Overnight Sensation

Scott Johnson, Author Atheneum Books $16.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-689-31831-3
The weight Kerry Dunbar lost before entering her senior year returns in the form of a heavy psychological burden when she's quickly noticed by a popular though reckless crowd at school. At first their attention thrills her. One night, after drinking lots of beer, the group--over Kerry's weak protestations--breaks into her unpopular friend Madeline Abraham's garage; one guy scrawls anti-Semitic slurs on its walls. Sparks from a cigarette lighter inadvertently ignite the wooden structure, but the scrawls survive the fire. Johnson ( One of the Boys ) covers a lot of ground in what is ultimately an overblown, repetitious novel; aside from the tired popular-kids-are-shallow theme and the lessons against anti-Semitism, it touches didactically on AIDS awareness, birth control, recycling and animal rights. Although Kerry's first-person narrative is on key and the dialogue rarely falters, the reader will find it hard to care much for such a self-absorbed and foolish protagonist. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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