Title: RESTORING CASEY
Category/Genre: YA Contemporary
Word count: 81,000
My main character is most uncomfortable with:
Sun means heat, which means awful humidity in the east coast, which equals Casey’s hair resembling that of the Bride of Frankenstein’s. She’s also running the risk of heatstroke while living in a crap-hole house without air conditioning. And, of course, pit stains are notoriously difficult to rid of. She’ll take snow any day, as long as there’s a day of random rainstorms thrown in there somewhere.
When seventeen-year old-Casey’s emotionally crippled father hires her crush, the Kyle Chandler, she wonders if he’s finally lost that loose screw in his head.
This could be Casey’s chance to get Kyle to fall madly in love with her. But it also means he’ll be exposed to the new version of her dad. The one Casey’s dying to get away from as soon as she graduates. Just as Kyle starts to show signs of reciprocating her feelings, their budding romance gets another wrench thrown in when her East Indian grandparents show up. Armed with conservative ideas on dating and marriage (the arranged kind), her grandparents invade every aspect of her life, from the “scandalous” way she dresses, to her romance with Kyle. And they don’t stop there.
As Casey spends more time with her grandparents, she discovers their sudden visit has everything to do with her estranged relationship with her dad, and a promise they made her mother before she died. Digging up the past leads Casey to a possibility she never entertained− that her father isn’t the only one living in denial. Just as Casey was about to go through with her plan and runway, she learns there might be a chance to repair the relationship she never thought to have with her dad. But first she has to face the truth about herself.
Complete at 81,000 words, RESTORING CASEY, is YA Contemporary Romance with a dash of Indian flavor that follows one girl’s attempt to navigate a cultural divide, fall in love for the first time, and make peace with a past she thought she was over. It would appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick.
First 250 words:
Dad was talking to himself again.
The words settled between the boxes in the garage, and flitted out to the driveway, unwanted and clogging my ears.
“Need new kitchen fan, need new kitchen fan, need new kitchen fan,” he muttered, his version of making a list as he emerged from the depths of the garage. No wonder most people in town thought he was crazy.
“Dad?” The tone of my voice was specific only to him. Part annoyance, part frustration, with that special brand of Flynn sighing.
He ignored me, as usual, and stacked two boxes too many on top of each other, walking past where I sat on the wooden foot stool. His stench followed closely, and I wrinkled my nose, wondering when he’d showered last. Probably not since the last time I’d reminded him.
The dead grass crunched beneath Dad’s flip-flops, because that’s what most people wore when they were moving into a new dilapidated house. The muscles in his arm flexed beneath the weight of the load, ready to tip him over. The boxes rose above his face and he stumbled on a step, but caught himself before wiping out.
He readjusted, grunted, then kicked open the front door that had been slowly inching closed, as if to gracefully tell us to stay out, and disappeared into the empty darkness. I rolled my eyes. The man thought he could take on the world, as long as he could hide from it at the same time.