Jonah's problems in eighth grade are mostly typical: getting up the nerve to ask a girl out, figuring out what to do when she says yes, getting dumped, fitting in. His mother's recent marriage to the principal complicates things a bit, but not much. Joining a drama group to be around Katherine proves at least as embarrassing, especially when he plays Cinderelvis, who wears a golden jock strap. This has all the luster of a phone call between eighth graders: the crushes, the would-be crushes, the waning crushes; Bechard (Star Hatchling, 1997, etc.) expands it into a novel, even though such conversations are sometimes less than compelling to anyone not participating directly. Amusing, with no staying power.