Peer Review by lizbadiz (United States)

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Rebel: Part 1

By: Anya C.


    Juniper bolted into her room, slammed the door shut, and flung herself face-first at the mountain of lacy pink and gold pillows.  The massive skirt of her dress crumpled and wrinkled beneath her as she kicked her shoes off, not caring if they hit her family's portrait right in the middle of their haughty little faces.  Thick layers of makeup rubbed off on her luxury bed sheets as she buried her face into the fabric.  She didn't care.  She was almost positive that she'd never even leave her room again, so why worry?  She slid off her bed and crumpled to the floor in a heap of limp bones and chiffon skirts, dragging herself over to the door to make sure it was locked.  She shoved her vanity chair against it for good measure.  
    Why was it that this stupid kingdom was so stuck in their old ways?  Their misogynistic rules made her sick and she was pretty sure that if she heard her mother say 'you have to be respectful to your suitors' one more time, she'd throw up.  Why were there suitors in the first place?  Why were her options pre-chosen for her when she was perfectly capable of making her own decisions?  She knew she couldn't be the only girl in Efferdeen absolutely fed up with the rules.  Didn't any of the other girls want real jobs?  A say in politics?  A chance to be someone who wasn't shaped by men?  Maybe she'd meet someone who thought like her if she wasn't locked up on palace grounds 24/7.  
    And maybe that's just what she needed to do - find someone else who thought like her.  And then more people who thought like her.  Maybe she needed to find a whole army of people who were sick and tired of living in a world built for men by men.  She thought about it, long and hard.  It would be risky and horribly difficult to escape palace grounds without anyone noticing, but if it meant that maybe she could change all of this?  She would take her chances.  The more she thought, the more she wanted to do it - so she started to formulate a plan.  She almost had some sort of an idea built up in her head when a shrill, sickeningly familiar voice rang out.  
    "Junie!  Juniper!  Do I have to come in there?  We had guests, darling.  You have been far too rude these past days."
    Her mother's voice itself made her itch with irritation and anger.  She didn't respond.  She just kept thinking.  
    There were no windows in her room or on her floor of the castle - she'd have to leave her room and set up a distraction, and then make a run for it.  The guards would catch her if she ran on foot so....  She thought hard on a way to avoid this problem.  She could exit on the east wing, by the horse stables.  If she hopped on a horse, she could run for it.  The only other thing she'd need would be a disguise and a key to the gate.  
    She had something along the lines of a plan, but it needed clever execution and fine-tuning.  She'd have to start by gaining her mother's trust back.
    "No mother, I'm coming out."  She sighed, moved away the vanity chair, and reluctantly opened the door.

Message to Readers

Any type of constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!

Peer Review

I love fantasy girls leading rebel armies.

I want to get to know Juniper more! Right now the only thing we know about her is that she's angry at the patriarchy.

Reviewer Comments

How do I say this? feels like this is a rant rather than a story. Don't get me wrong-I love a good rant, but there's a time and place for everything. Since it seems as though this is going to be a story with multiple parts, maybe you can show us the aggravating patriarchy of this kingdom over time, instead of throwing it all at us here.
It feels like you've thrown us straight into the middle of a story here with no preamble whatsoever. Can you lead us in more gently?
But I am totally here for it if you're going to write a story about a girl who leads a rebel army of women.