While many of Norene's friends are off ""to Berkeley and other vital places,"" she spends her time worrying about her ""total lack of ravishing beauty."" True, she has hair ""halfway to her waist, brushed and shining and as tawny as the hills of California in summer"" and she smells ""of delicate soap fragrance rather than some phony non-ecological fragrance"" and she is ""neat as a silver dime,"" but none of this will help a girl to make it in the social jungle of Greenhills High School-- a place of ""cruelty beyond belief."" Naturally Norene is bitterly disappointed when her uncle gives her a four hundred dollar camera instead of a ""girl present,"" but her very first exposed roll of film is sought out and paid for (and even compared to Cartier-Bresson) by the local newspaper editor. ""Outside, Norene leaned against the wall of the building and gasped in the fresh, carbon-monoxide-laden air...a girl didn't go out and become a photographer overnight simply because she owned a fancy camera."" And indeed a girl doesn't--except in puerile novels like this one.