George's comfortable vision of life takes a wild spin when his girlfriend decides she needs space to find herself and suddenly breaks up after five years. Since he and Julie have been best friends, and more, since they were 12, her decision comes as a complete surprise; accustomed to thinking in terms of ""forever,"" George can't understand or accept her need for a change. He also can't quit cold turkey, and Julie and her family bear his mooning about and incessant phone calls with considerable patience. Mazer infuses this sharply perceived story with easy, sympathetic humor--in George's dogged pursuit of past security, in the wisecracks of family and friends, and especially in his budding relationship with Rosemary, an intense young woman whom he meets through his kid sister's computer bulletin board. In the end, Julie's declaration of independence opens up a whole new future for George: he moves away from home and the business his father hopes he'll take over, discovers an interest in cabinetmaking and antiques, and learns, in beginning to renew relations with his father, that the past need not be completely discarded. An expertly wrought coming-of-age novel that young people should find both readable and authentic.