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  1. #1

    Untitled ( for now )

    I'm writing a young adult book, and I need some feedback. Like, what characters do you like and why, what parts could be improved, what your favorite lines are, etc.

    Here's what I have:

    Chapter 1

    In which I deal with a particularly nosy customer.

    I like working at the shop. It's actually kind of fun, since I'm surrounded by my three of my favorite things: money, food, and music. My dad owns this little place near the mall— Silverstein's Sweets. Apart from the heinous alliteration, SS, as it's known to most of the kids at my middle school, is the best place in the world. It's a bakery, and the sweet scent of cinnamon, sugar, chocolate, vanilla, and brown sugar always hangs in the air. Soft music plays non-stop, which is quite relaxing. Everything looks all sweet and pretty. Light brown, soft pink, and the palest shades of blue make up the color scheme (I'm proud to say that Rose and I picked those colors out).

    I work the 5:00 to 8:00 shift on Fridays and Saturdays, since no one on the planet with a life wants that one. But for me, it's no big deal. I'm only thirteen, so boys aren't exactly a concern yet, and Dad always gives me time off if Moxie and/or Charlotte invite me to a sleepover or something. Moxie Applegate and Charlotte Cramer are my two best friends. Moxie— isn't that just a great name? I've always loved it— and I met during first grade, but Charlotte didn't become our friend until the sixth. I didn't like her at first. I thought she was too obsessed with school, too serious for my tastes. But I was wrong about her. Charlotte's actually not to pleased about having to do nothing but work. I found out that it wasn't her fault— it was her mom's. Mrs. Cramer is obsessed with making sure Charlotte is nothing less than the president of the United States someday. And presidents, apparently, don't have fun. Moxie's parents aren't like that. Mr. and Mrs. Applegate are the type who basically have three rules: no getting drunk or high, no getting pregnant, and let me know where you are and who you're with. Follow those rules, and you're fine. My parents are more in the middle. I mean, they used to be. Dad still was, but as for Mom… it seemed lately that she couldn't care less what I did.

    ***

    "Hmm, what to have, what to have…" the woman murmured. I didn't like her. I had only known her for about ten seconds, but I didn't like her. I guess she just gave me a bad vibe. Maybe it was the irritating voice, the excessive amount of jewelry, the dyed-blond hair (sorry, lady, but you weren't fooling anyone), or just the fact that she was so chatty. I'm a chatterbox at times, myself, but here's my main rule: I talk. You listen.

    "I'll take a basket of chocolate chip cookies and a lemonade for here, please, dear," she smiled. I groaned inwardly. Part of my job at SS was to keep customers happy. I would have to talk to her. It was a slow night, and the shop was empty, so I had no one else to wait on. The floor needed sweeping, but I could talk and sweep at the same time. Nothing needed to be done in the back. Collin (the college guy who worked there) wouldn't be pleased if I made him talk to the woman. I was stuck.

    But I put on a polite smile and rang up her order. "That'll be $5.87," I said.

    The woman counted out her money, and her eyes drifted towards my nametag. "Daisy Silverstein," she read. "Like the name of the shop."

    "Yeah," I said, as I made change for her $10 bill. "My dad is Alexander Silverstein, the owner."

    "How nice! Do you work here often?"

    "Twice a week."

    "Any other workers your age?"

    "No, ma'am." The technical requirement is to be 14, but my dad bent the rules for me.

    "Isn't it a little inconvenient to work on Friday night?" she asked as she sat down at a table.

    I started to sweep the pastel pink tiles. "Nah, it's not like I have any plans."

    "Hmm. So, tell me, Daisy, how do you do in school?"

    Wow. Straight to the personal questions, eh? I gritted my teeth. Remember the paycheck, remember the paycheck, remember the paycheck, I thought. "I do okay," I replied.

    "What's your favorite subject?"

    Remember the paycheck, remember the paycheck. "Uh, science, I guess?"

    "How interesting. You know, when I was a girl, I used to love history."

    "Mmm-hmm," I said. Good, at least this way I wouldn't have to talk.

    "It was so fascinating to learn about what shaped the country."

    "I agree, ma'am." Pfft, fat chance. On a good day, I stayed awake for fifteen minutes in history before I fell asleep.

    "So, tell me Daisy, is that your natural hair color?"

    "Yes." Unlike some people, (Hi, Moxie.) most of the girls in my family don't need to dye our hair for highlights. Every brunette girl in the family just… has them. Little flecks of dark red mixed in. Moxie loves them, and constantly tries to add the same kind of thing, only brown, to her blond hair, but she can never get it quite right. She usually either uses too little, so they barely show, accidentally dyes ALL of her hair brown, or some other minor disaster.

    "That is gorgeous," the woman gushed. "It's the kind of thing a rock star would have."

    Paycheck, Daisy, remember the paycheck. "Thank you, ma'am."

    "Hey there, Daze-Daze," said my dad, walking in from the back.

    Oh, thank God, an interruption! "Hi, Dad," I said, running over to hug him. He ruffled my hair. "Is it 8:00 already?"

    "Yep," Dad said. "You get outta here, Daisy. I'll get Donna from the lounge." Donna Bright had a weird sort of position. She worked nine hours a week, unlike me, but she only worked them one hour at a time. The shop closed at 9:00, and it was her job to run it for the last hour on Fridays and Saturdays.

    "G'night Dad," I said. I walked outside. It was a cool September night, and my bike was parked outside. I hopped on and began the short ride home, where things were a lot less peaceful.


    Chapter 2

    In which Poppy and Geoff get in a fight… again.

    "I'm ho-ome!" I called out. No one answered, so I figured that Poppy was out with her boyfriend, Rose was asleep, and Mom and Geoff weren't home from the movies yet.

    Rose and Poppy are my sisters. Rose is seven, and Poppy is nearly eighteen. Rose, for reasons I have never been able to fathom, looks up to me. She thinks I'm the best, because I have a job and Mom likes me. Poppy is a different story. "Skank" is probably the best word for Poppy. She has a new boyfriend every week, isn't very responsible, her grades suffer, and, well, Mom kinda dislikes her. She's Poppy's mother and they love each other, but I never thought that they liked each other all that much.

    Geoff, my stepfather, openly hates Poppy, and believe me when I say that the feeling is mutual. Poppy despises him, and I'm with her there. Geoff is a worm, scum, and a liar. But, for some reason, Mom chose HIM. Out of all the suitors she had over the course of three years between the divorce and her second wedding, she chose HIM. It makes me want to spit.

    ***

    Moxie called around 10:15.

    "Hey, Daisy," she said. "Can I come over tomorrow?"

    "Sure," I said. "Why?"

    "Well, Mom and Dad are going hiking, and they were like, 'Moxie, it'd be so fun! Join us!', so I'm all like, 'No, I don't want to', and they send me to my room for being a brat and said that I couldn't watch myself all day, and added, 'If you find someplace to be all day, we'd consider letting you out of this'."

    "Ah. Yeah, sure, you can come over. Rose has a playdate, Mom will be at work all day, Geoff will be golfing, and it's Poppy's weekend at Dad's, so we'll have the house to ourselves."

    My sisters and I live with our mom during the week, but we have a weird sort of weekend situation. The first weekend of the month, Rose stays at Dad's by herself. The second week, Poppy goes. The third, I go, and the fourth, we all go. It's odd, but I like it. I would've, however, liked it more if I just lived with Dad full-time.

    "Awesome," said Moxie. "We can watch what we want on TV for once."

    "Walk over after your parents leave," I said.

    "Okay."

    I heard the garage door open. I glanced out the window, and saw a blue convertible pulling up. "Augh, Mom and Geoff are home," I said to Moxie.

    "Okay. Talk to you tomorrow."

    "Right."

    We both hung up, as I prepared for the oncoming threat. Geoff and Mom walked through the door. "Hey, Daisy," said Mom.

    "Hi, Mom," I replied, refusing to acknowledge my stepfather's existence until I had to. "How was your date?"

    "It was nice," she said. "Even when the movie theater's air conditioner gave out."

    I cringed. "Ooh, I hate that." I took her purse. "Moxie's coming over tomorrow, Charlotte's a possibility."

    "Okay."

    "Don't make a mess," warned Geoff. I rolled my eyes, making no secret of it.

    "Where's Poppy and Rose?" he added.

    "Rose is asleep, and… well, I have no clue where Poppy is."

    "AGAIN?!" he roared. "That girl has no respect! Honestly, she needs to call and—"

    He was cut off by a motorcycle pulling up. Poppy hopped off the back, and waved goodbye to her boyfriend, Ayden, as he drove off. As soon as she stepped in the door, Geoff went ballistic.

    "WHERE—! HAVE—! YOU—! BEEN!" he shouted. Thea, one of our cats, jumped off the couch and scurried away.

    "NO CALL, NO CHECK-INS, OFF WITH THAT DELINQUENT BOYFRIEND OF YOURS—!"

    "Ayden is NOT a delinquent!" Poppy screamed. "He loves me!"

    "Only because you crawl on top of him!"

    Everyone seemed to forget that I was present, and everyone started screaming. I walked up the stairs, and nearly tripped over Rose. She sat at the top of the stairs, listening. She looked up at me. "Daisy!" she said, trying to hide the tears that were streaming out of her big blue eyes.

    "Oh, Rosie," I cooed, hugging her.

    "Why do they also fight?" she asked.

    "I don't know, Rose. I wish I did. Did they wake you up?"

    She nodded. "I was asleep, and then I heard screaming. I thought someone was hurt, so I started to go downstairs, but then I saw it was Poppy and Geoff."

    I sighed. "Look, sis, go back to bed."

    "Will you read me a story?" she asked.

    "Sure," I replied. "First, I need to talk to Poppy, Geoff, and Mom."

    "Okay."

    Once Rose was tucked back in bed, I stormed back down the stairs.

    "YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR ME WHATSOEVER—!" Geoff roared.

    "GEE! I WONDER WHY?!" Poppy shouted back.

    "Both of you, please—," Mom said, trying to be peacemaker.

    "YOU'RE A TRAMP, AND YOU'LL NEVER MAKE ANYTHING OF YOURSELF!" That infuriated me. There was only one person who could call Poppy a tramp and get away with it— me.

    "DON'T TELL ME WHAT I CAN DO—"

    "STOP IT!" I shrieked.

    They all turned around to look at me in shock.

    "JUST STOP IT," I repeated. I took a deep breath. "You guys do nothing but fight! You woke up Rose! She was scared! You guys are so selfish, you only think of yourselves! And if things don't begin to improve around here NOW, I'm taking Rose, AND MOVING IN WITH DAD!"

    I ran back upstairs in tears.


    So yeah... thoughts?
    Last edited by Gumby; March 26th, 2011 at 03:54 AM. Reason: request for critiquing as title

  2. #2
    I love the storyline a Divorced family with child problems. The only real problem is that your writing is to simplistic, I don't know if you mean to write like this or not but in my opinion you should improve your writing. Other than that and some spell checks your story is great.

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