Seventh-grader Trino Olivares likes video games a lot more than he likes books. In fact, he doesn't have much use for most "school types." But when Rosca, an older teen with a vicious streak, invites Trino to start hanging out with his crowd—and maybe make some quick money, too—the younger boy doesn't know what to think. Trino's angry that he and his younger stepbrothers are barely getting by, even though their mother works two jobs. And he'd do anything to make an impression on Lisana, a smart neighborhood girl who happens to be one of those "school types."

With little help from any adults, it's up to Trino to decide which choices will impress his friends—and which choices are the best for Trino.

Popular young-adult author Diane Gonzales Bertrand (Sweet Fifteen) has crafted a dramatic story about the difficult problems that children today face—often with little guidance—and the sometimes deadly consequences that can result.