So begins BLOOM, the story of Lauren, who finds herself stuck in an emotional limbo. She's not depressed, but she's not happy either. She feels as if she is missing something. But what? She likes playing the clarinet and working at the library. She gets good grades. She gets along with her father - well, pretty much - who has gone through a succession of girlfriends since her mother left a decade ago, when Lauren was six. She has a great boyfriend, Dave, but she feels like she doesn't deserve him. She has a best friend, Katie, whom she tunes when she starts talking about her own drama.
Then Evan comes into her life. More accurately, he comes back into her life. When they were eight years old, their parents dated, but like all of her father's relationships, it didn't end well. Evan and Lauren haven't seen each other since. His unexpected appearance in her class initially shakes Lauren up, but gradually, they become friends again - then more.
In both her dialogue and her internal monologue, Lauren's voice is honest, even raw at times. This is a great attribute to both the story and the character, whose biggest concerns are the deception she is carrying on and the confusion she is muddling through. She feels like there's a huge difference between who she is and who her boyfriend and her classmates think she is. As soon as she realizes what she does want, it is then that she stops feeling so scared, and starts becoming her own person. It is then that she can bloom.
Recommended for ages 14 and up.
Read Chapter One of Bloom. (PDF file)
Check out my interview with Elizabeth Scott and read my reviews of her other novels, including Perfect You, Stealing Heaven, and The Unwritten Rule.