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YALF - review thread for those who write Young Adult
T.W. Kirchner
Posted: Monday, November 23, 2015 6:37 PM
Joined: 6/28/2015
Posts: 15

I'd like to join the YALF discussion.  T.W.Kirchner  Demons of Deception: Hellbound   http://www.bookcountry.com/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=8271   Thanks!
T.W. Kirchner
Posted: Monday, November 23, 2015 10:58 PM
Joined: 6/28/2015
Posts: 15

YALF Review for Brenda Frank's The Leader of the Band
Hi Brenda, I hope this is the type of overall review you were looking to get.


I read the first three chapters. As with most stories, the writing flows better in the third chapter than the first two. The story is interesting and gives a good feel for the characters' personalities right away. It also clearly states Jenna's goal to be one of the "cool" kids.
The prologue doesn't add any information to the main story that I found necessary. Any relevant information in the prologue will be sprinkled in the story at some point anyway. The opening line of chapter 1 is very good; however, it doesn't make as big an impact after a long prologue. I'd consider losing the prologue.
The conversations get better as the story goes along. The girls' first conversation isn't natural, unlike their second meeting on the porch. Too much info is dumped into a sentence  (ex: I'm the oldest and I play trombone). Some other facts of the conversation were odd to me. Jenna didn't want anyone to know her mother was the teacher, yet it is the first thing she tells a person she has never met before. Also, why would she ask to call her Julie when her name is Julia? It won't make the name shorter such as Julianna.
In most of the conversations, the characters don't make any gestures that people make when talking--especially if they are upset or nervous such as putting their hands in their pockets or messing with their hair. Also, nothing is going on in the background when your characters are talking. Agents will call this "talking heads."
The setting at Harry's house is very descriptive and done well. Before that, the story has little description of the setting. Since it is an earlier time period, it would help the setting to mention more items that are unique to that era.
I also wonder why Jenna tells the hot-looking Rick that she knows Julia but she's afraid to tell Carol Jo about Julia.
Overall, I think the story is good, and it held my interest (except for the prologue).

AP George
Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2015 6:49 PM
Joined: 8/27/2015
Posts: 23

Hi TW! Welcome.

Thanks for jumping in at the deep end.



T.W. Kirchner
Posted: Monday, December 21, 2015 2:34 PM
Joined: 6/28/2015
Posts: 15

Hi AP...did I post to the right place? I looked for other reviews on the book and didn't find any. When will the next book to review be posted?
AP George
Posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 3:50 PM
Joined: 8/27/2015
Posts: 23



Just wanted to wish everyone who still strays into this thread (maybe by accident ), Merry Christmas, Happy New Year or just Happy Holidays!




Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2016 1:49 PM
Joined: 8/24/2015
Posts: 5

Happy new year everyone!


Sorry this review is late Brenda. These are just my opinions from what I have read, I do hope that you find my review helpful.


The prologue is a bit disjointed in parts, I think because you’re trying to cram so much into it there just isn't a continuous flow between each part of the back story. I only read up to chapter 6 so I don’t know if the reader needs all of this information prior to reading any of the book or not.


I would suggest spreading some of the information in the prologue out throughout the book. It was quite a lot of information to digest at the start in my opinion and didn't really bring anything to the story to hook the reader. As it stands I think you could take the prologue out and just spread the information throughout the chapters.


Jenna as a character is written well, she gives the reader the impression of an angry teen who is somewhat distraught about her parents separating. I would, however, consider adding in how Jenna feels about her father. Everything is directed to how she blames her mother for the breakup, yet there isn’t really anything memorable on why she is so mad. I got the impression she was probably a daddy’s girl, but there was nothing to back this up.


The chapters I read flowed well, there were a few sentences that had missing/incorrect words, but these can all be sorted with a few re-drafts. It’s not really the sort of book I would read but I did enjoy what I read and liked the character development of Jenna. I wouldn't say she is initially likeable but definitely interesting the further into the book you get.


I did get a little confused with why Jenna was happy to tell people her mother was going to be a teacher at the school, yet initially didn’t want anyone to know, maybe this can be changed? (I did notice that the other review pointed this out as well). I do like how she is seeking the ‘popular girls’ and her inner thoughts about the people she meets, as she tries to match them up to her ideal friends.


At the end of chapter four it ends mid-sentence. Not too sure if it has uploaded correctly on BC or if that was intended.


When Mr Tigenoff is talking about why the matching band only has one drum majorette I would consider taking out Richwood High School, and just write Tiger Marching Band. It just seems a bit unnatural that he would keep referring to it by the full name including the school, again just my opinion though.


Overall I have enjoyed what I read, and found the character of Jenna intriguing. Again it’s not the type of book I would normally read and that is possibly why I didn't continue, as there is quite a large emphasise on the school marching band and for me not enough on the friendships/possible love interest and so on, to hook me in on another aspect.

Brenda Frank
Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2016 4:41 PM
Joined: 9/17/2015
Posts: 11

Hi Cole,


Thank you for the review of my book.  I don't like the prologue very much myself but was urged to write it by other readers.  I urge you to read on because the band info is emphasized less as the book goes on.




Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2016 10:33 PM
Joined: 4/12/2016
Posts: 7

Okay after much thought, I finally posted part of my book for peer review. I am nervous as heck, but hey, couldn't hurt to have another set of eyes go over it. Thought this thread would be the best place to shamelessly beg for reviews, seeing as my story is Young Adult. Now that I'm done, I've end my shameless beg with a link: http://www.bookcountry.com/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=9214


If I got the link wrong, feel free to tell me. Hard to do shamelessly beg if no one can read what you posted. The first post said three chapters, but I've only got one. Is that a no go? It is a very long chapter. But if the mods feel I'm in the wrong, I apologize. 


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