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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Blurb for dark YA coming-of-age novels

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message 1: by Shreyonti (new)

Shreyonti Chakraborty | 89 comments I am looking for all possible feedback for the following blurb. Any help would be appreciated.

I am especially looking for comments on how I could possibly exclude the MC's name from the blurb, as I really don't want to include it in the novel. I want her to be an unnamed passive protagonist who watches the most horrific action, instead of being in it. Also, I love Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, and wanted to follow her example of an unnamed MC.

Here goes:

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I thought college would be a fresh start for me, but nobody ever said fresh starts come free of cold feet.

The year she turns eighteen, Ketki moves to the crazy city of Kolkata, ready for college. It’s the city her parents called home, and even though she’s down to only one parent now, Kolkata is somehow home. It’s the only city her father would let her move to, because in the last year, he’s been reluctant to let her out of his sight.

You see, just before Ketki graduated from high school, the city of Navi Mumbai was shaken by news of a young girl being raped, sending her father into a surge of over protectiveness. But Ketki has a lot to move forward from – the boy who broke her heart, the friend she can no longer reach, the mother who died. It’s been so hard, that all she can see is her own past, not the girl in her city who became a victim.

Unfortunately, the story is too big to be contained in the city, and entire country is boiling with anger, coming to terms with a brutal crime that could have happened to anybody. Here, in her new home, Ketki knows more about the brutality than anyone else. What nobody knows is that perhaps Ketki knows more about the crime than she’s willing to admit, especially when she’s someone who can’t hate the criminal. Yet.

Complete at 50,000 words, The Burden of Distorted Memories is a sad, strange, but ultimately hopeful YA coming-of-age novel. Set in the exotic city of Kolkata, it tells a story of rape in a country where crimes against women are common, not to mention, difficult to fully understand.

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I look forward to hearing comments.


message 2: by Rajeev (new)

Rajeev Singh | 7 comments Hi Shreyonti

Are you sure you haven't given away too much of the story in the blurb?
Anyway, asssuming that the book is written in the first person (as your very first line in italics suggests), how about something like this:

I'm just another girl on the doorstep to college in the City of Joy.

Or am I?

In a country of 95 reported rapes per day, every male is a ticking time bomb - or that's what my family and friends will have me believe.

Only if things were so simple.

I know something. Something about a crime that has the country outraged and the public baying for blood. Something that both sets me apart and puts me in the cross-hairs.

Still think I'm just another girl?

You picked the wrong book.


I managed this in short order. :) It probably sounds melodramatic and seriously in need of revision but I sincerely believe that a catchy blurb needs some spice, and that hardly comes from flatly narrating things. You need to up the ante.

Regards

Rajeev (Adonis is a nom de plume)


message 3: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I agree with Rajeev's idea. People say writing a blurb in first-person is a mistake, I agree except when it feels like it's the only choice.

Why not try it that way and post back...


message 4: by Shreyonti (new)

Shreyonti Chakraborty | 89 comments Here's another try:

This is the story of girl who spent the last two years of high school alternately mourning her losses – and she’s had quite a few of those - and stupidly falling in love with a boy who broke her heart. Now she’s determined to start afresh, moving all the way across the country to attend college in the ‘City of Joy’ - Kolkata, India.

Kolkata, full of narrow lanes and sometimes narrower minds, is not the best place to start over. But she’s ready to fight wage a war for a happier future, up until the day she realizes that something’s followed her across the country, something that was never hers. It’s the story of a horrific rape that happened back in her hometown, the most high profile rape-case of the decade.

Here, in her new home, she feels closer to the horrific story than anyone else, which people understand. What nobody knows is that maybe she knows more about the crime than she’s willing to admit, especially when she’s someone who can’t hate the criminal. Yet.

Sad, strange, but ultimately hopeful, The Burden of Distorted
Memories is story narrated through letters, emails and texts, about being a girl in a country where crimes against women are common, not to mention, difficult to fully understand, but also about just being a girl. I believe it will be appreciated by readers of novels such as Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Nova Ren Suma’s The Walls Around Us, and by audiences of movies like Netflix’s To The Bone.



message 5: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I think this one tells a completely different story than the first. I think it could be tightened up, but feel the gist is good.

"ready to fight wage a war" doesn't sound right, do you mean "ready to wage a war"?


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