Jonah spends four months living with relatives on the island of Tonga and quickly wears out his welcome. "He's pissing off his uncle way too much," Auntie Grace explains; she, along with Jonah's father Rocky and brother Moses, arrive to take the teen home to Sydney.
Six months later, Jonah is a student at Holy Cross, a Catholic high school where he runs with a group who prides themselves on their good looks and musical talents. Jonah's crew faces off against the "Rangas," led by the school captain, a year 12 named Graydon.
Jonah is placed in Holy Cross' Lazarus House - known around school as "Spaz House" - where a teacher named Mr. Joseph runs a behavioral training program that doesn't shy away from physical "persuasiveness." Teaching Jonah is a particular challenge for Mr. Joseph. "Will he survive to the end of year 12?" Mr. Joseph asks. "I doubt it."
After being busted for shoplifting, Jonah pledges to be a "good boy." He's confident that with his mother's spirit looking down on him, "nothing bad can ever happen."