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PW #376: Young Adult Contemporary, #ownvoices: GREEN LIGHTS

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Names: Erica M. Chapman, Stephanie Scott

Mentee Name: Akure Phénix


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary, #ownvoices

Word Count: 70,000


Welcome to Sayer Academy’s exclusive end-of-the-year cruise trip.

A chance for new-girl Natalie Cheng to escape the wounds of her father’s tragic death, and for the dazzling Jazz Gatling to party with the boy she loves.

But when the cruise’s accident leaves half the students dead, only they know the truth. Refusing to talk, the girls band together—their survival is everything now.

Gender-bent, diverse GREAT GATSBY meets GOSSIP GIRL.



I shouldn’t tell you what happened.

I shouldn’t tell anyone because I swore.

But, if I tell no one, I’ll feel like it never happened, like all proof will vanish. I want to tell you how Jazz swallowed a ragged breath, then plunged into the icy waters that day. How quickly the violent, thrashing waves grabbed her like frozen, mobile fingers.

I want to tell you how Dean Hawthorne leapt after her, diving into waters too cold for human lungs to combat, but because that was Jazz in that frigid sea, and Jazz was his breath in any space without air, his starlight through darkness, he had to. He couldn’t let her die. But that came with consequences.

I want to tell you how he tried swimming them towards land himself, braving the brutal winds that mercilessly whipped his skin, mocking him for his ambition. Punishing him for thinking he was greater than the nature itself that was swallowing them alive. Freezing his body relentlessly. But he wouldn’t stop, not with Jazz in his arms.

I wish I could tell you, above all, they survived the insurmountable things that happened to them. More than wishing, I want to tell you why so many students died. I want to tell you who they were and that they were good people—but I don’t know if that’s true anymore.

Not even for me.

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