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Notes From The Backseat (Red Dress Ink Novels) Paperback – January 1, 2008

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Her characters are confused, believable, and utterly human, which is one of the main reasons the book strikes so many lonely, bewildered and true notes. --Publishers Weekly on Summer in the Land of Skin

Jody Gehrman writes with a poet s vigilance and a comic s wit....In between laughing breaks, you ll appreciate the keen eye Gehrman trains on life s small, fine, bitter moments. --Kim Green, author of Paging Aphrodite

Gehrman s enjoyable novel is as sharp and observant as the title suggests. --Booklist on Summer in the Land of Skin

About the Author

Jody Gehrman teaches writing at Mendocino College in Northern California. Unlike her heroine, she has never perused Victoria s Secret in class, she s never had a crush on a student and she is well aware that syllabi cannot be purchased on Amazon. Notes from the Backseat is her third novel. Visit her at

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Product Details

  • Series: Red Dress Ink Novels
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Red Dress Ink (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373895488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373895489
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,468,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jody Gehrman is a native of Northern California, where she can be found writing, teaching, reading, or obsessing over her three cats most days. She is also the author of ten novels and numerous award-winning plays. Her Young Adult novels include The Truth About Jack, Audrey's Guide to Black Magic, Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft, Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love. Babe in Boyland was optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association's Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are Bombshell, Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English and Communication Studies at Mendocino College.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Yarnell on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
About the author: Jody is not only a wonderful person with a beautiful soul... she's also an immensely talented writer. This book "Notes from the Backseat" was so well written. In this book, the characters come to life and you can almost picture yourself there, sharing the emotions of gwen and dannika and all the others... it takes a certain type of author to make a story come to life. Jody Gehrman *is* that type of author. Each character in this book was shaped so well, these were people you could easily picture yourself loving or being completely annoyed with as you came across them on the street or at a party; walking through your daily life.

About the book: Gwen's got a problem, her boyfriend has invited his best friend along for this road trip up the California coast. You would think Gwen would have nothing to worry about, but this, so-called best friend is tall, slender and gorgeous. Our leading lady Gwen... is a thin, petite roughin' and toughin' vintage fashionista, herself... who loves to flaunt her leopard print car coat and Jackie-O shades... Gwen has some serious jealousy and self esteem issues to deal with. (You can relate so well to this character... Gwen's emotions are real.) So while her boyfriend and his best friend, the gorgeous Dannika Winters chat it up in the frontseat on this roadtrip, Gwen stews and scribbles out her emotions on paper in the backseat of this classic convertible, while driving up the coast on highway 1, with the sea breezes ruffling her hair and the smell of salt water tickling her senses and thwarting her emotions... I could think of far worse situations to be in while venting some emotions. Gwen shares her story in a letter format, which is so incredibly fun to read! ...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Hills on January 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
One might think from the cover that this is just another chick lit book to be devoured like good chocolate and laid aside forever. However, despite the publisher's choice of cover this book falls squarely in the well-developed-characters end of the genre.

(Read the book and see that the heroine wears KITTEN heels...not stilletos...C'mon people, it's a major character defining point, here, not just your average footwear decision!...She also worries far too much about her figure for those to be her legs...I could write a separate rant about this choice of cover, but...nevermind...)

Gwen, a Jackie O fashion junkie, is traveling by car up the coast to a wedding with her boyfriend of 3 months, the delicious Coop. We wouldn't have a story, though, without a conflict, and the conflict arrives in the form of one of Coop's oldest and dearest friends, the freakishly perfect yoga goddess, Dannika. Dannika is hell-bent on breaking up the two, as she secretly (or not so secretly sometimes) pines for the luscious Coop herself. Throw in a flamboyantly gay actor stuck in the sleepy tourist town of Mendocino, a couple of anarchist-type hippies, and the obligatory parents (crazy in ideosyncratic ways) and you know what happens...

High jinks ensue.

This book goes beyond the usual chick lit fare with a setting that is spot-on (I live in Mendocino County), a heroine that is unique (but who we can relate to), a luscious boyfriend who is all too human, and side characters who could carry their own books. Read this book. Buy it for everyone you know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on January 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Marla has always thought her best friend Gwen was perfect. After all, who could pull off the vintage Jackie O look better than she can? Even in high school Gwen had her own unique sense of style, and she had pulled it off with aplomb. So why is her best friend falling apart when she's in a stable relationship with a guy who adores her? Marla gives Gwen a journal she found at a drugstore so that she could write every detail of her life. Gwen gives her diary for Marla to read while she's in Paris, meeting her future in-laws. It turns out that Gwen has a big problem: her boyfriend Coop's best friend Dannika. Dannika is not only famous, but she is blond, leggy and gorgeous, and she seems to want Coop all to herself. This is a big issue for Gwen, who is terrified of being cheated on, which is why she has ended all of her previous relationships. She dumps them before the inevitable happens. Coop is perfect for her. He loves her very much. Will she dump him before he leaves her for Ms. She-Devil in Prada?

I knew I'd enjoy this from the moment I read the opening chapter. Jody Gehrman has a unique writing style and she engages you from beginning to end. She also has a great chick-lit voice that is refreshing and wonderful. The characters are very real, especially Gwen. I could relate to her fear of being cheated on because I've struggled with the same things myself, and I couldn't help but nod in agreement with her diary entries. I cannot imagine having a woman like Dannika as a rival, even if she was an ugly duckling while in high school. I would have liked to read more of Marla, but Gehrman showed a unique form of using the perspective of two different women. I enjoyed Notes from the Backseat and recommend it. I look forward to reading more stuff by Gehrman.
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