In a well-told melodrama, heroism is thrust on an N.Y.C. teen-ager who must then bear its consequences. Nick envisages years of failure as his future until he saves a child who has fallen onto the subway tracks and, shortly after, risks his life to rescue an old man from a smoke-filled building. Each event is presaged by intense foreboding; even more peculiar, every coin Nick flips comes up heads. Does Nick have a mission, or has he been touched by God? His loyal, not-too-bright friend Marco has no doubt. Meanwhile, Nick wins notoriety plus the attention of Linda Lando, daughter of a rich builder, who is fascinated to find something she can't control. The rescues continue; and while Nick tries to sort out his feelings, Marco spreads exaggerated tales of his feats and suggests that Nick has healing hands--and Linda tries to manipulate events. Shusterman dishes out some wildly funny scenes here, plus a few brutal surprises: Nick learns that Linda has staged several of the "rescues"; Marco, trying a rescue of his own, is trapped under tons of steel; and Nick, trying to get to his friend, acts so crazy that a shopkeeper shoots him. The characters are particularly well drawn; surprisingly, Shusterman manages a reasonably happy ending for this page-turner.