View Full Version : Beta reader wanted for completed YA contemporary

06-17-2010, 01:48 AM
Below follows description of my realistic novel POP ICON. It's in a very polished stage and you can read the first few chapters or more, if you want. I'd be happy to swap with you.

When Swedish Emelie meets DeeDee and Lola in a chat room for the world-famous televised singing contest Pop Icon, she’s ecstatic. Not only has she made two friends in New York, the city where she’ll spend the summer before college, but they share her dream of becoming a famous singer. The three seventeen-year-olds hit it off immediately and form a practice group to prepare for the upcoming Pop Icon audition. DeeDee and Lola are as nice and supportive as Emelie imagined them to be on the plane over to America. That is, until DeeDee discovers that Emelie is so talented she’s likely to win the entirecontest. DeeDee, a talented performer herself, has always known she was destined to become famous and if she can’t get a record deal on her own, she's sure as hell going to be the next Pop Icon. And she won’t let a simple girl from Sweden stop her from getting what she wants…

06-24-2010, 08:19 AM
This is the intro of the novel I have been working on,


Chapter one

Pacing around the room like a lost soul, Nataliya could hear them bickering downstairs, both drunk as usual. She was not going to have enough time to sew the rip in her dress so she decided to pin it together instead. Not being able to figure out where he had thrown her underwear, she slipped on a new pair but was disgusted when only seconds afterwards, she felt filthy and wet again. From inside his bare aluminum crib, Little Kolya sucked his thumb and watched her kneel on the floor to finish packing the few second hand, ill fitting dresses she owned into a tattered square suitcase. She tried not to look back at him because it made her feel guilty. It wasn’t as if she had not tried to stop the revolting chain of events. Nataliya cared about him so much that she had buried her face deep into the bed covers to muffle her cries because she did not want him to wake and see what was happening.

Like two bits of heaven, his striking blue eyes were identical to hers. He was her cousin after all. She could take him and say she was his mother. Sixteen was old enough to have a baby. Given the way things turned out, she could have been his mother anyway. Kolya babbled extending his pudgy arms for her to pick him up. She turned towards him and stood in front of the crib.

“Prastite Kolya, Prastite…” she murmured shaking her head as his fingers seemed to caress the swelling under her eye. Her eyes filled with the uncontainable tears of both old and new rage. The stinging pain between her legs was giving her a thumping headache. Forget Kolya-- she thought--- he would have to fend for himself. She had stayed too long already. Maybe in fifteen years or so, they would meet again. She would explain everything and he would forgive her for leaving, but for now, he would have to do without her. Sooner or later, he had to learn that not only people but entire countries are left behind and life goes on. Whenever horrible things happened, life always went on; just not the same way she imagined it before.

Her hands shook digging through her dance bag on the floor. Something was missing but wasting time looking for it made no sense because she was not going back to that school. She took visual stock of all the items inside trying to figure out what she needed so bad was. A book called Letters of Anton Chekhov, pointe shoes, assorted dancewear, the elastic band to hold her sweats up, technique slippers, studio socks, hairspray, bobby pins, blister heal aids, duck tape and gauze were all in there so it had to be something else. She found it. Her Russian stagepowder in its red round tin can had been hiding inside a side pocket. She closed the dance bag and stuffed it inside the square suitcase just as the argument downstairs escalated into a brawl.

Kolya mother’s vitriolic shrills to his father were followed by the sound of shattering glass. Hastily, Nataliya put her coat on, her eyes fixated on the bedroom’s only double hung narrow window. Startled, Kolya began to cry hopping on his tiptoes. With a tense gulp, she rushed to slide the window open ignoring Kolya's cries. It was snowing again. Her shaky arms dragged the suitcase through the floor, pulling it up and pushing it out over the rotten wood windowsill in the dark.

“Nataa, Nataa!” Hopping on his tiptoes inside the crib,Kolya babbled her name crying even louder.

“Kolyaaa! N’et, N’et,Mne nuzhna iti,” Nataliya tried shushing him with pleading whispers. Shaking her head, she stepped up untothe window ledge, one foot at a time,crouchingsideways. Clamping her lanky arms out onto the window frame, she balanced looking for the suitcase far below which was now wedged between the snow covered black trash bags piled inside the dumpster’s concrete square.

The frigid air filtering through the open window numbed her angelical face. Nothing could be worst than what had already happened—she thought just as Kolya’s cries for her became unbearable. Jumping to her death right then seemed a fine idea but she wavered for a few minutes watching the snowfall. She couldn’t think straight. To soothe herself she always tried to remember playing Moonlight Sonata but the awful scenes of the last few months that now accompanied the piano melody in her head made her shudder.

Freedom in the new country. The Great Apple. Such a lie. His vodka breath over her face. Trying to speak English everyday. Kolya cries at night. Singing Katiushka in whispers and crying herself to sleep every night. A ruthless slap on her face. Give Kolya a bath, a bottle and put him to bed. American ballet school is so easy and yet she fails. No one understands why and no one can pronounce her name. Her Russian stage powder safe inside the square suitcase. The red veins bursting in his neck. Writing letters to her dead Baba in Kiev. I miss you and I wish I was dead too. Why did you send me here? I can’t believe you agreed to this, Baba. This was a stupid idea. They lied to you. Life in America is so horrible. Why didn’t you let me stay? I could have taken care of myself.Her steps followed the music but she was not there. Bruises in her neck. Madam said to come to her if she ever needed help. The faded dream of becoming a coryphée. Free candy at the Odessa Deli. Men are evil inside. Are you okay? But she will never tell. Be tough and disciplined every day. A foreigner, a communist waif. She is so weird and stupid. That strange Russian girl.

She closed her eyes feeling indestructible, eternal and free at last. With nothing left to lose, Nataliya leaned forward, jumping off the ledge into the dark with her arms open as if she had wings and could fly.

Only stillness followed because that wicked night no one heard the muffled thud of her body slamming against the snow covered garbage bags inside the concrete square down below.

Ill really appreciate any criticism good and bad.


My novel is also completed and i need help editing it. This intro is the most serious part of it. The novel is about this girl --a misterious ballet dancer who gets hired by a choreographer to join the music tour of a european music idol. Her relationship with the choreographer and the musician becomes a tangle of jealousy, romance, decadence and scandal.

It can be both light and dark, funny and depressing.

Let me know if you think our genres/novel match. I need a Beta.We might ber able to swap but i will need to read some of yours first.

08-02-2010, 05:54 PM
I may be interested. I'll pm you