The conflicts in each chapter relate directly to the themes of the cycle of gang violence, loss of innocence, and growing up in the real world. By chapter, they are as follows:
1. M&M is beaten up, and the gang's blithe attitude toward violence is questioned.
2. Bryon can understand how Mike can NOT hate the woman who caused his beating, but Mark cannot.
3. Mark is beat up, and Bryon wants revenge.
4. Mark gets away with everything because of his devil-may-care personality, but there are signs he won't be able to much longer.
5. Bryon feels guilty about Charlie's death.
6. Bryan tries to change his image and leave the gang life, and M&M runs away.
7. In an act of gang retaliation, Mark gets Angela drunk and cuts off her hair.
8. Mark is beat up again, but Bryon wants to end the cycle of violence and retaliation.
9. M&M has a deadly reaction to LSD.
10. Bryon finds out Mark has been dealing drugs and turns him in.
11. Mark has completely lost his innocence and hates Bryon for putting him in prison. Bryon, numb and confused by the pressures and uncertainties of being an adult, will question the rightness of his decision probably for the rest of his life.