Title: CAMP FREAKAZOID
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Ownvoices
Word Count: 54,200
My MC and MA are dressed as:
My main character, Lise, and my main antagonist, Max, both arrive at the party wearing shirts that read, This is my Halloween costume. This is the worst possible thing that could happen to Lise because she is trying so hard to get over Max, and their matching levels of awkward make her question everything. The most important question: how could she have misread Max so badly?
Even after she turns seventeen, Lise Hansen’s overprotective parents can’t seem to stop hovering, thanks to their perpetual concern over her Crohn’s disease. So they strike a deal: if Lise can survive an entire summer at a doctor-supervised summer camp for sick kids, they will let her decide her own future. A future that, for Lise, does not include the local community college and the countless years of babying she's sure her parents have planned.
At camp, Lise expects to meet teenagers who share her disease. So, when she discovers that the camp actually specializes in friendless freaks like her, she is furious at her parents. But then she meets Max, who follows her around camp like a lost puppy and shares her affinity for big books and awkward silences. Things move fast at summer camp, and her friendship with Max turns into romance before Lise has had time to memorize the camp motto. But things go sour when Max’s crush turns into dangerous obsession and a terrifying assault threatens to turn Lise’s first chance at freedom into her last.
If Lise can’t beat Max at his game of blackmail and not-so-subtle sabotage, she'll never convince her parents that she can make it in the real world. And then--she’ll never see the world beyond the edge of small-town Texas and her disease.
First 250 words:
Lise’s parents stood in her bedroom doorway and watched her with matching smiles. They didn't say a word as she unpacked her tiny hospital bag from her latest stint in the pediatric ward. She shot them subtle eye-rolls and glanced down at the cell phone in her hand. Lise was used to their spur-of-the-moment visits for routine things like testing and medication, and she was grateful for their attention for the occasional more serious issues. Like the last one--two giant blockages had left her unable to use the bathroom and collapsing face-down outside of her parents' door in a woozy, hot puddle. They’d rushed her to the hospital in the middle of the night, but those incidents, while rare, happened from time to time. Why were her parents acting like this time was different, when it was more of the same?
“I’m glad to be home,” Lise said. She’d been in the hospital for weeks, and she never slept well in the creaky metal beds. But more than anything, she'd missed the library she had tucked under her bed frame. Those were her secret, not-Mom-approved novels that she'd slowly collected from garage sales and used book stores whenever she could. Her phone buzzed and Lise let her eyes flit down.
Jack is asking about you at the study session. You have to come!
Lise's cheeks flushed. She pushed her phone aside with a sigh and eyed her still-quiet parents. Jack was cute, but Lise wasn’t going to pretend anything could happen with him.