Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Genre: Contemporary YA


Lark is the perfect hippie, growing up on a picturesque commune with her nine siblings, celebrating individuality, frolicking in peace and free love. Except, she’s sick of it all. At sixteen, this life of permissive parents and free rein to do as she pleases is getting old--especially when her days involve watching her mother dance topless around a campfire, high on ‘shrooms. She wants to experience life. Real life. No more of this Kumbaya, grow-your-own-food, down-with-the-man stuff. She takes a leap and attends public school.

Lark thrives in the real world. She even meets a boy she can be serious about. Jeremiah’s genuine and kind. And Republican. She’s ready to leave Peacesylvania behind. But when the commune gets busted on drug charges and must sell the land to a suburban McMansion developer, Lark realizes just how much of her self she will lose.

First sentence:

My to-do list has grown dauntingly long and the darkening grapes are just another reminder of how quickly this summer is ending.


  1. I really like this! Curiosity question, though: Does it take place in the present day? It's listed as contemporary, but hippies are usually associated with the 1970's. Still, it's a really cool concept/pitch.

  2. I liked the opening line and the concept and hope I get the chance to read more.

  3. What I like: I love this! I can really see the first passage.

    What I would like: I was a little deflated by the end though- is the commune definitely lost or is she going to fight it? Is there an external conflict or just one of identity?

    Great work!

  4. I love the voice in your comes across so clearly and makes me want to read more. I agree with Eliza that the end makes me wonder if there is no chance of the commune "winning", which I'd hope isn't a done deal...I'd like to see her fight to save it as well as learn more about herself. Good job!!

  5. Love how the first line pulls me right in. I can feel the bittersweet of the moment, and even though you don't describe everything, I feel grounded in the scene. Beautifully done!

  6. I love this - the only thing I'm not sure about is the stakes. It's very vague with 'losing herself' for me. I would want clearer stakes - her family are going to lose their home!

  7. As others have said I want to know more about what's at stake? Will she loose her boyfriend if he finds out about her family? Will her family be homeless? Will her family go to jail? I want to know a bit more. I do like the concept as it's a chance to be exposed to a lifestyle I'm not familiar with.

  8. Interesting! I would def read more. Good luck!


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