This is the story of 15-year-old Julia's longstanding close relationship with her father, a high school honors math teacher, and her break with him when he proves less than the god he's always seemed to her and to his special math students. From the beginning it is fraught with earnest adolescent agonizing, and the premise is not quite convincing--certainly not compelling: John Rowland, the father, and pretty Julia, his favorite since birth though sexy, rebellious older sister Lucy is smarter, have been planning for years to be ""together"" in the special math program. The dilemma that develops, though, may draw readers in: On the first day of school Julia discovers, crushed, that she has not passed the qualifying math exam and so must attend old Miss Ballard's regular class until another exam is offered in November. Then, as her father coaches her for the exam and for Miss Ballard's tests along the way, Julia comes to realize that he is feeding her answers and that Miss Ballard is in cahoots. And along with Julia's hurt and revulsion comes the recognition that she has never liked math and always found it difficult. Julia's mother, concerned only for her husband's feelings, refuses to listen--and one can sympathize with Julia's sense of abandonment. It is resented, troublemaking Lucy who comes through with support--though Lucy's way of coping through hate and defiance are not Julia's; and it's Julia's new relationship with Ben, an independent senior she's drawn to despite her father's disapproval, that at last gives her strength to stand up to him. That Hanlon brings her round to this position gradually is a plus, and though she makes all Julia's feelings and problems repetitively obvious, they may strike a chord.