I’ve always hated Nancy Drew. Some relative with good intentions bought me the first 3 books in the series when I was 9-years-old and they annoyed the crap out of me. There was something about a perky blonde sleuth that didn’t sit well with me, even at such a young age. So, if someone had told my 9-year-old self that a few months before my 16th birthday I’d decide to start channeling everyone’s favorite girl detective, there is no way I would have believed them."Didn't sit well with me" sounds to my ear like an adult speaking rather than a kid.
Why did your character read all three books if they annoyed her?
Channeling, like psychically? Or...? The word choices here aren't quite adding up for me.
Of course that was before I’d even met Ava, let alone read her e-mail.The second sentence is a cliche.
I stared disbelieving at my computer, wondering if this was some sort of cruel joke.
The unopened e-mail made my heart pound with joy but at the same time sent shivers down my back.What?
Dropping your reader into the action = good.
Dropping your reader into an emotional reaction your reader can't share = not so good.
It taunted me, sitting bold-faced in my inbox. It didn’t move or disappear or do any of the creepy things I’d expect an e-mail from a ghost to do. It just sat there.A ghost is emailing her. Ah, I get it, "g-mail".
But if Ava was going to email me, she picked the perfect day. It was the first anniversary of her disappearance. The first anniversary of the last time I saw her. The first anniversary of our final fight.
And so, I sat alone in my room, stolen wine cooler in hand, mourning the loss of my best friend. Not pretty.
And, no, I'm not an alcoholic. Do alcoholics even drink wine coolers?
I just have this thing for wine coolers when I'm depressed. And on that night, the sweet fizz of my mom’s Blue Hawaiian wine cooler filled a void that only a stain-your-tongue-blue-quasi-alcoholic drink could fill.
Don't call it that, it's cheesy.
The ghost aspect is intriguing, but the voice--what the narration focuses on, the words it chooses, the mood it's conveying-- is giving mixed signals. And starting in an emotional place for your main character before we've identified with her puts us on the wrong foot.
So I would suggest backing up just a little so we understand what a shock it is when this email arrives, and then think hard about what information and word choices will put your reader in your main character's head.