Kate is the preachers daughter and struggles to be the good Kate that every one expects her to be. She has a bad Kate side to her that she feels at times. Kate is getting ready to graduate and she only applied to one college, MIT, because that is where her mother went to college and it's the only place she wants to go. (Her mother died years ago) Kate is popular and outgoing, the total opposite of Teri, who is an angry outcast and a thief and takes care of her little brother and out of sync mother after her father was jailed for beating her mother up. I didn't like Kate's character very much at the beginning, but as she grew outside of her comfort area and looked at the world through other people's eyes, I began to feel more for her. When her letter from MIT arrives and it's a rejection, she panicks and feels like her life is over. When Teri's house burns partially down, Kate's dad takes Teri and her little brother in until volunteers can fix up their house. Kate slowly gets to know Teri better and starts to understand her. Then a catastrophe happens which opens up a whole new reality for everyone. Kate runs alot starting in the beginning of the book and it's interesting to learn why. This book will make you look at things differently. It may have been even more powerful if the author would have switched perceptions/stories from Kate to Teri after the catalyst happened, but this is still a very powerful book.