Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Line Grabber, Round Two #3

TITLE: Project: Sinners Can Be Saints
GENRE: Contemporary Middle Grade

Twelve years ago I was born half-Jewish, half-Christian, and the wrong half for both. See, in the Jewish faith you’re a Jew if your mom’s Jewish, but mine's not—she’s Mennonite. Mennonites follow the father’s line, but my father isn't Mennonite—he’s a Jew, so that left me with too many religions, and yet not entirely enough.

18 comments:

Tyson said...

No.

For Middle Grade, no. It's too much.

First, too heady for MG. Second, I don't like the repetition of 'Jew' & 'Jewish'.

Just falls short.

A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer said...

No - the first sentence is interesting but with the additional sentences, this excerpt reads a bit like a lecture.

KimberlyFDR said...

No

Much too wordy and complex for MG. I don't want to be told a history, I want to see it come out in the characters.

Holly Bodger said...

I write contemporary MG and disagree that this subject is too complex. I do find the words "yet not entirely enough" a little out of voice but I think you could fix that easily.

Good luck!

Nicole said...

No. I loved the first line and was excited to read what came next, but it's completely confusing.

Karen Akins said...

Yes - I'm not crazy about the last sentence, but I think it's interesting. I would hope that within the next couple sentences, we would see some conflict pop up, though.

Alessa Hinlo said...

No, it's a little too tell-y for me.

JeffO said...

No.

Here's the thing: I think it's funny, in the Catch-22ish situation the kid is in. However,the opening is too explanatory. It bogs down, and the humor in the situation gets lost as a result.

GSMarlene said...

Yes! Love the conundrum. "yet not entirely enough" reads a little odd, but I definitely want to know more about this character and this situation shapes his life.

Kara said...

No, sorry. I'm not getting enough voice to want to read on. I'm also tripping a bit over the last line. If I may, I think what you're trying to say will make an excellent contemporary MG, but I think you could clean up the first three lines just a little bit. Good luck!

C.J. Redwine said...

No. The first line is intriguing. But what follows feels like a convoluted explanation and is hard to follow. I'd rather get plot first and have explanations woven in deftly throughout. I think you can find a way to significantly trim this down. :)

Stephsco said...

No - I agree with Holly that the subject IS appropriate for MG, but how this is written does not seem engaging for an MG audience. All of this explanation may be true, but I think a better way of showing it is needed. The line is great, but this might be an example of "killing your darlings" and moving on to a different opening concept. I wish you luck!

Cheryl said...

I said "no" last time because I didn't understand the first sentence. But now I find this explanation really funny. I don't think it's confusing. I also don't think there's anything wrong with a little "telling" sometimes. IMO, this makes for a great MG opener.

Susan S said...

I voted yes on this in the early rounds, but have to switch to a "no" because the prose isn't polished enough.

Consider the difference between what's there and this:

"In the Jewish faith, you're a Jew if your mom is a Jew - but mine's a Mennonite. Mennonites follow the father's line - but my father is a Jew."

The words get too convoluted here, and you lose the reader. The idea is strong, but more editing is needed.

sbjames said...

Hmm. I like the concept. I think MG can handle it just fine but I do think the phrasing needs work.

Julianna Helms said...

I was going to say yes, but then I saw that it was middle grade, and this is too convoluted for middle grade, so sadly, that's a no. I think you've got a great, subtle sense of smart satire underneath this, though. I'd love to see it come out more.

Wen Baragrey said...

No. For ME to read, but I'm not so sure about middle grade. It feels more YA to me. I think it's an interesting conundrum, but, I don't see how it can make an exciting plot?

DJ said...

Yes! Funny and interesting, and I can see how this poor child is feeling like they don't fit in. Chances are good there are lots of children in this situation, although I have to admit, pretty much most of what I know about the Jewish faith comes from Jewish comedians (yay Krusty!)and Neil Simon plays. I think it has promise.