Andrew, a skinny ninth grader, is determined to kick his own butt into shape. At home he is dominated by an ambitious, no nonsense single mother. She is focused on her daughter Ally, a scholar athlete in soccer, who is competing to get into an Ivy League college. Andrew longs to break away from his mother's constant micromanagement of his life.
During a workout in the gym, Andrew seizes an opportunity to toughen up when he accepts an offer from Cruz, a muscular drug dealing biker. Cruz offers to help Andrew get in shape if he will tutor Maya, Cruz's thirteen year old sister. When Andrew and Maya meet in the park to work on a Romeo and Juliet assignment, they are drawn to each other. He is attracted to the spontaneous, sexy, dark eyed beauty while she is infatuated by Andrew's intelligence and his cute, unassuming goodness.
To find themselves and hold on to each other, Andrew and Maya must struggle to survive in a violent world with contrasting cultures.
"This is a tremendously powerful book, filled with action, memorable characters, heartbreaking conflict and feeling."
Cindy Trumbore, author of The Mangrove Tree and The Genie in the Book