While being punished for writing a controversial article in her high school paper, Serena Albright is befriended by enigmatic loner Brodie Wiles. Serena witnesses the first time that Brodie meets Lance Royal, who is secretly rehearsing to compete in The Showdown, the biggest dance contest of the year. Immediately, Serena is drawn into their world, inspired by the love that she recognizes between them.
Through her close friendship with Brodie and Lance, Serena finds comfort for the grief and guilt she feels over the brutal death of her gay older brother, the victim of a hate crime. Frustrated that her deep-in-denial parents spend endless hours in front of the television and refuse to acknowledge the death of their son, Serena accepts the challenge to have a face-to-face meeting with the boy who killed her brother.
Set in the summer of 1986, this young adult novel explores the emotional aftershocks of a hate crime from the perspective of a young woman who finds renewed hope through two young men who are brave enough to love.