At 15, Catherine D'Amato is one of those fictional nothings who wants--at truly piteous first-person length--to be everything. . . which she suddenly sees in graceful, super-cool new gym teacher Karen Alcott. And so--with time out only for family troubles, a few kind words from cousins Tony and Joanna, and lots of solitary sketching--she moons about the elusive, untouchable Karen, who turns out, predictably, to be a first-class bitch. ""Was it possible to erase a life as though it were a badly drawn sketch? Would I be given another piece of spotless paper? Could I begin again?"" Deciding not, Catherine slashes her wrists--but lives to think better of herself and her chances, thanks largely to a vision of her grandmother as another ""wide-footed strong Italian girl."" Self-important drivel.