Much to her parents' chagrin, Lexie is closer to her computer than she is to almost anyone else. She loves the equal parts anonymity and connection that accompany online relationships, and she views "real" life with suspicion. After her mother dies in a horrific accident, Lexie is tempted to fully withdraw into her virtual world, but her father's new girlfriend keeps Lexie tied to her everyday life, at least until she can alert her oblivious father to Jane's ominous other side, hidden beneath her perky exterior. After an online connection with her dead mother's spirit confirms Lexie's suspicions that Jane is a murdering psycho, Lexie realizes that, for the first time ever, she may need some actual (as opposed to virtual) allies to save herself and her father. Foyt establishes the web world as a fully developed second setting, with rich, warm descriptions of the incorporeal life the protagonist adores contrasting nicely with the distanced, almost anthropological tone taken as Lexie warily tries to make sense of the humans around her. Although the ghostly Internet mom and [End Page 414] freaky shapeshifting Jane nudge this novel into fantasy, most of Lexie's separation from the real world is a protective, preemptive strategy to avoid the hazards of being different in the usually cruel world that is high school. Realistic fiction fans will therefore easily relate to Lexie as a memorable protagonist who is slowly awakening to the idea that there may just be life worth exploring outside of her Internet world.