Seventeen-year-old River doesn't know what to do with himself when Penny, the girl he adores, breaks up with him. He lives in LA, where nobody walks anywhere, and Penny was his ride; he never bothered getting a license. He's stuck. He's desperate. Okay...he's got to learn to drive. But first he does the unthinkable - he starts walking.
Simone has always felt different, though her life seems pretty normal. Her mom's a lawyer for the ACLU, so she's grown up spending her Saturdays outside the food co-op, gathering signatures for worthy causes. Her dad's a political cartoonist who does most of the work around the house. Her little brother is a jock who seems to know how to do everything just right. Her best friend has a new boyfriend, and Simone has a crush on a really smart and funny guy who spends all his time with another girl.
Drew's a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad's Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom's cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It's the summer before eighth grade and Drew's days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he's there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together....
Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero. But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same.
Harper decides to escape her father's divorce by joining a volunteer program to build a house for a family in Tennessee who lost their home in a tornado. Soon she's living in a funky motel and working long days in blazing heat with a group of kids from all over the country. At the site, she works alongside Teddy, and their partnership turns into a summer romance. Learning to trust and love Teddy isn't easy for Harper, but it's the first step toward finding her way back home.
One Friday night, Emma, Anna, and Mariah, three best friends, are out doing something they shouldn't. Then a cell phone rings. One girl's mother wants to know why they aren't where they said they'd be. They make up a story so they won't get into trouble at home. It seems like the easy way out. What happens next challenges their friendship, their community, their relationship with their families, and their sense of themselves. What happens next shows the harm one lie can do.
Nell worships her older sister, Layla. They're one unit, intertwined: Nellayla. As Nell and her best friend, Felix, start their freshman year in high school, on Layla's turf, there's so much Nell looks forward to: Joining Layla on the varsity soccer team. Parties. Boys. Adventures. But the year takes a very different turn. Layla is changing, withdrawing. She's hiding something, and when Nell discovers what it is, and the consequences it might have, she struggles. She wants to support Layla, to be her confidante, to be the good sister she's always been. But with so much at stake, what secrets should she keep?
Fourth grader Odessa Green-Light lives with her mom and her toad of a little brother, Oliver. Her dad is getting remarried, which makes no sense according to Odessa. If the prefix "re" means "to do all over again", shouldn't he be remarrying Mom? Meanwhile, Odessa moves into the attic room of their new house. One day she gets mad and stomps across the attic floor. Then she feels as if she is falling and lands...on the attic floor. Turns out that Odessa has gone back in time a whole day! With this new power she can fix all sorts of things - embarrassing moments, big mistakes, and even help Oliver be less of a toad. Her biggest goal: reunite Mom and Dad.