High-school senior Barbara Ann Greene has a lot to overcome to reach her dreams to be popular, get a job, find a husband, and maybe even be a movie star: she's poor, her parents are divorced, and her mother is a cocktail waitress. Right beside her, though, is her best friend and Svengali, Alan. He helps her get 12 cashmere sweaters, a job in the principal's office, spring break at Balboa, and more. Along the way, the satire bites teen mores, beach-blanket bikini movies, adults in charge, the country-club set, Christian-youth programs, older men's fantasies, and teen girls' innocence. How popular will Barbara Ann become, and what lengths will Alan go to get her there?