"This book was everything! I absolutely loved the character development of Starr throughout this book, I've waited so long for my favourite female to show just what she can do by herself and we got that and so much more! The writing style once again kept me so enthralled I didn't want to put it down, and I love the direction that the narrative has taken compared to the previous books, it feels so new and refreshing and I can't guess at all what's going to happen!" - Meggan, Goodreads
Published: June 3rd, 2017
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.
You never know who your true friends are until a gun’s pointed at you. One will take a bullet, and the other will pull the trigger. Starr learned that lesson the hard way.
The perfect smile. A killer attitude. General Treadwell wanted nothing more than to turn Starr Bishop into the ideal assassin, but she’s far more valuable as Jessica Chamberlain, granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates. Luckily, he’s found two enthusiastic replacements. They lack Starr’s intelligence, but no matter, they possess their own weapons of persuasion along with a flair for the dramatic, and that’s never a bad thing.
Di, along with Christian, Frank, Ben and Coda, are determined to keep Starr safe, but the depths of betrayal crack the very foundation of the team. When Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation, Di channels her WWSD (What Would Starr Do) to rally the team. She owes her best friend that much. No... More.
Top 10 Don’ts in a YA Story
I have to be honest.
I am not a fan of Don’ts.
I don’t like them.
Don’ts feel like rules, and aren’t those the things that are meant to be broken?
So perhaps, consider this list a YA cautionary tale…
1. Don’t stereotype. Period. Need more of an explanation? Your characters are representative of REAL people. Real people deserve real identities. Treat your characters as you would the humans of the world. Be real people. Do better.
2. More Don’ts on stereotypes. Just DON’T. Quit it.
3. Don’t Preach it.
Don’t teach it.
Don’t drop a heavy message like the dangers of drugs and alcohol. You may as well plug in the flashing “Don’t Read Me” billboard. Let the characters reveal the story.
4. Don’t rely on pop culture. What you think is hot today was dead yesterday. Add a prolific super pop star here. Toss an iconic song there. Refer to hugely popular books and movies. Go for staying power. Do be a Snapchat video—Expired after twenty-four hours.
5. LOL. OMG. BTW. No one talks in acronyms. Sadly, no one talks in emojiis either—although that would be something special. Dial down on slang. It becomes a brilliantly lit billboard flashing over your story that you’re trying too hard to talk teen. Googling the meaning of a word causes it to self-destruct in 2.9 seconds.
6. Trendy names. If the reader can’t pronounce the name or remember the name, that’s a problem. Shoot for classics or easy names plus one or two unique ones. Every name shouldn’t be a tongue twister.
7. Don’t turn TOUGH FEMALE PROTAGONIST into Damsel in Distress. Come on people. Females drive. Females vote. Females kick as much ass as they want without the cute boy coming to their rescue. That said, the female does not need to be a bitch in order to be tough. Nice girls can finish first with a hammer fist to the throat or a well executed escape route.
8. Don’t Murder your Darlings on the first page. No one cares about the now dead character. Build an emotional rapport with your characters and your audience before slicing their neck.
Real life sucks. It can be great too, but in general there is a lot of suckiness. Don’t pretend that everything is perfect and that your boyfriend didn’t cheat on you with your best friend or you don’t have a secret crush on your friend’s brother or that every characters’ parents are married and drink cocktails at 6 pm every night after a long day at work. Get real. Be real.
10. Don’t hate on the Instalove. A wish come true on the page for so many. Take Starr and Christian, Instalove at its purest. In Starr Fall, the world crumbles around them, and the two seem more caught up in a kiss than running from the Organization. Take you. Remember that time your locker jammed and “the” crush helped open the locker? (Okay, in that case, the damsel in distress totally works.) Remember that message from “the” boy or “the” girl asking if you want to hang out. Remember that burning, all-consuming, my hearts all a flutter fuzziness. Yeah? Well, that’s instalove, but it doesn’t mean forever. What seems like the perfect relationship always contains a backstory and a behind the scenes story. Instalove will be tested. It always is. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Hearts will be broken and stomped on, but there’s beauty in that pain too. So yes, Starr and Christian experience Instalove, but it will be tested in Starr Gone, Book Three. That I guarantee.
That’s a wrap on my Top 10 Don’ts in a YA Story. Honestly, there’s opportunity for rule breaking on every Don’t except #1 and #2. DON’T break #1 and #2 EVER. Hear me? EVER.
Is there any Don’ts I missed?
About the author:
Kim once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.
An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides 17 year old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But it’s not all happily ever afters for Kim. Her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she can’t escape. And Then He is available now through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall will debut November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing, followed by Starr Lost in January 2017.
When she’s not doing something writerly, Kim can be found jumping into snow drifts with her three kids, husband, and dog. She’s careful to avoid trees.
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