Query Critique of SECOND TIME LUCKY

Or

A Tale of sisters, love, and India (not just Bollywood and poverty)

ORIGINAL:

Dear Agent,

With her twenty-eighth birthday just around the corner, Priya discovers that her mother isn’t just a stereotypical Asian parent pressuring her kid to be an overachiever; her mother has been pitching her all her life against the twin that got away – Priya’s sister, who was given away at birth. Priya has always felt inadequate not because she really is, but because, unwittingly, she has been trying to fill two pairs of shoes.

Maya might be Priya’s identical twin, but that’s where their similarities (and Priya’s luck) run out. In other aspects of their life, they’re hardly in the same zip code as similar – Maya’s a professor and a bestselling author; she’s married to her very handsome colleague, with the most beautiful children; hell, she even has the more exotic name, a dimple, and silkier hair. Now Maya refuses to see her biological mother or entertain sisterly feelings for Priya, because she’s still bitter about being the one given up for adoption.

Now, Priya has to pick up the pieces with her mother, and build bridges with her twin and her family. But her biggest challenge of all is resisting the charms of her twin’s super-hot ex-boyfriend, current best friend and neighbor, Kashyap, who might still be a little bit hung up on Maya.

And Priya has had enough of being everyone’s second best. It’s now time for her to rediscover herself as her own person, as well as the half of a new whole.

Set in South India and drawing from the rich culture and heritage of a country that’s not just Bollywood and abject poverty, SECOND TIME LUCKY is a ~80000-word contemporary romance with women’s fiction and new adult elements. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

My first book, a collection of short stories, was published by Palimpsest Publishers, India. My short stories and poetry have been published in several literary journals including The Adirondack Review and The Rusty Nail.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

REDACTED

MY SUGGESTIONS:

Dear Agent:

With her twenty-eighth birthday just around the corner, Priya discovers that her mother isn’t just a stereotypical Asian parent pressuring her kid to be an overachiever; her mother has been pitching her all her life against the twin that got away – Priya’s sister, who was given away at birth. This sentence is a whopping 49 words. Keep it simple and quick! I got lost in this sentence. Try: Twenty-eight-year-old Priya always knew her mother was a tiger mom, but now she knows why: Priya’s twin sister was given away at birth. Priya has always felt inadequate not because she really is, but because, unwittingly, she has been trying to fill two pairs of shoes. No wonder Priya felt inadequate her whole life—she was filling two pairs of shoes. I feel that there should be more of a hint at the plot here. Her twin was given up for adoption…so what? Make the connection between that fact and the rest of the story.

Maya might be Priya’s identical twin, but that’s where their similarities (and Priya’s luck) run out. In other aspects of their life, they’re hardly in the same zip code as similar This is worded awkwardly. I had to read it a few times. – Maya’s a professor and a bestselling author; she’s married to her very handsome colleague, with the most beautiful children; Full stop here, not a semi-colon. hell, she even has the more exotic name, a dimple, and silkier hair. Now Maya refuses to see her biological mother or entertain sisterly feelings for Priya, because she’s still bitter about being the one given up for adoption.

Now, Priya has to pick up the pieces with her mother, and build bridges with her twin and her family. But her biggest challenge of all is resisting the charms of her twin’s super-hot ex-boyfriend, current best friend and neighbor, Kashyap, who might still be a little bit hung up on Maya. Is Kashyap MAYA’s best friend and neighbor, or PRIYA’s best friend and neighbor?

And Priya has had enough of being everyone’s second best. It’s now time for her to rediscover herself as her own person, as well as the half of a new whole.

Set in South India and drawing from the rich culture and heritage of a country that’s not just Bollywood and abject poverty, SECOND TIME LUCKY is an 80,000-word adult contemporary romance. It is a standalone novel with series potential.

My first book, a collection of short stories, was published by Palimpsest Publishers, India. My short stories and poetry have been published in several literary journals including The Adirondack Review and The Rusty Nail.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

REDACTED

Notes: Well… I don’t really have much to add to this. I really enjoyed this query! I feel that there were a couple of places that were confusing and could use some tightening, but overall it gets the point across. I love that it’s set in India (and I love your description of India). A nitpicky point, but I noticed some stray commas where they shouldn’t be. Just watch out for that. Otherwise, great job!

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