While Jake adjusts to the town, he is greeted by Mallory Shepherd and is amused by Sophie's dismay of him. Since he is uninterested in schoolwork, he attempts to charm Sophie into doing it for him. Unbeknownst to him, Sophie has no plans to cheat for him and plots to expose him as a lying, lazy punk.
The only thing he finds interesting is the town is the abandoned mine. He and Sophie hike around there. Deputy Grady gives them a map of nearby trails, but the duo still prefer the abandoned mine.
Jake wins the Kids' Favorites Awards, but starts to see the downsides of fame, and realizes that at a Hollywood award after-party, he talks about Sophie. After he gets back, they begin a relationship.
When the duo are exploring the mine, Jake's tires are slashed, and later weed is planted in his jeep. He asks Deputy Grady how the story was leaked since it was supposed to be covered up, to which Deputy Grady replies that a paparazzi photographer must have been lurking in the background.
Unconvinced, Jake follows him and discovers that Deputy Grady is involved in a drug ring and overhears him admit that he was the one responsible for the tires and weed.
Remembering a conversation with his teammate Rachael about the dangers of being addicted to drugs, Jake decides to stop the operation on his own. When Jake sneaks into the abandoned mine where the stash is, he is caught by Deputy Grady and his associates and his being held prisoner there.
He is able to send a text in '49ers code to Sophie revealing everything. Sophie deciphers the code and comes to his aid, releasing firecrackers to distract the captors and saves Jake.
After their escape, they are found by Sheriff Miller, who is unaware of Deputy Grady's nefarious schemes. After hearing both sides of the story, Sheriff Miller suggests that they all head up to the mine, which leads Deputy Grady to admit everything. A shootout ensues, and Deputy Grady is arrested while Jake and Sophie attend the Snow Ball together.
2016 Illumination Book Award
2016 Catholic Press Association Award