Gerson's Long Island family is so blandly ""typical"" and corny that it's hard to feel for any of its members. The story is based on the recently divorced mother's fatuous behavior when she decides to enroll in college. She takes up with a string of boyfriends, settling with Randy, a mindless stereotype of the mindless student radical, and parroting his slogans. . . but departing from him briefly during sophomore year to have a go at cheerleading and date a football player. All this time she confides in her 13-year-old daughter Jes, a responsible type who takes over the housework and keeps her own junior-high adjustment problems to herself. But it is Jes's little brother's runaway ploy that shows up Randy's flaws and sets Mom on the road to a more mature relationship with her psychology teacher. If Jes is more mature throughout, she is no more interesting--and the best friend she makes at school is a chattering twit. For readers who don't wince at a girl whose father calls her princess, there may be a few sitcom laughs.