Lanie Strickland is sixteen in 1956, and for a while the year seems magical.
Shy and unsure of herself, Lanie is dazzled when Alex Thurlow, one of the most popular boys in her high school, asks her to dance at a New Year's Eve party. A star athlete, Alex is as fast with girls as he is on the football field. She's in love for the first time, never dreaming she could be so happy. Soon they are going steady, and Alex is pushing her in a direction that she isn't sure she wants to go.
Lanie is able to handle being pushed by her socially ambitious mother. But can she resist pushing from Alex after he tells her that he loves her?
His actions say something else, just as the Stricklands' house on Giffort Street suggests that they have money when they can barely afford to live there.