Mikey’s mom is a state senator (you don’t need to say state, she tells everyone). His younger sister, Mel, developed an eating disorder during their mom’s last campaign thanks to a heartless campaign manager’s comment about her weight. They protect their youngest sister, Meredith, from their mother’s career and their father’s alcoholism.
Mikey suffers from anxiety and OCD. He becomes stuck in loops of hand washing, door locking, etc. And he worries about everyone’s safety, which is legitimate because, in addition to his family issues, his town is plagued by a supernatural something killing indie kids in his high school.
His best friend, Jared, is gay (and half divine) and, although they’ve “done stuff” together, Mikey is pretty sure he is not gay. He has a crush on their friend, Henna, who is available, but he still can’t summon the nerve to tell her and graduation is looming. Then she invites the new guy, Nathan, to their group prom date, and crisis approaches.
Ness has written a novel about sexuality, mental illness, and the fear of growing up set against the backdrop of vampires, blue-lit zombies, and supernatural powers. But a gentle, start-of-the-chapter, backdrop. A quick, easy read.