Dianne Salerni had to say. And in case anyone saw my mis-post - I got my dates mixed up - sorry!
Lysa managed a comforting smile as she lay in the hospital bed with small tubes winding around her. Even as the world burned in war,(I want to know more about this) she was still only thinking of me. I looked away from Lysa and stared at the window. I was grateful to the tubes since they gave my sister needed nutrients. Mentally I knew that the tubes acted the same as roots do to for a tree.(Interesting analogy!) However, they made my skin crawl to see them hooked up to my sister.
Instead, my eyes strayed to the other patients in the ward around us. There were a few wounded soldiers who moaned in their beds. One soldier had two bandaged stumps for legs with red blood painted edges.(I would use the word red or blood, mainly because it reads better and the extra word seems superfluous - but that's just my preference.Otherwise, great imagery.) An old woman stared ahead out the window, her eyes were glazed over, and complexion pale. Each new breath the old woman took was a small miracle.(How would the narrator know this?) Lysa, in contrast looked as if she could easily get up and walk out of the hospital. Her cheeks were rose colored and her breaths were still strong. The tubes that were connected to my sister, keeping her alive were the only signs I could see that Lysa’s strength was failing her.
Lysa was always the strong one who never needed a man to carry a thing for her, or to make a living. Her strength was amazing to me. Lysa’s husband went missing in action in the war after she became pregnant. Since she refused to blubber or complain about her hardships, I was the only one who could tell that she had taken the news hard.(This seems like a huge understatement.) I understood, however, that some wounds were personal. When I asked her why she didn’t talk about her husband, my sister told me that true grief was done in silence.
My first impression is that this feels older than YA, but this is only the first page so... The second thing is that there's a lot of passive 'to be' verbs. Now, since our first scene takes place in a hospital with sick people, there isn't much action except for our narrator watching her sister, but I wonder if there isn't a way to revise to make it sound more active, especially in the third paragraph. For example, maybe a memory of Lysa and her sister might serve better to show how strong Lysa was in comparison to how weak she seems now. Otherwise, I think this is a good beginning.
What do you think? Does anyone have any suggestions or comments for Mary?