Sarah Maas's brother, Aaron, is excited about going to Camp Cold Lake. While Aaron is sociable and enthusiastic, Sarah is neither of these things, making her far less interested.
When Sarah arrives at camp, she unintentionally offends all of her bunk-mates. Because of this, Sarah isn't treated well by the other girls at camp. In order to get sympathy from the others, she swims underwater and pretends to drown. When nobody tries to save her, Sarah resurfaces. She finds herself in a ghost world. She is greeted by a ghostly girl named Della. Della asks Sarah to be her "buddy;" according to the camp's rules, every camper at Camp Cold Lake is required to have a buddy. Sarah is only able to exit the ghost world when she is resuscitated by a counselor. Eventually, Sarah's bunk-mates apologize for being mean to her.
After her resuscitation, Sarah continues to be stalked by Della. Sarah is convinced that Della is trying to drown her. Sarah is about to run away into the woods, but she is stopped by Briana. Briana asks Sarah if she is leaving, and Sarah answers positively. Briana wishes Sarah luck.
While she is trying to find her way through the woods, Sarah is met by Della. Della begins explaining how she actually dies to Sarah. One night, Della sneaked into the woods by herself. At the time, Della didn't know that many deadly snakes lived in the woods. Della reveals that she had tried to scare Sarah away from the lake so she would go into the woods. A snake begins coiling around Sarah's leg. Briana, another camper, appears and removes the creature. Briana explains that Della had tried to kill her during the previous summer, and now she is back to protect other campers from Della. Sarah and Briana agree to be buddies. Della wails and falls to the ground before disappearing completely. Sarah tries to hug Briana, but her arms pass through the girl. Briana reveals that Della had successfully killed her last summer, but she refused to be Della's buddy. Briana begins moving toward Sarah while holding a snake. She asks if Sarah will be her buddy.
Unlike her brother, Sarah is shy and socially awkward. When she gets to camp, she almost immediately offends all of her bunk-mates. Sarah isn't particularly athletic, and she dislikes sports, swimming, and the outdoors.
Sarah is very skinny and tall. When Sarah goes swimming, she wears a blue swimsuit.