Cait (my fourth daughter) is our judge this week. We thought it’d be nice if someone who’s a teen read the entries and so we’ve asked her to help.
Over the last few years, I have read a few dystopian novels (including Mom’s DD–over and over and over and. . .) CANDOR, FEED, and UGLIES to name a few. I really like it when the author has a good sense of place, a strong voice and characters that want you to keep reading about them. In Ally Condie’s MATCHED I really liked the secret relationship and the character development. The world felt real.
So here are my picks:
Cold. The world is always cold.
Some would say it is my fault the world is cold. You see, it is not cold for everyone. It is cold for those, like me, who disobey. We are put outside to work as punishment for misbehaving.
I am always outside, always chopping the frozen trees, gathering ice, or trying to catch the few animals that remain above ground. We do not need the trees for fuel, because we have other forms of energy below. We do not need to gather ice, as we can make it below. Animals are bred below for food, and those that we catch are never eaten. Our punishments are practices in futility.
My crime is always speech. I am outspoken, and that is not allowed. Being outspoken is what created the ice age. Being outspoken is not living as one with your fellows below the ground. Being outspoken will cause you to stand outside in the cold that creates a silence like death. Being outspoken means you are alone except for others who have done wrong.
I stand a few feet away, staring at the entrance to Below that is hidden amongst the ice trees. It looks like a round slab of stone, resting on the ground, but even through the fog my breath creates I can see the flaws in its supposed natural design.
In my punishment, I have seen stones, real stones, and they are not like these. They are rough and jagged, with an imperfection that is beautiful. I am like those stones. I am imperfect. I am rough. I am not a clone like most Below. I even gave myself a name, not a number. In my head, I am Fria. Not 3542.
I turn my back to the entrance and walk, ice crunching under my feet. The steam my breath creates floats in front of me, guiding me to my usual spot where I wait out the six hours of my punishment.
But today, someone is already in my place. I know it is that boy. The boy who angered me into being outspoken. I hate that boy.
I loved the first line. The writer has a great sense of place. I felt like I was there, with Fria. I want to know more about the boy who took Fria’s spot. I want this to be finished. I want to read more.
This was a close second. I again liked the sense of place. I wanted to know more about her family, why she had to fight in a war, and more about Aric. Really enjoyed this one.
This is going to be one of my favoritest EVER contests because this will be EASY PEASY. We want 500 words (or less) on a romance novel.
The entry must include one kiss–and it has to be a good kiss! There must be a real problem evident and don’t forget sense of place and character development.
Let us see the characters, paint true pictures.
Use a new name, but don’t tell anyone that name until after the judging is over.
Because of technical difficulties, the contest closes at nine (9) pm on Wednesday, March 14. Yup, tomorrow evening.
Remember, the old standards–You may vote for two (2) people.
Judging will be on Thursday and Friday and will close midnight.
Get those romantic juices flowing (that’s gross, I know) and go slather on some make up. Even if you are a guy.
Put on some stilettos, the Bombshell Bra (exclusively at Victoria’s Secret) (any color or print, you choose) and a sexy bo dexy dress and get to writing!
(Pictures of dress are encouraged after judging closes.)