Pitch Madness: SJ10 – SWEET JANE

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Word Count: 61,000

Pitch: You Against Me meets Cracked Up To Be. Seniors coerce sophomore Jane into a deflowering game—pawn or participant, she can’t tell. Another girl’s rape forces a decision: reveal her part or let justice fail.

Excerpt: Being invisible was an art I perfected.

“It was more than being a wallflower,” I said. “More than being picked last in gym class. More than shrinking like a violet. And for what it’s worth, violets don’t actually shrink. They are hiding in the leaves.” Their petals so inconspicuous and dainty they almost disappear. That was me; quiet, small, and hidden in the crowd. Like I wasn’t there at all. Just waiting to be seen.

Detective Hereford dragged a handkerchief across his sweaty forehead and banged it on the table between us. Coffee spilled over the side of his roll-up-the-brim to win cup from Tim Horton’s. His eyebrows pinched together to form one big unibrow. He mopped up the spilled coffee with his hankie and set the cup down gently. The brim had been unrolled. The look on his face told me he hadn’t won.

His partner, Detective Bryant, was a good foot shorter than him and didn’t have any hair on top of his head, just two inches of wild grey curls circling around the back from ear to ear. They reminded me of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street. I half wondered if they’d count paperclips and announce the letter of the day. *Today’s police investigation was brought to you by the letters J and C and the number 8.*

There were eight of us still left in the game at the end. The rest went quietly to their graves. Metaphorically, of course. No one actually died. It just felt like it.

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