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Title: Cruel Summer
Genre: Contemporary YA
Word count: 90,000
Chapter 1:

“We’re live from outside the hospital where the latest Hollywood ‘it girl’, Chey Morrow, has been brought in. According to an unnamed source, she lost control of her BMW earlier tonight on a slippery stretch of PCH and spun out into oncoming traffic. No reports yet on whether or not alcohol was a contributing factor…” The same perky blonde reporter from the premiere flashed a bright smile at the camera like my sudden downward spiral was the highlight of her day.

The screen split in two and before the serious looking anchorwoman could ask a single nauseating question, I clicked the television off, glaring at the darkened screen. Alcohol a contributing factor my rear. I hadn’t been near any all night. I’d been stone cold sober throughout the entire painful ordeal.
I eased down in bed, wishing I had the chance to at least redo part of my summer. I’d been so naïve when I arrived, thinking the whole time was going to be about me and my father bonding, hanging out and having fun. All the things that I’d missed out on since the divorce nearly a decade ago.
Yeah if I could go back in time, I’d seriously think about smacking that version of me up alongside the head as I issued a dire warning.
Beware of Adriana.
Enough said.

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  1. Great piece! It definitely has me hooked into wanting to read more! 🙂

  2. Hey there! You've got a compelling character with an interesting backstory. Sounds like a sweet read, and you've got a great set-up here.

    A couple of nitpicks as I go:

    What's PCH?

    "The same perky blonde…" Same as what? I'd snip the 'same'

    "serious looking" should be "serious-looking"

    "Alcohol a contributing factor my rear" would honestly read cleaner as "my ass". I'm not quite clear on the 'type' of teenager Chey is, but it's waaay more likely to say 'my ass' than 'my rear', at least at my high school. XD

    "the chance to at least redo part of" I think it'd be smoother as "the chance to redo at least part of".

    "All the things that I’d missed out on…" – you can cut the 'that'

    "Yeah if I could go…" –> "Yeah, if I could…"

  3. Agree that PCH was confusing for me. Pacific Coast Highway? It isn't immediately apparent for anyone not from Cali.

    The fourth paragraph is super interesting, but just a little clunky. The dire warning seems very important, but it gets lost in the shadow of the smack, if that makes sense. Setting it apart might give it more emphasis.

    You did a good job setting up the conflict right away and establishing your character voice. Good work!

  4. wow, I really like this and I have a thing for the YA contemp so I'm a bit biased. Your mc seems like an interesting character I'd like to get to know. I think you set it up well enough to leave an audience wanting to know what happened? Why did this happen? And What's going to happen? Kudos.

  5. Your MC has voice – that's one of the hardest thing to do, so good job on that. You have some back story, but it might not be a big deal as long as the rest of your first chapter is zooming right into the plot. If you have more back story in the following pages, I'd consider cutting some.

    Good Job!

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