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PW #378: Young Adult Contemporary #ownvoices: IXORA DRIVE

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: One Week

Mentor Name: Rebecca Denton

Mentee Name: Sarah Vilain


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary #ownvoices

Word Count: 74,000 words


The loser who said it was better to have loved and lost, never got publicly rejected by Amir Chandra – and definitely not in front of the gossipy community of Maderine Bay, Tobago.

If heart-break and humiliation taught seventeen-year-old Reyna anything, it was to steer clear of the handsome boys next-door. But when Amir returns to Tobago, Reyna will learn there are times to play it safe, and times to risk it all.


They called it tabanca; a local term that refers to a deep, yearning desire which consumes your mind and spirit, and leaves you a lost, aching shell of your former self. It’s an insatiable longing. A need for a particular person who does not, never will, or no longer feels the same. It is, simply put, unrequited love. Even more simply put, it is The Fucking Worst.

I, unfortunately, knew this from personal experience.

Fortunately, by the age of seventeen, I’d moved past that phase of my life. I’d matured into a smart, sophisticated young woman, who spent her last hours of freedom bent over a freezer, scraping crusted dry-ice off the expiry date on the last container of Real Creole Chocolate ice-cream.
My mind had been so focused on this singularly imperative task, I remained oblivious to the first signs of my carefully constructed life unraveling around me.

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