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Rich Young Losers [YA]
Posted: December 30th, 2011, 1:38 am
David Leung isn't just any spoiled, passive aggressive teenager who enjoys selling "a few grams of coke" for graphic sneakers; he also enjoys Nabokov, Japanese New Wave films, and meditating on the nature of sin while he commits them. However, in the second semester of Grade Twelve, he is exiled to Haikou, China when his parents find out about his drug dealing habit. There he meets Little Ace, an "ugly, stupid loser" but "with helpless optimism"; besides short-changing customers in his parents' convenience store and skipping school, all Little Ace wants is to be the "King of the Children", or to someday manage an arcade. In ten days David bails out on his prestigious school and his aunt's apartment to join Ace's "Cult of Youth". In twenty David learns the ins and outs of the city with his friends. But one by one the hangout group gets forced back into school, or to work, or to live with relatives, and soon Ace and David are the only ones left, with no jobs, no school, no home, and only a vague blueprint of Ace's arcade.
Then, on Day 56, Little Ace goes too.
Rich Young Losers is a multicultural YA novel complete at 56,000 words.
Thank you in advance for your critiques!! I do feel as though the query is too short, as though I should have suffered more in the process of writing it.
Re: Rich Young Losers [YA]
Posted: December 30th, 2011, 1:18 pm
Hi L-live, just my first impressions here:
I am not a reader or writer of YA so I am wondering: is drug use/selling something that is discussed in YA novels?
It seems like in the second paragraph you start to do a bit of a countdown, with the sentences "In ten days David bails out on his prestigious school and his aunt's apartment to join Ace's "Cult of Youth". In twenty David learns the ins and outs of the city with his friends" and later we get day 56. I think this idea is effective and maybe you could expand it in your query, or use it as the whole basis of your query, for example start with day 1 and so on.
Can you define Ace's cult idea a little more?
Most of all though, I'm not sure what is David's main goal or conflict. Is it having to survive on the streets? I think the premise sounds interesting but I'm not clear where it's headed.
Best of luck!
Re: Rich Young Losers [YA]
Posted: December 31st, 2011, 2:03 am
I realize now that my query is too short. Thanks for opening my eyes.
"Ace's cult idea": actually, this is the prevalent trend of "Rich Second Generation youth" in China, who are basically ... rich, young losers. I was really trying to cut down on the word count and so came up with "cult of youth". This is just their group of rich spoiled friends.
However, now I can fix this!
David is a cultured, cynical kid who criticises things like mega-malls and the working class fashion sense, but ends up doing what he despises anyway. He tries to straighten himself out in the Chinese school but inevitably falls back into his old nihilistic ways. Because he naturally ends up with the "bad kids", he can't even change himself. This is also mirrored in society, where many people cannot change their economic status (or whatever else) because of external circumstances.
This is his conflict.
I hope it helps. Back to the drawing board!