Title: HOPE IN BLOOM
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 75,000
“Lotto fever” isn’t just a catchphrase. At least not for eighteen-year-old Mallory Van Pelt. It’s a necessity for her—like air for breathing—as her perfect senior year is disintegrating.
Mallory’s father hasn’t had a job in ages, her brother drags a shadow of misery around the house, and the sister she idolizes has taken off without even a good-bye. The only bright spot left in her life is her boyfriend—that is until she catches his lips attached to another girl’s at the end-of-summer party.
After barely surviving a disastrous first day of school, Mallory lands at a mini mart known for selling more winning lottery tickets than any other store for hundreds of miles. Desperate for a touch of hope, she joins the crowd, deciding that the lottery is the ticket to a better life.
Mallory develops lottery fever as her new plan gifts her with dreams of picture-perfect fantasy lives, ones in which new adventures replace the suffering that surrounds her. However, as she waits for a jackpot win, her real life grows more problematic as her family’s struggles worsen and a shocking revelation ends the friendships that shaped so much of her identity. But buried beneath the rubble of her crumbling senior year is a budding relationship with a new friend Adrian Lopez—the tough yet totally hot transfer student with struggles of his own—who helps Mallory see what true luck really is.
Every girl needs a good luck charm, though some of us need them a lot more than others. Mine was a shirt, emerald green with rainbow embroidery along the neckline. I was convinced that magic lived in every thread. It was the shirt I was wearing to the summer league baseball game when my boyfriend Ben asked me out for the first time. I'd also worn it the day I found out I’d finally made the varsity cheerleading squad and the day I’d gotten my first ‘A’ on a pre-calculus test.
It was definitely a lucky shirt, which is why I’d planned on wearing it to the party that night. I saw that hint of green hanging in my closet all week long, but when I reached for it on Saturday night, I discovered I’d been duped by my “Dublin Rocks!” t-shirt. Unluckily for me, my good luck charm was in the laundry room, buried under Monday’s dirty sheets.
I was in a near panic when Sara, Taylor and Nicole—my friends since seventh grade—came to pick me up. They stared at me from the doorway of my bedroom as I stood in only my bra surrounded by the aftermath of a cotton-polyester tornado.
“Geez, is there anything left in your closet?” Sara asked as she immediately darted over to the mirror and began combing her fingers through her long blond hair.
“I have to look perfect for Ben tonight. It’s been a month since he’s seen me!”