Nest Pitch SJ7: The Sweetest Sorrow of Ava Hale

Category/Genre: YA Thriller

Word Count: 60,000

Pitch: After sixteen-year-old Ava Hale’s older sister is murdered, she must shed her outer layers of vulnerability and find the killer — even if it means befriending people with secrets of their own.

If the MC was an Easter Egg he/she would be: I’d be a generic-flavoured Easter egg — I look solid on the outside, but hollow inside.

Excerpt:

Dear Kesley,

My therapist tells me I should write you a letter. Every time I see her, she asks whether I’ve started, and every session I say: No, I haven’t; it’s a stupid idea.

But alas, here I am, writing a letter to a dead girl. I tried the argument of saying it’s morbid, but that ran dry when she said it could be therapeutic. Like flushing all my thoughts and feelings out of my system and onto paper.

I pondered over where I should start the letter. Where, after all, did our story begin? From the moment you were born…or died? I chose the latter, thinking that at least the letter would be done quicker that way. So here goes nothing, Kesley, because it begins, and ends, with you.

The first thing I did every day, after fixing a pale pink bow in my hair, dressing, and consuming my mandatory cup of coffee, was stare at your photo. Stupid, don’t you think? But I sat at the side of the road with a framed image of your face, waiting, waiting, waiting. For what? Well, that was beyond me. Maybe I hoped you’d leap out and become real again, or maybe I just read too many fantasy novels. Either way, I’d stare at your photo.

Starting this letter is one of the hardest things I’ve done, Kesley. I read somewhere that beginnings are always the hardest to write — there are so many places I could start, yet I chose this place. I think I started it here because today is the day that Rafe Lawrence came back to Circling Pines. Remember him, Kesley?

I tucked the framed photo of you back into my bag, staring at the snow-capped mountains gleaming in the distance. A breeze lifted the hair away from my face, and leaves scuttled like little spiders along the pavement, bringing a discarded newspaper with them.

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