Category and Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 55,000Query:
In the first weeks of high school, small-town girl and former student body President Vanessa Montgomery is abruptly dropped by her best friend, who also encourages the rest of their peer group to exclude her. Vanessa feels her life spinning out of control, and, paralyzed by anxiety, she turns to restrictive eating. Then, just before she’s lost herself completely, she transfers to a new high school to start over.Vanessa wants to forget what happened at Green Valley. And more than that, she wants to convince everyone around her that she’s “fine”- most of all, herself. But her past still haunts her. She needs to remember the traumatic events she’s repressed and come to terms with her experience in order to move on. But if the truth about what happened last year stays buried underneath the layers of self-protection that are preventing her from ever trusting anyone again, Vanessa risks distancing herself from her peers at her new school too, and spending the rest of high school as an outsider.First 250 Words:
June- Summer after Freshman Year
Waiting for Bus to Camp
A low, thin layer of fog hangs overhead, and the air is misty: typical weather for a northwest Washington morning, even in the summertime. It’s not particularly cold outside, but I still can’t help but shiver. That’s one of the side effects of being underweight: I’m constantly cold. I take a deep breath and look around, catching a glimpse of my reflection in the window. The girl I see is perfectly normal-looking, with long blonde hair that reaches almost to her waist. I wish I were as confident as she looks like she would be. About a dozen other kids have gathered in the parking lot to wait for the bus. I smile and wave at a few, but don’t move from my spot on the bench. Despite the fact that I feel like a loser for sitting here alone, I would rather stay by myself than risk being rejected.
The bus pulls in just a few feet away from the Starbucks across the parking lot. I momentarily daydream about a Starbucks scone, but don’t consider getting one. It’s safer that way. I know that sounds crazy. How could a scone be unsafe? But eating one would be out of my routine, and that would make me feel “off”.
A girl with shoulder-length brown hair who looks to be about my age comes out of Safeway and sees me. “Hey, are you here for leadership camp?” she asks. She must have spotted my nametag. I feel a wave of relief.
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