When Cassie Streng comes home from school one day, she is abducted by two rough strangers. She fights them, screaming, until her mother arrives and proceeds to hand Cassie’s suitcase to the men. Cassie’s stepfather, Rick, tells her he’s found crystal meth hidden in her room and that she will find the help she needs where she’s headed. But Cassie has never used drugs and knows that Rick must have planted the meth. Unable to believe this is happening to her, she’s shackled into the back of her captors’ van as her parents watch.
In a flashback Cassie discovers that Rick, a psychiatrist, has been administering an experimental drug to his troubled teen patients; three of them committed suicide. When Cassie confides in her classmate, Thatcher, he hatches a plan to show Rick’s incriminating records to a newspaper reporter. They must tell people the truth about the drug, and thereby prevent more deaths.
However, before the two can get an adult to listen seriously to them, Rick has arranged for Cassie to be captured and taken to Peaceful Cove, a brutal boot camp in Mexico for teenagers with behavior problems. Peaceful Cove is more like a prison than a school or a camp. Cassie’s clothes and other personal belongings are taken from her. She’s locked in a closet-sized room and warned that armed guards, barbed wire, and a 200-foot cliff will keep her from escaping. Cruel punishments are commonplace. And it’s all legal, because her parents signed the contract.
Not only is Cassie totally cut off from the world, she must learn a million rules. She can’t cross her legs when she sits. She can’t wear her hair down. She can’t raise her eyes. She can’t talk, sit, or stand without permission. Cassie soon finds out that her incarceration is sure to last months if not years. However, if she doesn’t escape and expose her stepfather’s use of the experimental drug, more kids are likely to die. Cassie soon has a friend, and a plan…but how can the plan possibly work?
Read the book to find out if Cassie is successful in exposing her psychiatrist step-father, Rick and if she is able to escape from Peaceful Cove or not.