Is Kissing a Girl Who Smokes Like Licking an Ashtray?

Randy Powell, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $16 (199p) ISBN 978-0-374-33632-5
After 23 months of pining, 18-year-old Biff still hasn't gotten anywhere near asking out the girl of his dreams, much less making conversation with her. Just when it seems as though this is going to be another story about a shy, lovesick guy, in sashays an apple-scented bombshell named Heidi--and Powell's ( My Underrated Year ) delightfully goofy novel starts looping around like a pocket full of jumping beans. Tongue-tied, self-conscious Biff is no match for this supremely poised 16-year-old who has a smart remark for every occasion. Instead of lolling around the house as planned, Biff spends his spring break driving Heidi, who's visiting from Spokane, all over Seattle and its environs. And despite--or perhaps because of Heidi's maddening behavior, Biff comes out of his shell and finds that he's having the time of his life. And wonder of wonders, he even gets to answer the title question himself. Funny and poignant, with a fresh, wry viewpoint and impeccable characterizations, this novel is a joy to read. Ages 12-up. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1992
Release date: 07/01/1992
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