This novel is set in a near-future high school. It is similar to, and very different from, today's high school.
Northawken High School is full of the usual high school cliques. It is also a place where many of the students are sponsored by one or more corporations, ranging from Abercrombie and Fitch to Microsoft. The school is full of six-foot high logos for the latest junk food or software.
Elsa Webb is one of the few un-sponsored students. She is very smart, but full of the usual high school emotions. Despite encouragement from her friends, her parents and her geometry teacher, Elsa is very uninterested in joining the school's Science Society. It will supposedly look very good on her resume; she may not get into a good college without it. Impulsively, she decides to start a Perpetual Motion Club.
Interest among her classmates in joining the club is nearly non-existent. The only other members are her friends May, who is a witch, and Jimmy, who has loved Elsa from afar. She is unable to get the club sanctioned by the school. Meantime, Elsa has a major crush on Jason, the new kid in school, who is part of the basketball team. Even though Elsa helps him out of a huge jam, Jason barely knows that she is alive.
With a school-wide science competition called Future World rapidly approaching, Elsa decides on a major change in emphasis. Instead of trying to build a perpetual motion machine, she will look at the subject from a different angle. Will Jimmy and May help build her new idea? Will Jason and his basketball cohorts lend a hand? Will she get it to school on time?
The author does a really good job exploring the good and bad of the high school experience. The story is interesting and believable. This is not just for high school students; adults will also enjoy it.