An unfortunately titled first novel that doesn't quite meet its goals, ''Kitty'' explores the underside of those popular party-girl chick-lit books. Sadly, the theme here seems to be that if there are consequences to starting every day selfish and stoned, those on the periphery feel them most. Lee, a beautiful, drug-addicted restaurant manager, tries to come to terms with her mother's death by spending wildly, loving unwisely, then seeking redemption through art. And while Lee's trajectory ultimately lands her nearer to maturity, there's something cathartic (satisfyingly sadistic?) in watching her bump her head. Libaire is talented, no question, and hating her heroine doesn't prevent us from appreciating her work -- but it does make it hard to love.