On the outside, Shelly Frank lives a normal teenage life, balancing her gas station job and a budding new relationship with a boy from school. But on the inside, she’s harboring a dark secret: her mother is an extreme hoarder. Within the pristine, outer walls of their beautiful New Jersey home, Shelly and her mother are living amidst piles of collected trash from her mother’s disorder, and Shelly is at her breaking point.
By some miracle, Shelly is offered a chance to escape when she receives a plane ticket to Florida from her estranged father, but she’s met with a decision: should she flee this life of filth and seize the opportunity of a future in the Sunshine State? Or should she risk her own health and sanity by staying with her mother who is helpless without her? When Shelly becomes gravely sick from years of living in her mother’s nest, her decision is staring her in the face. She needs to save herself, but her mother is willing to do everything in her power to prevent that from happening.
This powerful YA novel exposes the gruesome realities of mental disorders and the emotional toils that many face when they are consumed by their illness. However, it also highlights the beauty of forgiveness, self-love, healing, and the necessary steps Shelly and her mother must take on the road to recovery.