Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Mystery Agent Entry #8: LEMON LAVENDER

Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 61,000

Logline: Blending in above all costs is sixteen-year-old Lemon Lavender’s solution for surviving high school with her "kid of a rock star" name, but when she defies her own rules and falls for the attractive new guy, she's thrown into a twisted web of gossip blog drama, lies, and lemon attacks, which force her to make a choice—allow false rumors to define who she is, or stop hiding and fight for her own identity.

There are three rules to surviving high school with a name like Lemon Lavender. Notice I didn’t say three simple rules, because simplicity has nothing to do with it. If you’re looking for simple, then you’re already doomed—just accept that your name will be joked about until you graduate high school and probably even after.

The ultimate, especially critical Rule One of Survival is to blend in above all costs. Because you’ll have convince everyone you aren’t a toolbag for being named like the kid of a rock star, it’s best to fade into the background. Example: I have dishwater blonde hair, worn straight and without highlights, even though it makes my mother cringe. Generic long-sleeve shirts in one color. Basic jeans with no swirls, sequins, bling, or bedazzles. Shoes—just Converse, not too clean, not too dirty. Overall, I wasn’t ugly or pretty. Just plain and vanilla and invisible.

This leads me to Rule Two. Accept that blending in won’t work all of the time, such as when there are only three minutes left until the end of homeroom and you’re late for the second time in a week and the fifth time since school started a month before. A normal person would be able to slip into Westmoore High’s crowded hallways, head down, and lie to Vice Principal Hawkins about being late. But when your name is a flashing neon sign, kiss that option goodbye. While the easy part was getting into the building and walking into class, convincing Hawkins that my homeroom teacher hallucinated my absence was about as likely as me waking up to find out I was really named Sarah or Jessica or Emma.

As an addendum to Rule Two—when you can’t blend in, your mission is still to blend in. Example: Getting caught was inevitable, but if I gave myself up now, I’d have to wait for Hawkins to issue me a detention and send me back to English Lit during the middle of class, when 25 pairs of eyes would stare as I entered the room and walked to my desk.

Not going to happen.


Unknown said...

What a fun voice Lemon has! I'd love to read more of her wisdom. My only question: why is she named Lemon Lavender? (But that'll probably be answered later on)

Amber said...

I want to learn more about Lemon Lavender and the turmoil that is high school. My interest is piqued!

J Lenni Dorner said...

Okay. Not my personal kind of main character to follow for a whole book. But I'm sure that others do share that emotional connection and would enjoy it. This is just a personal view point, as someone who went the very opposite way on a similar problem. To each his or her own. I can respect that.

Unknown said...

Although the idea presented here is cute, I was put off by the switching between past and present tense and the description overload in the second paragraph. I think this could be a really fun story with a little bit of cleaning up!

Anonymous said...

What makes for a great story is otherwise normal people placed into situations not of their own choosing and seeing what road they take. I like the set up, and would love to know whats down the road.

amhoggan said...

I'm confused because I don't know if Lemon is actually the kid of a rock star or if she just has a weird name that sounds like what a rock star would give his daughter. The logline made me think "real rock-star kid" but the first page seemed to be all about dealing with a weird name. And if that's the case, I'm afraid it didn't work for me. She seems to have made her weird name the center of her identity in a way that I just can't believe. A weird name feels normal-ish pretty quickly, so if she's still freaked out about it, it seems more like paranoia than a real problem.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an original concept! I'm curious to know if Lemon really IS the kid of a rock star...maybe we will be kept in suspense and find out in the end! Also, would like to hear more of this "new guy" mentioned in the logline.
Shannon Bock