Query Hack: Critique #22 – YA Contemporary with #LGBTQ + Fantasy Elements

Dear Query Hack,

16-year-old Nessa Cruz wants to disappear. Better that than dealing with the aftermath of becoming Tumblr’s viral meme ‘Horror Anime Girl.’ The best she can do is vanish with her squad of awkward friends during lunch to an empty classroom, which has become their HQ. But when new girl Thadir wilts under the student body’s sudden fascination with her wealthy family and their resemblance to the ethereal elves of Tolkien mythology, Nessa is too sympathetic to keep HQ under wraps from Thadir.

  • I love that you have your protagonist’s desire at the front of the query.
  • Fantastic first paragraph!

After Thadir invites Nessa to an exclusive richy-richy party at her McMansion, somebody leaks photos of the duo that births a meme and shines a new light on Nessa and Thadir. Struggling to keep HQ hidden from reinvigorated fans and bullies, Nessa finds herself in WTF territory when Thadir says all this attention is because she’s a faery. Now Nessa is in the trenches of a clique war for the search for Thadir’s whereabouts, and the freaky reality of falling for a girl who thinks she’s a faery. If this clusterfuck isn’t sorted out, Nessa will lose her mind a second time.

  • When you say, “shines a new light on Nessa and Thadir,” do you mean it appears they are involved romantically? If so, I think more specific conflict would be great here. You could mention what’s in the photo or how Nessa reacted to the photo getting out there. Is she nervous about Thadir emotionally pulling away? 
  • Does Thadir disappear? (“… for the search of Thadir’s whereabouts…”) 
  • Overall, I LOVED this paragraph as well. However, I’d like to know more about what you mean about Nessa’s losing her mind a second time. What made her lose her mind the first time?
  • In addition, I’d like to see the plot summary/book blurb closed with stronger stakes. Has Thadir gone missing? If so, what is Nessa doing to find her? How does it tie into her emotions and school? 

HORROR ANIME GIRL, a YA contemporary with light fantasy elements and a bisexual Filipino protagonist, is complete at 69,000 words. It is in the veins of GEMINI BITES and is SIMON VS meets #FAMOUS.

  • I LOVE THIS. Can this book be on the bookshelves already, please? 
  • Though, I’m wondering if the word count is on the shorter side for a book with fantasy elements? 

My short works are published with [PUBLICATION NAME], student literary magazines, and zines. I published [TITLE] with [PRESS] under the pen name [NAME], but am open to re-launching with another name. I’m an active participant in fandoms and a fanfic writer.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

  • To respect the writer’s privacy, I’ve replaced some of the content with placeholders.
  • Thank you for sharing your query with us!

 

 


 

 

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