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Fourteen-year-old Blue is struggling after the sudden death of his mother. He’s been hiding in his bedroom ever since, waiting. Waiting for what, he doesn’t know. It’s been a month, and he knows he can’t hide forever. When he finally walks out of his bedroom, summer break begins and he is in charge of his two-year-old brother Charlie while his dad is at work.

Blue re-emerges into life with a pen and notebook on a quest to feel “normal” again. He writes the stories of that summer, of hanging out with his clueless neighbor Topher and their gullible friend Herkie, of his conversations with his therapist Hope, and of pushing a stroller to Bob’s Java Hut where he meets Frankie, a girl who recently moved to Minneapolis with problems that may be even bigger than his. She is living a nomadic lifestyle with her alcoholic mother, clinging to the hope that this time she will stay sober and her father will come back.

As Blue and Frankie deal with their separate losses, they become inseparable through their adventures in the city. But when Frankie’s mom falls off the wagon and loses her job, Blue’s tentative peace is threatened as he worries Frankie will move away and he will lose her too.

Blue is a first-crush, coming-of-age novel complete at 44,121 words.