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.
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?!