Friday, January 22, 2010


Title: Blackberry Summer
Genre: Middle Grade

Phoenix was sure she was about to die. It wasn’t fair, considering all she’d done for the chance to finally discover the truth about where she came from. The months of planning, stealing money from the emergency funds, forging her mom’s signature for the airline and bus tickets, would all be wasted on some back road in the Tennessee hills. They’d never find her body until predators made it impossible to identify. She thought about her best friend’s warning, just before she boarded the plane that morning. I hope this doesn’t come back to bite us in the butt, Phoenix.


  1. I like this alot. Love the name Phoenix, and the setting of the story. would love to know more and would keep reading for that reason.

    the last line may need some punctuation because I was confused if this was a thought or if this is the warning from the friend.

    I came to the conclusion that it was her friend talking, but punctuation would clarify that.

  2. I liked this quite a bit. It seemed slightly wordy, but your picture does come across very well.

    I might have considered going into a flashback and showing Pheonix and her best friend having their conversation rather then telling about it, but either way, I would keep reading.

    Good job.

  3. I disagree about the flashback. I think, in this instance, telling works just fine. My suggestion would be to possibly use a colon instead of a period after "that morning," so it's more clear that it's the friend's warning if you're not going to use quotation marks.

    Overall, I think this is great. I'd read on for sure.

  4. I'm hooked! Why is she about to die? It sounded a little more like young YA to me, but I like your voice and care about Phoenix already. Great name.

  5. You could tighten this up a bit and make it stronger. Example with 2nd & 3rd sentence: "It wasn't fair, considering all she'd done to discover where she'd come from. Stealing money from the emergency fund. Forging her mom's signature. Buying plane and bus tickets. All wasted on a back road in the Tennessee hills." Try it. And I too, disagree with flashbacks. You already are by going through what she has done. Good work.

  6. I loved this. It has a great hook and gives the reader information of the story straight away. I also love the name Phoenix. It does sound more like Y/A though. Maybe make the voice a little younger by adding a little body language in the first sentence, showing her fear. I'm wondering how old the child is. Maybe she's an early teen.

    I’m hooked and would definitely read on.

  7. Love this.

    It's great right up to the end--the section with her friend's dialogue needs to be marked with "". Without these, it's a bit confusing.

    Would definitely keep reading.


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