Ben tells the story, and his sardonic view of teen life, and of himself, is mostly amusing and clever, and the part of his humor that is self-pitying is knocked flat by Colleen's wicked directness. Though it's Ben's voice and story, the book is really about Colleen, a charming, if disgusting, junkie who's too smart to be behaving this stupidly.
Poet and novelist Ron Koertge's forte is tight, witty dialogue, and he uses it to great effect here. Conversations between Ben and Colleen, his grandmother, his neighbor, and his classmates sparkle with sharp patter reminiscent of '40s movies. This brief, fast-moving, funny story, with doses of sex, swearing, and drugs, will keep even reluctant teen readers turning the pages.