Sam Jones and Zoe Miller may be on opposite ends of the social spectrum, but they have one thing in common: they both want to escape reality. Sam, an artistic loner, flies under the radar at school and struggles at home to manage her mom’s obsessive-compulsive disorder, wondering how she can ever leave to pursue her dream of studying aerospace engineering. Meanwhile, popular and cheerful Zoe puts up walls so that no one can see her true self: an adoptee who is deeply wounded over having been anonymously abandoned as an infant, and whose heart is breaking over her parents’ decision to place her disabled younger brother in a residential facility.
While searching for props for a play, Zoe is drawn to one of Sam’s otherworldly paintings and asks to borrow it. An exchange of text messages about the painting turns surprisingly personal and, over time, expands into what they call Starworld: an entire universe of inside jokes, fantastical adventures, and meaningful quests that exists only between them. In Starworld, they experience the magic of being seen for who they really are. But when Sam realizes her feelings for Zoe are something more than friendship, will all they’ve built be able to survive the inevitable explosion?