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Don't Let Go (YA contemporary romance)

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#1 fatalkiss19

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 06:46 PM

See post 12 for the updated version

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

Falling in love is hard, falling for a girl involved in the mafia is downright lethal.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston has it all: a state senator as a father, a valedictorian as a girlfriend, and a high school basketball team on the road to victory. That is until his father dies mysteriously. Tyler is forced to give up his luxury in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix to live with a family friend he has never met. 

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano has a lot on her plate: taking care of her siblings, helping her mom clean up after mob hits, and being in a loveless relationship with the grandson of the Italian mafia's mob boss. Rori doesn't have the time or energy to appease the orphan rich boy who's moving in. 

 

As Tyler and Rori grow closer together, they learn they have more in common than they thought possible. With the mafia looking to Rori to join full-time, and Rori finding herself more comfortable around Tyler than with her own boyfriend, there’s no letting what will happen. Rori must decide if she wants to play it safe or risk everything, including her life, for love.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Allison van Diepen, Katie McGarry, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#2 ScarlettLeigh

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 08:23 PM

Falling in love is hard, falling for a girl involved in the mafia is downright lethal. Ooooh. I like. Could you maybe make it a little punchier condensing to "falling for a mafia girl is downright lethal"?

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston has it all: his father is a state senator, his girlfriend is valedictorian, and his high school basketball team is on the road to victory. (Reads just a touch smoother, to me, but still clear either way) That is until his father dies mysteriously. Tyler is forced to give up his luxury in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix to live with a family friend he has never met. 

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano has a lot on her plate: taking care of her siblings, helping her mom clean up after mob hits, (that must suck!) and being in a loveless relationship with the grandson of the Italian mafia's mob boss. Rori doesn't have the time or energy to appease the orphan (what happened to Tyler's mom? You may not have room to answer this in the query, but it did give me pause... could just drop the word "orphan" because it raises more questions than answers) rich boy who's moving in. (Moving in where? To her house? Next door?)

 

As Tyler and Rori grow closer together, they learn they have more in common than they thought possible. (A way to specify one or two examples here? I don't have enough the discern what these could be, yet, and knowing would help me feel the chemistry more) With the mafia wanting Rori to join full-time, and Rori finding herself more comfortable around Tyler than with her own boyfriend, there’s no letting what will happen. (I had a little trouble parsing this sentence. Maybe break in two and hit these ending stakes with a few more specifics? "There's no telling what will happen" doesn't help me understand what the story is about) Rori must decide if she wants to play it safe or risk everythingincluding her lifefor love.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Allison van Diepen, Katie McGarry, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Okay. I love this as is, and I would totally pick it up. I'm so hopping Tyler's dad's mysterious death has something to do with the mob because ANGST. If that's the case, I'd love to see some of that angst hinted at in the ending stakes, which is where I think you get a big vague. Overall, really nice job here :)



#3 fatalkiss19

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 04:56 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

Falling in love is hard, falling for a mafia girl is downright lethal.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston has it all: his father is a state senator, his girlfriend is valedictorian, and his high school basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until his father dies mysteriously, following the abrupt death of his mother last year. Tyler is forced to give up his luxury in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix to live with a family friend he has never met.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano has a lot on her plate: taking care of her siblings, helping her mom clean up after mob hits, and being in a loveless relationship with the grandson of the Italian mafia's mob boss. Rori doesn't have the time or energy to appease the orphan rich boy who's not only moving into her house but will be staying in the bedroom next to hers.

 

Tyler and Rori grow closer together during their late-night talks on the shared window ledge of their rooms. They bond over both having lost their fathers recently and how their lives are nothing like they had planned. When Rori learns the mafia may have played a hand in the death of Tyler’s father, she must make a fateful choice. Rori could remain silent and join the mafia full-time as her mother did, or she can find a way out. Following in her mother’s footsteps would be elementary, but leaving could put everyone Rori loves at risk. After all, once the mafia considers you family, the only way out is death.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Allison van Diepen, Katie McGarry, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#4 callalilly

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 06:50 PM

Hello fatalkiss19. Below are suggestions, take or ignore them as you believe they should be :)

Dear Agent,

 

 

Falling in love is hard, falling for a mafia girl is downright lethal. (I think for a hook, this is good, but I think maybe the first part could be altered for a better line...I'm having a hard time thinking of something though.)

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston has it all: his father is a state senator, his girlfriend is valedictorian, and his high school basketball team is on the road to victory, that is until his father dies mysteriously. following the abrupt death of his mother last year.(I wonder if this line is needed?)  Tyler is forced to give up his luxurious lifestyle in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix (Perhaps a short line on why it's infamous so we know why Tyler is hesitant to live there then) to live with a family friend he has never met.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano has a lot on her plate: taking care of her siblings, helping her mom clean up after mob hits, and being in a loveless relationship with the grandson of the Italian mafia's mob boss. Rori doesn't have the time or energy to appease the orphan rich boy who's not only moving into her house but will be staying in the bedroom next to hers.

 

Tyler and Rori grow closer together during their late-night talks on the shared window ledge of their rooms. They bond over both having lost their fathers recently and how their lives are nothing like they had planned. When Rori learns the mafia may have played a hand in the death of Tyler’s father, she must make a fateful tough choice that will not only affect her own fate, but Tyler's as well (Just a suggested line). Rori could remain silent and join the mafia full-time as her mother did (Doing what? I think more info on what her life is like in the mob would be interesting, it'd let readers know just how dangerous her life is), or she can find a way out (maybe add a stake here like: "or she can find a way out -a possibility riddled with its own problems). Following in her mother’s footsteps would be elementary, but leaving could put everyone Rori loves -including Tyler now- at risk. After all, once the mafia considers you family, the only way out is death.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles (Ah, I'm a fan of hers and totally feel her influence in your query), Allison van Diepen, Katie McGarry, and Sarah Dessen.

 

I really like this. I think you're on your way. I suggest a few things: 1. Perhaps rethink the hook. I like it, but it speaks more of Tyler's side of the story and since this is a Multi-POV, I think writing a hook that comes from both character's views might flow better. BUT again, just a suggestion -if you dislike, maybe just rethink the first part of the hook (the "falling in love is hard" feels overused, so if you could rewrite it to feel fresh and new, I think it'd be great).

2. I'd like to know what Tyler's family's connection to Rori was before he came to live with them; was his parents somehow involved with the mob? I think that could really spice up intrigue.

3. Why is Rori in a relationship with the mob boss's grandson if it's a loveless one? Will he hurt her if she leaves him? And will Tyler be a threat to the relationship that might inturn put him in danger? Lots of play here for conflict and stakes.

4. I think it'd be awesome to have a line that increases the conflict between Tyler and Rori -she's holding this secret about his father's death, will it tear them apart? Will holding the secret be worth it? Will she feel too guilty holding it to grow close to Tyler? Some conflict could be thrown in here.

 

Just thoughts. I hope they help though, I think addressing even one would really bring in your stakes better and with queries, stakes are always welcome. Anyway, best of luck. I think it sounds like a cool read and do get major Simone Elkles vibes!



#5 RachaelEWrites

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:06 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

Falling in love is hard, falling for a mafia girl is downright lethal. <--- GOOD HOOK!

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston has it all: his father is a state senator, his girlfriend is valedictorian, and his high school basketball team is on the road to victory. (think of a way to condense this. Less is more in most queries, try to keep the most important parts)

 

That is until his father dies mysteriously, following the abrupt death of his mother last year. good good.

 

Tyler is forced to give up his luxury in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix to live with a family friend he has never met.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano has a lot on her plate: taking care of her siblings, helping her mom clean up after mob hits, and being in a loveless relationship with the grandson of the Italian mafia's mob boss. Rori doesn't have the time or energy to appease the orphan rich boy who's not only moving into her house but will be staying in the bedroom next to hers. Not 100% sure you need this.... change it up with something thats more important to the story, important to Rori, give us a flicker more into her life.

 

Tyler and Rori grow closer together during their late-night talks on the shared window ledge of their rooms. They bond over both having lost their fathers recently and how their lives are nothing like they had planned. When Rori learns the mafia may have played a hand in the death of Tyler’s father, she must make a fateful choice. Rori could remain silent and join the mafia full-time as her mother did, or she can find a way out. Following in her mother’s footsteps would be elementary, but leaving could put everyone Rori loves at risk. After all, once the mafia considers you family, the only way out is death. Ok, this paragraph is REALLY STRONG but it feels a bit wordsy to me. Take out and/or trim them down so we get the meat. It's alright to be blunt and short, rather than long and dramatic.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Allison van Diepen, Katie McGarry, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

I really like this story, but unfortunately I feel that it's kinda... stereotypical in some places. It's a good boy meets/falls for bad girl. Not saying that's bad, this book could be very unique in some parts. Give us that. Show us what makes this book different, that's whats important. Other then that, this query is VERY strong already.



#6 Anna.k

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:01 AM

Dear Agent,

 

 

Falling in love is hard, falling for a mafia girl is downright lethal. (I like this)

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston has it all: his father is a state senator, his girlfriend is valedictorian, and his high school basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until his father dies mysteriously, following the abrupt death of his mother last year. (Don't think this is necessary) Tyler is forced to give up his luxury in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix to live with a family friend he has never met. (Like foster care? Also, why is it infamous? Because of the mafia? If so, hint at that)

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano has a lot on her plate: taking care of her siblings, helping her mom clean up after mob hits, and being in a loveless relationship with the grandson of the Italian mafia's mob boss. (Why is she in this relationship? Fear?) Rori doesn't have the time or energy to appease the orphan rich boy who's not only moving into her house but will be staying in the bedroom next to hers. (Nice way to introduce the second POV, but I'm wondering if it could have more...panache..I nearly missed the 'cleaning up after mob hits' bit until I re-read this para, I would definitely highlight on that more)

 

Tyler and Rori grow closer together(Awk wording) during their late-night talks on the shared window ledge of their rooms. They bond over both having lost their fathers recently and how their lives are nothing like they had planned. (Sweet but could be more interesting/mysterious? I.e, ..how both their fathers were mysteriously killed...?)When Rori learns the mafia may have played a hand in the death of Tyler’s father, she must make a fateful choice. Rori She could can remain silent and join the mafia full-time as her mother did, or she can find a way out. Following in her mother’s footsteps would be elementary (Is this necessary?), but leaving could put everyone Rori loves at risk. After all, once the mafia considers you family, the only way out is death. (ooh, Like this a lot.)

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Allison van Diepen, Katie McGarry, and Sarah Dessen. (Comp titles? Just authors here...)

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Strong query so far. Just a few questions that still need to be answered. And like the above comments have mentioned, wondering Why Rori and Tyler are connected, why  is he sent there? Is it coincidence? Or are they all involved in the mafia? Also, based on your hook, maybe have a closing line with Tyler as well and his in love feelings but how he suspects sth is wrong...

 

Pls peek at my query when you can, thanks!



#7 SharonMorrisWagner

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:39 PM

Dear Agent,
 
 
Falling in love is hard, falling for a mafia girl is downright lethal.

I think you should link the two ending words. Now you have “hard” and “lethal”. Falling in love is killer or deadly????
 
Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston has it all: his father is a state senator, his girlfriend is valedictorian, and his high school basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until his father dies mysteriously, following the abrupt death of his mother last year. Tyler is forced to give up his luxury in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix to live with a family friend he has never met.

I would start with “Following the abrupt death of his mother last year, Tyler’s father died mysteriously. Why is his life luxurious and how is the new one not?
 
Aurora "Rori" Giordano has a lot on her plate: taking care of her siblings, helping her mom clean up after mob hits, and being in a loveless relationship with the grandson of the Italian mafia's mob boss. Rori doesn't have the time or energy to appease the orphan rich boy who's not only moving into her house but will be staying in the bedroom next to hers.

Sounds like Rori is like 25 years old??? Nobody else in charge? How old is she?
 
Tyler and Rori grow closer together during their late-night talks on the shared window ledge of their rooms. They bond over both having lost their fathers recently and how their lives are nothing like they had planned. When Rori learns the mafia may have played a hand in the death of Tyler’s father, she must make a fateful choice. Rori could remain silent and join the mafia full-time as her mother did, or she can find a way out. Following in her mother’s footsteps would be elementary, but leaving could put everyone Rori loves at risk. After all, once the mafia considers you family, the only way out is death.

How does she learn about the mafia and Tyler’s father? Also your use of the word “mafia” several times takes the meaning out of it. Say it once and then explain. Organized crime is another way to say mafia and spell it out more “powerful criminal in charge of.... something like weapon production and transport or drug cartel.
 
Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Allison van Diepen, Katie McGarry, and Sarah Dessen.
 
 
Thank you for your time and consideration,



#8 fatalkiss19

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:57 AM

I hope these reads better, short and to the point.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

When a fallen golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a strong-willed girl tangled in the mafia a potentially fatal romance is forged.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all and is on the road to victory with his basketball team. That is until Tyler’s forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood after his father’s death.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s assisting her mom dispose of dead bodies and cleaning up after mob hits. The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade.

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s the unspeakable secret that could not only ruin Rori but also get someone killed. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty, and for Tyler and Rori they’ll have to learn sometimes you need to hold on and other times you need to let go in order to make it out alive.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#9 janeald

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 04:08 PM

I hope these reads better, short and to the point.

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

When a fallen (I'm not sure what fallen implies here) golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a strong-willed girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all and is on the road to victory with his basketball team. That is until Tyler's father dies and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood after his father’s death.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s assisting her mom dispose of dead bodies and cleaning up after mob hits. The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade. (why would he move into her house if she's a stranger and a mobster?)

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s the (when you say the here, it implies the secret has been shared in the query, but it's unclear what you're referring to. If it is the fact that Rori is a mobster, I think you should outright say that.) unspeakable secret that could not only ruin Rori but also get someone killed. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty, and for Tyler and Rori they’ll have to learn sometimes you need to hold on and other times you need to let go in order to make it out alive.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

After reading the full query, I think the first sentence/line should be cut. Otherwise, if you clarify a few things, I think your query if pretty clear! Thanks again for critiquing my query!



#10 fatalkiss19

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 01:14 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a strong-willed girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all and is on the road to victory with his basketball team. That is until Tyler’s father died and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with a family friend he has never met.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s assisting her mom dispose of dead bodies and clean after mob hits. The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade.

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s unspeakable secret that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty, and for Tyler and Rori they’ll have to learn sometimes you need to hold on and other times you need to let go to make it out alive.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#11 ScarlettLeigh

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 06:08 PM

Dear Agent,

 

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a strong-willed girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged. (Suggest cutting to maintain parallel structure and "strong-willed" is kind of a telling adjective—the query shows it better)

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all and is on the road to victory with his basketball team. (I like the way this was phrased in your first query better. I feel like something's missing here. What does "have it all" entail? Maybe "Tyler Winston appears to have it all: grade, status, and his basketball team is on the road to victory".) That is until Tyler’s father died and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with a family friend he has never met. Fantastic!

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s helping (assisting sounds awkward) her mom dispose of dead bodies and cleaning up after mob hits. The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade. Lol. Love it.

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s unspeakable secret that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty, and for Tyler and Rori they’ll have to learn sometimes you need to hold on and other times you need to let go to make it out alive. (I like it! Though with a sliiiiiiiiight recasting I think you can make it just a bit punchier. Maybe "Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty. For Tyler and Rory, the only way to make it out alive is to learn when to hold on and when to let go." Just a teeny bit less wordy. But omg, yes, I'd read this!)

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

I think you've basically got it! My suggestions are all line edits. I can't wait to see where this lands!



#12 fatalkiss19

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:52 AM

Thank you, ScarlettLeigh! I love the last line suggestion!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all: a nice house, a fancy car, and his basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until Tyler’s father died and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with a family friend he has never met.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s helping her mother dispose of dead bodies and clean after mob hits. The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade.

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s unspeakable secret that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty. For Tyler and Rory, the only way to make it out alive is to learn when to hold on and when to let go.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,



#13 kassamarandra

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 01:15 PM

thanks for the critique! I'll warn you up front that I'm not a reader of romance (or a lot of YA) so I know little about the genre. But I'm happy to help, and I hope you find my comments useful :)

 

Cas

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged. (I had a long confused note here about Tyler moving into Rori's house. And it took me a while to put that together b/c there lacking clarity about their relationship status throughout the query. The first line makes me think they are romantic from the start)

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all (why not just 'has it all'? it doesn't change what's coming next.): a nice house, a fancy car, and his basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until Tyler’s father died (dies) and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with a family friend he has never met. (I like this. It's clear and concise. and tells me all I need to know about Tyler)

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life (is the "appears" above to echo the "appears" here? b/c here it works, b/c there is another side people aren't seeing), but beneath the surface, she’s helping her mother dispose of dead bodies and clean after mob hits. The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade.

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend (whoa, I thought she was in a romantic relationship with Tyler b/c of the first sentence) vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s unspeakable secret that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty. For Tyler and Rory, the only way to make it out alive is to learn when to hold on and when to let go. (This closing is good, but it feels pretty Rori-heavy. What is Tyler's conflict? just a possessive boyfriend?)



#14 Dawng

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 04:01 PM

I post my feedback, below.

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged. [I'm onboard!]

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all: a nice house, a fancy car, and his basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until When Tyler’s father died dies and he is forced  the rest of the family [or just him?] to gives up his their luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with an unknown [or distant or seldom visited or mysterious, etc.] family friend he has never met. [Because he lost everything in the hook, my expectation was to learn why.]

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a feigns a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s helping her mother dispose of dead bodies and clean after mob hits. [That's some conflict. nice!] The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade. [Awesome.]

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend soon vows vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s Rori struggles to keep Tyler in the dark about the mafia unspeakable secret that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. [I'm unclear if it's Rori's boyfriend who's a murder--out for Tyler--or someone else? Is the "someone" Tyler or mob-related? and consider adding something like the following for Tyler's storyline: "...and Tyler is..."]. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty. For Tyler and Rory, the only way to make it out alive is to learn when to hold on and when to let go. [Choose Rory or Rori as it's different in this last sentence. I need a little clarity about exactly why the two protagonists' lives are in danger here at the end and what are they holding onto--each other?]

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen. [Aside from repeating the words in the last paragraph, I don't see the connection between the title of the book and the storyline--any way to clarify with specifics in the query? So much great conflict and possibilities for your story!]

 

 

I'd appreciate if you would look at mine, too.



#15 bookgirl_kt

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:50 PM

Here are my suggestions, please only use what you find helpful:

 

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged. Stronger without "potential." Nice hook! You have a knack for words.

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all: a nice house, a fancy car, and his basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until Tyler’s father dies and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with a family friend he has never met.

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s helping her mother dispose of dead bodies and clean after mob hits. Nice! I'm intrigued. The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and getting them thrown in jail destroying her façadeStakes could be higher than just her image.

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s unspeakable secret Do you mean beside the dead bodies? that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. If her secret hasn't killed anyone yet, it's actually not as bad as the dead bodies thing. Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty. For Tyler and Rory, the only way to make it out alive is to learn when to hold on and when to let go. This is a solid ending but it could be even better with a little more detail on the stakes. Or maybe just end on the second to last sentence, that one is punchier.

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

Hope I've helped! This sounds like an exciting story, and you have a great way with words. There's a link to mine in my signature.



#16 IMB

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 06:31 AM

Thank you, ScarlettLeigh! I love the last line suggestion!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a girl tangled in the mafia (Shouldn't it be 'tangled with the mafia'?), a potentially fatal romance is forged. (Nice hook!)

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all: a nice house, a fancy car, and his basketball team is on the road to victory. That is until Tyler’s father died (dies) and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with a family friend he has never met. (Why is he forced to move there? Did his father leave a will? I'm assuming he moves because he has no family that is willing to take him in, or willing to move into his home, but it sounds a little confusing.)

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, she’s helping her mother dispose of dead bodies and clean after mob hits. (This sounds exciting.) The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade. (Love it. Rori is my favorite already.)

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s (her) unspeakable secret that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. (Wait, so Rori is the main character? I thought it was Tyler. If it's a dual POV thing, it would make sense, but the query is focusing heavy on Rori right now, and it'd be nice to know what Tyler thinks of all of this.) Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty. For Tyler and Rory,(Rory or Rori? Make sure it's all the same.) the only way to make it out alive is to learn when to hold on and when to let go. (The stakes are a little vague. The whole paragraph goes strong, but this final sentense kills it a little.)

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view (A-ha! I guessed it, but to be honest, the query is not really portraying that yet. We need a little more Tyler in there.). It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Overall, a good query! You still need some tweaking, but I can clearly see what the story is, and where it's supposed to go. The excitment is there, I just need to hear a little more about Tyler!


Current Query (YA Contemporary Fantasy): http://agentquerycon...-critique-back/

Any feedback is appreciated :)


#17 jpfranco

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 01:41 PM

Thank you, ScarlettLeigh! I love the last line suggestion!

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

When a golden boy who’s lost everything moves in with a girl tangled in the mafia, a potentially fatal romance is forged. This was going great until it slipped into the passive voice at the end, with romance is forged 

 

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Winston appears to have it all: a nice house, a fancy car,That is a whole lot for a 17 year old to have. and his basketball team is on the road to victory. What kind of victory? County? State? National? Olympic? That is until Tyler’s father died dies keep it in the present tense and he is forced to give up his luxurious life in Scottsdale, Arizona and move across town to the infamous South Phoenix ‘hood to live with a family friend he has never met. That is a pickle indeed. Way to set up conflict. 

 

Aurora "Rori" Giordano appears to have a respectable life, but beneath the surface, a tweak might help here, something like: but what the other South Phoenix book club goers don't know... I randomly chose some innocuous hobby. Show how she appears to have a respectable life. she’s helping her mother dispose of dead bodies and clean after mob hits. Whoa.  gosh!: The last thing Rori needs is a Snobbsdale boy moving into her home and destroying her façade. Good voice, good tension. I didn't pick up on Rori being the daughter though, until I'd read through several times. I thought Rori was the family friend, and she lived with her daughter (the love interest) and her mother, so I thought Grandma was out there killing folks. I was here for it, to be honest. The problem is you end the previous paragraph with "a family friend," and the next one starts with Rori. Unless we've got a May December thing going on here, I wouldn't think Rori is the family friend, not if she's the love interest of a 17 year old boy. I would think the love interest would be a girl his own age, and the mother is the family friend. After all, I would never expect to anyone to say a teenage girl lives a 'respectable life.' That's a term I reserve for grown ups. 

 

Sparks ignite between Tyler and Rori during late-night talks, but nothing is easy when worlds collide. This is vague and telling. If it’s not Rori’s possessive boyfriend vowing to destroy Tyler, then it’s Rori’s unspeakable secret the murdering, or something else? Does Tyler know about it? that could not only ruin her but also get someone killed. Who could it get killed? Her mom is already killing people. Ruin her how? Send her to jail? Life in South Phoenix isn’t pretty. Show the ugliness For Tyler and Rory, the only way to make it out alive is to learn when to hold on and when to let go. The stakes aren't entirely clear. How can they hold on, or let go, and of what, in order to survive? It's late to introduce the conflict of the boyfriend, and I'm not sure if you need it, since you've got a lot of conflict already. Rori starts out not liking him, he may not really like her either to begin with. He's had to give up his life (did he not inherit anything? Where did all his fancy stuff go?). There's someone murdering and concealing it. A jealous boyfriend really pales in comparison to all that. 

 

Complete at 92,000 words, DON’T LET GO is a young adult contemporary romance novel told in dual points-of-view. It will appeal to fans of Simone Elkles, Katie McGarry, Allison van Diepen, and Sarah Dessen.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

I see this A LOT here. Your hook never gets fleshed out in your query. You have the romance, but it's not exactly clear here how it could be fatal. Would Rori's mom kill him? Would she? The boyfriend? Someone else? Is Rori in danger, too, or just Tyler? Fatal romance makes me think they both are (and btw, just so you know, it also immediately makes me think of Romeo and Juliet) You have tons of conflict here, but this a romance, so you need to play up that aspect of it, cause it's barely there at all. On the whole, I think you have a good story, so keep at the query thing. It takes time. 

 

Hope some of what I said is helpful

 

Jennifer

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