TWO BLOCKS DOWN by Jina Delton


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Happy, happy,"" repeats beautiful Star as she goes her lonely, independent way. ""Gimme, gimme shelter,"" she sings when asked a question. ""Spacey,"" say Lesley and Justina, the ""normal"" high school girls who live across the street in her new suburban neighborhood. ""You'll never leave us,"" say her companions in the back room of a bar in nearby Minneapolis. ""I am unstable,"" Star tells herself now and then. Briefly, Star becomes friends with Lesley and Justina; eventually, she accepts a date with Roddy Mix, the handsome classmate the other girls compete for. But she can't go through with it, can't enter the school dance, and Roddy knows that she's past his help. Turning away from the dance, he delivers dolled-up Star to her back-room friends, aware that they exist only in her fantasy. Written when the author was ""the same age as Star,"" this has a serious intensity that's absent from fiction manufactured for young people by their elders. But the impressionistic writing is ragged, the events and conversations endlessly trivial, and the characters seen only from Star's abstracted distance.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row