PW #366: Young Adult Contemporary: LOVE LETTERS AND BROKEN THINGS

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Jeanmarie Anaya
Mentee: Erin Brambilla
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Word Count: 60,000


Tori’s supposed to feel thankful. A horrific accident left her boyfriend Sanjay miraculously alive. But she wants to go back. Before the drunk driver and the traumatic brain injury. Before Sanjay was forever changed. Before she met Jude, whose kindness made her forget all she’d lost. And before she started lying—so she could keep them both. In heartfelt letters penned to each boy, Tori will come clean, even if it breaks everything she loves.


Dear Jude,

It is highly possible you’d be the love of my life, if only your timing wasn’t unfortunate. Not bad, or poor, or even awful, because being with you is none of those. Those words put the fault on you. This isn’t your fault, Jude.

If the timing were different, I’d ship our names and write it hundreds of times in swirly cursive instead of writing this letter. But it’s not. So I won’t. We’re better off on our own. Just Tori Biggs. Jude Appleton. Without even an ampersand to connect us.

You’re probably home by now. It’s been fifteen minutes since you closed my car door. Sixteen minutes since I refused to hold your hand. And seventeen minutes and six months of reasons for me to know this will never work.

We can’t be together, Jude.

I, specifically, can’t.

I know evidence thus far points to the contrary.

You deserve so much better than me. Somebody unbroken. Somebody whose heart is free to be yours. You deserve to hear the truth, because all I have ever done is lie to you.

It will take hours and hours, but I’ll write you a letter for every time I lied. Until I tell you everything. It starts with a boy named Sanjay. It ends with a boy named Sanjay. And you fall somewhere in between.



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