Zoe comes from a very broken home. Her father died, her mother is an alcoholic, her grandmother only cares for her daughter, and her brother now lives with her aunt and uncle. Zoe is supposed to take care of her mother but eventually it is too much and she moves out and rents a room on Lorelei Street from Opal, a fantastic old lady who gives Zoe the encouragement she's never had anywhere else.
Zoe's story is one where I just kept thinking, wow, her life just is really horrible. I kept hoping for things to get better for her. At least I usually did. Zoe made some really really horrible decisions. Decisions where I thought, "oh come, don't do it. Don't do it!!" While I think the book is very realistic, Zoe was not a likable character though I felt absolutely horrible for the situation her mother put her in. It was definitely not one of my favorite books.