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Boxed In Diana Hurlburt

Description

Racing fangirl Tallis has given up on talking her parents into letting her train to become a jockey. As summer starts up, she’s ready to skateboard, play bass in her punk band, and ignore her senior year to-do list. She didn’t anticipate landing a dream job exercising horses for a local farm...or falling in love with a Thoroughbred trainer’s daughter.

Jessa's a beautiful, ambitious cheerleader who didn't inherit her mother's love for horses--but opposites attract, and Tallis finds herself gearing up for her first real relationship. Then Jessa drops a bombshell that leaves Tallis wondering whether love is worth pursuing if it isn't meant to last.

Length

  • 73604 words
  • About 294 pages
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Swoon Index Ranking

  • Heat

    7

  • Tears

    6

  • Laughs

    8

  • Thrills

    7

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19 comments on "Boxed In"

November on Aug. 10, 2017, 7:34 p.m. said:

November


EVERYTHING!!!!!

Nothing! I have never read anything like it!

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Diana Hurlburt on Aug. 11, 2017, 2:45 p.m. said:

Diana Hurlburt


Thanks for giving it a look! I'm glad you enjoyed.

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edutton on May 5, 2017, 9:10 p.m. said:

edutton


I kept waiting for something bad to happen, some contrived crisis - and then it didn't! I love slice-of-life stories, and this is that in buckets... Just a quiet little love story. <3 Both girls felt very real and relatable, and I appreciated that there was a realistic degree of angst (teens, after all!) but not overblown, and that our heroine knows who she wants to be. (And that she's built a queer community even in a place as small as Ocala, because that's just what happens.)

The biggest thing I kept tripping over - and it's throughout the book - is about 500% too many, like, "likes". I have a teen, and she says "like" correctly WAY more often than she uses it as an interjection. That, and the end felt a little abrupt: it's not a bad place to stop the story at all, but just a few more sentences would help it feel more finished.

Overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit and I think it definitely has potential to be publishable with just a bit more editing. Good job!

Honestly, the closest comparison I have (and it's a "feel"/theme thing rather than being based on the plot) is the manga "Girl Friends".

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Diana Hurlburt on May 6, 2017, 8:21 a.m. said:

Diana Hurlburt


Thank you so much for reading, and for your insightful comments! My main goal with this project was to write a lighthearted, relatively angst-free book that just happened to be as non-straight as possible. I don't believe I've grasped the lightning-in-a-bottle that is the quintessential Summer Romance yet, but I'm having fun with the attempt and I'm glad that Tallis and Jessa were characters you enjoyed meeting.

As to the 'likes'--I am still searching for a way to adequately mirror Tallis's dialogue to her internal monologue, or to suggest that her speech is a little scattered and idiosyncratic. I think it's a little over the top as-is, and will probably get a lot of attention and refining in the revisions!

Thanks again, happy reading :)

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edutton on May 1, 2017, 7:08 p.m. said:

edutton


It's a smooth, quick read - the teen voice is solid, although there's a little too much stereotypical eye-rolling for my taste. I'm enjoying it!

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Diana Hurlburt on May 1, 2017, 8:13 p.m. said:

Diana Hurlburt


Thank you for taking a look! I hope you continue to enjoy the ride :)

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Phoebe on March 13, 2017, 7:47 p.m. said:

Phoebe


You seriously have such a talent for dialogue and establishing strong character voices! Tallis is absolutely believable, adorable, and its just so easy to root for her in every facet of her life. The character relationships are also really strong- the parental relationship and the sort of dichotomy between Tallis and her parents vs Tallis and Mrs. Taylor were great and so, so relatable. I've definitely been that person who has had more external support for goals from friends parents than my own at times, so Mrs. Taylor is just a great character imo.

Jessa and Tallis are adorable. Seeing Jessa warm up over the course of the book is really lovely, and Tallis was basically already IN DEEP when Jessa was wearing a short skirt at the beginning of the book lbr.

Great horseshit, I enjoyed it even if I didn't understand any of it. The explanation on the bidding-before-the-race type of horse could use a little polishing, I spent a while trying to suss it out before moving on.

The plot is obviously super character driven. I enjoy that there's character development related conflict, but I think the overall plot could have used a few more er... crescendo moments, for lack of a better term off the top of my head. The biggest conflict spike felt like the one where Jessa and Tallis argue after their first kiss, but there were a few other scenes that could be amped up just to make the pacing feel a little less mellow. But I'll echo a review above and say I'm happy that the conflict wasn't anything related to them being gay, they just were. That's nice. That wasn't their defining characteristic, it just so happened that they were super super gay.

Anyway, I smiled a lot and enjoyed Tallis's horsemania, which I sort of imagine is what hanging out with you might be like these days :)

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Diana Hurlburt on March 13, 2017, 8:27 p.m. said:

Diana Hurlburt


I am...so pleased that you like Gwen Taylor! She's about my most beloved side character ever, and her scenes with Tallis are some of my favorites. Plot with a capital P is definitely what will get the most attention when this receives revisions; obviously there's a way to write a fluffy summer romance book while still achieving those dramatic highs and lows, and I will find it!

Thank you so much for giving it a look, and for your comments in-text. Dad Voice is the pinnacle of my skill. :D

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Karah Rachelle on Feb. 24, 2017, 4:22 p.m. said:

Karah Rachelle


Right away, I love your narrative voice and attention to detail. It reads quickly and I'm drawn in by the strong personalities of your characters. I also really love the text message convos at the beginning of each chapter. One note: I'm super pro-cursing, but I also think certain words (like the f one) work best sprinkled in like pepper. I haven't read more than two chapters, but I did a find/replace check in my own manuscript to see how many I used throughout and per act. I'm not sure if you've done this, but it might be something to think about. Looking forward to reading more!

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Diana Hurlburt on Feb. 24, 2017, 9:47 p.m. said:

Diana Hurlburt


That is...a good point! I know some salty-mouthed teenagers, but that's definitely not true across the board. :D

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