Oct 28, 2015

NoQS Monster 17 - In the Space Between, YA Contemp

Name: Caitlin LaRue
Twitter Handle: @caitlinlarue
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 63K

My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obsession is:

Sydney’s greatest obsession is her anxiety. It overwhelms her. She just wants to be accepted and loved the way she is without being judged or villainized. She constantly feels like a freak and a burden. But no one understands. No one understands what it’s like to feel the panic rise in your throat and the room start to close in around you. No one gets what it’s like to be stared at as your world blurs and swirls and nothing makes any sense because you can’t stop worrying about that one stupid thing that really doesn’t matter any way. Her obsession consumes her and she must conquer it before she’s reduced to ashes.


For seventeen years crippling anxiety has consumed Sydney Markum’s life. Sydney’s mother has made it clear that her panic attacks are a burden, the doctor appointments are a nuisance, and Sydney is not even close to normal. Like she didn’t know that already.

The rift widens when her Mom forces Sydney into an unwanted abortion and then drops the bomb that she’s pregnant. Sydney cracks and runs to her uncle’s farm never thinking she’ll find solace in the animals and impromptu therapy sessions with her uncle’s psychologist ex-girlfriend.

But when the crazy alpaca dies, and a calf is abandoned by its mother, Sydney is forced to confront the mother who doesn’t accept her, the guilt of an abortion, and her frustration of being the girl with anxiety.

When her parents come to the farm, and are surprised by the changes in her, Sydney begs to stay. But it may not be enough to convince her mother that by letting Sydney go, it might be the only way to save both her daughter and their family.

First 250:

The sickness crept into her skin like a disease. Not morning sickness. Moral sickness.

“You weren’t responsible enough to keep your legs closed in the first place. There’s no way you can take care of a baby. You’re only fifteen. And we don’t need everyone knowing our daughter is a common whore,” her mother added. Pure acid rolled off her tongue.

Her father didn’t say a single word. Just shaking his head as he paced the floor.

The words reverberated off her skull over and over again, forcing her meager breakfast up into her throat. Her leg bounced at a furious pace to prevent the all-familiar panic attack from descending in on her from all sides. The war she constantly fought, battle by battle, once again raged inside her - the slight swirl of the room, the cold sweat breaking out across her back, the racing of her heart pounding in her ears. How long could she hold out?

Her mother’s judging eyes locked on target, as another girl appeared from the back room. Under her breath came the familiar groan of disapproval. The girl, head bowed, arms clasped around her body the same as Sydney, labored to the counter. Every motion forced and uncomfortable. Outside a car honked in rapid succession. The girl flinched, grabbed her paperwork from the nurse, and inched her way to the door.

Sydney watched through the front window as she shuffled down the sidewalk and eased into the back seat of the waiting sedan.


  1. Letting out a shriek! Please send query letter in body of email and pages as Word attachment to Melissa.Jeglinski@knightagency.net. Please put NoQS request in subject line.

  2. I'm Screaming!

    In addition to your full, please send a detailed synopsis to bcampbell@bookendsliterary.com with "NoQS" in the subject and your query in the body of the email.

  3. Shriek! Please send the requested pages as a Word or PDF attachment to querysara (at) fuseliterary (dot) com, including "NoQS" in the subject line with your query letter in the email body. Look forward to reading!