This month's brave volunteer is Eric Steinberg and here is the first page from his story, BETTER LIVES…
LENNON: I enjoyed it. That being said, I probably wouldn't read it because it a) goes against my moral code and would make me feel like a goodie-goodie the entire book and b) it doesn't seem like the type of book I would like that much. It was well written and was authentically young but didn't quite grab my interest.
GRACIE: While I am intrigued enough to read on and find out what's going on, a lot of the wording in this first page is really odd and it makes it hard to follow the actual story. It just isn't completely clear and concise what's going on. Also I don't really get a sense of the voice of the MC. The voice should reflect the personality of the character right away, I think, and I just don't see that here. I am curious to know what's going on and what will happen, though.
REBECCA: I like it. My only slight problem with it is that although I get that the author is rehashing the details of what happened two weeks earlier, they haven’t spent much time introducing the story before jumping straight back into what happened a few weeks earlier. For me it felt a bit stop, start; not a very smooth run. I’m not suggesting a whole chapter, just a page at least before jumping back into the past . Apart from that, I’m very interested to find out what happens next and what the story is actually about. I would definitely read more!
LYNSAY: This was a nice first page. I always like to see the prep/boarding school background, maybe because I've read a lot of books with the same old cliche cliquey public high school background. I did feel like I wanted a little more background information before we jumped right into breaking into the house, if that makes sense? Maybe more about the school or how these boarding school kids managed to get to this persons house or more explanation about the ace in the hole and motive lines, but hey, it is only a first page, and I'm sure you were getting to that. I also liked how the narrator said that he had no "moral objections" to stealing the test because I also feel like the whole, "I know this is wrong, but my friends pressured me into doing it, but I didn't want to do it.." angle is overdone too. Overall I think it pulled me in, and I would definitely keep reading; I want to see if they get caught breaking in the house.
We'll be doing another call for first pages in a few weeks. Stay tuned!