Query Critique 64

Dear Agent:

I would like to present you with SUITS, a young adult novel complete at 72,000 words.

When Alice Gray gets busted stealing a bike, she’s sure it’s off to juvie this time, but minutes before her court hearing, a woman named Lindsay shows up to whisk her away in a car that costs more than Foster Mama Twelve’s house. Love the voice. I think “Foster Mama Twelve” is great.

Alice is off to the Headquarters of Special Agents where she’ll train alongside other recruits pursing careers in espionage. After fourteen different schools, Alice knows how to handle being the “new girl,” but this place has a whole new set of social parameters. There aren’t jocks, preps, and nerds here. Instead there are Suits, Grunts, Wizards, and Beakers, all who have developed very distinct opinions of the other divisions during their months of training.

But that’s not the only surprise the Lindsay has: Their parents were special agents too, killed by a terrorist organization that’s looking to snatch Alice up at the earliest opportunity. The reason: classified. So is Lindsay Alice’s sister? Make this a little more clear. Also, how much older than Alice is Lindsay? From the first paragraph, I got the impression she was quite a bit older.

Oh, and by the way, their parents were their parents. Turns out foster brother fifteen was wrong when he told Alice her whole family probably offed themselves to be rid of her. This paragraph is a little less clear than the others.

Lindsay uses every available resource to ensure Alice lands in her division—the staunch Suits—but Alice is drawn to the adrenalin-junkie Grunts. She’ll have to twist the rules and strain her new relationship with her sister if she wants to get in with the Grunts and avoid a life of serious robotery with the Suits. Forget the terrorists trying to hunt her down. If she’s stuck with the Suits every day, Alice will turn herself in. I like this closer. Overall, very good. Lots of good conflict and stakes. Also voice!

SUITS is the first in a planned series that brings the espionage of the TV show Alias together with the intense training ofDivergent’s Dauntless faction.

Like my protagonist Alice, I don’t like coffee, people with superiority complexes, or girls who can be described as “wispy.” Unlike Alice, I have my English degree from the University of Northwestern—St. Paul where I held position as editor of the school’s literary magazine.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Private I


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