Tired of being known as "the gay kid", Rafe Goldberg decides to assume a new persona when he comes east and enters an elite Massachusetts prep school--but trying to deny his identity has both complications and unexpected consequences.
Ben Carver returns for the spring semester at the exclusive Natick School in Massachusetts determined to put his relationship with Rafe Goldberg behind him and concentrate on his grades and the award that will mean a full scholarship--but Rafe is still there, there is a girl named Hannah whom he meets in the library, and behind it all is his relationship with his distant, but demanding father.
Seventeen-year-old Carson Smith is bored with Billings, Montana, and resentful that he has to help his mother take care of his father, a dying alcoholic whom he has not seen in fourteen years--but then he meets Aisha, a beautiful African American girl who's run away from her own difficult family, and together they embark on a journey of discovery that may help them both come to terms with their lives.
As Bobby Framingham, quarterback of his high school football team, finally acknowledges to himself that he is gay, events start to spin out of control when his sexual orientation is revealed in the student newspaper and then in the local press, and he learns that his father has cancer.
It is summer in Phoenix, and seventeen-year-old Maximo offers to help Jordan, a fellow student in high school, with the food truck that belonged to Jordan's deceased father, and which may be the only thing standing between homelessness for Jordan and his mom; the boys are strongly attracted to each other, but as their romance develops, it is threatened by the secrets they are hiding--and by the racism and homophobia of those around them.