Self-centered and lazy, Oliver Penn is on the verge of flunking out of his community college. Finding himself with his back to the wall, he learns that his only chance at salvaging this bleak situation is to rely on one of two girls: the hyperactive artist with no volume control, Caprice Shiften, or the overbearing writer, Millie Clarke. To make matters worse, Oliver finds himself pushed by a mutual friend into the giant conflict that recently tore the two friends apart.
While trying his best to help the person who helped save his college career, Oliver finds himself constantly at odds with his own personality. While he's a natural at giving hard facts about what people are doing wrong, he's often at fault for being the same way. Normally this wouldn't bother him, but when the girl he's trying to help throws his advice back in his face, he decides to endeavor to improve further than simply being a better student and half-tolerable human being. His only worry becomes whether he won't crumble under the pressure of having even more at stake now that he's become invested in the people he once thought of poorly.
A story told from two perspectives, Twofold chronicles the story of a college student caught in the crossfire of a very personal feud while trying to stay afloat academically.
There are many words that could be used to describe Oliver, most of them bad. Lazy, selfish, and quick to deflect blame onto others, Oliver is far from what most would consider an enjoyable person to be around.
For the most part, Oliver is more than happy to return the sentiment. His anti-social habits had him signing up for online classes for his first semester of college, which he promptly ended up blowing off. Now he finds himself in a dire situation: at risk of dropping out of a community college (of all things!) and having to deal with everyone on campus while struggling to save himself.
What scares him most about his situation, though he won't readily admit it, is how his mother’s opinion of him would be affected by this. Despite his sour personality, she still keeps Oliver close and is convinced that he’s just “going through a rough time.” Losing the respect of his mother and having to cope with the shame of failing out of the lowest form of higher education is enough to motivate him to get his life straight.
Caprice believes that if you’re loud enough, someone is bound to listen to you. Having little in the way of volume control, she’s constantly shouting as loud as possible at her friends and fellow club members in hopes of motivating them to improve at whatever it is they’re working on. To those unfamiliar with her, it's enough to keep them far away, but those who have been capable of getting past all the noise have found themselves fast friends with her. Caprice's spontaneous nature can make her seem uncaring or negligent, but she simply thinks that standing still will cause her to lose some or all of her motivation to keep moving, a concept that terrifies her.
It’s difficult to imagine how an endlessly cheerful person like Caprice could even stand to be around someone like Oliver, but the two soon find common ground in regards to their personal lives. Like Oliver, Caprice is extremely close to her mother, who she treats more like a best friend than a parent.
Millie leads the writing club with proper rules and order, directly contrasting Caprice’s chaotic art club. Raised to be prim and proper, Millie tries her best to keep a polite, kind demeanor around everyone she comes across, though this frequently wears thin between Caprice, select members of the writing club, and most recently Oliver. When she’s pushed out of her comfort zone, she’s quick to fluster and will try desperately to recompose herself before letting the conversation continue.
Though she likes to think otherwise, Millie isn’t terribly hard to see through, despite her best efforts. If she has something she’s trying to hide, no matter what it is, it usually doesn’t take much to figure out what it is, which makes her recent conflict with Caprice worrisome to the rest of the writing club. While their typical gossip is enough to unearth pretty much anything Millie is trying to hide, no one has been able to get past the constant redirection and smokescreen Millie has maintained whenever the subject is brought up.
Most of the unflattering words that can be used to describe Oliver may have also applied to Hayley at one point. Meeting Caprice and Millie in high school changed that, though she still tends to come across as aloof and blunt to people outside of her extremely limited social circle.
Being caught in the middle of her two best friends during their quarrel has caused Hayley a lot of grief, since remaining neutral has done nothing but widen the distance between Hayley and her closest friends. When she hears about Oliver from the two and watches as he painfully goes through the same motions she did when she first met the pair of girls, she takes an interest in him. More importantly, she takes an interest in how his unique situation can help straighten out the conflict that has torn her two friends apart.