Lacie Johnson's world turns topsy-turvy the year she enters high school. Her father committed suicide the previous year, and her mother now juggles two jobs in order to keep the family's cookie-cutter suburban home. Lacie likewise spends her non-school time caring for her younger brother (Malky) while struggling to make sense of her father's death, her mother's absence, and her own emerging sexuality.
As a result of these circumstances, Lacie becomes increasingly sensitive to the disparity between the way things appear and the way things are—but this precocious wisdom only overwhelms her further. The more things change, the more Lacie longs to return to the safe security of her perfect “ignorance-is-bliss” childhood. And the more Lacie realizes that it is impossible to do so, the more she depends on keeping her relationship with Jenna-— best-friend-since-fourth-grade-Jenna—-stable.
Unfortunately, not even childhood friendship is immune to adolescent turbulence. Jenna grows increasingly boy-crazy and manipulative, ditching Lacie for a boyfriend (Avery). Fatherless, motherless, and best-friendless, Lacie can't shake the feeling that she doesn't fit in anywhere.
As she searches for stability and compassion, Lacie unexpectedly falls in love with Avery's best friend (Benji) and forges a promising new friendship with a like-minded outsider (Gretchen). Ultimately, Lacie grows closer to herself by bonding with Benji and Gretchen. Having finally found a sliver of genuineness in a world of false appearances, Lacie learns that being true to one's self can make any world perfect.
This report prepared by Tracie Amirante