Ben Y’s just about had it with school. Every corner she turns, she’s being called “Benita,” getting Dress Coded by Mr. Mann for some supposedly inappropriate item of clothing, or running into the ineffable, inescapable, indefinable Ace—who makes her feel weird, weirdly seen, and strangely at peace, all at once. Even her best buds—Ben B, Jordan J, and Javier; the kids under the stairs—are all far too content following the rules and making their school newspaper under the attentive direction of their beloved teacher, Ms. J.
And home’s no better. Last year, Ben Y’s older brother died, and the family is still learning how to cope—if by coping you mean coming home to cry at lunch, or secretly building a friendship bracelet empire, or obsessively visiting a chatroom to talk to Benicio’s ghost. When Benito suddenly starts typing back, Ben Y must act. But what happens when those very actions make Ben Y’s deepest secrets impossible to hide?