A coming-of-age story with adventure, romance, and comedy. When Joe Flowers (16), self-proclaimed ""troubled teen,"" gets both grounded and expelled from school on the same day without really trying, he tries hitchhiking--and winds up stranded, half-naked, and hungry on an island peopled by a beautiful girl, her very rich grandfather, and two hostile guards whom Joe suspects are actually drug smugglers. The girl, Nan, hides him at an abandoned farm, teaches him meditation, and convinces him to stay. Joe's first-person narration--witty, honest, and irreverent in just the right teen-age way--makes this wild wish-fulfillment tale plausible. Description is refreshingly original; the tension--whether Joe is running away, hiding out, or trying to catch the smugglers--is broken by moments of humor. These are intelligent teen-agers: they frequently refer to literature (Joe's brought Walden with him) and have inquisitive natures (Joe wants answers to questions such as ""Why are we here?"") that have gotten them into trouble but will also take them far. And they use birth control. A suspenseful and insightful story.