Budding poet Amy (Emma Roberts) is young, beautiful and top of her class. She’s also single, unemployed and saddled with $90,000 of student debt. Between drunken frat boys, creepy flatmates and an endless stream of rejection letters, her prospects of emulating heroine Sylvia Plath look grim.
Desperate to make ends meet, Amy takes the only job she can find, cataloguing magazines and cleaning toilets in an adult bookstore. Dealing with Adult World’s eccentric customers leaves little time for writing, but there are bright spots among the madness, including affable young manager Alex (Evan Peters) with whom Amy may have more in common than she realises.
Determined to win the heart of notorious celebrity poet Rat Billings (John Cusack), Amy offers to become his protégé..