Summary: Chapter 15

After Aza get home that night, she does more research on Russell’s notes before finding Davis’s new blog of poems. She reads through them and sees that he wrote about her, beginning those entries with quotes from The Tempest. Davis texts Aza to see if she is on his website because the analytics showed that someone in the area was on his site and he was worried it was a reporter. They decide to facetime each other in the dark. After they hang up, Davis texts Aza that he likes the two of them together.

Summary: Chapter 16

Aza has gotten into a rhythm with her life including Davis, homework, and dreaming about colleges. Eventually she decides to read one of Daisy’s fanfiction stories for the first time. Aza is shocked to see a character that appears to be modeled after her, Ayala, who struggles with compulsions and is described as stupid and easy to hate. Aza is upset and thinks about what to tell Daisy the next day. Aza is quieter than usual when they interact at school, but Daisy does not notice. They meet at Aza’s house in the afternoon to watch Star Wars. Daisy learns that Aza is still researching Russell’s disappearance and demands that she stop because Daisy does not want to lose the money they were given for not pursuing the matter further. 

Summary: Chapter 17

Aza drives to the Pickett’s house to spend time with Davis and she tells him that she read the unflattering characterization of herself in Daisy’s fanfiction. Davis responds that he does not mind the character, but he may be partial to her. Aza and Davis walk around the property and Davis teaches Aza about constellations and the spiral shape of the galaxy. They jump in the pool even though it is freezing outside. They swim and Davis expresses his disdain for Tua. They make plans to meet the following week at Aza’s house and Aza tells her mom about it when she gets home. She reads more of Daisy’s stories that night as well as information about the microbiome affecting the brain. Aza feels more compulsive thoughts coming on about the bad bacteria affecting her, prompting her to go to the bathroom to change her Band-Aid and drink hand sanitizer. She goes to bed feeling sick.

Analysis: Chapters 15–17

Writing becomes a form of catharsis for the characters in these chapters while also inadvertently isolating Aza. Davis’s new blog provides him with the anonymity he needs and an escape from his difficult reality. Meanwhile, the characters in Daisy’s fanfiction take on the qualities of the real people in her life, giving Daisy the opportunity to express how she really thinks and feels. However, her fanfiction forces Aza to see herself from Daisy’s perspective. Daisy’s writing gives her a sense of purpose, but all Aza can see are the negative qualities in Daisy’s depiction of her. Daisy’s stories therefore support Aza’s idea that she is fiction and that her life is authored by someone else. Daisy and Davis both use writing as a tool for processing their emotions, and so Davis enjoys Daisy’s stories. However, in Aza’s mind, Daisy’s fanfiction only indicates that Aza is a bad person who does not have an accurate understanding of Daisy’s life.