Susan, 13, narrates the 11-month history of best friend Sally's plot to get the two girls dates for their freshman prom. Susan's voice is wry, bemused and sometimes quite wise as she acts as go-between for bubbly, self-centered Sally and new girl Julie, who plays dumb and is unsure of herself because of her bustiness. Susan gets a date for the prom with a boy she doesn't care for, but attention is deflected from the event by the death of a longtime, terminally ill friend. The story of a growing-up year moves from light-hearted comedy to serious themes, sometimes with ease, usually with a jolt. It's a worthy effort, but froth trivializes grief, and grief flattens froth. The characterizations are good and strong, especially that of the sick friend, Rebecca. Ages 10-up.