For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun: hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn't materialize, she has to completely rethink her college plans. Plus, she has a majorly awkward falling out with Jenn and they're not speaking. On top of it all, Zero's parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting. Suddenly her prospects are looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali.
But her new relationship with Mike, a skater boy who's also in a local punk band, gives her a glimmer of confidence (even if he does seem too good to be true). And when she gets support from the unlikeliest of sources, Zero starts to wonder if she might be more than just a name.