Peer Review by f l o r a (United States)

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Elfboy Chapter 1

By: Quille


    After my dad died, I was sent to live with my chubby aunt Sally and thirteen-year-old cousin, Julie, near the small town of Orangeboro, Kentucky. I was really happy there for awhile--apart from missing Dad.
 
  I mean, I was happy there, until school started.

    "Stop worrying, Chris," Julie said as the two of us stood at the end of Aunt Sally's driveway, waiting in the fog for the bus. "I promise, the school's all right."

    I didn't like being talked to like that by a thirteen-year-old, after all, I was going on seventeen, but I needed the reassurance. I had always been homeschooled before Dad died and I imagined that I would get picked on a good deal in a public school. But Aunt Sally and Julie were right. 

    The school here was much different than I imagined.

    Everyone on the bus was really friendly, even the driver, who I thought looked just like an old crab.

    That only lasted until he got on the bus.

    The driver had stopped the bus in front of an overgrown driveway with a broken gate and a smashed-up mailbox. An old, decaying house was only just visible through the bushes and fog, but I could see that the windows were all boarded over and a wall had fallen down.

    The bus door opened with a reluctant sort of grinding. Everyone stopped chattering at once and sat still in their seats.

    Hardly daring, I turned my head the slightest bit towards the door.

    An extremely tall, thin kid, who I judged to be about my age, pulled himself onto the bus. He wore all black clothes; a t-shirt, ripped up jeans, and a hooded jacket that was at least three sizes too big. All I could see of his face through the dark hair that almost came to his shoulders was a pair of thick, wire-framed glasses resting on a thin, hooked nose.

    He mumbled a greeting to the driver, but wasn't answered.

    Then he turned and gripped the backs of two seats with his big, gnarly hands and swung himself forward.

    All the other kids silently looked away, almost terrified expressions on their faces. Julie inched closer to me and cast her eyes to the floor.

    He kept coming closer the same way, grabbing the backs of seats and hauling himself forward. A pained look creased his face each time he moved. When he was about halfway to my seat, I saw why: his right leg was twisted almost backwards.

    Startled, I shot my eyes to his face. He stared back and I caught a glimpse of terribly piercing eyes behind the thick lenses that gave me a shudder. 

    After about a minute of staring, he gave me a strange kind of half-smile and mercifully moved on.

    I had expected--more like hoped-- that the buzz of conversation would pick up once he was seated at the back. It didn't. The silence that he brought on the bus stayed, suffocating all the friendliness and warmth I'd felt before.

    That bus ride seemed to last forever, but it was probably about an hour. When it finally ended, I found myself rushing for the door, gasping for breath. I felt almost as if I'd just come out of a long, dark, silent tunnel.

    "Chris?" Julie's voice broke in on my relief.

    "Yeah?"

    "You stay away from him." She nodded at the bus, then ran into the brick school building with the rest.

    I glanced back at the bus and saw the kid with the limp staring at me through the window as he made his way towards the door.

    As curious as I was, I fully intended to stay away from him.

 


Message to Readers

Here it is! The very first part of the novel I've been working on for the past three months.
Please criticize it VERY harshly. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. According to my sister, I don't have any :D


Peer Review

When the boy in black clothing was introduced, along with his description, I instantly knew that this scene was going to go one of two ways. Either Chris was going to be beat up, or get some choice words spat in his direction. But neither of those two scenarios took place.


I think Chris' dialogue made him seem realistic, you'll see highlighted parts that I marked up. I think what speaks the most is the fact that he is bitter about his father's death, and has to adjust to a a whole new lifestyle. He seems to be apprehensive, but also curious. This seems to be pretty


The scene that I want to see expanded is the interaction between the guy with the twisted leg and Chris. Though the single interaction they did have was weird..I would want to see what that Kid would say to him.


I sense that this novel takes place in an ordinary town where nothing is ordinary. It may seem like a cliche, but it really speaks to me.


This needs work, but you have a good plot going. I commend you for that.


Reviewer Comments

I'm definitely going to be reading the rest of theses chapters. Binge-read it, probably.