One day when her mother goes to town and her grandmother, Lily goes to her greenhouse to avoid contact with her, Jenna sneaks out the front door and goes for a walk. On her adventure, she meets Mr. Clayton Bender, and makes friends with him. On her way back, Jenna cuts herself, which frightens her mother very much. Jenna all of a sudden has a memory of a trip to the beach with Lily that happened almost 15 years ago, an impossible thought but a memory none the less. After that Jenna starts remembering small things like her best friends and the T in Boston.
She learns of her father’s latest invention, Bio Gel. The gel can make organ last indefinitely instead of having a limited shelf life. When Lily takes Jenna to a mission, she gets a sudden urge to get back in school to pick up where she left off. Everyone thinks it is an outrageous thought but her mother soon gives in and allows her to go to a small charter instead of a widely populated school where she could be put in a dangerous situation. Pages 51-100 Jenna is now determined to take control of her life back. On her way to Mr. Bender’s house, Jenna meets the boy he warned her about, Dane.
This boy that lives at the end of her street seems to be very curious. At Mr. Bender’s House, Jenna is forced to turn away his hospitality towards her because of her special diet. After he told her he did research she did research on him as well. She learned that he was keeping a very big secret about his identity. When he confessed to her she felt they were better friends because of the secrets they shared. Jenna continues to watch her home movies and sparks a few of her lost memories. She remembers that she loved hot chocolate but her mother and grandmother get angry with her for disobeying her diet.
She wants to pick up where she left off in school so she asks permission to start school again. Her mother allows her to attend a small charter that has a flexible schedule and a smaller class size. The first day she meets her few classmates and recognizes Dane. A boy named Ethan leads a discussion on Walden. When he makes an error, she corrects him, surprising him and her also. She is shocked again when Ethan invites her to join their group for lunch. At lunch Jenna gets a chance to meet the rest of her few classmates. Allys is the only other girl other than Rae, their teacher, and is the first to open up.
Since everyone at the charter has a special reason for attending, Allys shares that her’s was a fatal disease that cause her to lose her limbs. Now she has prosthetics and is also the first person to tell Jenna they like her. Jenna opens up a little more about her condition. She also starts to grow a liking for Ethan as well. Lily and Claire get in an argument about Jenna’s social relationships. Jenna continues watching the discs and learning past details she’d forgotten. She starts working with Ethan at the mission until she finds a community service project of her own. She grows a closer bond with him and becomes fascinated with him.
Allys expresses her feelings about FSEB and ethics problems unknowing that Jenna’s dad, founder of FoxBiosystems and creator of Bio Gel. Pages 100-150 Jenna explores the downstairs of the Cotswold and finds interest in Claire and Lily’s rooms. In Claire’s room she finds a locked door and has a natural instinct to look under the mattress and finds the key. Before she gets a chance to open it she is called away by someone at the door. Ethan visits her and they talk which slowly leads to them sharing a passionate kiss. Because Lily got upset with Jenna after the kiss, Jenna rebels and pours mustard into her nutrients before Lily can stop her.
Jenna watches the last disc in her box and it shows Claire and Jenna having a fight about Jenna’s ballerina career. Jenna is determined to find out what is behind the closet doors. She pretends to go for a walk but sneaks into the closet instead. Inside she finds three boxes one with her full name on it. Trying to get it loose she cuts her wrist on an edge. Worried about what her mother will do she hurries to her bathroom to look at the gash. When Jenna falls down the stairs from being too dizzy, Claire discovers the cut. Now her parents are forced to tell her why there is hardly any blood coming from her wrist.
They explain that she was terribly burned in the accident and something had to be done fast or she wouldn’t have made it. Her father informs her that her entire body is made up of Bio Gel. The only thing original in her is 10% of her brain. Jenna has a really hard time understanding the situation and believing that she is a real human being. She asks why they relocated and her father tells her that where they live now has a consistent temperature that will help her shelf life. She also learns the second reason for their location is Jenna being illegal with Bio Gel making up the substance of her body.
Lily and Jenna have a conversation about why Lily acts so different towards Jenna. Her answer is that she let go of her granddaughter eighteen months ago and now has her in a different form. At school, Jenna is more unsocial than ever before. She is still trying to figure out what she is and what she needs to do next. Pages 151-200 Lily talks to Jenna about things she feels Jenna should know. She informs Jenna that before the accident she didn’t go to her room when Claire told her to; now she naturally goes without hesitation.
Jenna is upset about the information but wants to prove it for herself. She waits until her father and mother chat on the Netbook and puts on a flipping plates show for them. When Claire furiously tells Jenna to go to her room, Jenna resists the urge. Her father and mother explain that they uploaded things into her when they were working on her scans. They were afraid she’d be so behind in school they uploaded the 10th through 12th grade curriculum. Jenna meets Ethan at the mission where he shares his dark secret that has burdened him.
She trusts him enough to share the information she has just received. He doesn’t leave her but instead assures her she is going to get through it but warns her not to tell Allys because of her ethical standards. For a bacteria lesson, the group goes to a river scene. During her lesson, she starts talking about the FSEB which sparks something in Jenna. They get into a heated discussion that doesn’t end the best way. When Jenna visits Mr. Bender, she learns that someone broke into his garage but took nothing. She feels like she remembers seeing his car before but doesn’t know where from.
She asks if she could use his netbook to do some research. The research is on her accident. She learns that Kara Manning and Locke Jenkins died after that accident and she would have been trialed if her condition wasn’t as deadly and severe. Jenna talks to her parents about them being dead and they said they didn’t want to push her with that information. Her mother is redecorating her so she asked for red drapes instead of the only color in her wardrobe, blue. She remembers getting the red skirt with Kara and goes on a rampage for it through the entire house.
Lily shares with Jenna the escape plan if anyone from the government were to show up asking questions. When her mom goes to pick up her dad, Jenna goes to the closet. This time she discovers that the other two computers have Kara and Locke’s names on them. This sends Jenna over the edge. She runs into the forest and just lays there. Pages 201-265 Jenna gets mad at her parents for all the secrets they kept from her including the boxes. They told her they were backups in case something was to happen they would have all the blueprints and information needed to reboot her.
They share the risks and complications of her situation. When she asks where Kara and Locke were they tell her that after their parents thought she was the one that caused them to get hurt they wouldn’t let the doctors in to prep everything. They both died before they could do anything. In class, they watched a long speech having to do with the FSEB. They have made many bad medical changes that negatively affected a lot of sick and injured people and the new medical act will take all control from them. Allys realized that Jenna is the daughter of Matthew Fox who she highly dislikes for his work with Bio Gel.
After Mr. Bender somewhat saves Jenna from a sneak attack in the forest they go off and talk. Jenna admits she knows his name is Edward and he is her dad’s friend who set up the house and helps get her out of the country to Italy where the temperature is consistent. Jenna remembers the accident. She wasn’t driving, Kara was. But no one but the backups and she will ever know that. Jenna finds the real last disc and sees that she was under so much pressure to be perfect. At the beach, Jenna finally admits that she is tired of being on a pedestal and having so many expectations.
When they get home there is a strange man there who is talking to Jenna’s father about moving the backups to a safer location. Ethan and Jenna go visit Allys who has Lupus which is causing her body to fail. They stay and talk to her for a while. Jenna confesses to her that she is really Matthew Fox’s daughter. On the way back Ethan doesn’t want Jenna to get caught by the government and offers to take her anywhere. Lily and Jenna devise a plan to get rid of the backups. When they do, her parents are furious and tell Jenna those backups could have saved her. Jenna just wants to live her life without having a backup if she messes up.
She wants to be normal more than anything. Allys’ parents visit Jenna’s parents and ask if they can help fix Allys up like they did with Jenna. The next part takes place 260 years later. Allys and Jenna live in Mr. Bender’s house. Everyone they know has past but they’re still there. They have traveled around the world speaking to people just like them. The laws of medicine have changed so much. Jenna has a daughter who she will eventually have to leave because no parent should outlive their child. The Bio Gel has been modified to make sure no one lives beyond an acceptable and appropriate time.