Thursday, October 16, 2008

38 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Operation True Love
GENRE: YA


Lasagna d’amour

I dropped my lunch tray on the cafeteria table. Garlic bread bounced off my Snapple and dropped to the floor. Manhattan Academy’s staff had gone all out for Valentine’s Day, serving Lasagna d’amour (vegetarian and carnivorian) with heart-shaped garlic bread and romance salad.

“Do you believe this?” I gestured to the decorations.

“Careful, Ainsley.” My best friend Eric O’Connor chased a love meatball with his fork. “That fat baby’s about to shoot your eye out.”

Cupid dangled from the ceiling, pointing his arrow straight at me. “I’m traumatized,” I said. “Not only do I not have a boyfriend for this made up, manufactured Hallmark and Hershey holiday – now fat babies are out to get me.” I swatted Cupid aside, no doubt ruining my chances for love in this lifetime, and sat.

Eric nodded and shoveled a hunk of lasagna into his mouth. I suspected he secretly liked this Valentine’s Day stuff. Sharing a February fourteenth birthday with a bunch of silly paper hearts and Cupids must do something to a brain after a while.

“I think it’s fun.” Marjetta DeVries grabbed the frilly, crepe paper heart centerpiece from our table and fashioned a tiara for herself. “Like when we were in kindergarten and everybody got a shoe box full of cards.”

17 comments:

H. L. Dyer said...

Cute voice, but not much tension here yet. I'd like to see some hint of conflict or story question.

The lasagna d'amour stuff is pretty funny. ;)

Anonymous said...

Funny scene. The three friends are clearly different characters and the food descriptions made my mouth water. The title and the comment about not having a boyfriend make me think I know what the conflict will be. As a foodie, I'd like to see some reaction to dropping that lovely garlic bread. And I was a bit confused at first about whose birthday it is. It probably would have been easier to figure out on a real, formatted page. I think YAs will enjoy the voice and concept. Merliniana

Cole Gibsen said...

Very cute:) But watch for repetition. You use the word "dropped" twice, one right after the other, in your opening lines.

MyBees said...

Fun.

ipgirl said...

This has got an engaging voice. But the action is lacking. I'd read on to find out what the real plot is. Yet I'd be worried of a lot of cute conversation that doesn't go anywhere.

blodwyn said...

It's not my genre but I can see this being something teen girls would like. You have good characterization and a good sense of the interplay between the kids going on.

Secret Agent said...

I like this one quite a bit. The title grabbed me, and the voice seems to be spot on for the YA market. I would, however, like to know a little bit more about the concept to find out if this is going somewhere interesting. If it's a chatty girly story, I don't see a need to have action right away. Although that emotional action needs to become important pretty quickly!

dj said...

I really like your descriptions and you have a nice, fun voice. I think the valentine's decor is slightly belabored though, and I'd really be interested to find the next interesting thing in this story sooner rather than later.

Great job overall! I'd read on.

Inkblot said...

Heh, I like it. I didn't, until I realised the MC was a girl. How strange.

There's not much conflict, but the style and voice work for me, so I'd keep going :)

Lori said...

Ditto with h.l. dyer's comments. The voice is definitely approprate for a middle/high school student, but there's no apparant plot line happening just yet. So, not hooked, unfortunately.

Alicia said...

Cute! I like the voice enough to keep reading more. I'd need hints of conflict or plot before the end of the first chapter to continue much further, though.

Just_Me said...

This is cute. I'm in total sympathy with the character, Valentine's is evil if you don't have a date. I'd keep reading, I want to know where you're going with this :o)

Sissy said...

This is cute, but everytime I read about the fat babies it threw me off. Fat Babies is a brand a boots some of our kids wear out here in cow country.

lilianamama said...

I like your voice overall and the setting funny and true YA. That said, "Manhattan Academy" made me believe this was a boarding school, which meant this was probably a single-sex school. So Ainsley translated as a boy's name. Also, I thought Eric was warning Ainsley about the love meatball (very cute) instead of the cupid. See if you can't point out the cupid first. It might be nice to have a bit more emotional tension in this, though.

RayLynne said...

I really enjoyed this. I like your title, like your characters, and like the lunchroom. I've just got two small quibbles. The first is the Snapple in the lunchroom--I think it'll date the piece before it's time.

The second is this line: "Not only do I not have a boyfriend for this made up, manufactured Hallmark and Hershey holiday--now fat babies are out to get me." It doesn't ring quite right as dialogue. And when I try to say it out loud, I have to work really hard to make it sound natural.

Lady Glamis said...

Great start here! I'd keep reading for sure. But I need some more tension or action here to really be hooked.

Merc said...

Yes, I liked the voice and even if not much is happening, I enjoyed the scene and characters, so I'd keep reading for a bit. :)

~Merc