|Reviews for Nice Girls|
| Electrumwriter chapter 6 . 7/4/2016
I like how well you render Mica's sullenness with her brother. I recall Dex has had his own line of stories? I wonder how Mica would react to finding that out.
I'm thinking that we are seeing the beginning of a build up. Moira would be weirded out if her friend had set her sights on her brother - the more tension there is about Moira finding out, the better it will be when she actually does. It is possible that Moira might have a mild crush on Mica - if I am correct it would all be a bit more awkward.
Whether or not it is the case, I strongly get the impression that Moira would be a more useful and comforting audience than Loren.
Young as she is, Mica really hasn't grasped what a big deal the age difference is. I know - I've checked over the law for every state. But how many kids would have done, even when the US is their own country? I approve of that bit of realism.
The ideas that Mo and Mica come up with for their assignment are interesting, but at the moment I'm in a creepypasta mood, so can't give helpful advice on anything that is not a creepypasta. I'll just add that it is regrettable that Mica has become an underachiever when she was happier being industrious.
As cute as the interactions between Mica and Jonah are and as strongly as they are attracted to one another and as wonderful as it would be without that age difference, the only feeling we can take away is one of very grave misgiving...
| R.M.Spencer chapter 1 . 6/12/2016
Overall, this is very well written. The detail about the mosaic was a particularly nice touch. First person present tense can be a challenge for a lot of people but you did an awesome job. There was only one slip that I saw. Because it is a flashback it should read: "There I was, thirteen..."
The narrator voice is really well done, but she's fourteen? Even a smart fourteen, I'm not sure I buy it. Initially, she seems to have a social maturity that I would attribute to someone a couple of years older. As it progresses you add in the "likes" and "I guesses" etc that indicate that she is younger but straight off, I picture someone older and that first impression is hard to alter. (That said, the dynamic between the parents is awesome and very well conveyed!)
She is clearly smart and I believe she is at a gifted school, but make sure you remain consistent with classes that she would actually be taking. A freshman in algebra II, yeah probably (its usually more of a sophomore/junior class). But a student at a school like that probably would have read Romeo and Juliet already and it isn't very advanced even if it is Shakespeare. This is a really small thing, but the writing is really good so at this point the devil is in the details.
Speaking of details, when spelled Loren it is generally a guy's name (I dated two of them and they both made that very clear lol). Just to avoid any confusion you may want to change the spelling, but of course that is totally up to you.
I totally understand about the judgy smart kids and the "bad influence" factor. Its real and a very nice touch. As is the parent's old booze that is probably gross, but that's what high school students do!
Really great first chapter. The writing is very well done.
| Electrumwriter chapter 5 . 5/2/2016
I always found the prose of this story very easy to get into an enjoy, so even though it's been a while, I picked up the threads right away.
I like how the opening shows where Mica's train of thought begins - first hoping to just bump into her crush by sheer chance. I like the touches you include to flesh out the lesser lights too - Moira is definitely a recognisable type of teen girl, always typing stuff ;)
Background: details as to exactly what type of institution the university is seem almost redundant. What is signficant is that Mica does intend to go there and Moira guesses very quickly why. Mica balks at the lie direct. Good touch. I like how much irony Moira packs in, whether or not she intends to. Alissa is pathetically obsessed... I did laugh at first reading the part about Alissa, because it applies to Mica to the same extent. From the way she brings his writing into it, I wonder if she's familiar with Ingrid Noll? Anyhow, we both now how desperate it looks to try to insert oneself into someone's circle. She even realises her similarity to Alissa! My one and only concrit of this part is that Mica should reminisce more at this point about Jonah and his mannerisms and how he looks. This could be worked in as she justifies her new stalker tendency to herself.
Characters: It was already established how Mica's mum is the disciplinarian, although she is keener on describing dad. I see that her dad does not even attempt to discipline her, rather he's very up front about how he would not attempt any discipline himself. I wonder if that is a good strategy. Mica did mention in passing that her mum is not very well. Can she discipline effectively?
Plot: Although I doubt any relationship between Mica and Jonah could possibly end well, this phase is certainly interesting to read about. Mica's all about bravado - claiming she's over high school boys, although it seems to amuse Jonah, I always thought it sad that Mica let the strange, preconceived notions of her peers get to her. Even Moira was accusing her of being odd earlier in this chapter (saying she devours boys) and Mica is not as thick skinned as she acts. What should one say about the kiss that Mica stole, but was not unwelcome...? It's sort of sweet and ominous at the same time.
| deadaccount2019 chapter 13 . 4/23/2016
I must confess that I'm not caught up on Nice Girls, so if I make a stupid comment or anything that's clarified earlier in the story, don't mind me ignorance.
[Opening] What I love about the chapter's opening is that even without prior knowledge there's a good sense of tension going on. Nothing is as unnerving as a spirited or abrasive mother behaving subdued (I do recall not being too fond of her at the start of the story), so to see her being "tender" and "gentle" toward Mica really set me on edge wondering what has happened, what will happen to Mica next, where will it lead? As a drop-in it is a great hook, and I feel like for those who are all caught up it will be just as good a hook for them.
[Relationship] Dex and Mica's relationship rings very true to life. When he reveals he was worried about Mica's relationship with Jonah, and why he didn't say anything, I couldn't help thinking about my relationship with my little sister. I'm assuming they're siblings, or at least close cousins; if so it really shows here and it's refreshing to see such an organic conversation between the.
[Other - Race] Normally I don't like to get into this, but the end of Dex and Mica's conversation got me thinking again about that twitter troll who was talking about "authentic black voices" last week, and the topic in general. I've been reading more fiction written by (or starring) PoC, and one thing I've noticed is that unless race is specifically mentioned or the characters are given stereotypical mannerisms, ethnicity cannot be determined by the characters' voices. I love that you have written the characters as people rather than caricatures; there are fundamental themes that readers of any background will relate to, and then there are the themes that only some demographics will relate with. Something that really brought out some rage in me is knowing that Jonah's race will play a big role in him facing few or no consequences for his involvement with a minor, and I hope that other readers will realize and appreciate how wrong this is. One thing that I did find myself thinking, however, is how much the race talk at the party reminded me of the socials I attended in highschool and college. While race wasn't discussed (mostly because at the time there were only two non-white families in the area), there were similar assumptions and perceptions thrown around about others' religious, academic, and even class background.
[Scene] Discovering Jonah is Mo's brother broke my heart a little. Association can really mess with the best of friendships regardless of age, and familial association is the worst because there's almost nothing that can be done about it outside of disowning the offending relative. And to have Alissa start making nasty comments about school continuity rates and attacking Mica, I felt really sick. The scene relies heavily on dialogue, and you really nailed the feels here.
[Writing] Some times it feels like you could get away with a little more "telling", but overall the summary paragraphs are timed well with the transitions. It really helps to keep things moving, and to be honest I feel like if you described things like the trip from Loren's to the party the story would lose consistency in its pace. I also got the feeling that these were the parts where Mica sort of disconnected from her surroundings, just going with the flow until something drew her attention again, which is a perfectly normal response to hurt and grief.
[Ending] The ending really brought back the heartbreak. One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling pitted against or in competition with a sibling, because when the sibling accomplishes things it really messes up our perception of what our parents must feel, and given everything going on with Mica, seeing them celebrating Dex just feeds into the mounting inadequacy. To be honest her mood by the end of the chapter reminds me of when I hit the wall in highschool and gave up caring about anything, and it makes me scared for her because I didn't have nearly as much crap thrown at me as she's had. Stepping back from the relatability, I think this was a very strong note to end on because it comes back full-circle from where she started this chapter (or the end of the last, if I'm not mistaken), boosting sympathy and (as I said before) fear for her. I want to read more because I really want to see things start going right for her and see some karma coming back to bite Jonah, Alissa and Crayon and Robert in the ass.
I gotta say, Nads, I really enjoyed the roller coaster of emotions this chapter. It never feels cheesy, always organic and real, and I think it's great to be able to drop in on the story and experience it without the prior knowledge. Keep up the great work!
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 12 . 4/14/2016
Go and get this published, girl. Seriously fantastic stuff, and the only reason I am not yelling at you in caps is because XD well, I am trying to write you a professional review. LOL.
So plot. Ugh, you know I saw the break-up coming from a mile away, but I did not expect it to be this painful or for Jonah to break up with Mica in such a blasé way. All this time, even though I had been expecting it, I just did think it would hit me so hard. I think the reason why it does affect me so emotionally is because your plot is very genuine, true to life. There is no artifice in how you tug at all the plot thread and then make everything fall into place – what I am trying to say is that, in the long run, as expected as the events in this chapter were, they do not come across as contrived. They do not, because of how you tell the story in a natural fashion: the build up to the break-up, hinted at by Jonah's ghosting Mica and her rising anxiety, make the actual highlight of this chapter seem all the more poignant.
Well, I blabbed on about this enough – I like all the side-plotty stuff too, like Mica ignoring school again, because of how this emotional turmoil is affecting her. It does not seem like such a big deal right now, but you seem to be hinting at something bigger, namely that all of this is going to blow up in her face anyway. The first tragedy has already occurred, and I worry what else is going to happen, especially because of how you persistently mention that the picture is floating around the web somewhere. I may be worrying for now reason, but I think that another strength of your plot is that it is multi-layered, and there is more to engage me than the failed romance between Jonah and Mica. There are Mica's school issues, her fascination with writing and the way she is trying to deal with growing up. I also like that you indirectly tell the story of Derrick in this chapter. Without further ado, I just think that there is a lot in this chapter :D
I am trying to think of something else to say in regards to the plot – hmm, I just like how non-conventional it is. Certainly you are not the first to write about break-ups, but the emotion here is realer than in most pieces. I think that is, because of how you bring up certain themes, like depression and people making bad calls because of that. I will address this further in themes, but I find that aspects like this give your stronger more meaning. I also like that, despite the age gap between Mica and Jonah, you never fully underplay their romance or make the story come across as too didactic (in the sense of warning girls of the perils of falling for a guy that you should not love).
Anyhow, themes: I liked that this chapter was the first chapter that directly touched upon Jonah's mental health issues. I felt that the earlier chapters foreshadowed it a bit, but this was the first time that we had him directly confessing to taking pills and being overwhelmed by things. I would not say that it casts him in a more sympathetic light, but I liked that you addressed about how depression makes people do things they are not proud of. It is so often ignored in fiction: how people reach breaking points, and then do things that are out of character for them, just because it makes the pain go away. I think it takes a lot of maturity to write about issues like that, and you have my full respect for handling this in such a respectful and realistic fashion.
Another theme-related thing I like is how you deal with Mica's emotional growth. She is still very much a child in this chapter, but this is this the first we saw a bit of a wiser Mica. She confronts Jonah directly and seems far more emotionally mature than he does. It is interesting, because, at the same time, she is still a kid: more invested in her own issues than worrying about the grand picture, like school. I loved that, because that this such human behaviour: getting swallowed up by more imminent problems than what should concern one more. I still relate this more to teenagers though (them getting sidetracked like this), because adults are generally better at comprising. Again, I just think you write this all out very realistically and genuinely. Love!
Another theme I like is how you handle a break-up and the ending of a mismatched romance. What I liked especially is that, in this case, the parties were not equally committed. It was much easier for Jonah to let go than Mica, and that is, while painful, a very realistic resolution, and I applaud you fully for writing matters in such a way.
Well, uh, should we go with relationship then? I dunno, I think I will go with scene then, because I have a lot to say about it. It was a beautiful scene, mind you: the way you build up to it, via the awkward silence in the kitchen to the near silent drive till Mica finally burst the bubble. I do think that you need to change anything here: the writing was very tight and emotionally well-balanced, the dialogue painfully realistic, and god, I have so many feels. I want to hate Jonah, I really do, but you can tell how awkward this is for him, and how guilty he feels. It is all there in his silence, and his sudden inability to phrase words. While he is still mean to Mica, because of how he underestimated her feelings for him, I do not think that any of this was easy on him. Actually, I could feel his anxiety, and I do wonder how this will pan out for him.
Of course, I feel sorrier for Mica though. Towards the end, when she utterly breaks down, you can tell that she was really in love. The worst thing is that, for the first time, we see her really acting emotionally towards her parents: she is usually so tough, at a first glance, that one forgets just how vulnerable and young she is. So I loved this scene for making her break down; I feel that, while this break up was painful, it also might bring her closer to her family. Moreover, I feel it will only make her grow up more – because she is realising more and more about herself (which was sort of hinted at earlier in how she relates the story Moira is writing about with her own experiences).
Okay, I am babbling a lot, but I really loved this chapter, so the last thing I want to address before I call it a night is how beautiful the relationship between Derrick and Mica is. While most brothers would scowl at the boyfriend mention, I love that Derric just calms his sister down and then tells her that it is fine, and she is not obliged to go anywhere. I feel that you defy cliches there, because in a lot of fiction, brothers are shown to either be overprotective or not really care about their sisters' breakups. But in this case, Derrick is just lovely and understanding towards Mica, which shows just how much he cares about her. Their closeness is further demonstrated by the fact that Mica knows a lot about her brother – she knows just how his boyfriend is doing, and is also hinted to be happy for him. I really love that – it implies that they talk about their problems to each other, which again, shows a good support system between the two.
Of course, in regards to Mica and Jonah, I feel sad – I did not want them to end up together, but it does hurt that Jonah used Mica the way he did. I am now convinced that his feelings were far less strong: he saw her as a welcome distraction, while she really, really cared ): I guess you cannot blame him for that: he could not have known that she would get so attached, but at the same time he was the older and wiser one (apart from the whole fact that what he was doing is statuary rape).
LOL. Can you tell I am invested? :D I hope you did not find this review useless :3
| Victoria Best chapter 2 . 4/8/2016
Really loved this chapter! Great to see some more conflict here. You write first person so well! We really get into Mica's mind. I especially liked the last part, showing this vulnerability to her for the first time. She comes across like she doesn't care, but really, it seems like she does. Like, she wanted Jonah to think she was cool, and she gets a little miffed when Alissa brings that stuff up - clearly a personal subject. This all shows her to be way more complex than she appears, and you've got the whole 'unreliable narrator' thing perfectly, with whether Mica is actually a carefree character or not, as she so believes. A lot of complexity there and I'm looking forward to reading more!
I think this chapter has done a great job of setting the plot up. You've got everything - the great protag, the conflict, the super amazing writing. Some really interesting dynamics, with Jonah (the potential love interest) being the brother of Mo, and the conflict with Alissa. Awesome set up, and I'm definitely intrigued to see how it all plays out.
I think I mentioned this in your previous chapter, but I really love how lifelike your characters are! "Spends the whole time babbling about school..." I have a friend just like this, so this made me smile :p It's great that you create characters we can really relate to. Makes the story seem real, and I find myself liking all of your characters! Apart from Alissa... Alissa can go away :p Loved Mica's, "hop off my dick, Alissa." Omg XD
On the subject of Alissa, I think you're doing great things with the character. From her little rant at the end, I get the feeling that she's very jealous, and her nastiness comes from that jealousy. It makes me think that maybe Alissa has her own issues, which would make her resentment for Mica even worse. Interesting character.
Love some of the lines you use that really show Mica's personality and her awesome sense of humour, "pretending we don't hate each other," "I'm not even drunk yet so I don't know where all of this is coming from," and the whole scene with Jonah was great. I especially liked their exchange in the kitchen, with the is that a question / is that Mo's brother. Genuinely made me smile :P Really enjoying the humour in the story. You don't go overboard with it, just the right amount, and it's sharp and clever.
No issues here - really great read. Keep writing!
| ladytemily chapter 3 . 4/6/2016
General note, but I think the way you've paced this story is great. You dropped us right into the action in the first two chapters, letting us get a glimpse of Mica's life, and only after you've gotten us hooked do you take a step back here and shed some light on her background. If this recollection had occurred in the beginning, it would have come across as too much exposition too fast, but here it's perfectly timed - we're interested!
"It was wet and weird, but also exciting, and he tasted like Sprite and sugar cookies after having spent a liberal amount of time at the refreshment table." This made me go aww, and really captured the young romance of that age.
So in contrast to what I said about Jonah, I really bought her whirlwind love with Liam - I could see why she felt the way she did, and I could see how someone like that could be incredibly magnetic to the right kind of girl. Liam is in some parts rude and awful, especially the way he made comments about her ethnicity, but he also doesn't come across as ever intentionally malicious or cruel to her, and that's an important distinction. I also love the introspection she had about her change, and how it was really about her discovering something true about herself, rather than how it was Liam controlling her (which she rightly called an insult to her intelligence). You took a common trope and made it more empowering.
The stuff about Rob is foreboding!
| ladytemily chapter 2 . 4/6/2016
I like the subverted expectation of Alissa being as curious as the others about alcohol - she's human too, for all her morals! I felt like her abruptly lecturing Mica was kind of off-kilter, because in my experience teen girls are usually more circumspect about how they wage battles. But I can also see this as an almost defensive gesture from Alissa, because she's kind of compromised her own talking points here by indulging in the vodka herself.
Mica's inner narrative is full of attitude and character, as before, which I think is one of the strengths of this story. Drunk Mica was pretty hilarious too - she didn't go completely wild, like some stories portray, but just a less inhibited version of herself.
I couldn't really get into her whole infatuation with Jonah, but then again, I may not be the intended audience for this type of thing. He seems kind of bland right now, aside from his good looks and decency (and he is decent, for letting her sleep in his room and generally being a gentleman around her). Maybe he's meant to be mysterious for now, and we'll find out more about him later.
"It's probably her parent's fault she's even interested." You might mean "parents' fault" if you're talking about both parents.
| ladytemily chapter 1 . 4/6/2016
Really digging the unpretentious and natural voice that you've given the narrator. There's enough injections of "like" and casual slang to make it sounds like an actual teenager, without overdoing it - and that can be a difficult line to toe in this genre. You also casually dot the story with small anecdotes, which work really well to give a glimpse into the character, her family, and her general outlook in life. For example, the shoe fetish story was downright hilarious, and it was interesting to note both her naivete and attempted world weariness. Great examples of showing instead of telling.
"Dad insists again, but with a desperate tinge that undermines his position as an authority figure a little, if I'm being honest." Enjoyed this, haha.
It was also good to read through that before getting to the line where Mica casually refers to herself as garbage; I was at that point rather sympathetic to her, after spending some time with her spunky attitude and relation with her family - and so I automatically denied this self-characterization. There was a potential for Mica to come off as self-pitying here too, but she didn't...again, mostly because I was already invested in her and she phrased it in a way that wasn't really attention seeking. And I suppose it's all too natural for teenagers to have self-esteem problems.
Curious about Rob, who's been name-dropped a bit but hasn't had any identity assigned to him besides the fact that he apparently has asshole friends. But I'm sure you'll introduce him soon enough!
"With her dark brown skin and the unmoved look on her face, she seems every bit his opposite right now." I get that you were trying to introduce ethnicity here in a nonchalant way, but it came off sort of unnaturally. Maybe if there was a reference to the dad's unusual paleness before or something, haha - but as it stands, I don't know that dark brown skin is "every bit his opposite."
Also, I will slightly disagree with another comment in regards to forcing the setting away from school. Sure, the school setting is a trope, but it's a trope for a reason. It's convenient, it's contained, and it appeals to a certain demographic. How banal or how creative it is depends on how you use it (and the story you tell within it), and there's nothing inherently wrong with the setting.
| pumadelic chapter 3 . 3/27/2016
You've got a consistent strong voice here and the writing style is transparent, which is what you need. it's the right balance between demotic and formal because Mica is a smart girl. Some great funny lines -he grabbed at my chest like I'd stolen my boobs from him 'I usually respond to that with 'human' or a dog breed picked at random'
Dialogue is punchy and realistic. I enjoyed Dex' put down of Rob.
Girls act out through bad boys. I love Mica questioning the idea that the boy is always the manipulator although she is disappointed when Chris doesn't take charge sexually. The point is made that Liam's is an image and an identity that she wants to steal - the rebellious badass - and he happens to turn her on as well.
From an objective point of view, he's a complete dick as his initial conversation with her demonstrates. But her skewed smitten perception smoothes it over - 'I wished I had a cooler ethnicity' 'objectively very gross but subjectively'. The crushing of a young teenage girl is well done, especially Mica accepting the nickname she hated from her mother.
Pushing buttons, testing limits - all good stuff. She's developing herself. Being honest, although she is very young, smoking weed and heavy petting seems quite tame. It's also an extremely conventional rebellion because the notion of a good or bad girl is conventional in itself.
One of the major issues with the chapter for me is that Rob doesn't seem any creepier than Liam and I'm completely unconvinced by the magnetism of the latter. bad boys are all very well but what about a little brain or wit? So whether she lost her virginity to Rob or Liam seems immaterial because no real desire comes out at me in those make out scenes - the language doesn't do it for me, it's too cliched and actually too distant from the experience to convey anything.
Having said this, you're being reviewed by someone whose heaviest crush at Mica's age was on mid thirties teacher who went around looking like Disraeli and had corduroy jackets and eloquence to die for. So not really the most empathetic audience.
So for me, the creep factor of Rob needed to be ramped up to increase her sense of regret of wasting her virginity on him. Yes, he's stupid but so is Liam. It does make me wonder if the really important milestone for her will be when she's attracted to more than an image. Which is probably to come
I suppose it bothers me that Mica seems both naive and not naive. She's a really great mixture of teenage innocence - all that poetry - and knowingness. It's as if I expect her to know that losing your virginity tends to be disappointing.
| Henry Palmetto chapter 1 . 3/27/2016
I'd like to start by complimenting you on how well and fully you colour in your scenes. Your strongest vignette in this opening chapter is the episode with Crayon-you draw your character in quick, precise strokes and your dialogue is spot-on. Also, the whole school is realised impeccably well: you capture the rather silly drama of early teenage rebellion; the victory associated with breaking status quo (getting Mo drunk); the folklore of the hallways; the endless tug of war with stringent parents and the general unfairness of younger siblings (Dex's allergies). For a young adult high school novel, you've left no oval unchecked, nor have you slipped into the error of over-examining your scenes or over-indulged in self-interpretation (although there is too much, still).
Now, let's speak in general terms. The essence of your conflict is the relationship between your casually 'bad but not too bad girl' narrator and the opposing poles of good (Mo, her parents) and bad (Crayon, Rob's friends, etc.). The theme that these relationships are built on is one of (in)discriminant sexuality, and more often than not when you treat high school and sexuality in one piece you're working with young adult coming-of-age, of which there are literally thousands of stories currently extant. So, you immediately run into the problem of what makes your story different? How does it break the young adult paradigm? How does it screw up the genre?
As of now, it doesn't. All the elements you've managed so well lead to the same plot, the same reservoir of emotional catharsis from whence the same conflict of character, the same epiphanies, change and self-discoveries are drawn by hundreds and hundreds of other authors. I predict that the protagonist falls in love; that she argues then makes up with Dex, her parents, her best friend whom she gets drunk at a very inopportune moment and therefore compromises her a Cornell scholarship, or something. I predict Crayon and/or Rob attempt rape, or something sexual.
My advice if any of those predictions come close to what happens in subsequent chapters, is to set the school on fire and run like hell away. Take that figuratively or literally. Schools are good writing reservoirs-our hothouses of emotion and drama-but this is something most writers already know and have capitalised on: it's like saying I know a great little street in New York called Broadway.
So, getting out of the school is my first piece of advice. My second is to get your protagonist away from English and creative writing classes. Again, settings writers are familiar with, meaning they've been used time and time again.
As for the writing itself, I will nitpick. The Crayon scene is my favourite because it is quick and clean and self-contained: it contains all the elements of a narrative arch, imagined in micro perspective. This is the complete opposite of your first scene with the narrator and her parents, which is far too long and accomplishes far too little. The tension itself rests on a cliche-what father hasn't argued with his daughter about revealing dress?-and does nothing to revise or make it new. The writing itself is also peppered with unnecessary tags: "I chirp in a tone so obnoxiously and uncharacteristically pleasant", "Dad insists again but with a desperate tinge," "he says in his I-mean-it voice", etc.
My advice, treat adverbs and adverbial phrases like jaeger bombs: two or three gets the party going but any more than that and your head starts to hurt.
Thank you for the post
| lookingwest chapter 12 . 3/26/2016
Heyyy :) I just wanted to say a few things because I just read this!
I like it a lot! - and ooofta that breakup! I remember you talking about Mica's heart getting broken, must've been this chapter drafting! I thought that scene was the most compelling thing about this chapter, which makes sense, I think, because it's such a huge thing that happens to Mica. I also liked the scene with Mo - I felt like things really picked up there, whereas at the opening half there was a little bit of time-killing going on (I sensed) just because there needed to be a portrayal of Jonah ghosting her for a long amount of time. The writing is excellent, but once you've got everything in this novel drafted, you might find that you don't need the classroom scene and could potentially just skip to the weekend and going to see Mo/the ending breakup. While the classroom scene was well written and I thought you handled the balance between Mica's fidgeting and Loren's action well - unless the scene has direct connection to something that occurs later on (like with the teacher), I don't know if it's wholly necessary to get the picture that Jonah is ghosting her. It might also help balance exposition.
(Aside: that being said though, I did like the pressure that was stupidly put on Mica instead of Loren too, when both of them were using their phones. Unjust. That dynamic was nice - maybe we could get that in a different, previous scene with that teacher in a similar kind of cellphone situation...?)
I think scene-wise you could also lengthen the one with Jonah in regards to the road accident that makes the car stop, and they have to sit with each other - there's so much potential for tension there, and while I did feel some tension, I almost thought it also could've been more dramatic in some way with them arguing between one another, or even Mica leaving the car (or maybe that's considered cliche these days? But honestly it might be something I would've done, too, lol). Overall though, your writing is as easy to get into as ever and I'm glad that we see plot progression here with this relationship - it makes me wonder how the other plot of Mica getting into a private school will pan out...
In the end, I'm guiltily really glad that Jonah stopped it when he did - but that doesn't mean that the damage might already be done. Especially if Mo finds out later on, which is still a huge possibility. Even though it's over, I suspect it's not OVER. And knowing Mica, who knows what she might try to do (or if she will) try to get Jonah back. Still, I do feel really sad for her, especially that line when she was like "so you got what you wanted and now you're done" or some such - so clearly Jonah is a piece of shit. Like I always knew he would be. And Mica needs to calm her tubes just a little bit (lol) on boys. She ain't got time for this shit. OH. and also, another comment: loved the bit with her and Dex at the train.
| m. b. whitlock chapter 11 . 3/13/2016
RG Depth #5,330
“"Oh good lord, what is that?"
I stop outlining my eyes in black to look at my mom. "What?"
"That," she says, waving her hand over her own eyes. "On your face.””
You are so good with naturalistic dialog. This exchange pulls me right back into your story (which is pretty remarkable because it’s been a while). It’s a typical moment––a mother uneasy about her daughter’s make-up choices––but you do it in a really authentic way. And that realness makes it original.
I laughed at this:
“"Nowhere," I say, because that's my new shorthand semi-lie for "going to seeing Jonah”.”
Great line, so Mica.
“"No, mom." This is sort of true, if I'm assuming she meant boys of the high school variety.”
Mica is so interesting. She knows she’s lying but she doesn’t want to think she’s in the wrong, like she’s looking for a technicality, loophole, that makes her lie not *really* a lie…
Such cool insights here:
“Maybe it's because she was so into the idea. Maybe it's that, despite her endorsement of my sexual activity, she's a virgin herself and she may not get how special this is to me. Maybe it won't feel as special if I blab to her about it.”
I feel like there’s something missing in this line:
“Maybe, a little **, I'm afraid she can't keep her mouth shut.”
This is touching and so true!:
“It's completely different than sneaking around and lying to my parents. It feels gross, not like an achievement.”
It really is different if you’re lying to your best friend, the one person you’re supposed to trust more than anyone, and be trusted by, and the person who’s supposed to know you, the ‘real’ you the best. It’s almost like ‘Who are you if you’re lying to your best friend?’ It’s so close to lying to yourself. (Of course, I mean lying about something like this, something BIG, and lying for a long time.)
“"Jailed, even," I joke, but she doesn't laugh with me.”
This really shows how Mica and Mo’s paths are growing more and more divergent. They are not finding the same things funny.
Like this part:
“"Yes, that too," she says. She breaks her cookie in half, handing one side to me as a peace offering.
I scowl at her. Then I take it.”
Loren and Mica are moving in the same direction and Mica knows it it seems. She also probably figures that Loren might soon be her only friend because Mo isn’t taking it anymore.
“"If I have to be drunk to have fun doing something, maybe it's not worth doing.””
I’m really getting into the bad vibe that’s brewing between Mica and Jonas. He is trying to help her grow up, while she’s kinda doing the opposite to him.
“He shakes his head. "I'm good. I don't need it."
"Beg to differ," I say. "Come on. Just try.””
Again, she is not getting the ‘adult’ thing. But it’s so easy to see how Jonas finds her irresistible.
Whoa, maybe Mica’s going to have to start to face things now:
“I awake to a throbbing headache and blinding sunlight. There are no new messages on my phone.”
I really liked this! It’s so fun to read your stuff again. :D Overall, I think it’s working great, plot, dialogue, character.. etc.. But I feel I’m missing something with her parents at the end of the chapter, Like maybe do more with their reactions when she comes home so late and messed up…
Really great stuff though.
| Victoria Best chapter 1 . 3/13/2016
Wow, this was a really great read! A lot of fun. You have such a grasp on your character - I could hear Mica's 'voice' through every line here. This was seriously well done.
I also think you've got a really great set up here, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes! We've got the overbearing (but well meaning) dad, the cool mum, the funny friends and the smart, sassy, very, very likable Mica with her brilliant sense of humour. This has all the makings of a great young adult novel! I also like that you haven't started it off by plunging us into the heavy stuff - it is definitely a turn off for me when I see a young adult novel straight off the bat going deep and sentimental. So you've got a really sharp, grabbing opening, that was a lot of fun to read. This is the way to start a story! Other writers should be taking tips from you! :)
I loved the humour especially. It's exactly my sense of humour :p And I could relate to a lot of the situations. "For now, I mean. They're coming off before first bell." Mica's so great :p I also loved, "the school is handling it" the fact she calls the guy Crayon, and the part with the weird shoe sniffer guy! I can definitely relate to telling my parents something, thinking it will be a hilarious story, only for them to freak out :p
I also think this is touching on some serious gender equality stuff. Screw Rob and his friends acting like that. And it's great to see Mica wearing what she wants. Sort of a rebellion against the idea that "women have to cover up because it's distracting for guys." This is sending a great message that, "women can wear what they want. If guys don't like it, they can cover their eyes." Love it!
Characterisation was also great. Love the line, "he's only so worried because he was something of a dog in his youth, and so fears anyone looking at me through the same lens he looked at women with." Says so much about the dad and gives a clear reason for his overprotective nature. As for the mum, she seems awesome. "But we both think he should just get over it." I'm looking forward to seeing what you have planned for this family dynamic.
The only thing I would say is that maybe some of the paragraphs were a little long in places and could do with a bit of neatening up, just to keep it all sharp and succinct. Like, for example, I don't think I needed that whole paragraph about how Mica and Moira get along, "we're not similar, really, but we perfectly complements." Show us throughout the story that they are not similar, but compliment each other. You don't need to point this out to us :) Same goes with the information about her parents, which could be cut by a few lines to sharpen it all up.
Hope that helps! Thanks for the read! :D
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 11 . 11/2/2015
You know, I realised halfway through reading this chapter the other day that I completely fell into the trap of thinking that Mica was much older and wiser than she really is. It's a sort of painful epiphany, because it's the moment I began to grasp just how badly this going to end for her. A lot of times while reading this chapter and re-reading it now, I see that Mica is really still a girl, a child to be honest. Yes, she is smart and she is snarky, and I do love how she sees some things differently, but she's also really still naive and innocent about how a lot of things work. I guess I just didn't grasp how innocent she was, because she put up a whole lot of bravado before this chapter? (All the power to you and your narrative power, I gotta say.)
I guess I feel sorry for her, because she's not ready for the fall-out, and she is in love, I think. I believe her when she says that, and it's even worse that ... Jonah still isn't the right boy for her. You know, I thought she was more experienced sexually till this chapter, until I saw that part where she's all about how Jonah makes her feel good. It sounds so young and vulnerable, and made me go back a few chapters more to see that she really has no clue ): That, literally, her only experiences with boys before Jonah were either bad boys or just morons (and that she lost her virginity way too early, and that it actually put her off sex). I can see why she went for Jonah now; he sort of represents what a lot of younger girls would like, and I can see why his charm got to her. But he's not right for her ): Not only because of his age, I feel that he's also jaded and tired, which you really get the impression of while reading this chapter. He's not coping with the whole college situation at all, and I am starting to think that he used Mica as a way to relieve stress (though I do believe he felt drawn to her in some way or the other emotionally too; still, she's far too young for him, emotionally as well).
I'm rambling, but I really don't see this ending well XD I guess I saw the writing on the wall before, but this chapter just really hammered the message home, and it's painful but also kind of beautiful.
Which is why I did review this for 'free' (I hate the concept of freebie reviews really: since my usual reviews are essentially for free too? Actually, I review because I want to XD. Like. I don't review something I don't like, in all honesty XD)