Talbot Little is being sent away to Boxwood Academy after being bullied at his previous school. The night before, he has a surreal nightmare where he encounters a guy who is being chased by a scary thingamajig called a night terror. Random guy gives Talbot a message (warning) to deliver, but doesn't have time to tell him who to deliver it to.
Talbot wakes up, thinks "what a weird dream", goes to Boxwood Academy, blah blah, goes to sleep that night only to find himself back where he was with two people waiting for him. There he learns that he is an Aware, and now exists consciously in a real world when he goes to sleep. Also, what did he do with guy who gave him the message? Has to attend an academy there as well, and has to have a mentor. No-one believes his message, except said mentor. Also, lots of people suspicious of Talbot because of disappearance of other guy who gave him the message. Dun dun duuuuuuunnnnn.
So now, Talbot has to balance being awake, and being aware, and has to try to figure out how to prove his message (of warning) is genuine before the thingamajig that got to other dude gets to him too. Because yeah, thingamajig attacks him because it knows he has said message. All this while not knowing whether mentor guy can be trusted, and trying to not get bullied at Boxwood Academy in awake world. Also makes friends in dream world.