Jul 4, 2013

QK Top 16: YA Contemp

Entry Nickname: Broken Jar
Title: In Pieces
Word count: 52,000
Genre: YA contemporary


Seventeen-year-old Clare Donovan has no idea what she wants do after high school, but she knows who she wants to be with. At least until her boyfriend Jesse Talcott hits her.

Part of Clare wants to hide in her bed forever and never speak to Jesse again. Part of her is just plain pissed. But part of her still sees the old Jesse, her best friend of five years and boyfriend for
almost two. Jesse’s the guy she planned to go to college with. The guy who blew off house parties to take her for walks. The guy who held her hand in the ER when she broke her tailbone and didn’t even snicker
when the doc discussed bowel movements. He’s not this new guy who keeps secrets, fails tests, and skips classes.

Clare knows the boy she loves is still in there because Jesse wants to step up and tell everyone exactly why she dumped him. But she can’t let him do that. If this gets out, it’ll ruin his life—and hers. No
one wants to be the girl whose boyfriend hit her.

There has to be a reason he snapped, and Clare’s going to find out what it is. Even if Jesse doesn’t want her to. And even if it means learning the scariest thing of all: she can’t fix him, and she doesn’t
know who she is without him.

First 250 words:

It's 6:17 pm on January 21st when Jesse Talcott hits me. I know, because I just glanced at my watch. The one he gave me for Christmas barely a month ago. It’s Michael Kors—my favorite designer—and silver,
with crystals instead of numbers.

I opened it the night before Christmas on the snowy porch of his parents' house because I thought Dad would freak if a boy came to bring me a gift on Christmas morning, and honestly, it was kind of a
what-the-hell moment. I mean, who wears a watch? That's what cell phones are for.

It’s the one time in the five years I'd known him that Jesse wasn't concerned about practicality.

So for him, I wear the watch. Our friends ooh and aah over it. Jesse’s asked about three hundred times if it's ok. If it's too much, too heavy, too silver. If I'd rather have something else. Maybe my shaking
hands as I opened it or the stuttered thank you made it obvious that I didn't know what to think of it. Tell the truth, I still don't know
what to think.

Especially now, with my face stinging in a way that I would've never in a million years seen coming. I can't look at him. I can't even think of him. All I can think of is the watch, the hands frozen. In my
mind, maybe it will perpetually be 6:17.


  1. Would love to see more of this! Please send the 1st 50 pages and one page synopsis to pooja@kimberleycameron.com. Looking forward to reading it!


  2. This sounds like a great YA contemporary I'd love to read. Please send the query and full manuscript to submissions@month9books.com. Be sure to include the name of the contest in the subject line. Thanks!