Ruby Cooper is a girl who learned to depend on nobody but herself. Her mother is useless, a drunk and druggie and her father left when she was a child. One day, her mother disappears and she is suddenly shipped off to live with her older sister, a sister that she hasn't seen since she left for college. Her sister is married now and Ruby stays with her and her husband. Ruby is uncustomed to a life of not worrying about bills, money or running water but she has to learn to adjust and accept help. And she teaches the boy next door that sometimes it is okay to ask for help. Sarah Dessen is a brillant author and this novel lives up to her expectations. Great descriptions and interesting premise. The message of the story is also easy to relate to.