Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Critique: Run, Clarissa, Run

Todays critique is a book blurb for a novel entitled Run, Clarissa, Run. Thanks Rachel for sending it in:)

Life in a small town can be tough when you're a little different, but for a fifteen year old transgender kid it can truly be hell. Good catch-something most people would understand/agree with Clark is harassed daily at school for his effeminate behavior and appearance. He has no friends and a brother that is as likely to be in on the teasing as to prevent it. At night he is haunted by a nightmare of being shoved in bank vault. This seems a bit random. If this is important, which I'm assuming it is, give it more direction. This sounds like the part that should really catch someone's interest.

Across town, Shelley Pirella seems to have it all. She has a great job, two wonderful girls and a handsome husband, Tony, who does computer security work for a major corporation. Is that important information? Why? Again I feel like this is supposed to be part of the catch but I can't figure out where its going.  Tony Pirellais a little too handsome, though; Shelley has had problems more than once with the babysitters, teenage girls mostly, developing crushes on her husband, and he is a little too willing to play the role of love interest.

Shelley attempts to thwart her husband by hiring the effeminate 'gay boy' Clark. The arrangement works out surprisingly well, for a time. The girls love their new boy/girl babysitter. Clark and Tony share a common interest in computers and hacking that leads to an unexpected friendship.

However as Tony becomes aware of Clark's transsexuality and Clark's growing female alter ego, Clarissa, things start to unravel. Will Tony be Clarissa's salvation or her undoing?  

I think this is a lovely start to a book blurb:) What I'm having the most trouble with is seeing things connect: why is Clark's nightmare important enough to be included on the blurb? Same with Tony's job - I can sense that its suppose to lead into something important that would really catch a readers attention, but right now it all seems a bit random.
I think it might also help to introduce Clarissa sooner - I missed it at the end and had to re-read it. 
I would also like a bit of a sneak peek into why Tony is a threat to Clarissa. Is he worried he'll lose Clark because of her? Does he become attracted to her? This is your tension - the basic element of the book's plot- give me an idea of what I'm going to be reading.

Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments! And thanks again Rachel for letting me take a look at it!


  1. Thanks for looking at this, I really want the blurb to pop. The dream is somewhat important to the plot, I may cut that. Tony's computer skills (he teaches Clarke/Clarissa to be a hacker) and their relationship is important and it sounds like I need to work on how to better hook the reader with this. Thanks for reading and critiquing it, I really appreciate the help.

    1. You're very welcome:) Thank for sending it in! Hope it was helpful for you:)

  2. I agree with your comments, Katie. I also think perhaps the protagonist should be clarified. I feel like too many characters have been suddenly added to the mix, and I would like the main character's story made a little clearer. But I really like the premise of the story, which is great. Make the blurb a little clearer and I'm sold! I really hope this helped.

  3. Seems really interesting.

    ~Shane @Itching for Books