By Ellen Hopkins

Raised in a spiritual -- but abusive -- relatives, Pattyn Von Stratten starts off asking questions -- approximately God, a woman's function, intercourse, love. She reports the 1st stirrings of ardour, but if her father catches her in a compromising place, occasions spiral uncontrolled. Pattyn is shipped to dwell with an aunt within the wilds of Nevada to discover salvation and redemption. What she reveals as an alternative is love and attractiveness -- until eventually she realizes that her previous demons won't enable her pass.

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Tried again. Skittered up dirt, nicked a can with the ricochet. Urning, I heard my dad's voice in my head. Then he added, What could you expect from a girl? That did the trick. I settled down into my zone, took out that row of cans one by one, not a Single miss. As I lined them up again, an annoying mechanical whine broke the morning's tranquility. Louder. Louder. A three-pack of quadranners sprinted closer and closer across the sage-studded sand. I didn't dare take another shot until they passed by and rode off to disturb distant eardrums.

Excuse me, Brother Prior, but is it okay for a man to . . " Nine of my peers Turned and I caught something stränge in their eyes, something . . knowing. 35 Did They Know About Dad and his deepening relationship with Johnnie Walker Black scotch whiskey? How, despite the church's prohibition of all things alcoholic, he only drank more and more? Did they know why Mom rarely left the house and often wore dark glasses to services? How she never said a word, and neither did we, though we knew we really should?

At first I said no, of course. I really thought I wasn't at all that kind of girl. Guess what. I am! He was good, too. First he rubbed my back. Then he lifted my hair and kissed my neck, and I've never had goose bumps like that before. Then he slid his hands around the front of me, lifting my breasts and touching my nipples. I wouldn't let him go under my blouse but even over my clothes, the way he made my body feel is hard to describe. Alive. 123 On edge. In need. In danger of spontaneous comhustion.

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