Seventeen-year-old Lizzie is the Prude of Verity High, until a tryst with her best friend's boyfriend transforms her into Queen of the Sluts. Suddenly she’s the most hated girl in school, and BFF Angelina can’t look her in the face. It’s only when the S-word starts showing up on Lizzie’s belongings – her notebooks, her locker, even her car – that Angelina considers coming to her defense. But by then Lizzie has broken under the weight of her classmates’ torment, and she commits suicide before Angelina has the chance.
Furious at herself for abandoning her friend, Angelina digs into the private lives of Lizzie’s tormentors, determined to expose their secrets as a form of karmic justice. But all of her digging unearths something she never expected: Lizzie kept more secrets than anyone, including the secret of what really happened the night she was branded a slut. Now Angelina’s not just angry, she’s fuming mad, and she’s about to unleash her fury on the boy who hurt Lizzie the most.
The S-Word is a YA novel complete at 55,000-words.
Ooh, I'm really liking this! That is, up to the very end. Left like this, it sounds a bit Carrie. And I don't think that's how you mean this to come off. I wouldn't back off the harshness of the unleashing her fury, but can you add another sentence that softens it and turns the focus away from images of pig blood and wholesale slaughter at the prom? Maybe something about what the consequence of all this will wind up to be for her?
This is, of course, not something I thought about for your last revision, but different day, right? And if she does go all Carrie on the boy's butt, then OK as is.
The only other thing I see missing here is why Angelina would consider defending Lizzie. I can see her hating herself after the fact, but someone who doesn't have a forgiving nature would have a hard time defending someone who'd wronged her, especially when it's at the "words" stage. It could be as simple as, after the defense line, adding something like: "After all, she'd been ready to break up with the guy anyway, and Lizzie really had been mortified, apologizing all over herself." This would help us sympathize with both Angelina and Lizzie.
In "But all of her digging" I think you can delete "all of".
Just about there, IMO. What do the rest of you think?
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Query 52: Redux