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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just finishing book one in a YA urban fantasy trilogy, and I'm having a difficult time with the blurb. I have something written, but I'm really looking for some feedback. So...here it is:

Seventeen-year-old Morgan Abbey has never really fit in.

Ten years ago, her mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and in the years since, Morgan has made money by telling fortunes, so she's always stuck out.

But when a mysterious stranger approaches her and insists she is special, Morgan begins to realize that her life may not be what it seems. She is introduced to a world and to abilities she never knew existed.

She soon learns that a centuries-old conflict might be within her power to end. It may be her destiny.


Now, I've left out a number of things (of course), including the news that her mother is alive somewhere, and the fact that some people she knows also begin to show some of these "abilities." Oh, and, also, the step Morgan might need to take to end this conflict is something she doesn't know if she can do.

So, any thoughts, questions, help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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Overall, I like it.

There does seem to be a lot of mysteriousness going on, though.  I can't help wondering whether the blurb would have a stronger hook if you got a tad more specific about how her mother vanished or what makes the stranger so mysterious.

I'd also be curious to know more about the centuries-old conflict she may be able to end.  A conflict between who and who?
 

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So if her mom disappeared when she was 7...and since then she's been making money telling fortunes...does that mean she's been doing this since she was 7? It sounds like, based on the blurb, that she supports herself doing fortune telling, and if this is modern-day set, one would expect adults or, at the least, a gvnt institution, to be supporting a child.

So I'm not sure that is coming across clearly, not for me, anyway. Also, if she truly tells fortunes for a living, if she's never fit in, why is she surprised to find out she's special? I would think a child who had an absolutely ordinary life, such as it is, would be more surprised to find out she's special.
 

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You blurb is well paced, but very passive. I tried to teen it up a bit. And I agree with Nancy. You might want to be a bit more specific with what kind of powers and what kind of battle. Since I didn't know the details I couldn't add them, but this is what I came up with.

Seventeen-year-old Morgan Abbey never really fit in.

It all started ten years ago when her mother disappeared and made her family the talk of the town. It doesn't help that the only part-time job she can get is telling fortunes--that seem to be coming true.

But when a mysterious stranger insists she's special, Morgan begins to realize that her life may not be what it seems. As she keys in to a gift she never knew she had, she learns she might not only have the power to end a centuries-old conflict, it may be her destiny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is why it's good to get feedback! She hasn't been supporting herself--she still has a father at home. She's been doing fortune-telling since middle school.

The mother's disappearance is rather mysterious--one day she didn't pick Morgan up from school and was never seen/heard from again.

Julie, I'm liking your "teened up" version. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

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So is it the fortune telling that sets her apart or the single dad situation? The blurb makes it seem like she's hapless and doesn't understand why she's different, but she has to know that other kids her age don't tell fortunes, while there are probably a number -- albeit limited -- of kids who live with only their dads.

As a parent of a kid who's closing in on middle school, I also wonder about how a middle school kid could even GET a job telling fortunes? Who does she work for? Does she get paid under the table? Who hires her? What does her existing parent think? Etc.

And maybe I'm wondering too much about the real-world mechanics of it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
JodyWallace said:
As a parent of a kid who's closing in on middle school, I also wonder about how a middle school kid could even GET a job telling fortunes? Who does she work for? Does she get paid under the table? Who hires her? What does her existing parent think? Etc.
She does the fortune-telling at school during the year and, when we see her at 17, in a local park during summer vacation. She is hired by her classmates.
 

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Does that cause trouble for her at school? Has she gotten in trouble with teachers, principals, other parents, etc for charging money for something like that at the age the kids are? Again, trying to conceptualize the real-world situation and what I'd do if my middle schooler told me she needed $10 to have her fortune told during recess....

I hope I'm not being too nitpicky! It has nothing to do with my thoughts on the premise. If it were a middle grade book, I'd say you could get away with more hand-waving about "non-commonplace" elements than in a YA book blurb, yes? The middle grade books Kid1 reads don't go into the same detail as the YA books she's not allowed to read yet, or certainly the adult genre books I read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, based on the feedback I've been getting, I've rewritten the blurb. Does this work better?

Morgan Abbey's life is about to change.

Just weeks before her senior year is set to begin, a mysterious stranger approaches Morgan with information that has far-reaching ramifications. First, the psychic ability she believes she has just been pretending to have since middle school might actually be real.

And second, her mother, who disappeared abruptly and completely almost a decade ago, might still be alive.

Morgan finds herself in the midst of a centuries-old struggle involving a group of people who quietly coexist alongside the common people of the world. This shadowy group believes it is time for them to reclaim their former positions of power-and they believe Morgan is the key.

But when the time comes, will Morgan be able to do what it takes to reunite with her mother and fulfill her destiny?
 
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