to work for them? Why would they choose to take this job? What is it that Henry and Marie want? What are their goals? What stand in their way from reaching these goals?) Henry, however, is unafraid and becomes increasingly ruthless and greedy with their new life, and he won’t stop until he has enough fame and fortune to last his family for years to come. (But if they are 5 years in the past, how can he do this? Especially when there are now two Henrys in existence. Won't his other self think it is weird that a guy with the same name and face is getting famous? I guess I just don't understand how this world works.)
Marie’s formula and life are at stake if she cannot stop him. (Why? Why does she even care about Henry? What does he have to do with her? He was blackmailing her in the future, but can't she just leave his ass in the past and say screw it? I don't understand why they are connected. If he is the love interest, than I don't understand that either, as he has a "family" - Why does his goals have anything to do with her stakes?) But the only way to save herself is to become just like Henry. (I don't really get these stakes. Maybe it is because I don't understand what Marie even wants. From this query it sounds like Henry's story and Marie is just a side character. She doesn't seem to have any goals for herself.)
THE BEST WITCHCRAFT IS FAME is complete at X words with a dual POV told mainly through Marie. (If this is mainly her story, we need to know more about her. What does she want? What stands in her way? What happens if she fails? We get a little of this for Henry, he wants money to set his family up, but he almost gets caught - but what are his stakes? What does he risk losing? He is going to die anyway, so I assume his stakes are about not being able to support his family. But why should I care? Not to sound like an ass or anything, but can his wife work and support their family? Like what really happens if he can't set his family up? Like Marie, I too have dyscalculia and wanted to write a story that champions the disability. (This sounds awesome and a very unique thing, but I don't see how this story champions this disability.)
Thank you for your time and consideration.