When you're an undertaker's daughter, life's not exactly normal to begin with.
Vada Sultenfuss is being kicked out of her room because her stepmother, Shelly, is about to have a baby. Her friend Judy's in love with a jerk. And even though Vada's best friend Thomas J died two years ago, she still misses him. But it's not just the outside world that's changing. Suddenly, Vada's beginning to wonder whether she'd rather write a really good poem -- or get a really good kiss.
Then Vada gets the chance to visit her Uncle Phil in Los Angeles -- and maybe find out more about her mother, who died when Vada was born. Her only guide to the sprawling city is a boy with an attitude problem -- Nick, her Uncle Phil's almost-stepson who acts like it's pure torture to show her around L.A. But in this strange land of sun and palms, Vada will make some amazing discoveries....