Title: HOPE IN BLOOM
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word count: 72,000
All girls have hopes. Unfortunately, some hopes die before they have a chance to bloom.
Eighteen-year-old Mallory’s dream of the perfect senior year is disintegrating. Her father hasn’t had a job in ages, her brother drags a shadow of misery around the house, and her sister is missing. 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 spot of hope, she joins the crowd and watches her dreams print out on two yellowish-orange tickets.
As Mallory’s senior year continues to unravel, she becomes increasingly dependent on her lottery hope. Each set of tickets gifts her with a dream of a different life, one in which new adventures replace the suffering that surrounds her. Soon, though, her lottery pipe dream becomes an absolute necessity, and Mallory’s habits and hopes lead her astray.
With a little help from a new friend—the tough yet totally hot transfer student who’s got struggles of his own—Mallory just may see that a jackpot win isn’t the only magic the lottery delivers.
I should have worn the emerald green shirt, the one with the rainbow embroidery along the neckline. I'm convinced that magic lived in every thread. It’s the shirt my boyfriend Ben told me I was wearing the day he fell in love with me. 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. That shirt gave me confidence, something I lacked at times. And I really wished that I had worn it to the party that night.
We arrived at Kyle’s house, and my giant smile led us up the stone walkway toward the front door. Sara, Taylor, and Nicole trailed behind me, gossiping about something, but I wasn’t interested in my friends’ conversation. My heart somersaulted in anticipation of seeing Ben. He left for college a month ago, and I missed him. A lot. I missed that fresh-from-the-dryer smell of the sweatshirt he always let me wear. And the taste and feel of his soft lips when he kissed me at the end of our dates. And most of all, I missed his smile, that special treasure that could always melt away my troubles. He was home that weekend for the end-of-summer party, and we’d be reunited after four long weeks.