When her crush on ninth-grader Rusty Parmette goes unnoticed by him, Julie Novick telephones him at home one night asking for ""Wendell Farnham"" and identifying herself as ""Barbara."" Rusty plays along with the mysterious caller, and in the course of days a sweet relationship develops between them that is oddly honest despite their role-playing. The gentle, sensitive personality projected by ""Wendell"" is at odds with Rusty's soccer-jock, M.C.P. reputation at school where he continues to ignore Julie though she often contrives to cross his path. Their several encounters include a hostile clash at a classmate's party and culminate in a school debate on the topic ""The United States Is Ready for a Woman President""--with, conveniently, Julie pro and Rusty con. In full hearing of the assembly, Rusty seems to capitulate, but only Julie, who knows ""Wendell,"" understands that this is the real Rusty talking. Some careful meddling by Julie's grandmother later unmasks ""Barbara"" to Rusty, and the romance can begin in earnest. Slickly written, trendy, contrived, and a little preachy, this is still--as usual with Angell--fast-paced and easy to take.