Exposition (Initial Situation)
Boy Meets Girl…On a Ledge
One rainy morning, two high school seniors find each other standing outside a window at the top of a tower. Meet Violet and Finch, who are each, for their own reasons, thinking about suicide. They talk each other down and something like a friendship is born.
Rising Action (Conflict, Complication)
The Good, the Bad, and the Really, Really Bad
For a school project, Violet and Finch visit cheesy tourist attractions around the state of Indiana. Along the way, they fall in love (yay), but they also battle serious personal demons (boo). Violet grieves her sister's sudden death. Finch is trying to deal with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. They help each other out as best they can.
Also, they make out. A lot.
Climax (Crisis, Turning Point)
Where in the World is Theodore Finch?
Violet finds out that Finch tried to kill himself and confronts him about it, which leads to a big fat fight. She wants to help, but Finch freaks out and runs away from home. No one can find him—but then again, no one's really looking. After a couple months of little to no contact with him, even Violet gives up.
Prepare to Ugly Cry
One morning Finch sends weird emails to everyone he knows. They sound a lot like goodbyes. Violet puts on her Nancy Drew hat and figures out he might have gone to the Blue Hole, a place where they once went swimming. She goes there, only to find that Finch has drowned himself.
In the parlance of our times, Violet has a sad. (Honestly, we shouldn't joke about it. She's so, so sad.) Finch is dead. Her sister Eleanor is dead. She resolves to remember them even though it's hard. The future is uncertain, but that's okay. She allows herself to feel a little hope.