Elise Dembowski is not cool. She likes odd music, she’s clever and precocious, and therefore reviled, hated, and alone. The book starts with a suicide attempt.
So far so prototypical.
Elise realises she doesn’t want to die as she literally phones for help. Is it a Crappy Book About Important Things?
What saves it – just – is its split from convention. Elise starts living a double life, as a DJ hanging out with an Inappropriate Older Boy, but he’s actually OK. She also doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. It’s a book that plays at getting dangerous, but is ultimately safe.