Characters: same as previous novel other than Gates, a new character introduced as leader of the Saints
This begins exactly where the previous book left off, with the kids in the school running for the outside and freedom. A bus crashes into the exit doors though, and it turns out that it's parents who tell the kids they are safer in there instead of outside, as the military has been given instructions to kill all infected.
The leader of the parents is Sam's dad, although he tries to hide the fact at first to prevent Sam being harmed. Will overhears Sam talking to the man one day though and figures it out.
The parents tell the kids they'll bring them food drops as the military has been reassigned. The leader of the military charged with overseeing the school was ordered to release poisonous gas at the school before pulling out but he couldn't do it, so that's why the parents have come to take care of the kids.
When the first drop happens, the parents aren't prepared for the fight that always ensues in the quad, and the huge palette breaks from the crane and crushes a bunch of kids, a lot of whom were Loners.
The Loners are now down to just ten, as a lot of the others either got crushed or escaped before the bus hit the school, and although they try to keep it together, they eventually all join other gangs to have a sense of safety and access to food.
The Saints is the name given to the new gang at the school, who are the would be rescuers which got stuck inside too when the bus came. Will joins with the Saints and becomes quick friends with their leader Gates.
He sees another Saint with a white eye latch and recognizes it as David's. When be asks the kid where he got it, the boy says he found it on a dead kid while scavenging one day, and Will realizes David is dead.
Gates tells Will its way worse on the outside and they've been hiding out from the military this whole time to keep from being killed. When they heard the kids at the school were still stuck, they came to try to help them out after the military left to try to round up any healthy ppl and put them in safety camps.
Lucy joins the Sluts and after a crazy initiation, starts dating a boy named Bart, but when she tries to go all the way with him she realizes she can't because she doesn't love him.
Gates wants their group to come out on top at the school and kidnaps Sam to use as leverage against the parents, bribing them into giving the teens things they want in exchange for Sam not being killed. Sam had been overthrown as leader of Varsity by a guy named Terry who is actually a fair person to the rest of the gangs, so no one is too upset to see this happen to Sam.
Nonstop parties ensue, with everyone thinking Gates and the Saints are best of the best. At one party, Gates even comes riding in on the back of a large boar. He falls off it drunk and the pig escapes. They try to find it and Gates and Will finally do. Turns out it was a sow and she's had babies. Will feels sorry for the pig and tells Gates they should leave her alone with her babies as she didn't want to be kept here any more than they do.
Hilary's been trying to get back on top now. After helping Terry out by promising assistance from The Pretty Ones, she had planned on remaining "queen" of the school by seducing him, but turns out he's gay.
She tries to turn to leader of the Skaters, Pnut, as he's always wanted her, but the deal goes sour when he tells her that her girls would be used as high dollar call girls for the rest of the school and Hilary knows they wouldn't agree to that, so she contents herself for the moment with remaining at Varsity as just another Pretty One rather than head honcho.
Will is figuring out that Gates is a bit bonkers as he is very clingy to Will and keeps telling him how he reminds him of his brother Colton who was shot by the military when he tried to turn himself in.
At the next drop when Gates has Sam present for their demands to the parents, Sam's dad pulls out a gun and shoots at Gates feet, scaring the kids and giving Sam a chance to escape. His escape doesn't last long though, when he comes face to face with the pig from the party. He accidentally steps on one of the sow's babies and she mauls him to death.
After Sam escapes all the Saints are looking for him. Gates is going nuts and mention of his brother comes up. Another guy in the Saints, Pruitt, tells Gates he needs to stop telling people the military killed his brother and face facts.
Turns out that there was only one lone military guy they saw in a hazmat suit while Gates, Pruitt and Colton were out scavenging. When the guy saw them he ran but they knew they couldn't let him get away since he would tell the rest of the military where they were. They split up and went after him, and when Gates heard footsteps coming towards him he fired and it was his brother instead of the military guy.
Pruitt tells Gates he needs to remember so he can move on, and Gates goes psycho, attacks and kills him. Will runs away and finds Lucy. She takes him to a room no one knows about and tells him he can stay there. They end up having sex and Lucy knows she was right to wait, as she does love Will and didn't want to admit it, although he's told her he loves her all along.
After their night together she goes to the bathroom and sees Hilary there. Wanting to get revenge on Hilary for the hell she put her through in The Pretty Ones, she spies quietly from a stall and sees Hilary pull out her broken tooth to reglue it. Lucy grabs the tooth and flushes it down the toilet and runs before Hilary can catch her, right into Gates who takes her hostage.He announces on the loudspeaker to Will that he "needs to come home" and Lucy won't be harmed.
Will goes to Violent and the Sluts for their help and they go with him to get Lucy back. A fight ensues between the Sluts and Saints and Lucy and Will escape.
Will's nose begins bleeding and he and Lucy rush to the parents, knowing it means he's of age where the virus is going to kill him if he stays there. The dad says he won't let them out unless they bring Sam, so he and Lucy find Sam mauled but bundle up his body with a hood to make it look like he's just unconscious.
The parents fall for it and let Will get on the crane hook to be pulled out with Sam but Gates rushes up and tries to stop him. When he sees that Will, who he now thinks IS Colton, is too far up on the crane to reach he attacks Lucy but she fights back and manages to kill him.
We finish out the book with Hilary pulling out a freak girls tooth to file down and use as her own, all the while plotting revenge on Lucy, who is now without a gang since she knows the Sluts are dead due to the fact she saw Violent's (leader of the Sluts) necklace hanging around Gates neck when he attacked her.
Finally, we see Will escaping to the woods and finding a cabin in the woods to hide out in. When he hears someone enter he thinks it's Sam's dad and calls out that he didn't kill him, he was already dead. The voice says that's good to know and Will recognizes the voice as David's.