Craig and Lio's friendship seems to be leaning towards something more than "just friends," but each boy carries a heavy burden of grief into their fresh, budding relationship.
The dark pall of 9/11 is only a year in the past, and the Beltway Sniper is all over the news; schools and parents are on high alert to perceived threats and security concerns. Which only makes things more stressful and tense for one boy missing his first big love and another whose twin is dead. They try to find solace and happiness together, but it's a lot to process when you're just a teen.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the realistic way the 24/7 news coverage of public security threats affect the people in the book - many of them take it very personally, in a fashion that's true to the time. While the relationship between the teens is at the center of the story, their homosexuality is in no way the dramatic core of the book.