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Julie Anne Peters, . . Little, Brown/Tingley, $11.99 (151pp) ISBN 978-0-316-01343-7

Peters's (Luna ) short stories focus mostly on young lesbians but also take in teens struggling with other gender and sexuality issues. Their conflicts range from commonplace (Mariah tries to summon the nerve to attend a Gay/Straight Alliance meeting; Kat wonders if the cellist she likes at music camp returns her feelings) to extreme (Cammie, sexually abused by her father almost nightly, worries that she will never feel pleasure; transgendered Vince, née Eva, is assaulted by a group of guys after work). Regardless of the intensity of the characters' struggles, girls of any sexual orientation will feel quickly drawn into the lives glimpsed here, thanks to the authenticity of Peters's voices. However, many of the stories feel like the beginnings of intriguing novels rather than standalone works, and endings can seem arbitrary. On the other hand, teens searching for a fast read, especially in an underserved subject, will be gratified to find this collection, and the author's ability to bring such a diverse cast to life is impressive. Ages 15-up. (Sept.)