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Late in this raw, blistering coming-of-age novel set in an unnamed Ohio city, Mikal Fanon observes that most 16- to 17-year-olds try lots of roles, discard most and move on, but "I happened to have worn a costume with consequences." The "costume" that the rootless teen tries on is a violently right-wing group, the Fifth Reich, led by the charismatic Richard Lovecraft. Mikal learns to spout the slogans, gets the de rigueur "tats" (i.e., tattoos) and stomps whatever poor victims the group despises. Singer (Chasing the Wolf) evokes with rare passion the tumultuous confusions and conflicts as teens seek to work out their racial and sexual identities. Though other major characters, like a beautiful black girl, Niani Shange, who alternately attracts and repels Mikal, aren't sufficiently fleshed out, readers will find Mikal's erratic passage through a rough adolescence both vivid and compelling. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.