Cal, star quarterback of his high-school team. hangs out with the Right People and used to be satisfied with his life; but at 16 he feels as though he's just going through the motions. He has two sets of friends: Sean and his other football buddies plus attendant cheer-leaders, and an oddball assortment of social outcasts--including new classmate Marti, who sports feminist slogans on her T-shirts and a big chip on her shoulder. Cal is a decent guy, just discovering that conformity isn't everything; he can't muster the old enthusiasm when his jock friends harass a new teacher into a nervous breakdown; and when someone (who later proves to be Sean) starts taping ""dyke"" notes on Marti's locker, he makes it his business to take them down before she sees them. Cannon eases Cal's choices by portraying Sean as a complete goon, while Marti and her family are intriguing and three-dimensional. Readers may forgive Cal's attacks of self-pity and facile psychological insights (""It seems to me lots of people hate each other because they don't know enough about each other""); they're sure to empathize when, just as Cal and Marti have ironed out their differences to develop a closer relationship, Marti announces that her family is moving out of town. A wry, winning first novel.