As the world is hit by a disease that prevents women from reproducing, two boys with very different issues form a bond that will change their lives. Bud is a 16 year old social outcast, following his father’s path to be a farmer. He has better relationships with animals than with people. He struggles with depression and self-doubt. Juan is a 7 year old, dark skinned, Latino boy who is interested in boys, but he doesn’t even know yet about the repercussions he will encounter by telling people that. He is a determined kid with enough inner strength to handle anything, not without tears or struggles, but he can deal with anything. This is a story of the strength you can find in yourself when you find other people who believe in you. It doesn’t solve any of their problems, but it makes them easier to deal with.
On a whim, they decide to study and try to fix the fertility issue. As they become more and more immersed in studying, their lives intermingle completely. Bud’s father, Charlie, becomes a second father to Juan and Juan’s mother, Guada, becomes a member of the family. Charlie is the father every gay kid should have. As Juan’s world crumbles, Bud and Charlie’s house becomes his stable place where he is safe from the world. Guada would be a great mother for a straight kid, but she has no idea how to be a good mother to a gay kid. Charlie has to fill the role of supportive parent.
As Bud confronts his demons of feeling like he is less intelligent than everyone else, Juan is there to tell him that he is the smartest person Juan knows. Bud and Juan are not typical people. Bud is more emotional and compassionate than most other boys, likely the result of having a father who never judges him harshly and a severe lack of friends to pressure him into societal standards. Juan is unpredictable. He grows from a kid who cries when bad things happen to him to a strong boy who will fight any battle in front of him. And he doesn’t hesitate to be cruel if the situation calls for it.
Bud and Juan have very different journeys through life. Neither one would be as strong or successful without the other. But even with great strength, can they survive a world that is falling into disarray? Crime rates are rising, democracies are becoming police states, suicide rates are climbing, and the whole world is desperate. Can a make-shift family and a once in a lifetime bond help them navigate the world, or will the declining world collapse around them?