Name: Leslie Hauser
Title: HOPE IN BLOOM
Genre: YA Contemporary
Tagline: Desperate for hope, eighteen-year-old Mallory decides playing the lottery is the ticket to erasing the misery surrounding her as her senior year unravels, but it’s not a jackpot win that changes her life.
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 finallymade 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.