Chase Ambrose falls off of a roof and wakes up in the hospital with amnesia. He soon learns that he is a middle schooler and a star athlete. He then slowly finds out more things about who he used to be. The chapters from Chase's point of view are interleaved with chapters narrated by other characters, including Shoshanna Weber, who remembers exactly who Chase used to be and doesn't like him at all, and Brendan Espinoza, who is one of the first people to realize that Chase might not be who he used to be.
This work provides examples of:
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: Sums up Shoshanna's and Joel's initial reaction to Chase's accident. Considering some of the things he's done to Joel, its kind of justified.
- All Crushes are Unrequited: Brendan, for Kimberly; Kimberly, for Chase.
- Amnesiacs are Innocent: That this is true of Chase drives most of the plot.
- Big Brother Bully: Before the accident, Chase was this to his four year old half sister. One of the first memories he gets back is ripping her favorite teddy bears head off. Afterwards, he tries to be a Cool Big Bro instead.
- Brainless Beauty: Kimberly is a fairly pretty character, and also one of the shallower POV characters (although lacking the meanness required for Alpha Bitch territory).
- Easily Forgiven: To a certain extent. Brendan goes from afraid of Chase to inviting him to join the video club pretty easily, but it takes half the book before the Webers are willing to give him another chance.
- Extreme Doormat: Dr. Fitzwallace. While he does offer some support to the victims of the bullying and subtly urge Chase to try and be a better person now that he has a clean slate, he lacks the courage to actively punish wrongdoers, especially when it comes down to a "my word vs. your word" conflictt involving the jocks.
- Jerk Jock: Aaron and Bear, Chase's pre-accident best friends. Apparently before the accident, Chase was the worst of them.
- Karma Houdini: Aaron and Bear don't exactly come out on top at the end, but they avoid being punished by either the school or the authorities.
- My Greatest Second Chance: Chase (and certain others) being to realize his changed personality might be this. Even when he turns himself in for stealing Mr. Solway's Medal of Honor before the accident, Mr. Solway keeps Chase from being convicted in juvenile court by claiming to have loaned it to him, feeling that he is a different person and can make the most of that change.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Part of the reason Chase in the backstory was so awful to Joel is that he could get away with it, since he was the town sports hero and the son of the previous town sports hero. Fellow athletes Aaron and Bear also successfully use this, as Dr. Fitzwallace wants very badly to believe their version of the fire extinguisher incident.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: Aaron and Bear try to invoke this; they do succeed in convincing the video club that Chase hasn't changed...until Brendan finds the video of the fire extinguisher incident.
- Women Prefer Strong Men: Kimberly, for Chase.