cover image Dusty Brannigan

Dusty Brannigan

Janice Harrell. Avon Books, $3.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-380-76113-5

When she accepts the unexpected offer of a full scholarship to Blake College, Deborah Susan is determined to leave the squalor and chaos of the Brannigan home far behind. She begins calling herself Dusty, bleaches and spikes her hair, and sets out to conquer the world. In many books of this genre, much of the ensuing action would revolve around Dusty's efforts to keep her past a secret; here, refreshingly, the name change simply serves as a jumping-off point for Dusty's enthusiastic embrace of nearly all the elements of college life. With the confidence derived from her new persona, Dusty embarks on a romance, establishes herself as an intellectual force to be reckoned with, copes with her roommate's drinking problem and even manages to come to terms with her distressing family--all in her first semester. Also featured is a crew of mostly likable, always quirky fellow students. Reminiscent of Jean Thesman's lighter work , this rambling, sweet-natured tale has the earnestness of a memoir. Ages 12-up. (May)