Female rites of passage, new-style, in which maturity arrives when a girl becomes her own woman and not just somebody else's. Sixteen-year-old Susannah, netted by silver cords in Queens, N.Y.C., is determined to shed her virginity and ease that ""hot tingle slide pound burn dry tickle itch."" First there's Vinnie (""jump plop argh"") and no go; then there's middle-aged Al who sketches her in the nude but strikes out when he bites her lip blister; and finally Jim, another N.Y.U. student, who plans to farm in Tasmania, and it's love and great sex. But while Susannah's mother fusses and whines when she leaves home, Jim's father, a Methodist minister who expects Jim to follow in his footsteps, holds a very long leash. Jim finally heels, plans to be a hip clergyman, while Susannah, after a Vermont winter idyll with Jim, knows she'll make it--but on her own. The Queens ambience of upwardly mobile jitters and careful domesticity (in contrast to the marvelously noisy family next door) comes through sharp and dear, and Susannah, uncomplicated as a Hershey bar, has a fresh appeal in spite of the parents who are unconvincing and stiff even if they're, unwittingly, the real target. Diverting but uneven.