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Picks by Christine Brenneman and Elizabeth Costello

Bust Guide

Bust Guide to the New Girl Order
Edited by Marcelle Karp and Debbie Stoller
Penguin Books, 288 pages, $15

With contributors like Courtney Love and Metropolitan's very own Michelle Goldberg, the Bust Guide to the New Girl Order offers up a lengthy and fascinating compilation of articles gleaned from the girl mag of the same name. By turns intellectual, empowering and downright hilarious, this collection has an article to appeal to every woman. An anti-fluff answer to Cosmo for smart, third-wave feminists, the Bust Guide includes a sassy interview with Thurston Moore, a vicious rant against the Lifetime channel and a story in praise of being an aunt instead of a mother. It's feminism lite, sure, but it's incredibly entertaining and snarky. (CB)

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag
By Rebecca Chace
Simon and Schuster, 280 pages, $23

In her first novel, Capture the Flag, actress-memoirist Rebecca Chace attempts to shed new light on the familiar struggle for identity known as adolescence. Protagonist Annie Edwards goes through a number of traumatic events between the ages of 11 and 14, yet she seems to simply collect experiences rather than to learn from them. Chace's writing is at times a bit awkward, and her view of Annie is disturbingly voyeuristic. She invites the reader to watch as Annie experiments with homosexuality and then gets raped by a male friend, only to decide, halfway through the assault, that she likes it. The most striking thing about this novel is the author's projection of an adult sexuality onto the mind and body of a child. Perhaps in that sense this book mirrors the difficulty that teenagers have as they attempt to leave their childhoods behind. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a female Holden Caulfield, Annie Edwards is not your girl. (EC)

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From the September 13, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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