The journey Claudia Bloom takes from Austin, Texas, to Santa Cruz, California, from student to teacher, from tart to something a little sweeter, has a piquant, edgy charm.

The former film student says "In theater we're taught that people are only as interesting as their current crisis." By that definition, Claudia's life is a page-turning mess. The guy she's attracted to is married, she's wanted for auto theft and she has no home. She's been hired to teach college drama but has no experience. She's terrified of failure and fears she landed the job more by fluke than talent.

But Claudia has more going for her than she thinks, and uncovering her hidden strengths is half the fun of this highly entertaining novel. The other half is just hanging out with this smart and sassy heroine. (Jul., 320 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison