Malcolm Small has lived a sheltered life with parents who don't seem to care about him. Now, during the summer between high school graduation and going away to college, Mal wants to take control of his life and make some improvements...starting with making a new friend. Wes, the boy across the street, quickly becomes both friend and a sort of mentor to Mal. With Wes's patient guidance and example, Mal's breaking free of his life-long shy shell and taking chances. Mal is also feeling free enough to start listening to the tiny voice inside him that whispers his attraction to Wes. After years of denying it, could Mal be gay after all? Self-acceptance comes easy for Mal with Wes by his side. What about telling Mal's parents? What about being out at college? Mal's about to undergo some very challenging times as he grows up fast and must decide what he'll stand for and against.