Brooks (Two Moons in August, 1992, etc.) offers 11 more beautiful stories about sensitive teenagers with sad lives. Many contemporary Holden Caulfields grace the pages of this fine collection. They have Holden's keen perception and distrust of the adult world, and they even sound like him: ""Sometimes little things like being able to watch somebody you care about doing something simple...makes you so happy that if you weren't careful, you could end up driving down the highway bawling like a baby."" And yet Brooks is not merely a Salinger wannabe; she gives her characters different, modern problems. In the title story, a girl feels betrayed when her father leaves her and her mother to move in with his gay lover. ""The Northern Lights Express Theater"" is about a young actor who ""outs"" himself when he plays a gay character but is not truly gay -- as he must prove to the girl he loves. In ""The Kindness of Strangers,"" a runaway asks to be allowed to come home and is told that he can't. And when Brooks writes of more common troubles -- the death of a parent, looking for love -- she does so with piercing insight and sympathy. Just perfect.