Laila is a high school student who lives for science fiction/fantasy. She's got a four-person friend group that shares her interest and a teacher who champions her writing--until he gets hit by a car. Then a prize-winning author takes over Mr. Madison's class and starts giving out shitty grades and no feedback to the students. Laila and her crush Samuel and devastated, but motivated and make efforts to live outside their comfort zones, for the sake of their art like Ms. Nazarenko advises them to do, and models in her own work. She's a method writer, which works for her, maybe. Her books are critically and popularly acclaimed, but she's possibly not the most compassionate person in the world.
Laila's writing improves, but her quality of life takes a hit.
She bowed under the heaviness of the hours she hadn't lived yet.
Ouch. Fortunately she's got good friends and a loving family to help her as she struggles with grief, self-doubt, and identity issues.
PS Why does author Ríoghnach Robinson write under a pseudonym?