HH Com 459

Sixteen-year-old Corinne Manning once wrote a school paper about how the justice system should relinquish punitive decisions to the victims and their families. Her theory is put to test when she is kidnapped by a deranged man and forced to play the role of child bride. After her safe return home, doling out punishment to her abductor is the last thing on Corinne’s mind. She just wants to put the ordeal behind her. But her father can’t.

(your hook starts here)
Level-headed Mr. Manning is charged with killing his daughter’s kidnapper.

Amid her family’s turmoil – father in prison, brother too scared to leave the house and mother with one foot over the threshold of sanity – Corinne finds herself snubbed by classmates and friends. Everyone is throwing around accusations that she was a willing participant in the abduction, that it was just a suburban teen’s ploy for attention.
Corrine is grateful to be distracted by an intense relationship with Heath, the mysterious new good-looking guy at school. But too many questions surround him. Is Heath’s appearance in the aftermath of her kidnapping more than mere coincidence?

Deliberate Stranger is a romantic mystery aimed at a young adult audience.

You need less description and more on the actual plot. Heath arrives...and? Why is he interested in her at all? Yes, that's part of the mystery but at some point, early on, they connect. Why? What's his pick up line so to speak.


McKoala said...

I'm quite interested, though.

BernardL said...

Would the young woman be hooking up with a new love interest after an abduction, where her Father ends up in prison for killing the predator? That's a stretch.

HawkOwl said...

This was good until Heath showed up. Maybe explain better how Heath makes your plot cool.

aries said...

I am a huge YA mystery fan and this hook definitely has promise. Even though it appears the focus is on the Heath mystery, the issue of allowing victims to decide punishments is more interesting. It would be a refreshing change to seen a YA character have to apply abstract philosophical thought to her own personal crisis.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe either the snubbing of friends or the "intense relationship". They just don't work for me. Obviously this is an echo of the Elizabeth Smart case. Those two things just don't fit.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is mine.

Heath is the son of her kidnapper. This kidnapper was married and his wife died in childbirth (enter Heath). After his wife's death he became more an more deranged, eventually believing that his wife had been reincarnated in a sixteen year old (Corinne). Heath has spent his existence looking after and protecting his unstable father.

After the killing, authorities send Heath to live with relatives, who happen to be in Corinne's school district. News/authorities keep his identity private since he's a minor. He ends up the only one who knows that Corrine was truly a victim, and eventually "outs" himself to help her - both at school and with the legal system.

It all winds down with sentencing for her father, Corrine and Health discerning their relationship, blah blah.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback! This is still extremely rough so ALL comments are welcome and appreciated.

writtenwyrdd said...

Kidnapper and Heath, mysteriously tied together? First, I anticipate some sort of brooding revenge from Heath, as I jump to the conclusion that he's the kidnappers son. I HOPE that's not the case, that you give us red herrings to that faulty conclusion and surprize us with something ELSE. The hook is in that dynamic and also in the family drama of the father's act of revenge murder, the daughter's being accused of complicity, and her having to find her land legs again amidst the emotional chaos.

This could be a fantastic psychological drama, but you need to untangle the threads.

Perhaps revise this so that the focus is on the protag's recovery and her family issues, and give Heath a smaller mention?

Bonnie Shimko said...

You have a great premise here. I agree about the Heath character. That part puts it over the top. I don't think a kid who'd gone through what she had would have a serious relationship with any guy - at least not until she'd had some intense therapy and a lot of time to come to terms with her feelings. The part about the kids thinking she might have been involved in the kidnapping scheme wouldn't work unless the kidnapper was a hot kid about her age. In that case, some of her "friends" might abandon her. Maybe a not-so-popular girl (or boy) who she'd snubbed in the past could be her rock. Maybe she'd be better with nobody. Anyway, she has enough on her plate with her family falling to pieces and trying to get past her past without Heath. Elizabeth Smart came to my mind, too. That's okay, though. That was an amazing ordeal, and I don't think that theme has been done, unless I missed it.

All my nitpicking aside, I really love your idea. As a young adult author, I wish I'd thought of it first. Good luck with this!

writtenwyrdd said...

Whoa! Wait a mo', author. If Heath has largely spent his time taking care of his nutty dad, then he's been in the picture when Claire was stuck playing child bride with the sicko! She KNOWS this guy? That's a no go for a YA book. Sorry. Take it out, I beg you.

Anonymous said...

:Tired editor might like this one if the protag was of legal age. Daddy can still kill the baddie.:

Virginia Miss said...

This sounds good. (I was hooked even before Miss Snark said your hook should start!)

You just need to add a bit more. How does Heath complicate matters? What does Corinne need to do or decide? Is she trying to help her father get out of prison? Is the book about proving her father's innocence? Or did he do it, so the focus is on her dealing with his guilt?

Anonymous said...


Wouldn't Corinne have met Heath, if Heath is her kidnapper's son, when Corinne was first kidnapped?

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for the response!!

Heath was out of town when his father kidnaps her. He returns, his father confesses to him and he turns his father in but MC doesn't meet Heath until later.

Heath is not involved in the crime, nor does he want revenge on Corinne or her family. He feels shameful his father did this.

Since there was concern I thought I should clarify :). Writtenwyrd you're crackin' me up!

Food for thought here - thank you all and THANK YOU MISS SNARK!

writtenwyrdd said...

Author, re your response on Heath's meeting/not meeting your protag...it's TOO CONTRIVED. It won't fly.