Title: THE HIT LIST
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 77,000
Welcome to The Hit List, a game of sexual conquest coming soon to a school near you.
To sixteen-year-old Sadie Bryant, getting into the Los Angeles School of Performing Arts means impressing talent scouts and a chance to launch her career. But after her last dance partner raped her, she panics at any boy’s touch. When she finds out she’s required to dance with Luke, she’s terrified. Strangely, Luke works hard to earn her trust. He goes out of his way to help her learn to dance with a partner again, like asking before he touches her, and he patiently helps her overcome her fears. Sadie is drawn to him, finally trusting him as a partner and as more than a friend.
Then every student in L.A. starts getting emails for a new blog called The Hit List. The blog posts the weekly results for a sex game awarding points to guys for sexual acts, with bonus points for sex with specific girls. When Sadie finds out she’s at the top of The Hit List and Luke started the blog, she starts believing her dancing dream might not be worth the hurt and betrayal. Even finding out Luke dropped out of the game may not be enough to keep her at the school. If she stays in L.A., she’ll have to dance with Luke and confront both his betrayal and her feelings for him, but if she goes back to New York, she’ll have to kiss Luke and her dreams goodbye.
The music crashes down around my body, the bass vibrations sending tingles along my skin. My core flexes and tightens instinctively. My mind wraps around the beat and I automatically tap out the eight count on my thigh. Listening to the words, I wait for the perfect moment. A smile spreads across my face when it arrives.
My muscles pull and glide in perfect coordination. Effortless movement. At least it looks that way. Getting to this point took me years. To know the correct position by feel. To make it look flawless.
This is home. The safest place in my world.
Parents and younger students from the class next door gather at the door of the studio, but I ignore them. When I’m dancing, only I exist. Everything else around me disappears and I lose myself in the music and the movements. This is my way of expression because words are too often flat and devoid of feeling. I don’t do it for anyone else. I do it for me.
Tension radiates through my body and my leg doesn’t extend the way it should as I unwanted thought slips into my mind. The letter should arrive any day. The one that seals my fate for the next two years. Either I’ll be dancing at the Los Angeles School of Performing Arts or I’ll be stuck in New York, doomed to try to make it as a dancer on my own with all the other wannabes the city has to offer.