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Fans of Make Lemonade and True Believer have been eager for the final episode of this verse trilogy, to see where Wolff takes her protagonist, LaVaughn. For a while it seems as if LaVaughn's good heart and tenacity have been cleanly rewarded: she wins a spot in a highly selective program for underprivileged girls planning on careers in medical science. Although focused on her future, she remains acutely aware of others' struggles: her friend Annie gets pregnant; she learns that Jolly, the single mother whose children she babysits, was abandoned in infancy; and she regrets spurning brilliant Patrick ("And I never found out if he forgave me/ for being mean and childish and not noticing I was"). Even Dr. Moore, the inspiring woman who founded the medical science program, turns out to have a blistering secret in her past. Struggling to "act according to your conscience/ even when you don't want to," LaVaughn finds herself in murky ethical waters when Wolff contrives a very big coincidence for her to address. The steady, sympathetic characterizations more than compensate for the unlikely plot twist, however, and the trilogy closes warmly, sagely and, yes, even triumphantly. Ages 14-up. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.