Five teenagers are connecting in an online forum, for young people who doubt their paternity, without knowing their identities. They feel comfortable sharing their fears. When four of them realise they attend the same school it is awkward as they are less than friends.
They each have their issues. Emma although feisty needs hearing aids, and after her father died, her mother re-partnered with a woman. Tessie creates a front to hide her anxiety and panic attacks. Fabian appears to come from the perfect family, but is the runt of the litter, and is bullied at school by Michael. His father has one of the top jobs at Cameron Mining, the local mine, and abused his wife so badly that she left, and he has moved onto his son. Sam, who doesn’t go to school with them has grown up in something like a commune, spending most of his time with the adults. As they all get to know each other they find they have more in common than they thought possible.
When they start to find out what might be behind their origins they begin to re-evaluate everything and everyone, and the way the characters are so overwhelmed by what they learn is so real. All the secrecy they have been surrounded by is slowly revealed.
The novel highlights the issues that can arise from sharing personal details online. It tackles some of the familiar issues for a young adult novel – fitting in, identity, family issues – but in a quite different way that makes it stand out from a lot that has been on the market.