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The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams: YA Contemporary Query


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#1 asingrey

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:54 AM

Hello all! I am working on my query letter and welcome any and all feedback!

 

 

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz will always be second-best.
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom and go off to college somewhere far away, where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger.
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down. The police don’t seem to be doing enough to solve it, so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. But Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes boyfriend, Nathan. As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career.
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams is 40,000 words. It’s Kill the Boy Band meets Paper Towns. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book.
 

 



#2 Springfield

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:28 PM

 

Hello all! I am working on my query letter and welcome any and all feedback!

 

 

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz will always be second-best.
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom and go off to college somewhere far away, where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger. The opening of this is so banal (and trite), it may lead to rejections, I'd rephrase.
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down. The police don’t seem to be doing enough to solve it, It? so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. But Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, Why? even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes boyfriend, Nathan. What? As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career. Uhm, clearly not her theoretical bff there. Yikes. There's too little here in terms of specificity -- this is so tropey you have to highlight what makes your thing unique.
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams is 40,000 words.That's not novel-length. You need like 15k more even for YA, also put genre and category.  It’s Kill the Boy Band meets Paper Towns. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book.

 



#3 ajvan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:01 PM

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz will always be second-best. This falls a little flat as a hook but you might be able to make it work by expanding a little on "famous." "bff with 10,000,000 YouTube views..." something more concrete.
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom and go off to college somewhere far away, where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger. Is Aphrodite the only big stressor in her life then? Because it seems like Liz could just stop hanging out with her.
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down. The police don’t seem to be doing enough to solve it, so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. I'm confused here...Liz's biggest goal was to get away from A, so why would she want to find her? But Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes boyfriend, Nathan. Stealing her boyfriend? This just makes me think Liz and A weren't very good friends. Which makes me wonder why Liz hasn't already ditched her. There must be some ulterior motive she wants to hang around A. As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career. Why can't she have both? Especially these days, sensationalism, fake news, etc. 
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams is 40,000 words [ add genre here]. It’s Kill the Boy Band meets Paper Towns. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book. 40k is pretty low. Agents will want to see another 10k at least. 

 

I've got a query up as well if you'd like to return the favor.



#4 lnloft

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:27 PM

 

Hello all! I am working on my query letter and welcome any and all feedback!

 

 

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz will always be second-best. There's a good concept here, but I'm not feeling this hook as catchy enough yet.
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom and go off to college somewhere far away, where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger. If she's so eager to get away from Aphrodite, then why is Liz even her friend?
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down. The police don’t seem to be doing enough to solve it, so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. But This is the second sentence in this paragraph you've started with "But". Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes boyfriend, Nathan. We don't need his name for the query. Probably don't need Derek's, either, as he's never mentioned again. As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing Such as?, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career. So apparently Liz doesn't care about her friend? Because that's the way this is framed right now.
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams THE DISAPPEARANCE OF APHRODITE ADAMS (40,000 words) is a contemporary YA. is 40,000 words It’s Kill the Boy Band meets Paper Towns. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book. 40,000 words seems pretty low, but according to this resource you're just barely squeaking by for your genre: http://literaticat.b...nt-dracula.html.

 

Right now, I'm wondering why I should care about Liz, because apparently she doesn't care whatsoever about her alleged best friend. What I see is someone who wants to get away from her friend and then mostly is concerned about how her friend's disappearance impacts herself. Not exactly a protagonist I want to spend a book hanging out with. So work on fixing that up, maybe give an indication of why Liz is friends with Aphrodite, and then bulk up with a few more details on the story, like how Liz goes about investigating and what sort of things she learns. Also, what's up with Derek and Nathan? They're both noted once and then promptly forgotten about. It seems like maybe there's going to be a live triangle going on, but nothing really shows that yet, so either add some stakes with that, or just drop them from the query for now. Good luck.



#5 yawriter

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:50 PM

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz (perhaps add a last name. Liz is too generic and be written off by just reading it. A last name will make her seem more real attach the reader) will always be second-best.
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom and go off to college somewhere far away, (no comma) where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger.
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down. The police don’t (try not to use contractions. It is less professional... do not) seem to be doing enough to solve it, so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. ( okay to me it sounded like in the beginning she was hoping A would go away because she doesn’t want to be second best... now she’s gone... shouldn’t she feel some relief? ) But Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes (what is a sometimes boyfriend?) boyfriend, Nathan. As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career.

(Note that you’ve used two colons in a query.)
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams is 40,000 words. It’s (contraction) Kill the Boy Band meets Paper Towns. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book.

Good job! Please take a glance at mine! The City’s Whispers

 http://agentquerycon...rs/#entry352624

#6 Temeraire

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 12:37 PM

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz will always be second-best. I like this hook! 
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom and go off to college somewhere far away, where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger. 
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down. The police don’t seem to be doing enough to solve it, so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. But Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes boyfriend, Nathan. But she has a crush on Derek... so I'm assuming a love triangle here? As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career. I don't see how her friend disappearing means she has to make this choice? Wouldn't it be more obvious to combine the two, and try for fame by writing about Aphrodite's disappearance? 
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams is 40,000 words. This is very very short; you should really be aiming for the 70k mark It’s Kill the Boy Band meets Paper Towns. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book.

If I've helped you with your query, I'd love if you would take a look at mine! 

 

UNICORN (gothic fantasy) 

Query letter 


#7 PureZhar3

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 12:47 PM

 

Hello all! I am working on my query letter and welcome any and all feedback!

 

 

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz will always be second-best.
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom ​comma and go off to college somewhere far away, where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger. ​maybe this is me, but can't she just, you know, stop being her friend? If she wants to escape that bad?
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down. The police don’t seem to be doing enough to solve it ​give us more specifics. Otherwise this sounds like the "arrogant-teens-think-adults-don't-know-how-to-do-anything" kind of thing - which sometimes the adults don't, but tell us why so that we agree the police aren't doing enough to solve it (seem also makes it sound as if they're wrong), so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. But Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes boyfriend, Nathan. ​But, doesn't she already have a crush? Why does she need to go out with Nathan? As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career. ​so is she pursuing the journalism dream by investigating Aphrodite's disappearance?
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams is 40,000 words. ​genre? category? both need mentioning. This word count is also too low, unless it's MA (which you say it isn't). You want to hit 50,00 at least, if not more. It’s Kill the Boy Band meets Paper Towns. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book.

 

​This isn't bad - I can generally follow. The last two sentences were what threw me - I don't see the link between the choices she's having to make. It would help if you gave us specifics on what's so confusing about the clues to Aphrodite's disappearance


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#8 Maddie978

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 01:35 PM

 

Hello all! I am working on my query letter and welcome any and all feedback!

 

 

Having a famous best friend guarantees that Liz will always be second-best. Interesting
 
Seventeen-year-old Liz wants to survive her senior year: win the journalism scholarship, get a date to prom and go off to college somewhere far away, where she can escape the shadow of her best friend, Aphrodite, a famous makeup video blogger. Less interesting. She doesn't seem to like her best friend, which seems strange. 
 
But when Aphrodite disappears, Liz’s whole world is turned upside down.(didn't she want to get away from Aphrodite?) The police don’t seem to be doing enough to solve it, so Liz and Derek, her crush and co-editor of the senior paper, launch their own investigation. But Aphrodite’s disappearance moves Liz into the spotlight, even giving her the chance to go out with Aphrodite’s sometimes boyfriend, Nathan ​(Why would she move into the spotlight? Is she taking over Aphrodite's Youtube show? That seems pretty low. What is a "sometimes boyfriend"?). As the clues to Aphrodite’s disappearance become more confusing, Liz must decide what’s most important to her: fame or her old dreams of a serious journalism career. (Finding her kidnapped best friend isn't even on her radar now?)
 
The Disappearance of Aphrodite Adams is 40,000 words (Woah, woah woah! This is way too short. You need to add at least 20,000 words before querying). It’s Kill the Boy Band KILL THE BOY BAND meets Paper Towns PAPER TOWNS. I am a former newspaper reporter and a member of SCBWI. This is my first book.

 

 

Besides the fact that your MS is way too short to consider querying for YA, I don't care about the main character at all. She seems petty and selfish. Her best friend (who she seems to hate) disappears and Liz immediately takes over her fame, boyfriend, and life? I thought she wanted to find Aphrodite, not be Aphrodite. If this isn't what you want to convey, you may have to completely re-write this query.

 

Consider your word count and MS carefully. There is no point in busting your gut on a query letter when your MS isn't complete. 

 

Good luck!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/





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