A boy living on a secret marijuana farm struggles to choose between continuing the family business or leaving the woods for good.
White teen Isaac Mawson lives on an illegal marijuana grow-op on government-owned forest land with his family and a group of bears. His life is nothing like that of his fellow classmates; his parents expect him to take over the business as soon as he graduates high school, and he can never tell anyone about it. He accepts his fate, finding escape in painting. But while hiking one day, Isaac stumbles upon Sam Ko, the new-to-town, biracial (Asian/white) girl with spiky black hair. He’s instantly infatuated. The two become close quickly even though her desire to be in the spotlight rankles him. In his fantasy, Sam moves into the forest with him, mirroring the life of his parents. But Isaac learns that his two lives—the secret one at home and the public one at school—can’t both continue. Sam’s father is a cop, which puts Isaac’s family at risk. Isaac must decide his future before it’s decided for him. Isaac and Sam’s relationship reads as hollow; there’s little buildup or romance. The real story is in Isaac’s struggle to choose his path, and the violence that spurs this choice can be seen coming from a mile away.
A modern Romeo and Juliet spin that frustrates and fizzles. (Fiction. 14-18)