Monday, September 10, 2012

first impressions - A Boat Against the Current



Our final first impression of the month comes from Amy Makechnie, who blogs at maisymak. This is the first page of her YA Adventure, A Boat Against the Current. My comments will be in purple and if you have a moment, go see what Dianne had to say because it's likely to be quite different than what I said.

Ch.1
     I was ten when Gaysie Cutter tried to kill me. (Yikes! That's one way to grab the reader!) Just like her too; always leaving a bad first impression.  It was July, the same week my father moved us to Sioux, Iowa, his childhood home, and the place he had met and fallen in love with my mother, Vienna. I love this name, but I wonder if the narrator would actually say it. As children, regardless of our age, we often only think of our parents as mom and dad. But, this is a tiny little thing. Just something I noticed.
     A heat wave moved with us, a debilitating wet blanket that snaked its way around town like God’s curse upon Pharaoh. (Great description but maybe a little 'old' for a teen - especially the curse upon Pharaoh part unless she's well-versed in the Bible and/or this an adult telling her teen story. But, this is just my opinion.)  And though it was hot enough to kill a cat, it couldn't keep my little sister, Bitty, and me, from attempting to run a whole mile to our future elementary school.  Lanark Lane was one flat mile of farmland, John Deere tractors, big ol' farmhouses, fields of corn, more corn, and something else smaller and green.
While running, a real cow (Ha! A real cow. That's funny. ) mooed and scared Bitty and me so bad we about jumped out of our skin. (should be plural: skins) Several heart palpitations later, (the heartbeat was always something we were aware of) (why? Or is this something that will be revealed later?) we resumed running down the open, dirt road, ever further away from the comfort of New York City skyscrapers, smog, foreign cabbie drivers, honking horns, and my favorite hog dog vendor on Fifth Avenue.  We ran until we saw it:  the great red tip of the rocket slide, the marker of Sioux Elementary.
     We would have made it if it weren’t for the boy.

I really like this opening page. You've got a fabulous first line and I get a great picture of these city girls making their way to school amidst all this unfamiliar nature. I also like the voice which has a wonderful sense of humor plus, there are two reasons for me to read on: 1) who is Gaysie and why did he/she try to kill our narrator, and 2) what boy?!

Nice job!

14 comments:

  1. I already left comments with Dianne, but I like your critique too, Marcy. I'd love to read more of this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a pretty strong opening. I like it, and your comments.

    Also, I tagged you over at my place. Er, sorry. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! Fantastic. You grabbed my attention with the first sentence and hung onto it like a pit bull. I love the voice, the humor, and the teasers that make me want to read more, more, more. Excellent job.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Couldn't agree more with you.


    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    http://www.shellysnovicewritings.blogspot.com/

    http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. A real cow? Agree the opening is a grabber. And I wouldn't think most kids would refer to their parents by their name either.

    ReplyDelete
  6. AH! Thank you so much. This is Amy, and I'm still shaking (so nervous to see what you thought :) Thanks for the nice comments and feedback. It's very helpful...glad you want to read more!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like this opening page, too. As I mentioned on Dianne's blog, the voice sounds middle grade, but perhaps that's because the narrator is referring back to age 10. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I already commented on Dianne's blog, but I just wanted to say I agree with Marcy's comments, too. And good catch on the skin/skins thing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like the first impressions series. It's always neat to see what jumps out at people.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a strong opening and the first line certainly grabs the reader.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like the first line--it certainly raises questions fast!

    ReplyDelete
  12. A great first page.
    Love the piccie!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you everyone for coming by to help Amy with her first page; we both appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete

If you're interested in my blog I'm interested in your comments.