The book starts in a small town near Reno. Eric, who is the main character, is being raised by his single mother, Ms. Calhoune. Eric and his mom have a talk about Erics dad, who he never got to see. Eric takes his looks from his dad, who is obese, unlike his mom who is a "fox" (which means good looking). Eric has a passion for swimming, He isn't great at it, but he is good at it. He is better than what someone would have thought just by looking at him.
In the early stages of the book, Sarah Brynes was sent to Sacred Heart hospital because she refused to talk. Eric would visit her every once and a while to try and get her to talk, but it would never work.
After several attempts to get Sarah to talk, it finally works. But the reason she was refusing to talk was horrible. Sarah Bryne's dad had been abusing her, and won't help her scars. Sarah Brynes also had a hard time deciding whether she should end her life or not, but this wasn't through talking, it was through a book because if Sarah's dad found out that she was able to talk he would kill her and Eric.
After lying profusely, Eric decided it would be a better idea to tell an adult about the incident, so he decided to tell Ms. Lermy, the swim coach Because it seemed like the better choice. After Ms. Lermy informed Sarah's dad and the hospital, Sarah attempted to escape the hospital and run away so here dad couldn't take her home and continue abusing her.
After the escape, Sarah Brynes decides to stay with Ms. Lermy since she is the only adult who knows about the abuse that is going on and will help fight it. But to gain custody and adopt Sarah, Ms. Lermy will have to find Sarah's mother, who was currently holding Eric at knifepoint to get information about where Sarah was. She ends up cutting Eric in the face and embedding the life on Erics back, this gives the police a reason to arrest Vigil Brynes. After Vigil Brynes is arrested by the police, Ms. Lermy takes action in court and eventually adopts Sarah Brynes and gives her a second chance of love.