Thin--and familiar. Thirteen-year-old Crystal Borne can't bear to tell the judge, at her custody trial, that she'd rather live with her father, can't bear to turn away from her mother--though Vicki abandoned her as a baby and dumps her for every new boyfriend. Left behind still again, Crystal goes joyfully to the Monterey home of her father, Adam, his wife Terry, and their small daughter Casey; but when life isn't all wonderful--she's treated as a guest, on the one hand; punished for a mistake, on the other--she lights out with 16-year-old Mario, a vaguely disgruntled new love-interest. Quickly feeling desolate, she's already on her way home when Adam and Terry find her; nobody's perfect, right? And with that great revelation, she's also ready, at last, to write the letter to the judge that will allow her to stay with Adam and Terry--in the recognition that her mother's interest in her is both real and very limited. A healthy message, but the book is transparently a vehicle with no substance or conviction as fiction--not so much as a single character or scene to remember five minutes after it's finished.