In the real world you can't just do what you want. In the real world you have to compromise. Mark Blazey does not want to live in the real world. Living in a semi-industrial coastal town, seventeen-year old Mark is a smart kid from a chaotic family who has just thrown away a scholarship to a private school and found himself at the local high. At school Mark is zeroed in on by an overbearing principal who dominates everything around him. At home Mark is dealing with a jail-bound brother, his grandmother is fighting for her life, and a mum who's short fuse is kept doused with cask wine. His little sister is someone he wants to protect. When Mark finds his first real love he tries to escape all the forces in his life with her. But his love is with the daughter of his nemesis, the school principal. Simmering tensions boil over between the student and the teacher, between the son and his mother.