Publication date: March, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
She thought she had everything under control, that her future would always include her best friend Katie… Until everything changed.
Now her life in Bloom is one big morning after hangover, filled with regret, grief, and tiny pinpricks of reminders that she was once happy. A happy she ruined. A happy she can’t fix.
So, she is counting down the days until she leaves home for Colson University, cramming her summer with busywork she didn’t finish her senior year, and taking on new hobbies that involve glue and glitter, and dodging anyone who reminds her of her old life.
When she runs into the stranger who drove her home on graduation night, after she’d passed out next to a ditch, she feels herself sinking again. The key to surviving the summer in Bloom is unraveling whatever good memories she can from that night.
But in searching for answers, she’ll have to ask for help and that means turning to Evan, the stranger, and Kyle, Katie’s ex-boyfriend. Suddenly, life flips again, and Whitney finds herself on not only the precipice of happy but love, too, causing her to question whether she can trust her feelings, or if she is falling into her old patterns of extremes.
As she uncovers the truth about her memories, Whitney sees that life isn’t all or nothing, and that happy isn’t something to wait for, that instead, happy might just be a choice.
Coleen Patrick grew up in New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, Louisiana, and Indiana. Always being the new kid, she learned that books and friends are precious—and dessert. She never met a dessert she didn’t like (except for flan). When she’s not writing, reading (or avoiding flan), she enjoys TV, arts and crafts, quoting movies, and trying to take cool photos. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two kids.
What if Colson isn’t the answer?
I ignored the thought and continued to face the liquor cabinet, the bottles shifting into pairs as my vision glazed over.
A tiny frisson of cold moved from my heel and up my spine to prickle at my scalp. I pictured my newly short hair standing on end, like hundreds of tiny spikes framing a carrot-orange cartoon sun.
I froze, avoiding my reflection in the mirror-backed wall of the cabinet. The tingling returned. Was someone behind me?
I dropped my head. My heart pounded under my chin. My bangs curtained my face, but I took in my shoes, the floor, the craft store bag, fur . . . wait, fur?
I turned around and sighed. “Bug.”
She stared at me, still, as if she too saw a ghost. Her fur stood up in tufts and shocks around her head, but that was just Bug. Imperfect breed, imperfect hair. Not that Bug knew that. According to her, she was a purebred. She didn’t seem to know that the pretty auburn and dark brown coat around her head faded to an almost dirty white on her back and legs, or that her slim build didn’t match her squashed up face, or that she had a funny name, or that she was the result of a full pedigree/mutt hook up. She’d never believe any of it.
I shook my head, pushing my fingertips into my eyebrows.
“What are you doing, Bug?” My mom wasn’t home. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen her without my mom.
Bug walked to the craft bag and sniffed. She sat down in front of it.
“There’s nothing for you in there.” I picked up the bag and headed for the stairs. Bug’s tiny but imperious steps followed.
I turned around. “Do you need to go outside?”
If a dog could roll her eyes, she would’ve. I swore she looked insulted, as if she didn’t have a paper-lined crate in the laundry room.
“Are you hungry?”
Bug ignored me, pushing her nose into my bag. She wouldn’t come to me for food anyway. My mom’s culinary skills were what turned her from my shelter rescue into my mom’s sidekick. Whatever. Glitter was the only thing on my agenda right now.
The air conditioning turned on, and I jumped, catching my reflection in the mirror again. I frowned and moved to close the liquor cabinet doors.
A crazy but funny idea popped into my head—me covering all the bottles with glue and glitter. I looked at Bug. As if she could read my mind, she cocked her head. “I’m just saying it would be hilarious to see their reaction.”
I imagined my dad pouring himself a drink out of a sparkly, fuchsia Jameson bottle—right into a matching bejeweled highball glass. Except the enjoyment would only last for a split second, just like the first hit of alcohol. Yes, I wanted that initial sense of relief, the momentary lapse in emptiness.
Until tomorrow, when I’d have to start all over again.
I swallowed. Glitter. I shifted all my focus to glitter.