PW #203: YA Thriller: THE RUNAWAYS

Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Kim Graff
Mentee Name: Jenny Rosen
Category: YA
Genre: Thriller 
Word Count: 88,000


When seventeen-year-old Hailey unearths her U.S. Senator father’s ties to a mass murder, he hires Caleb—teenage-Casanova-turned-killer—to make her disappear. Caleb forgoes duty for runaway love; trading twisted family loyalties for Hailey’s life. Caught between dirty cops, black ops, and blood ties, they must survive the sins of Hailey’s father and expose his corruption before he buries them both.


Dad had a loaded gun for a girlfriend. He hid it under his bedroom floor. Technically, the place was off limits, but I’d never been good with imaginary lines.

Compulsive eavesdropping had its perks. These halls always buzzed with bittersweet political whispers. But the sink-your-teeth-into-Nancy-Drew-worthy-scandals never slipped through the walls, until Dad bought somebody’s soul over a cell phone call.

“Nothing’ll save you, son. I own you and keep a .45 under my bed as an insurance policy.”

Some monsters speak truth. Mom said Dad was one of them. She stormed into the living room the night before she left, newspaper in hand, broken heart splattered across the headlines, and threw it in his face. He was too busy watching his poll numbers plummet to notice.

I noticed everything–like our family falling apart because of big, bold headlines calling Dad a “bio-terrorist” and a “murderer”.

She moved out. I kept digging for black and white reasons behind our brokenness.

Nothing felt solved. Nothing made sense, until now.

I snuck in when he stepped out—tiptoed down the hallway while he hurried downstairs. He would’ve heard me if he paid attention. He never has.So I scraped my pink toenails across his expensive floors hoping he’d catch me.

Notice me.

Just once.


His voice cut through the quiet, ripping the air from my lungs. I plastered myself against the wall and waited for my body to remember how to breathe.



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