Fourteen-year-old Melisandre Rossi lives in New York City with her mother. Meli, a self-identified weird teenager, far prefers exploring the museum to attending classes at her upscale private academy. Increasingly bored, she convinces her mother to let her transfer to an alternative public high school, where she can study Chinese ceramics and interact with students even weirder than she is. Yet life grows more complicated, not less so, when she makes this transition. At home, she has to tolerate her mother’s insistence about sharing Too Much Information about her new boyfriends. At school, Meli must navigate the tricky social world of her peers, adjust to a curriculum that views all of Manhattan as the classroom, and make sense of her growing affection for a teacher. A summer trip to Italy, where Meli visits her Italian father and his new family, leaves her exhilarated but dizzy as her view of herself expands. Then Meli faces a terrible crisis: one of the darkest aspects of the wider world comes rushing into her life.