The conventional wisdom of the youth culture -- striving towards a truly humanitarian value system, but occasionally beset by intellectual cliches -- is documented in this purportedly authentic diary of a teenage dropout. Cat Toven, 16 and a run-away from her home in Harrisburg, Pa., hitchhikes through Canada until she comes to the end of the road -- a solitary mountain camp on the Gaspe Peninsula -- where sickness and a dwindling food supply force her to draw on her last resources of inner strength. Though Cat's pathetic need for something to love is expressed in her attachment to a forlorn puppy and the few lost souls who are kind to her, her diary is substantially a testament of desperate loneliness. If her philosophical frame of reference, bounded by Thoreau and James Taylor, seems inadequate, and her insights -- ""I was born in a battlefield. But so was everyone else. And sometimes it's enough to be alive and battling"" -- seem less than earth-shaking to adults, this is presumptive evidence of their genuineness. If not the Holden Caulfield prototype she suggests, Cat Toven provides at least a faithful reflection of the contemporary variety of adolescent angst.