Book Jacket

 

rank 407
word count 27520
date submitted 17.02.2012
date updated 10.12.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Young Ad...
classification: universal
incomplete

The Boy From The Next Dimension

Isabel Parkinson

One pre-planned encounter changes her life forever...

 

Natalie was a normal teenage girl. Her priorities were schoolwork, her friends, and competing on her new pony.
That all changes after a chance meeting with a strange boy from another dimension of this world, a dimension which faces dire problems of its own. Natalie finds herself swept up in a tidal wave of danger, excitement, mystery, and endless opportunities.
But what started out as fun quickly turns into a terrifying fight for her life and the lives of the people she loves. Natalie is faced with impossible decisions, conflicting emotions, and dark secrets – secrets about the people she thought she could trust.

 
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tags

dimension, dystopia, fantasy, magic, otherworld, romance, teenage, young adult

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71 comments

 

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D. S. Hale wrote 508 days ago

I love your story! I love your characters! I was totally immersed, and have put it in my watchlist to return to later. Very few books here hold my attention, but you did very skillfully. Great job! The fact that you use horses in your story, is another plus. Horse stories are hot, so be sure to use that in your description of your book. You might find more readers! Gave you 5 stars! Sincerely, Donna (Jessup and the Teleporter)

Michael Matula wrote 509 days ago

Very well-written, with a charming tone throughout the chapters I read, and a really intriguing plot. Some great lines and descriptions (“My crazy thoughts just seem to dissolve in the water and rush away down the plughole.” was a particular standout for me), and you're building a great sense of mystery here. The introduction of “Ghost-Boy” really caught me by surprise (in a good way), and while I did wonder once or twice if Natalie bounced a tad bit too quickly between emotions (staring shyly at her feet one moment, then hissing boldly briefly, and then going back to staring shyly), I really liked the inner monologue for her, and I think she's a very relatable character.

I had hardly any critiques, as the grammar seemed spot-on to me. The only two suggestions I had are both quite minor, and are probably no more than personal preference. Please do disregard anything you disagree with.
- Hearing the other character's thoughts in chapter 3 didn't quite work for me. I wanted to see this first meeting play out through her eyes, and see what he was thinking through the vibe she was getting off him. Since it's first person, especially, it seemed odd to dip into another person's mind. (I actually wondered at first if he was telepathically communicating with her)
- I might change a line in chapter 3 to: “He looks at me haughtily, as though the answer is obvious and I have an IQ similar to that of a rock.” - the other two descriptors in the sentence seemed a bit too redundant to me.

Overall, though, I think you've done a great job with it, blending romance with what already feels like a really deep and engaging sci-fi concept, and I very much enjoyed reading it.
High stars.

Mike
Arrival of the Ageless
What, the Elf?

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 545 days ago

Isabel,
I got caught up in your work right from the onset, Nartalie riding Seamus, interacting with family and friends and running into her male coputerpart from another dimension. Your switching of POV's from Natalie to Erenel to Lisa to Milly works well in positioning persdpectives like TV cameras to viiew developments from different angles. The descriptives are simply put and clear, the dialogue dramatic where needed. Thank you so much for the captivating read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

Lenny Banks wrote 606 days ago

Hi Isabel, I read chaptyers 7 and 8. You have created a fantastic story here and it's odd no one thought of it first. I love the way they are connected and you have got teh dialogue down very well. It flowed very well and it was a pleasure to read well done.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock.

Stephanie Mortimer wrote 611 days ago

The Boy From the Next Dimension - your writing flows effortlessly, with fabulous descriptions and great dialogue. You have a good story with a likeable main character in Natalie, and an intriguing character in her 'counterpart'. I've read the first three chapters and you build the story nicely - I wanted to read more to find out who this boy was and why she was in danger. I think this book would be very popular within its genre and a real page turner.

Backed and highly starred.

Stephanie - Feathers

Brian G Chambers wrote 411 days ago

Hi Isabel
I thought I would give The Boy From The Next Dimention a look even though young adult is not really my genere. I really like your story. I am hooked on first person stories and thought you have done a wonderful job with this one. It is as good as any I have read on here and cannot understand why it is on the way down the charts. I have given you high stars and putting it on my WL. I hope you will have a peek at my Tales for Children in return.
Thanks.
Brian.

J C Michael wrote 414 days ago

Hi Isabel,

Although this doesn't fit my normal choice of reading matter I found it quite engaging and an easy read. I think the tone works well and I'm pleased that you've avoided a lot of the cliches often found in the YA stories I've looked at on here (no dysfunctional family, no school bully).

If I have one criticism it's the quick acceptance of ghost-boy as a reality. It's only a suggestion but maybe a few more "I must be mad,", "this can't be happening", "I splash water on my face to wake up properly and there he is in the damn mirror," type moments just to bring out her inevitable confusion a bit more.

Overall though well done, I like it and you ended both of the chapters I read with nice little cliff-hangers that read well. Maybe not my thing to read in it's entirety but I expect plenty of others would.

Well done,

James

PS One typo - Chapter 2, second paragraph, you're missing an "on".

AudreyB wrote 433 days ago

Hi, Isabel – this is your horrifically overdue return review from AudreyB. I am often accompanied on my reviews by my English teacher alter-ego, The Grammar Hag. If I say anything you don’t like, it was probably her idea.

I like that you open in the midst of action. Something I should probably consider myself. I also enjoy Natalie’s voice: she sounds like a petulant little sister.

Something I’m noticing is that there’s not enough description of the competition arena. I imagine it to have lots of smells…smells both pleasant and not so pleasant. Where are they strongest? How does the breeze affect them? What about sounds? Do the fans react to the girls’ performances? We could also do with a bit about how it looks. (I seem to type this a lot. I imagine it’s a highly personal thing.)

It’s great how the first chapter ends on such a cliff-hanger. I’m definitely eager to read on.

Something about Natalie’s discovery of the boy in the morning on the end of her bed rings false to me. She seems to realize he’s a ghost mighty quickly and without much evidence. Perhaps the sun could be streaming into the window and right through him? I get why he seemed more solid in the semi-dark…but am not sure I completely swallow that she can tell he’s transparent on sight.

I can imagine female readers really liking this—you’ve got horses and a handsome ghost that only she can see. Two elements that go over big with the girl demographic (=:

I’m glad you have him appearing throughout the day. It makes him seem less sinister and more friendly.

And the second chapter ends on another excellent cliff-hanger.

Best of luck to you here on Authonomy!!

~AudreyB
Steadfast

Seringapatam wrote 465 days ago

We like Natalie so much and in fact the whole premise for the story. You have done well to engage and hold us in this book as it would be easy to let us slide off into moo moo land. Its the fact that you have written the story so well and added an equally good narrative to it that I felt I was wanting to stick with it. I loved it. Well out of my genre and thats the reason I read. It. Well done and good luck.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R). Please consider me for a read or Watch List wont you? Happy New Year. Sean

JMF wrote 466 days ago

YALF/YARG
Sorry for the lateness of this but I have now read the first four chapters.
I enjoyed the read. Your mc has a strong, believable voice and the story is easy to read.
A few comments on chapters two to four.
Chapter Two
'I know she is still playing the role of protective and mildly irritated parent after my recent escapade.'
Have I missed something - what escapade are you referring to here, that her mum is aware of?
Chapter Three
'My evil plan is working . . .' Although I know it is Natalie thinking what he must be thinking at this moment, it's not clear enough here.
'The Otherworld! What are you?'
Would she also ask at this point what the otherworld is?
In ch 2 Erenol taps his wrist to indicate the passing time, he now says that he doesn't know the time. Perhaps make it a bit clearer that he has some internal method of knowing the time, otherwise the bit in ch 2 doesn't really work.
Ch 4
I don't think the nurses would wheel the trolley - they'd get a porter to do that. Natalie's reaction to the nurses is changeable. She is sarcastic when they say she's broken her arm, but at other times, she likes the fuss and attention. Is this because of the drugs she's given?
Generally, this is well-written and quite engaging. I personally feel there is not enough dramatic tension in the breaking arm incident - could the event be made worse and the pain more unbearable?

I wouldn't myself have linked her accident with the threat to her life mentioned by the boy. Perhaps something else happens to her to make the incident worse and then she slowly comes to realise that it might not have been an accident?

I'd also like to get to know some of the other characters a bit better in these early chapters. Natalie is very much working in isolation. Perhaps she needs to drag one of her friends into the action or her brother? You may do this later on, but I think it needs to come earlier.
Hope these points help.
Jx

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 467 days ago

YARG review

This is the second time I've come to this book - I failed to focus the first time, that was all my fault... So I waited until I was well-rested and in a better mental state so that I could give you my full attention.
I'm glad I did.

The brother/sister dynamic at the start was hilarious...

I love how Seamus responds to the win, like he's so much more proud than anyone elsee

I liked the first chapter, how it showed Natalie's normal life, her normal friends, and her normal routine... it sets the stage well to get into the abnormal shock. I would suggest writing up a vague prologue, of a paragraph or two, just to get the reader hooked and anticipating things to come.

"The first thing I notice (are) his eyes."
- this thing with "Ghost-Boy" is pretty cool... I look forward to reading that explanation... I also like "Hay-Loft Hermit" - your MC is quite witty
- handshake or high-five - stellar... i'm liking Natalie more and more
- I think the letter he writes to her should be in a different font, I'd suggest using italics, but you already use this for 'thoughts' so maybe just a different font to separate it from the rest of the text?

I'm stopping at the end of chapter 2, because it's late and i really need to sleep - but this took me by surprise! It was a slowish start with all the detail on horses and horse-back riding that i know nothing about and cannot relate to, but as soon as Hayloft Hermit is mentioned there is a burning desire to read more.

So highly starred!

cheers for now
Jaclyn x
It Never Happened

EMCART wrote 474 days ago

YALF/YARG

Hi Isabel,

Overall, I think this is very promising in terms of both story and writing, but I’ve made a few notes you could consider.

I’ve got to chapter 12 and I’m wondering, is the horse theme really very important? I’m not really interested in horse stories so I’m probably biased, but the first few chapters lacked punch for me. They didn’t really grab me, and then the horse aspect seemed to disappear anyway. Maybe it’s important later on, but if not then I thought the long description of the riding competition and looking for the hat, and the accident were a bit unnecessary and not really interesting.

However, when it got to Erenel’s chapter and then the chapters starting becoming brief episodes from the different characters’ points of view, it felt like a different book and I got really interested. I really liked this format and I thought the whole book could be written like this. I thought the writing in these chapters was better too.

However, at the moment it feels like it’s two books; there’s too much of a split between the first few chapters and when it suddenly starts bringing in other characters. I think you could discard the first chapters and rewrite them in this ‘various points of view’ style. Although you’d have to give a lot of thought to whose story this is. If a lot of characters are telling the story then they all have to have an important part to play, but if it’s primarily Natalie’s story then you have to have a way of making her parts more important or letting her direct the action somehow.

I liked the ending to chapter 1.

In chapter 3 the paragraph beginning ‘There’s an awkward silence’ doesn’t seem to follow on from the previous one.

As I’ve said, I liked the chapters told from each character’s point of view, but Lisa’s felt a bit like a character description rather than a person talking about herself. It’s a little bit too self aware.

In terms of the story, I think the idea of Erenel being chased by someone (which is as far as I’ve got) was interesting. The whole ‘over-protective, utterly devoted boy’ theme isn’t really original but if you can do something unusual with the ‘next dimension’ part it could be good.

These are just suggestions, but in general I think the writing is very mature and confident and my main problem was really only the structure.

Good luck!

Em.

rtcvers wrote 476 days ago

YALF Review!

Isabel, I sat down to read TBFTND and ended up reading the whole thing before I sat back up again!
This is an interesting, fast-paced story you have here!

I was reading through some of the earlier posts, so I'll try not to repeat something if I think it's been said too much. One point, though: I do have to agree with the over-"horsiness" of the first chapter. :) I don't have a problem with the setting whatsoever, but I did find myself needing more of a primer than what was provided. All that being said, I don't know if we need all the "horse stuff" in that first chapter anyway. I wonder if it might stand firm just introducing Natalie and Lisa, what they do, and then going into the story itself.

I'm so intrigued by the Otherworld and the ins and outs of these two young peoples' relationship. If you intend to explain more of it later, then disregard what I'm about to say. If not, then I would LOVE more info on it. I found myself wanting to know more about Erenel and what his general purpose is in Natalie's life. Again, I realize that these things may be explained further in subsequent chapters.

I adore the wonderful/awful teenage girl-ness of Natalie and her friends. Very realistic.

The shorter chapters are really great and propel the reader into the next scene, but I found myself wondering if I needed some of these chapters at all - more specifically, the ones voiced by her friends. Although it was neat to get a picture of the inside of their heads, I'm not sure they did much to offer information that we mightn't have gotten elsewhere. Perhaps, though, this convention plays out on a grander scale in the second half of the book and, if so, please don't fret over it at all. :)

All in all, I found it an engaging read, and I hope I get the chance to finish the story at some point!

Best,
Artie
CAPTAIN

D.J.Milne wrote 477 days ago

YALF Review
The Boy from the Next Dimension based on chapters 1- 6
Hi Isabel
Well, pony and horse books are a new one to me, but I must say I found this world quite interesting and fun. The stables, the competitions, all the trappings of a pony club saga are here and described in great depth and detail.
Your use of the present tense is unusual but had a good rhythm to it, and after I got used to it, it flowed well. You have quite a light hearted style that works well for a teen book.
Chapter 1
I found this a good introductory chapter but it lacked any sense of anything mysterious. Given that the next couple of chapters you introduce Erenel it would have been nice to have a hint that something was up. Perhaps the scene with Jack, that he denies having moved her hat leaving the notion that perhaps somebody else had. Given that the scene only seems to be used to introduce Jack you could give it a dual purpose and add some instant mystery.
Chapter 2
This is a nice introduction to Erenel. I had felt he was a gentle soul at first but his quick move over the loft suggests there is more to him. Saying ‘you don’t know me…and then adding the brackets (obviously I don’t- …) I would be tempted to take out the brackets. This is perhaps personal taste but I always find that the slow things down.
Chapter 3
A good explanation of what Erenel is, but I would have liked Natalie to be more curious about where and what Otherworld was. There are the hints of Natalie falling for Erenel and you create a good balance between the fear and the fascination she experiences.
Chapters 4-6
The broken arm incident takes up the whole of chapter 4 and then in 6 it is, to some extent, re-lived with Erenel’s experience of it. This made me wonder if you couldn’t have tried somehow to intertwine chapters 4 and 6 by working the paragraphs together. This could give the effect that as Natalie is falling from the horse, breaking her arm, and being treated etc, Erenel could have been experiencing the same things at the same time, the fall, the pain, the treatment etc. giving a bigger impact. As it stands chapter 4 feels quite long and detailed, all over a broken arm, but if interspersed by paragraphs about Erenel’s parallel experience it would, I reckon, lift a well written piece to another level.
Well those are my comments. There were a couple of typo things I noticed too as detailed below.
I sound like a Damsel-in-distress and hating myself it. (missing for)
With a plaster pot on it. ( in Scotland a pot is a called a ‘cast’ or a ‘stookie’, it took me a minute to realize what a pot was)
…who’s about to get herself a detentionAnd I’ll probably get grounded…. (missing space)
Good luck with this and I am sure it will have a great appeal for teenage girls who like horses.
D.J

Kate LaRue wrote 478 days ago

YALF/YARG review

Isabel,
I've taken my time and read through the whole upload. Hopefully some of my comments can be helpful.

Overall this is an interesting concept. Otherworld seems like an interesting place, which makes me want to know more about it sooner, either directly, with Natalie and Erenel traveling there sooner, or indirectly through Erenel telling Natalie more about it.

I'm not sure if the chapters told from Lisa and Milly's POV did much for me. Lisa appears to be upset about Natalie being the center of attention because of the broken arm, and thinks about doing something about it, but that threat never plays out, and both friends end up being mad at her for something completely different. Lisa does nothing during the seven weeks in which Natalie wears a cast (of which most of these seven weeks are skipped over-why does she break her arm if nothing happens while she's not able to use it?).

The brother, as a character, doesn't seem to do much after he steals her riding cap, which makes me wonder why he's in the story, though maybe he becomes important later.

The timeline and pacing could be a bit faster. This just doesn't feel like Erenel is a fugitive on the run, as they are having their secret meetings in the stable, then in the garden, and those lost seven weeks of convalescence. It seems that the capture could come sooner, maybe even before Natalie has sorted her feelings for Erenel.

These are, of course, only one person's opinions, and I have no idea what happens in the later chapters. Hopefully something here is helpful.
Kate

Kestrelraptorial wrote 478 days ago

YALF Review – “The Boy from the Next Dimension”


This story is tricky for me to review, because in reading each chapter, it seems like a story I can get into – but – looking back on it, not a lot actually happens other than Natalie and the Ghost-Boy speaking to each other little by little.

I actually like the pony club in the first chapter, even though I’m not a horse person at all (unless they’re being chased by hungry terror-birds). Anyway, it’s a fine starting place for the story, gives us somewhere to start with Natalie’s personality and friends.

Ghost-Boy (which, I agree with Natalie, is a far better stand-in name than Hay-Loft Hermit)shows up in Chapter 2. That’s very early in an eventual 50-or-so chapter book (you said about half was uploaded), plenty of time for many adventures to take place, yet it takes until the almost the end of what you have up for things to get really interesting. Almost immediately, she’s scared of him, though there’s no reason to be scared of someone you just find hiding out in a hay loft. Although, he quickly runs at her and corners her at inhuman speed. Still, I don’t think she should be scared until after he tells her she’s in danger.

I like the part where Natalie breaks her arm. The fact that it's based on an actual experience of yours makes the pain that much more real. After this happens, when Lisa and Milly become aware that Natalie is spending so much time either distracted, or as they see it, seeking attention, they sort of just . . . abandon her without saying much. It may be normal teenager responses here, but if her friends are going to be point-of-view characters at all, there should be more to them. At one point, Natalie has a dream that Lisa was taking Erenal away from her, claiming him as her own. Then, near the end, Milly mentions she saw the 'lost fancy-dress boy'. Wouldn't it be interesting to have Lisa and Milly actually find out about Erenal on their own, and then try to do something about him? That would truly give them an important role and create so many possibilities for intrigue.

One thing is, Erenal tells Natalie she’s in danger in Chapter 2 yet it’s past Chapter 20 and there’s no more clues yet. All I need to know about Erenal has been revealed – he’s her counterpart from a different dimension that works in a similar way to Earth but as a more dream-like world. It’s interesting, certainly different from him just being a supernatural creature, but if this otherworld is going to play a major role in the story, I’d like to know more about it, more clues about its mysteries.

I enjoyed the talk between Erenal and Natalie in Chapter 19. It was very emotional and so much better than them just saying how much they’re in love. It’s a real revelation of feelings. Chapter 23 – I really didn’t need the couple paragraphs about Natalie’s brother. Unless Jack is going to mean something to the story, it’s much better to just begin with Erenal’s confession that he’s on the run. I think this point in the story can be reached earlier. You have quite a lot of short chapters in this book, which is okay, but many of them can be fused together. Chapters 6 and 7, 13 and 14, and 20 and 21 come to mind. You can have shifts between Erenal and Natalie's points-of-view as two sections of a single chapter. That would go further in showing how closely they are connected.

I do like the premise of this story. I think meeting supernatural and otherworldly beings can be thrilling adventures. This story just needs more adventure in it.

Debbie Coope wrote 481 days ago

YALF

I've read the first three chapters so far and I'm enjoying the story. Each chapter has something to keep me wanting to turn to the next page, which is great. It'll be interesting to find out who/what Erenel really is, and what danger is in store for Natalie.

I like the first person narrative which flows well as the chapter aren't too lengthy. There's humour and enough of the character of Natalie being brought out nicely in these three chapters.

I have the same feeling as some commentators regarding the first chapter and the Pony Club. A pony club, to me, sounds more junior school than high school. Obviously, I don't know if the horse connection features further in the book, but maybe a more adult angle is needed here. These are my first impressions.

I like the idea or inter-dimensional contact, and maybe a hint of romance too.

JMF wrote 484 days ago

YALF/YARG
Trying to get a few chapters read before Christmas.
Chapter One
I enjoyed this - I like your writing style - it's direct and to the point - in my opinion this can produce the best writing. I have absolutely no interest in horses and no knowledge of Pony Club, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this first chapter. However, I do wonder if horses play a large part in the rest of the story. I shall have to read on to find out!
In common with some of your other comments, I thought there was a little too much trivial detail that didn't move the story forward. For example, I'm not sure her losing her riding hat is crucial to know about.. I shall return to read more and give further comments when I feel I have a better grasp of where this is heading. But I have enjoyed what I've read and I like the ending of the chapter!
Jx

Jessicaw wrote 484 days ago

YALF
Chapters 1-4

At first, I wasn’t sure about the present tense, first person narration, but I soon got used to it since it’s so well done and well-written. I really enjoyed the tone of it – how Natalie’s feelings and thoughts are passed onto us along with the events.

Ch 1: This is a very horsey chapter, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how horsey the reader is. It might put some readers off, and if you don’t need the horseiness for the coming story, I would perhaps think about toning it down a little (much less detail).
I too liked the ‘hungry for stolen horse paraphernalia. I also liked the ending of chapter 1. It made me want to read chapter two.

Ch 2: 2:nd sentence: ‘wooden beams OF the ceiling’? Bit unsure about that one though.

Natalie is trying to work out who/what the boy is, but there’s not as much intrigue for the reader, because of the title of the book. We already know that he’s from another dimension, and not a ghost or a hologram.
So she’s researched self-defence, and her plan if something goes wrong is to ‘smack him one’, but she doesn’t bring along a weapon of any kind? Not even a can of hairspray, a pair of scissors, or anything like that? And would she really have left her phone behind if she was so worried that she looked up self-defence?

Ch3: He says ‘hi’, like they’re strangers? I don’t say ‘hi’ to strangers but to friends/acquaintances.
‘My cheeks burn…’ You’ve got’ MIlly’ here – picky, I know. Oh, and ‘burn warmly’ – burning is always warm, isn’t it? Maybe delete ‘warmly’?

Ch 4: ‘Can’t you at least…’ A space missing here: ‘detentionAnd’

I hope that it doesn’t sound as if I didn’t like this story. I set out to find spelling errors and things to comment on. The writing is really good, and flows well. I’d like to read more, and I hope to come back to this in January. I’m disappearing off Authonomy for the rest of Dec.

Jessica

Lucy Middlemass wrote 486 days ago

This is a YALF review

The Boy From The Next Dimension

I probably wouldn’t chose to read a book about pony club, but that said, there are some nice, humorous touches in this and I struggle to find any errors. The beginning isn’t obviously very fantasy-led, and if it were mine and I were planning the overhaul you suggest, that’s what I’d think about changing. For me, as an opening, there’s too much pony not enough next dimension.

Also, pitch-wise, I’ve read a lot of pitches where a teenage girl is normal until something extraordinary happens to her (she goes through a portal, grows wings, finds a locket, sees a moon wander etc) and they are fine but something different would stand out more.

In your short pitch, “pre-planned” ought to be just “planned”. You can’t “post-plan” something, plans are by their nature all “pre”. Or not? I said this in my last review of the book I noticed. I am this boring, yes.

Chapter One

“the best horse I’ve ever owned…” Are ponies horses?

“without knocking” seems redundant since you already have “barge into.” Jack mentions the lack of a knock later in the paragraph anyway.

“I have as much right to be in here as you do…” But she’s in his bedroom! And he doesn’t then say, “No you don’t. This is my bedroom.” which I think he would.

“then look at Lisa properly for the first time…” This sounds like for the first time ever, which isn’t what you mean. If you want to describe what she’s wearing, just go for it. You don’t need this bit first, I don’t think.

I liked the idea of dirt not showing up on black ponies last time too.

“and rests a hind leg.” I’m not sure what he’s doing.

“hungry for stolen horse paraphernalia.” You pitch should have more of this sort of thing in it.

Chapter Two

I like the way Natalie’s thoughts are presented. They fit seamlessly into the rest of the text. I mean the, “Oh no,” type of thing.

Why is she terrified of the boy? He’s just a teenage boy in a barn so far. Her thoughts remain kinda snarky, and they don’t fit very well with the idea of her being in terror.

“at the minute…” is a lovely colloquial expression. Is it right for someone from another dimension? Maybe not.

“as some sort of hallucination…” Is this likely?

“Lulling me into a false sense of…” This could be expressed more originally, I think. If it ended with something more surprising than “security”, it’d be better.

“confirms the latter half…” Like this. It’s clever.

Why is searching for self-defence a joke? It’s not clear.

“I’ll smack him one.” won’t work if she can walk through him.

I’d save the idea that she finds Ghost-boy attractive for a later chapter. He’s from another dimension, he’s in a hayloft, he’s a ghost who doesn’t leave her alone, she’s terrified, then annoyed and she fancies him. It’s quite a lot for one chapter.

This is a book I haven’t previously read a lot of so it’s nice to return to it. I didn’t remember it from the pitch or the title, although once I started reading, I did. My first thought was, “Oh yes, it’s the pony one.” and I’d suggest that in itself isn’t ideal.

Lucy

kata wrote 486 days ago

Yalf 2-3

I'm back again, I meant if when I said I had to read on! Loved the next two chapters! Only two crits. Im sure Natalie would know if she had her mobile phone on her of not, as most fifteen year old girls these days are surgically attached to their phones, and fly into a state of hysteria the minute they misplace them. However it's only my opinion so take it of leave it!

Typo - where Natalie says 'aware of sounding like a damsel in distress and hating myself (for) it.

That's all, and I'm loving it! Love your MCs wit and voice, and the pace flows perfectly!
I'll b back for more.

Kata
Twell

kata wrote 486 days ago

Yalf 2-3

I'm back again, I meant if when I said I had to read on! Loved the next two chapters! Only two crits. Im sure Natalie would know if she had her mobile phone on her of not, as most fifteen year old girls these days are surgically attached to their phones, and fly into a state of hysteria the minute they misplace them. However it's only my opinion so take it of leave it!

Typo - where Natalie says 'aware of sounding like a damsel in distress and hating myself (for) it.

That's all, and I'm loving it! Love your MCs wit and voice, and the pace flows perfectly!
I'll b back for more.

Kata
Twell

kata wrote 486 days ago

This is a Yalf review! Ch 1

I really enjoyed this! Nice opening, lovely subtle humour and I like the search for her hat and her annoying brother, but I did wonder if he was older of younger, as it wasn't clarified.

The whole pony club scene was my childhood, complete with a horse who refused to float and had to be cajoled and pushed in my many helpers! So this was highly amusing and awesome flashbacks for me! Oh and the sweet smell of horse and leather, best smell ever!

There seems to be no transition period from her house to the pony club. One minute she's promising she'll get revenge on Jack later, then the next she's tying her horse up in the float. Then her friends come over and suddenly they are at the pony club somehow without driving there? Did I miss something?

Anyways great first chapter and perfect hook at the end . Now I just have to go and read chapter two!

Kata
Twell

D. S. Hale wrote 508 days ago

I love your story! I love your characters! I was totally immersed, and have put it in my watchlist to return to later. Very few books here hold my attention, but you did very skillfully. Great job! The fact that you use horses in your story, is another plus. Horse stories are hot, so be sure to use that in your description of your book. You might find more readers! Gave you 5 stars! Sincerely, Donna (Jessup and the Teleporter)

Michael Matula wrote 509 days ago

Very well-written, with a charming tone throughout the chapters I read, and a really intriguing plot. Some great lines and descriptions (“My crazy thoughts just seem to dissolve in the water and rush away down the plughole.” was a particular standout for me), and you're building a great sense of mystery here. The introduction of “Ghost-Boy” really caught me by surprise (in a good way), and while I did wonder once or twice if Natalie bounced a tad bit too quickly between emotions (staring shyly at her feet one moment, then hissing boldly briefly, and then going back to staring shyly), I really liked the inner monologue for her, and I think she's a very relatable character.

I had hardly any critiques, as the grammar seemed spot-on to me. The only two suggestions I had are both quite minor, and are probably no more than personal preference. Please do disregard anything you disagree with.
- Hearing the other character's thoughts in chapter 3 didn't quite work for me. I wanted to see this first meeting play out through her eyes, and see what he was thinking through the vibe she was getting off him. Since it's first person, especially, it seemed odd to dip into another person's mind. (I actually wondered at first if he was telepathically communicating with her)
- I might change a line in chapter 3 to: “He looks at me haughtily, as though the answer is obvious and I have an IQ similar to that of a rock.” - the other two descriptors in the sentence seemed a bit too redundant to me.

Overall, though, I think you've done a great job with it, blending romance with what already feels like a really deep and engaging sci-fi concept, and I very much enjoyed reading it.
High stars.

Mike
Arrival of the Ageless
What, the Elf?

Philthy wrote 527 days ago

Hi Isabel,
A while back, I’d said I’d take another look at your novel and I apologize it’s taken me so long to get here. Anyway, a few comments below. They are of course my humblest opinions, so please take them for whatever they’re worth.
Chapter 1
“mutter under my breath” is redundant. To mutter is to speak under one’s breath.
“initial excitement gradually giving way to anger.” This seems to come out of the blue. Why not show us the excitement rather than allude to it?
I’d drop “Actually”
“I hear Mum shout from downstairs” could be condensed to just “Mum shouts from downstairs.”
I dropped the line-by-line approach with the rest of the chapter to get a better feel for the story. The scene development is well-done and the characters are very likable. This is really a strong start to your story. My biggest suggestions are to tighten the writing. At times, it gets a bit wordy. This can be easily fixed with continued editing, however. Also, you tend to over-tell when showing would be much more effective. Just a couple things to note.
Best of luck with this. I can see it doing well.
Also, I’ve got a few chapters of a new story up called Leech. If you’re interested, let me know what you think. I’d love the feedback.
All the best,
Phil

Mark Cain wrote 532 days ago

A very well-written YA fantasy. I would guess your main audience is comprised of young teenage girls. If that's the case, you have a couple of hooks you plant very early in your reader: horses and a mysterious, handsome boy of the same age as the MC. A double-hook. Very cool.

I don't read a great deal of YA books, but I find this one to be a notch above many I have seen on this site. High stars and on my watchlist!

Mark
HELL'S SUPER

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 545 days ago

Isabel,
I got caught up in your work right from the onset, Nartalie riding Seamus, interacting with family and friends and running into her male coputerpart from another dimension. Your switching of POV's from Natalie to Erenel to Lisa to Milly works well in positioning persdpectives like TV cameras to viiew developments from different angles. The descriptives are simply put and clear, the dialogue dramatic where needed. Thank you so much for the captivating read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

Lenny Banks wrote 606 days ago

Hi Isabel, I read chaptyers 7 and 8. You have created a fantastic story here and it's odd no one thought of it first. I love the way they are connected and you have got teh dialogue down very well. It flowed very well and it was a pleasure to read well done.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock.

Stephanie Mortimer wrote 611 days ago

The Boy From the Next Dimension - your writing flows effortlessly, with fabulous descriptions and great dialogue. You have a good story with a likeable main character in Natalie, and an intriguing character in her 'counterpart'. I've read the first three chapters and you build the story nicely - I wanted to read more to find out who this boy was and why she was in danger. I think this book would be very popular within its genre and a real page turner.

Backed and highly starred.

Stephanie - Feathers

AdeleVBW wrote 641 days ago

Hi Isabel - returning the read. I am four chapters in.

My feeling is that this is pitched at the younger/childrens end of YA and specifically at girls. The pony theme is a clever device for attracting those readers who are ready for something more inventive than pony books but reluctant to move out of their comfort zone. As a non-tween reader I could have happily done without some of the horsey detail, and you may lose someone looking for more classic sci-fi/fantasy, but there is nothing wrong with having a specific target audience. What I do question is titling the book "The Boy From The Next Dimension" - So far (and I am only four chapters in) this title feels like it might be appealing to the wrong audience. I don't think a 12 year old boy is going to read through all the pony stuff and a 12 year old girl might not realise that this book is for her. Of course cover design is an important tool here, so maybe I'm worrying too much about that.

While we're on first impressions - I know this is hideously pedantic of me - is the 'pre-planned' in your short pitch really the best word? What does the pre- add to our understanding of the word? I am someone who gets cross about Amazon inviting me to pre-order things, mind you. I have a thing about unneccesary pre- prefixes! I think "One encounter changes her life forever..." is more effective.

I like Natalie's voice: she has a lot of verve and I can see that working well in an adventure like this. You started to lose me when she was so accepting of Erenel in his ghostly form, though. I was happy to go along with her not making a big deal of finding him in the hayloft (Bit confused about why they have to meet there if he's with her all the time, though), but when he's transparent and following her around I think you need to explain why she doesn't question what's happening. If someone I had just met in peculiar circumstances started wafting about the place like a ghost I would question my sanity, or start looking for holographic projectors, or something. I wouldn't just get irritated and think up a lie so I could have another redezvous with his corporeal form.

Another thing that confused me was her brother's age - shorter than her implies younger but you say that he has been telling her to knock before entering his room for her 'whole life', which means he must be older.

There are a lot of ideas here that are going to be attractive to a childrens/YA audience, but I think you do need to tackle the inconsistencies above before you start submitting/reach the ED. They prevented me from immersing myself in the story.

That's just my take, though. You have had plenty of readers who haven't mentioned it at all so maybe I'm just odd!

Good luck with it,
Adele

Great proofreading job BTW! I didn't notice any errors!

rikasworld wrote 651 days ago

Hi, I'm just popping in briefly. I have just read the first chapters as I see you are a member of the YALF crit. group and I'm allowed to be a guest reader for that so will write a proper review then. Are you in the CHIRG group as well I couldn't see your name? That is more random about time of review.
I really enjoyed the first chapter. It's a great idea to combine pony book and paranormal. Natalie comes over really well as a character and I loved her searching her brother's room. I liked the hook at the end of the chapter and the humour in ch. 2. A handsome mystery boy with amazing eyes. Great.
High stars and I will review properly.

Wussyboy wrote 659 days ago

"It's not right to fall in love with creatures who you meet in hay lofts," For that line alone, Isabel, I'm giving you one of my rarely-dispensed six stars. As to the rest, I'm truly impressed by your writing style - awesome, for one so young. Yes, you could profitably trim your first chapter (the 'hook' at the end came rather too late for me) and yes, you could definitely lose that cape (sorry), but otherwise this is highly readable stuff, could hit big with the YA brigade with some judicious editing. I LOVE the internal dialogue of Natalie - ever so slightly chick-litty, very sassy and smart - and also the interaction between her and her weird-twin 'ghost-boy'. I didn't find their relationship creepy, unlike other commentators, though Natalie's reluctance to show him her birthmark in case 'he had ideas' did, on this occasion, draw my attention to it (delete?). Do keep going with this, it's good!

Joe Kovacs
Ginger the Buddha Cat

(my eye caught in only two places, both in chap 2. First, the ghost-boy is catching an apple, despite being transparent? Second, 'What have I got myself into?' and 'Stop, Natalie, stop' should, imho, be in italics.

femmefranglaise wrote 662 days ago

Hi Isabel, you've done a really good job with this. It starts of like a 'girl and pony' story of the sort I used to read as a young girl but then it soon goes off in another direction entirely. The narrative is good and you keep the pace going well. You have a very natural voice for this genre and if I had any criticism at all it would be that the chapters are way too long for a YA book and I would seriously consider splitting them up a bit and also, lose the cape. It seems completely out of place. Great stuff, lots of stars and I wish you all the best with it.

Melanie
La Vie en Rosé

Maevesleibhin wrote 663 days ago

I read the first fourteen chapters. 
I am obviously not your target audience, so you should feel free to dismiss my opinions on the subject As coming from someone who does not know what she is talking about. 
I have a fundamental problem with this book, and it is that I find the premise creepy. It is a YA love story between a girl and a boy who is cosmically related to her, and who ca see her every move hear her every word. He can see her in her most intimate and private moments. And, as though that was not enough, he goes and reads her diary! This is creepy in an almost incestuous way. 
I realise that the only way you can fix this is by rewriting the whole book, making him less omniscient. I have no reason to think that you may want to do this, and offer the rest of my comment for what it's worth. 
Hook and plot- I found chapter one very slow, and did not feel any hook until chapter two. I am not a horse person, so the scene may have been lost on me, but I think you would do well to bring your hook in earlier, maybe bringing in the horses later. I understand you want this as a bit of background for later, but you can do it after you hook. 
The boy in the hayloft is A good hook, and I was interested until I got creeped out, which happened when he showed her that they shared a birthmark (so they are siblings in. A cosmic sense!) and that he could see everything she ever did (like a ghost) and that she has the hots for him (yikes!).
The plot from here on confused me a bit. He tells her she is in grave danger, and then you break her arm and she does nothing for weeks. Why? What is the point of her injury? Why does he know she is in danger? Why are his people facing horrors? Why is her horse so shy? What is wrong with Millie's hair?
I am not sure where you are going with it, except her conflicted feelings. My issue with this plot mechanism is that, again, I find it creepy. 
Character development- I think Natalie is well developed for a YA character. You are careful to describe the relationship with her (lovely) parents and annoying but well meaning brother. You establish her tastes in food (spaghetti with meat sauce and pizza)  boys (Johnny Depp) sport (horses) and school (Spanish and maths, was it?). 
Erenel is less well developed at this point (well, he is a voyeuristic alien who wears a cape and reads other people's diaries) but that is okay. I even think you did a good job with her friends. CD is rather the strong suit of the book. 
Ambiance- this book is not super strong on descriptions, but that is not a big fault. I don't feel I need to know more about the village or the school, although it would not hurt. I am, of course, curious about the other dimension. 
Writing is good, but I have two objections. The Internet chat, which I know others do but it annoys me no end, and the new POVs in autho 8&9. I feel that messing around with POVs does not add anything here and it takes away from the goal I plot development. 
Oh, little aside, I did not understand why they started exchanging notes when he can just appear at will in thee room (shudder).
I think you are talented and have a good story to tell. Besides the slow start, my only real objection is one that is unfortunately hard to fix, but that is not really about the writing at all. 
If you wanted to make me happy, which you do not have any reason to, you would have to either remove the love interest or the voyeurism. But that would make for an entirely different book. 

My comments as I read. 
1 no hook
2
the cape is pretty silly. 


“Always tells us where you’re going, Natalie.”

gets interesting halfway through 2. 

5 chatting painful. 
6 this is creepy. 
8 why the change of POV?
9 another one? Why. This is not getting us further plot wise. 
10. This is definitely creepy.  
11 letter is odd. Cake is weird. 
Why are they writing? 
This is incestuous. 
12. horrors in my world?
14 that is just wrong. Why would he do this?

Best of luck with it,
Maeve

Debbie R wrote 670 days ago

I really like this Isabel.
Your characters work well - Natalie has a very strong voice and I like her sense of humour. Particularly liked her comment 'I'll retaliate properly later' in chapter one. A real cliff-hanger of an ending to this chapter.

Chapter 2 - put 'Oh no, he's looking at me ... ' into italics so we know she's thinking this. The humour is very good in this 2nd chapter - mum and dad telling her off and her remarks about 'ghost stalker' and 'ghost-boy'.

I found this engaging, well-written and pitched just right for YA's. BTW I like the Blog too.

Lots of stars and wishing you lots of luck with it.

Debbie
Speedy McCready


RMAWriteNow wrote 699 days ago

Hi Isabel; I can only say well done. You have managed to blend fantasy ideas with real life seamlessly. Natalie and Erenel are very good characters, easy to follow and very believable, too. I know it's not quite the same thing but your book had the same feel to it as the manga The Girl Who Leapfrogged Through Time (it's good if you haven't seen it.) I can not only see the young adult audience enjoying this but also anyone with a bit of a sentimental side, or just a dreamer like me.
I spotted a typo on the second paragraph of the second chapter "a boy sitting" you missed the 'on' out after it. I have to say, that all in all, this is really excellent and I sincerely wish you the best of luck with it. Well done.
RMA
Sea Spray and Stars

Lacydeane wrote 710 days ago

You have the perfect writing style and voice for your book. The character's age is obvious by the way you write. Your story is good and creative. I enjoyed what I read. Having two older daughters who loved their horses when they were young, I can see many girls loving this story. Great job, 6 stars, Lacy

junetee wrote 710 days ago

This is a great idea for a story - two people from different dimensions, meeting.
You have a great imagination and a natural gift for writing. I hope you realise you have written a great Y/A book.
The Chapters could do with cutting down drastically (by half maybe). But other than that there doesn't seem much wrong with it at all. Maybe could enhance it with a good hook at the end of each chapter..
Junetee
FOUR CORNERS.book one.The Rock Star.
.

Shelby Z. wrote 713 days ago

I only read the first chapter, but I can see that you have a good talent for writing. You make this flow well as it develops and you also have a good pace to start off with. I can see where any teens would enjoy this book.
The story seems very interesting.
No mistakes as far as I can tell.
The title really sticks out.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

Margaret0307 wrote 713 days ago

What a great book! It begins with a very normal girl in a very normal life. The day-to-day trivialities of life - frustration with her brother and her mother, her friends etc etc and then bam - suddenly everything changes! I was so intrigued I just had to read on and I found a very interesting and well-written story. Imaginative and funny and many questions raised which means you just have to keep reading - which I did!

I think this is pitched exactly at the right level for young adults but maybe not just young adults! I am not a young adult but I still enjoyed this story!

All the very best with this excellent book.

Margaret
How do I know I know God?

Cariad wrote 713 days ago

I'm enjoying this read. Like the way it opens with the family, liked the pitch, which was interesting. Well written and put together, no obvious errors. I think your audience will go for it for sure. The voice is personal and chatty, and so its easy to slip into the story and feel almost as though you are watching events unfold from over her shoulder. haven't got that far yet (three chapters) and will have more to say when I have read more of it. So far, so good.
Cariad.

Melissa Writes wrote 713 days ago

This is very well written and the premise is wonderful, the idea that everyone has an inhuman counterpart is really original and intriguing. Natalie is a great main character who will be easy for teenagers to relate to, and her dialogue with Erenel is very natural. Best of luck!
Melissa
Lessons in the Dark

Sharda D wrote 719 days ago

Hi Isabel,
writing a novel is an incredible achievement for anyone of any age, but what's amazing is the level of craft you've achieved.
I love the variety of styles you use, from the internet chatroom to the multiple first person narratives. You use them well and are very good at getting into the heads of your characters, in to their thoughts and motivations.
Very mature and sensitive work.
All the best,
Sharda.
(6 stars from me).

Lucy Middlemass wrote 725 days ago

The Boy From The Next Dimension

I like this kind of funny, imaginative YA book.

Short pitch - “pre-planned” -all planning is done before whatever is planned for, so the “pre” is always unnecessary.
Long pitch - from this I wouldn’t have guessed I’d be reading about ponies. It isn’t funny, either, in the way that the book is.

Ch 1

The first paragraph of Ch 1 is great - the idea of the theft of the riding hat quickly introduces us to the type of person Natalie is, and it’s funny too. At the Pony Club, I’d like more atmosphere, because I don’t know what it would be like to be there. Sounds, smells - that sort of thing.

“He’s laid…” Unless someone else has laid him there, this should be “He’s lying..”

“I expected you to be on fire at the very least.” I liked this a lot!

“..so that it lays…” Should be “…so that it lies..”

“Dirt never shows up on them.” So good, I’d have liked this when I was younger.

Natalie isn’t very nice about Lisa, especially about her weight. Since the book is gently humorous, I think you probably want likeable characters.

There’s quite a lot of gazing going on, and this is only Ch1.

Lisa can’t walk for ten minutes? Why not?

I like the cliff hanger ending.

Ch 2

Do you need the underlined character name? Since it’s Natalie in both Chapters?

Why does she think the boy might kill her? That’s a strange reaction to have when you see a new person.

She seems like a very young fifteen. I would have guessed twelve or so. Are fifteen year olds still interested in ponies? Would the practically six foot friend even fit on one?

I like the way Ghost-boy is everywhere. I like “confirms the latter half..” too. And “Our teachers pride themselves on running a peaceful school.”

Isabel, I won’t comment anymore in detail but I’ve read to the end of this chapter. I like your use of the present tense, it makes for a modern and engaging read.

Thank you for inviting the read-swap.

Lucy

JMF wrote 727 days ago

I am coming to your book as part of a swap with your friend Katie. I agree with the other reviewers - this is incredibly well-written. You have obviously spent a great deal of time on this and your hard work shows. Natalie is a believable, well-rounded character and the storyline is original and will appeal to the YA age group. I cannot find much to comment about because I have really enjoyed reading it and I will be happy to place this on my shelf for a spell, when a space arises. Well done and good luck with it. I will be returning this to carry on reading!
Julia
Shadow Jumper (a children's adventure story)

Edwin P. Magezi wrote 733 days ago

Hi Isabel, here for my part of the read swap... sorry it's taken me so long. >.<

I agree with the comments below, this is excellently written. The narrative is consistent in portraying the character and personality of Natalie. Your descriptions are brief but vivid and your dialogues are in tune with the characters' personalities. Basically, it was a very intriguing read, presenting a unique idea as far as I've read.
It's a very clean read, barely needs any editing as far as I can see.
Natalie shows all the characteristics of a girl her age, a smart one too seeing how she managed to go through a day of getting stalked by Ghost-boy without slipping up and letting herself loose it. She has a pretty curious imagination that presents most of the humour in the story.
I found it weird that she'd still like this guy after he told her that they were practically twins, just from different dimensions. It would be a deal-breaker for me.. like dating your opposite sex self :D

A few things I noticed...
Chapter 1
-> across the yard and in to the stable -- (into)
Chapter 2
-> She had dropped her lyrics sheet, no sign that she retrieved it before looking at it after the teacher asks why she's not singing.
-> heavily on to a chair -- (onto)
-> so I guess could get used to him -- (guess I could get ...)

Oh, surprised you have barely 30k words but 28 chapters... an estimate could put the full manuscript to over 90 chapters... well, hardly matters.
Highly rated and all the best with it.

Edwin - The First Oath

benedict wrote 734 days ago

Hi Isabel,

This is not by any means the kind of book I'd normally read. However you have a really strong voice which is probably the biggest selling point here. You also write extremely well. You use language clear and concisely and rarely overdo lengthy descriptions or train of thoughts. In other words you are a very successful and economical writer.

I had a few problems with the first chapter. Some of the things you talk about are a little too trivial to grab our attention from the beginning. Of your three main characters one doesn't talk, one is constantly criticised by her best friend and the narrator, while I have warmed to her by the second chapter, is not exactly a picnic herself. Also by including the equestrian plotline I feel you might be excluding quite a lot of people who would be interested in the overall genre of the book. Equestrian-fiction is already quite a niche market so equestrian science fiction is even more limiting.

Still these considerations are fairly minor and do not detract from the quality of the writing.
A note regarding style, have a good read through for times when you repeat the same words more than once in a sentence or sometimes even within the same section of the book as it is very jarring for the reader. You should also be careful of using the same phrases time and again - even from chapter to chapter, as it comes across as unimaginative .

Here's my close crit:
Actually, let me rephrase THAT : the theft of my riding hat.
Two-foot-long
“I’ve told you about knocking A MILLION times.”
I do live here, you know,” I retort – better said or replied. – editors don’t like complicated dialogue tags.
angelic expression which COULD fool the Pope
I’m not a big fan of asides in parentheses/ brackets. Most of the time you can just put them in commas.
Lisa obviously grasps the idea too – she isn’t grasping the idea – understanding – she’s realising
Jodhpur story a bit trivial – especially to encapsulate her.
Lisa’s pretty and certainly not fat, but as we work our way through the pizzas I can appreciate why she’s not quite the size eight she wants to be. – sorry that’s the most offensive line I’ve read on Authonomy. To even talk about another character’s weight like this in a YA book is a massive no.
but trashy SITCOM on TV
ABSENTMINDEDLY
the approaching storm clouds make it MUCH darker than it should be now in late May.
It starts to rain just as I reach the yard. I run through the hay barn, across the yard and in to the stable – you repeat the word yard several times close together

Ch 2
Why does she assume he’s going to kill her?
Sitting ON one of the hay bales
Setting out her thoughts in italic is strange considering everything we are hearing is her thoughts
First THING i notice IS his eyes.
How can you get “a sense of a straight nose?”
Repeating what he just said is unnecessary
Her parents react rather disproportionately
The ghosts are everywhere – shouldn’t it be – He’s everywhere?
LYRIC sheets
His eyes “bore” into her more than once.

Hope that helps.

Best wishes,

Benedict

Julio Guzman wrote 735 days ago

Hey Isabel,

I've read the first two chapters so far and I was officially hooked on Natalie. She has a great voice right from the start. At first I was a little skeptical because the whole girls and ponies thing was not really my taste but then came that surprising twist at the end of chapter one and it sparked my intrest. I liked chapter two just a little bit better.

Anyways, your dialogue is great, your descriptions are vivid and the chapters read fast and easy. There's no doubt that you're a great writer and very talented!

Highly starred and good luck :)
Will read more soon!

Maria Constantine wrote 736 days ago

I have read the opening chapters and I'm thoroughly enjoying the read because the writer has created a MC that as a reader I am drawn to and like. Natalie's perspective and voice in the first two chapters have on more than one occasion put a smile on my face. Her voice comes across clearly and her personality comes to life from the first page eg 'Meet my brother, the charmer'. The writer shows skill and discipline in using other characters as a vehicle whereby we learn more about Natalie through her perspective and interaction with these characters eg Milly, Lisa and her parents. Knowing Natalie I felt was key to my accepting and understanding her response to Erenel; it is not everyday a teenage girl enters into a relationship with a boy from another dimension.
Highly deserving of stars today - will remain on my WL to continue reading.
Well done Isabel and good luck.
Maria (Georgina's Family)

Paul Beattie wrote 738 days ago

I rarely read either teen fiction or fantasy, Isabel but I have to say I really enjoyed your opening chapters. The writing feels extremely polished. I noticed one or two compound adjectives missing their hyphens (eg ‘foot-long’ not ‘foot long’ etc) and occasionally your participles don’t seem quite right (eg. ‘lying flat’ not ‘laid flat’ ‘a boy sitting’ not ‘a boy sat’ – although maybe this is just a way to reflect realistic, modern phrasing??) but nothing that made me stumble too much or got in the way of my enjoyment of the novel.

The prose itself feels very smooth with a good blend of simple and direct storytelling to move the narrative along and more involved/descriptive passages to evoke a certain atmosphere/mood or allow the reader a fuller understanding of what Natalie is thinking. I did think some of the phrasing drifted ever so slightly towards cliché (eg. ‘every fibre of his existence,’ ‘knowing smile,’ ‘hide my embarrassment,’ ‘whisked me off’) but, again, maybe this is simply the way that Natalie thinks/speaks??

The dialogue works well to add energy to the scenes as well as helping to flesh out the various characters. Good use of italicised internal monologue inserts to allow the reader an immediate, intense snapshot of Natalie’s emotions/thought processes etc. I like the shift in narrative perspectives between Natalie and Erenel, although I did feel slightly frustrated that the chapters focussing on Erenel were rather brief/superficial in comparison. I was also a little surprised when, in chapter 8, we moved into Lisa’s POV. This was the last chapter I read so I don’t know if you persevere with Lisa’s narrative thread but, either way, it does feel rather late in the novel to introduce a new narrator??

The chapters are very well structured with a good mix of action/dialogue/character development etc and nicely underplayed climactic plot hooks to encourage the reader to read on. The plot as a whole feels original and multi-layered and, with its blend of adventure/mystery/teenage angst/escapist fantasy etc, should appeal to a broad cross-section of readers.

I suppose if I were to offer any criticism of your opening chapters, it would be that, although there’s much to like about Natalie as a character – she’s funny and resourceful and appealingly flawed – I’m afraid I found it almost impossible to buy into the idea that she’s a fifteen-year-old girl. I found much of her phrasing – both in dialogue and internal thoughts – far too adult/knowing for her age. Phrasing like ‘let me rephrase,’ ’completely adorable,’ ‘formed a strong bond’ ‘retort’ ‘pure encapsulation’ etc just doesn’t feel like the type of phrasing a fifteen-year-old would naturally use. Occasionally some of the phrasing felt spot on (eg. ‘My computer is a bout three centuries old,’ ‘Weird’) but most of the time I got the impression of an author who was straining to impress with their word choice/sentence structure etc rather than simply focussing on developing the traits/voice/thought processes etc of their lead character. Maybe try and focus in on precisely how a fifteen-year-old girl thinks/speaks etc and tweak Natalie’s narrative accordingly?? Just a thought.

In short, a very polished, original, impressive opening that, with a couple of simple tweaks, will feel even more persuasive.

Highly starred and on my watchlist for further reading. Thanks and best of luck. P

Brian Bandell wrote 738 days ago

Natalie is an interesting character, in that is is curious and friendly, yet can be a bit too trusting. She is certainly likable. Now her life seems almost perfect until Erenel shows up, so you may want to add some challenges or character shortcomings that she can work on. It's always good if the magic event helps a character improve their previous life.

The opening chapter moves a bit slow for me. Not much happens in the plot until the cliffhanger at the end.

You have a nice writing style and a great imagination. I will back this.

Brian Bandell
Mute

olivialebookworm wrote 739 days ago


Your book is brilliant, and I can understand why it is working its way up the ladder of sucess!
I can really relate to the characters in the book and can see where a lot of your inspiration has come from. The chapters of your book all link together very well, which makes the book very easy to get into as you are fascinated and enchanted by the characters, I couldn't put it down once I had started to read! Also, the title of the book and the front cover are very unique and intriguing, different from all of the others which I have seen on here. You are a fabulous writer and I am sure that a lot of hard work and effort went into this book. When (nothing like positive thinking) your book is published, I will be purchasing multiple copies and giving them out as presents, as I think very highly of your book. Best wishes for the future! I am sure that The Boy From Then Next Dimension will be on the Editors Desk before long!

Keep up the amazing writing, I hope to see another one of your books soon!

Meta Marbles wrote 742 days ago

Hi Isabel! You write amazingly well for someone your age. Your descriptions are vivid, and your grammar well beyond the bulk of the people I've read here on Authonomy.

If I could make any suggestions it would be to think of including some small hooks along the way, things that the reader might stop and wonder 'why' to push them into reading along until you get to the bigger hook at the very end of your first chapter. Also, I'd consider trying to 'show off' the character personalities more in the dialogue and emotive actions which creates a stronger bond with the readership than telling them directly what someone is like. A single word can make all the difference in the mind of someone who is coming along for the ride (pun intended!)

Keep it up!

TaniaJohansson wrote 743 days ago

Dear Isabel,

I think you have a really strong start to your story. I liked the easy-going light first chapter, but with the nice hook at then end, and then the strong shift in atmosphere in chapter 2. I loved Natalie's internal arguments. I thought parts of your writing was very funny and that (IMO) is one of the hardest things to get right in writing. Your characterisation of Natalie, her parents, and Erenel is strong. You do an excellent job with your dialogue. Its natural and flows very well.

I think you will do very well with this and I wish you all the best.
Tania Johansson
Book of Remembrance

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