"Dear Ethan: I know you must be terribly confused, a little bit scared and thinking, hoping, praying, that the plane will return. It will not." Ethan can barely believe it. Until now, his biggest problems have been trying to stay in one school without getting expelled and finding his next drink. But after Ethan's drunken imitation of the current headmaster goes up on YouTube, his father steps in with a shockingly drastic measure. Now Ethan is sprawled in the sand. In the Sahara desert. Alone. According to his father's letter, Ethan is to trek 200 km across the desert to the city of Tunis, with the help of a guide and three other young people. Confused, hungover, and-if he is truthful-more than a little scared, Ethan has no choice. He will face sandstorms, vipers, and agonizingly painful blisters ... but, most painful of all, he will face his inner demons and come to a true realization of who he really is.