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Illegal Tender (Will leave feedback in return)

Fiction Young Adult Romance Multi-Cultural

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#1 fatalkiss19

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:14 AM

Dear Agent,

 

 

The rules of basketball are easy to tread on, the thin line between love and danger, not so much.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyrese Winston is the son of an Arizona senator and a key player of the Lincoln High School's basketball team. He has it all, or at least he did. After his father has a fatal heart attack Tyrese is to live with his long-lost mother. The only issue is she's dead too.

 

Letica Martinez is all about family. She takes after her mother: strong, independent, and loving toward her siblings. However, she doesn’t like the family business, but who would when it means you help clean up dead bodies for a drug cartel? Love it or hate it, Letica can never disappoint her mother. Working for a notorious drug cartel isn’t her only problem, in South Phoenix the drama between gangs is heating up, adding to the body count.

 

When Tyrese is sent to live with his mother's best friend who turns out to be Letica's mother, things start going downhill pretty fast. Only Mrs. Martinez has welcoming arms for him, as the Martinez brothers don't want him around, and Letica doesn't want him anywhere near her or her sister.

 

Letica will do anything for her mother, including taking over the family business when the time comes, but deep down all she wants is a new life out of South Phoenix. New in town and completely out of his element, Tyrese needs to leave this morbid Wonderland of Horrors behind and just fast forward to dorm life. Yet, without being on a basketball team and without his father's money, Tyrese has no way out.

 

For these two teens, their worlds are about to collide. As Letica tells Tyrese more about the mother he lost, the two come to find out they are not too different. To Letica, family and loyalty are everything, but in a world of gang wars and looming drug cartels, there’s a choice to be made, for her freedom, and possibly even her life.

 

Complete at 63,000 words, ILLEGAL TENDER is a YA contemporary romance. It will appeal to readers of Simone Elkeles and Nicola Yoon.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Sincerely,



#2 BadgerFox

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:01 PM



Dear Agent,

 

 

The rules of basketball are easy to tread on. The thin line between love and danger? Not so much. [The punctuation here doesn't quite make sense. I'm also having a little difficulty understanding what you're saying. Maybe it's a regional dialect way of saying it, but here in the UK I don't know what you mean by 'treading on' a rule? A UK agent may not either. However, on the plus side, you've introduced some key themes of the story neatly and concisely here, so that's a good starting-point to keep hold of.]

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyrese Winston is the son of an Arizona senator and a key player of the Lincoln High School's basketball team. He has it all, or at least he did. After his father has a fatal heart attack Tyrese is to live with his long-lost mother. The only issue is she's dead too. [This comes off as unintentionally hilarious. I picture a Norman Bates style scene of a decomposing corpse propped up at the dinner table and Tyrese rampaging about in a grey wig. It's dark and it's incredibly funny, but I don't think that's what you were necessarily aiming for. Maybe try rephrasing these last two lines. What I think works in your favour is that you've really grasped punchy sentence-length in this query. That's great; a lot of us take a while to get the hang of it. It's refreshing to see the plot information broken down into bite-sized elements so that a newbie to the story can really understand what's going on piece by piece.]

 

Letica Martinez is all about family. She takes after her mother: strong, independent, and loving toward her siblings [I like her already, then]. However, she doesn’t like the family business. But then, who would, when if it means you help helping clean up dead bodies for a drug cartel? Love it or hate it, Letica can never disappoint her mother [as motivations go, you've described this well in a very short space. I think I buy that she'd put her family first]. Working for a notorious drug cartel isn’t her only problem, though. In South Phoenix, the drama between gangs is heating up - adding to the body count. [The punctuation is distinctly off in several sentences here, which is a shame, because you've otherwise got a really great way of breaking down the plot into punchy short sentences. Maybe you could revist the punctuation and try reading sentences aloud, to check that the pauses for breath are in the right places and the commas are in where they need to be? It seems to be specifically the punctuation that's the problem, too, as the content of the sentences and the order the information is presented in is usually fine!]

 

When Tyrese is sent to live with his mother's best friend (who turns out to be Letica's mother) [brackets to denote sub-clause, punctuation again], things start going downhill pretty fast. Only Mrs. Martinez has welcoming arms for him, as the Martinez brothers don't want him around, and Letica doesn't want him anywhere near her or her sister [why? Why does nobody like him? There's been no indication that he's a dangerous or unpleasant person so far].

 

Letica will do anything for her mother, including taking over the family business when the time comes. But deep down all she wants is a new life, one out of South Phoenix. New in town and completely out of his element, Tyrese needs to leave this morbid Wonderland of Horrors [that doesn't need captalized and it's a seriously weird way of phrasing it. It sounds like a funhouse ride or something, whih doesn't really make sense in context. What horrors?] behind and just fast forward to dorm life. Yet, without being on a basketball team and without his father's money, Tyrese has no way out.

 

For these two teens, their worlds are about to collide. As Letica tells Tyrese more about the mother he lost, the two come to find out they are not too different. To Letica, family and loyalty are everything, but in a world of gang wars and looming drug cartels, there’s a choice to be made, for her freedom, and possibly even her life.[Great articulation of the stakes. I get a really good sense of what's driving these characters]

 

Complete at 63,000 words, ILLEGAL TENDER is a YA contemporary romance. It will appeal to readers of Simone Elkeles and Nicola Yoon.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

I think this query does a genuinely impressive job of laying down the plot and the stakes, in a clear linear fashion, whilst making it clear why the characters are working towards the goals they are. This is hard to do. Well done! The main problem is the wacky punctuation and one or two points where the phrasing didn't come across quite as intended. Overall, I don't think the register or tone of the language can be faulted much, and the characterization shines clear. The short sentences are particularly impactful. Tidy up the odd phrasing and funky commas and this shouldn't be too far off ready to send.

 

Still seeking a bit of feedback on my 250-word chapter beginnings, if you've got a moment to do a little critiquing :) : http://agentquerycon...native-history/


Spare a shiny scrap of feedback for newbie?

250 words of my AU novel: http://agentquerycon...native-history/


#3 johnmorrison

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:56 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

The rules of basketball are easy to tread on, the thin line between love and danger, not so much.

[Maybe I'm too much of a literalist, but I got hung up on how you 'tread' on the rules of basketball. I also couldn't help thinking that love and danger are not a dichotomy (can't you have love without danger?). Maybe you want to say, "In basketball, players can understand the rules, and  control the danger. Love is different. The rules are ambiguous, and the dangers are hidden."]

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyrese Winston is the son of an Arizona senator and a key player of [ON] the Lincoln High School's basketball team. He has it all, or at least he did. [He had it all.] After his father's has a fatal heart attack Tyrese is to live with his long-lost mother. The only issue is she's dead too. [Confusing.]

 

Letica Martinez is all about family. She takes after her mother: strong, independent, and loving toward her siblings. However, she doesn’t like the family business--, but who would when it means you help cleaning up dead bodies for a drug cartel?. Love it or hate it, Letica can never disappoint her mother. Working for a notorious drug cartel isn’t her only problem, in South Phoenix the drama between gangs is heating up, adding to the body count.

 

When Tyrese is sent to live with his mother's best friend who turns out to be Letica's mother, things start going downhill pretty fast. Only Mrs. Martinez has welcoming arms for him, as the Martinez brothers don't want him around, and Letica doesn't want him anywhere near her or her sister.

 

Letica will do anything for her mother, including taking over the family business when the time comes, but deep down all she wants is a new life out of South Phoenix. New in town and completely out of his element, Tyrese needs to leave this morbid Wonderland of Horrors behind and just fast forward to dorm life. Yet, without being on a basketball team and without his father's money, Tyrese has no way out.

 

For these two teens, their worlds are about to collide. As Letica tells Tyrese more about the mother he lost, the two come to find out they are not too different. To Letica, family and loyalty are everything, but in a world of gang wars and looming drug cartels, there’s a choice to be made, for her freedom, and possibly even her life.

 

[My feeling is that this synopsis could be clearer and more concise.]

 

Complete at 63,000 words, ILLEGAL TENDER is a YA contemporary romance. It will appeal to readers of Simone Elkeles and Nicola Yoon.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#4 LEEALLAN

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:20 PM

The critiques of the other two authors are very well done. I'll do my best to add my own thoughts about this excellent query.

 

 

The rules of basketball are easy to tread on (instead of tread on, how about "can be blurred'?), the thin line between love and danger, not so much.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyrese Winston is the son of an Arizona senator and a key player of the Lincoln High School's basketball team. He has it all, or at least he did. After his father has a fatal heart attack Tyrese is to live (who makes this decision? Does it follow logically?) with his long-lost mother. The only issue is she's dead too.(This last sentence is confusing. How can he live with someone who's dead?)

 

Letica Martinez (You need to tie this into the previous paragraph. How is she related to Tyrese?) is all about family. She takes after her mother: strong, independent, and loving toward her siblings. However, she doesn’t like the family business, but who would when it means you help since her job is to clean up dead bodies for a drug cartel? Love it or hate it, But Letica can never disappoint her mother. Working for a notorious drug cartel isn’t her only problem, .(put a period here) Iin South Phoenix the drama struggle between gangs is heating up, adding to the body count.

 

When Tyrese is sent to live with his mother's best friend (insert her name here), (comma here) who turns out to be Letica's mother, things start going go downhill pretty fast. Only Mrs. Martinez has welcoming arms for him, as the Martinez brothers don't want him around, and Letica doesn't want him anywhere near her or her sister.

 

The relationships between people are very confusing. Focus on the protagonist. Is this Tyrese or Letica? At the moment I don't know.

 

Letica will do anything for her mother, including taking over the family business when the time comes, but deep down all she wants is a new life out of South Phoenix. New in town and completely out of his element, Tyrese needs to leave this morbid Wonderland of Horrors gang life behind and just fast forward to dorm life. Yet, But without being on a basketball team and without his father's money, Tyrese has no way out.

 

For these two teens, their The worlds of these teens are about to collide. As Letica tells Tyrese more about the mother he lost, the two come to find out discover they are not too different. To Letica, family and loyalty are everything, but in a world of gang wars and looming drug cartels, there’s a choice to be made, for her freedom, and possibly even her life. (I really like this sentence. And it tells me that Letica is the protagonist. So your query should start with her, not with Tyrese).

 

Complete at 63,000 words, ILLEGAL TENDER is a YA contemporary romance. It will appeal to readers of Simone Elkeles and Nicola Yoon.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

This is a great start to your query! I hope my comments have been helpful.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would critique my novel Love, Cats, and Assassins, the 15 post down version, just follow this link:

http://agentquerycon...-other-queries/







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