Hartley's face morphs into a slow understanding. "Oh my God ... you're scared!"
"I'm not scared," I outright lie.
"Of course, you are. You have no idea what to expect! It's like going into battle without the basic training of boot camp." She stops suddenly and faces me. "Do you want me to teach you how to kiss?"
"Oh, come on. It's not a big deal."
I shake my head so vigorously it feels like it might twist right off my neck. "We're done talking about this," I tell her, darting in the opposite direction.
Hartley laughs and jogs after me. "I'm not going to actually kiss you, silly. I'm just going to walk you through how it's done. You know ... like a play by play."
I stop and stare. "A play by play? For kissing?"
"Exactly. That way you'll know what to expect."
"And you're not going to laugh at me?" I ask, suspicious.
My best friend's eyes widen in mock horror. "I would never."
Fifteen-year-old Gwen Lincoln has three goals before sophomore year begins: experience her first kiss; find a way to get rid of her annoyingly "cute" chipmunk cheeks once and for all; and forget about the separation of her parents, something she has yet to mention to her best friend Hartley MacKenna, whose house she's visiting for the summer in New Orleans.
With Hartley taking charge of their ambitious to-do list, Gwen's summer of change begins, but nothing prepares her for meeting Sullivan "Sully" Reed, the impossibly cute soccer player next door, who to her utter disbelief, asks her on a date.
Caught between trying to live her life and trying to run away from it, Gwen heedfully conforms to Hartley and Sullivan's adventure-seeking world, but when she discovers the devastating secret her friends have been hiding, she must learn to face her own demons - with a little guidance from the big-hearted drag queen down the street - or else surrender herself to a tragic reality.