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Mean Season (Red Dress Ink Novels) Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Red Dress Ink Novels
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Red Dress Ink; 1ST edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037325069X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373250691
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,664,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The old adage "be careful what you wish for" gets new life in Cochran's sweet, funny debut. Life in tiny Pinecob, W.Va., takes a turn for the wacky when Hollywood heartthrob Joshua Reed, nailed with another DUI, is forced to spend 90 days of house arrest in the home of a local fan. Leanne Gitlin, 25, has loved Joshua since she was 15 and led his fan club for eight years; such relative proximity to glamour makes her stand out in town (where she now works in the county clerk's office) and distracts from the fact that she's never strayed from home and is deeply committed to being the family caretaker, especially for her handicapped brother, Beau Ray. Joshua, with a court-mandated ankle sensor, takes up residence in the room of Leanne's beloved older brother, Vince, who abandoned Pinecob for greener pastures. For the Gitlins, this means TV cameras, drunken fans undressing on their lawn and an overdose of Joshua's bad attitude. In the midst of all this, wise, strong-willed Leanne slowly faces big life choices and long-hidden feelings for old friend Max, who's nursing some new big dreams of his own. The plot's a bit far-fetched, but that's just part of the fun in this poignant, gently comic story about growing up and moving on.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Leanne Gitlin swooned the first time she saw handsome Joshua Reed on General Hospital, and a simple autographed photo request to his publicist, Judy, lands Leanne in the position of running his fan club. It's no big deal until Judy calls to tell Leanne that Joshua will be filming a movie near her hometown of Pinecob, West Virginia. Joshua turns out to be a major jerk and manages to get himself into a minor accident while driving drunk. After Judy pleads his case, the judge sentences him to house arrest rather than jail, but the house he'll be staying at is Leanne's. Predictably, Joshua is a wretched houseguest, bringing out all of Leanne's insecurities about having never attended college or left Pinecob. But she is also starting to think more about actually doing something about her longtime crush on her older brother's friend, who is now a manager at the local grocery store. Cochran's is a warm, engaging, often funny debut. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

The premise becomes plausible, the characters real and the situations heartfelt.
Vicki M
The dramatic situation of Mean Season is immediately interesting, but it's the earthy complexity of the characters that kept me reading.
Rae Hoidahl Brown
This is one of the best books I've read all year and if it doesn't get optioned for a movie I am going to be sorely disappointed.
Maudeen Wachsmith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kristen VINE VOICE on September 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is absolutely one of the best Red Dress Ink books that I have read. Hands down. (And I've read MANY!) At first, the idea of a celebrity moving in (temporarily) with the prez of his fan club in middle of nowhere West Virginia seems kind of corny, right? But Cochran's Mean Season is so much more than what first meets the reader's eye.

We see a protagonist, Leanne, who is struggling to find herself within a dysfunctional family. Her life is as real as it gets--and she doesn't live in L.A. or NYC and doesn't work in publishing. We see the price of fame and fortune and "worldly" success in her houseguest, Josh, who has struggled to overcome similar small-town roots. We see the consequences of small-town life and its positives and negatives. Finally, we see characters who move us and make us appreciate however "together" we might be.

This is a highly entertaining and engaging read. Enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rae Hoidahl Brown on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
The dramatic situation of Mean Season is immediately interesting, but it's the earthy complexity of the characters that kept me reading. The narrator's voice convincingly and appealingly reflects her unsophisticated origins, her native intelligence, and the media-speak that pervades every hollow of our land these days. The elements of any good Cinderella story are here, including a dark side, but Cochran spins them her way to create anticipation and satisfyngly unpredictable outcomes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. McGinty on September 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Because I thought the premise sounded mildly amusing, and the book was given to me, I picked up Mean Season a few weeks ago. I am so glad I did! I was expecting a light book and, when I read where it took place, I expected the typical annoying stereotypes of people in small towns. Not so. Though it at first seems light, the book actually deals with some interesting and important issues, such as finding your purpose in life, developing self esteem, treating others fairly, seizing the moment, and treating your family and friends with love and kindness. It even made me teary-eyed in a few spots. Despite all these layers, though, the book moved quickly and had many genuine laugh-out-loud moments. I heartily recommend Mean Season.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Maudeen Wachsmith VINE VOICE on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
First of all I want to say this: Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and get this book! And keep reading it. It is not mundane as the beginning would have you believe.

What was there not to like about this book? First of all, the main character, Leanne Gitlin is so real. Probably one of the most "real" characters I've ever read about. Her emotions, desires, and dreams were spot on. Leanne has been president of the Joshua Reed fan club for eight years ever since he was a soap opera star and she was a high-school senior. Now Joshua is one of Hollywood's leading men and after all these years she has an opportunity to meet him. Turns out that he is truly a great actor - all that charm was just for the screen whereas in real life he is more of a Colin Farrell-type character, IOW a "bad boy." The limo picks up Leanne in her little town of Pinecob, West Virginia and take her to Harpers Ferry where she meet's Josh's agent, publicist and Josh himself. Trouble is, every other word is the "F" word, he has a surly attitude, and a problem with alcohol. In fact, that very evening gets a DUI when he "borrows" the limo and takes himself on a little drive to the county where Leanne lives - and where she works in the county clerk's office. This is Josh's second DUI and he is placed on house arrest for 90 days --- at Leanne's home where she lives with her mother and her brother Beau Ray who although nearly 30 is brain-injured and has a mind more of a six-year-old. Suffice to say, things do not go smoothly for Josh or Leanne. He isn't happy about being in Pinecob and Leanne isn't exactly happy having him there.

Now, in most books this would turn be a romance between Josh and Leanne, but not this one.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Birkett on October 24, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The publicity suggests that its central premise is about a movie star forced to stay in a fan's house in a small West Virginia town. Maybe I'm snobbish but that put me off and relegated it to the romance category. I was expecting an unlikely story full of clichés and slushy sentimentality. Its central plot is not really about the movie star but a realistic and finely crafted tale of a woman forced to stay home to look after a brain-injured brother and a depressed mother. It is told in a spare pitch-perfect prose with never a wasted word.. I was reminded of Bobby Anne Mason, and even Eudora Welty.

"Back in Momma's worst times I'd call Tommy or Susan for help but neither ever offered to head home for even a week to make dinner or check which bills were least overdue. (That was around the same time the idea of me going off to a full-time college stopped being talked about like it was a good thing, something that might really happen.)"

Even the movie actor angle is not entirely fantastic (especially with Martha Stewart in minimum security in West Virginia). Joshua is a soap opera actor making a movie om location in the area, convicted of a second DUI, and sentenced to house arrest with work and AA release.

I've got to admit that it is warm and fuzzy and ends happily, so that it won't get reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement or the New York Review of Books but it contains better writing than many more pretentious works.
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