Ryan Dooley has always been in trouble. Victim Rights, by Norah McClintock, tells of his journey from one side of the law to the other. Dooley, as he prefers to be called, had a hard life growing up. He was forced to try to care for his mother, all the while taking care of himself because no one else was able to take care of him. However, when his ex-cop uncle found him in a juvenile detention center, he offers him an ultimatum. If Dooley will stay out of trouble, his uncle will provide for him until he turns eighteen in a couple months.
Dooley learned at a young age that people look at him differently because of the trouble that he has gotten himself into. A lot of people treat him as an outsider...then he meets Beth. Beth is a straight-A student. She attends a private girls’ school where she is known to be an overachiever. Beth spends a lot of her time studying, and when she's not studying she does volunteer projects within her community. When the book opens, Dooley and Beth have been dating for six months even though her mother doesn't approve of their relationship. They care deeply about each other and Beth brings out the best in Dooley--making him think twice before putting himself in a compromising situation that might get him kicked out of his uncle's house, or worse, sent back to the detention center.
When Beth goes on a week-long trip to build houses for the less fortunate, she promises to call Dooley every day. But she only calls twice during her excursion--once during the week and once to tell Dooley she'll be staying the weekend for a party celebrating the newly-built house. However, when Beth comes back, rumors start to surface about what she did over the weekend. Dooley is put in a situation where he must figure out the details of the weekend before Beth gets herself into any more trouble.