Title The Glimpse
Author Name Claire Vinson Merle
Genre YA dystopia
Word Count 89,000 words
Seventeen-year-old Ana Barber’s geneticist father faked her DNA tests to get her into The Community—a safe haven from all the crazies in the city. Ana is really a sleeper, which means one day she’ll go psycho, or schizo, or probably just suicidal like her Mum. Now the authorities know the truth, and the only thing standing between her and banishment to the city is her romance with Jasper Taurell. Jasper, a rich boy from an influential Community family, wants to Join with her despite her genetic defects. When the media elevates the pair to a modern day Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers battling against the rules to let True Love run its course, the authorities end up bending to public pressure. Ana is allowed to remain in the Community on one condition: she and Jasper must be Joined before her eighteenth birthday. It's more than she could have hoped for. Things are looking up for once, but then four weeks before their Joining, Jasper is abducted.
Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him. In the city, nothing is what it seems. She discovers her fiancé hasn’t been abducted by crazies. The authorities have incarcerated him in a psychiatric dump for attempting to prove there's nothing genetically messed up with any of the country's population. Determined to get to the truth, she has herself committed alongside Jasper. But thanks to his electric shock therapy, he barely remembers her, and the psychs turn out to be more wacko than the patients. Trapped in the loony dump, exile is looking rather preferable to what the doctors have planned. She must find a way to fight back and expose the truth, before they drive her crazy—for real.
The Good: First off, YA dystopian is hot right now, so just the genre will garner attention. The premise is excellent, both frightening and believable (and I say that as someone with a background in psych). The romance sounds compelling, the twist works, and the last line leaves the reader hungry for more.
Suggestions: Tighten up your wording a bit, cutting phrases like "things are looking up for once." All the capitalized words like Join and True Love stand out a bit too much, in my opinion. Since "Join" is your book's word for marriage, I think it would be okay just to change True Love to lowercase. I read through this a second time and realized that, although Ana is in a romance, you don't bring her feelings into this. In fact, the phrase "determined to get to the truth" makes it sound like she's going undercover as a reporter into the asylum rather than trying to rescue the man she loves. If this is intentional, don't change it, but if she really does love Jasper, I'd play up the emotional side a bit more.
BOTTOM LINE: Another strong pitch!
Happy Weekend, everyone!