Battered, bruised, but alive, Helicity Dunlap rides out a hurricane in the Bolivar Peninsula Lighthouse in Texas. She somehow manages to keep herself safe, and to even rescue a lost dog in the process.
After a day in the hospital, she, her mom, and Sam make the two-day drive back to Western Michigan. They leave Andy and their dad behind, as Andy is finally going to get the help he needs in an addiction rehabilitation facility. Much to her dismay, Helicity ends up in the spotlight—first in a good way after surviving the hurricane and rescuing the dog—but then social media turns on her, and she finds herself in the eye of a completely different kind of storm.
Back at school, Helicity struggles to maintain her focus—long rides on her horse, Raven, help, as do a few weekend trips with her mom. She decides to accept an offer to be interviewed about her experience in Texas by a reporter who followed her story. They meet up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during the annual International Hot Air Balloon Festival, a spectacle that must be seen to be believed. The excitement builds as Helicity delights in her first ride in a lighter-than-air balloon when disaster strikes. A severe dust storm—a haboob—typical of the area, erupts while Helicity is aloft. How will the pilot navigate this threatening and potentially deadly storm?