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Riding in Cars with Boys: Confessions of a Bad Girl Who Makes Good Paperback – January 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (January 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140156291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140156294
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Donofrio, a rebellious policeman's daughter, details her promiscuity and drug abuse, early pregnancy and brief marriage, and eventual success as a freelance journalist. "In this humor-flecked, street-side view of her unconventional life, Donofrio . . . writes about a mother and her son coming of age together," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Donofrio's poignant 1960s memoir features the silent majority of teenagers and young people who didn't protest or go to Vietnam or attend the Summer of Love, but who did what teens do no matter how turbulent the times: they have sex, rebel, hang out, drink, smoke, and just generally try to have as good a time as possible. That's what Donofrio did, at least until she got pregnant before graduating from high school, was married (briefly) and divorced, and ended up rearing a small son alone and on welfare. Today she has a master's degree, lives in New York City, has raised a son without visible scars, and is a writer. Donofrio's funny, heartwarming story will especially appeal to every similar child of the 1960s who, despite barriers and a lack of encouragement, safely made the passage to adulthood. Reminiscent in style and content (though covering different eras) of Betsy Israel's Grown-up Fast: A True Story of Teenage Life in Suburban America (Poseidon, 1988). Highly recommended.
- Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Lib., Seaside, Cal.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A fantastic life story and written in a unique way.
Chez
Like the sub title says, Bev was a bad girl who eventually made good.
elizabeth
It is hard to like the author/main character of this book.
Karen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Setterfield on September 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
My curiosity was piqued while watching previews for the movie version of Riding In Cars With Boys. I remember thinking it would make a great book. Well, imagine my surprise.... Reading this book started off like a trip down High School Lane. The further I read, however, I realized I was just a mere goody-two-shoes in comparison.
Beverly Donofrio, raised in a typical family home, was a smart girl. But something happened along the way, and before we know it, Beverly is a rebellious boy-crazy teenager getting felt up in the back seats of cars and drinking. With no hopes of going to college in sight, Beverly stops trying in school, trying to please her parents, trying in general. Ending up pregnant, married and divorced by 19, Beverly begins a journey of drugs, sex, alcohol and parties, all with her son in tow.
Riding In Cars With Boys is the story of a girl who craves attention while eluding responsibilities, about growing up while raising a child, about innocence lost too early. May be a triumphant novel in some aspects by book's end, and the long row to hoe in order to get there holds many lessons. Would be an excellent read for a teen on the brink of adulthood -- what better way to tell them how NOT to live than with this book. Excellent writing by Beverly Donofrio, and what guts to tell it like it is.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tara on November 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I didn't know what to expect going into this book but once I started I couldn't put it down. I was astonished at Bev's behavior and they way she treated her son as well as herself. There were even many moments when I wanted to reach into the book and shake her silly. In the end I applauded her for who she became and what she overcame.
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who has a teenager that thinks they know it all and there are very little consequences to having sex, doing drugs and thinking school is unimportant.
I know my children will be reading this book on day w/my encouragement.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Saradele on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Engrossing autobiography and quick read about a woman who grows up while raising her son. This well-written book is not only about the author's journey as a mother, but also about her maturing relationship with her strict Italian parents. Donofrio writes candidly about her teenage pregnancy and how it impacted her relationships and life goals (such as pursuing a college education). She does not shy away from her mistakes, recalling freely the impact that her self-indulgent hippie days had on her young son. Yet she allows readers to view her story through their own moral lenses. Interesting account of a rugged individual doing her best with the hand she was dealt.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S Cook on July 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Everyone knew a girl like Beverly Donofrio in school, completely and totally boy crazy. Well, things caught up to her during her senior year of highschool when she found herself pregnant and about to marry the father before even graduating.
The marriage proved to be short-lived and Beverly and her son were out on their own. But Beverly continued to live her life, just dragging her son Jason along for the ride. She felt she was going to raise him right, unlike her parents had her. Soon enough all her friends had moved away and she needed more from life than what she was currently receiving. That is when she remembers her dream from childhood- to become a famous author. Through the help of a therapist, she finds aid and is sent to a college for troubled individuals. This is what she needed and she thrives on it. She works hard to keep her grade point average high and soon enough has earned herself a scholarship into Wesleyan University.
After graduation she moves herself and her son to New York to become the star she knew she was destined to become. Time quickly passes and it is her son's turn to head off to college. Beverly is left alone to reflect on her life and what has brought her to that point. She even comes to realize that her son has been a blessing rather than the disaster she had previously always believed.
A very charming story that all but speeds by.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By elizabeth on May 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was dying to read this book when i heard about the movie. I had planned on reading before i saw the movie, but it never worked out that way. As usual, the movie varies greatly from Bev's novel. This is a really quick read that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Bev is an outspoken rebelious girl who ends up pregnant the first time she has sex at the age of 17. What follows is a great story about her relationship with her family and her son. Like the sub title says, Bev was a bad girl who eventually made good. The reader finds inspiration through Bev's determination for a second chance. We see that because we screw up once does not mean we are doomed by our mistakes, but can turn our lives around and lead the life we always wanted. This is not simply a inspirational biography, but a novel with humor, quick wit, and great insight. I highly reccommend this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Budd on November 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Beverly Donofrio has written a touching memoir of her life as a teen parent. She shares her struggles, feelings, and hopes for the future. Riding in Cars With Boys, is a candid look at parenting through a teens eye.
Donofrio does not have a 'typical' relationship with her son, Jason. Beverly, a mother before her time, was by most accounts, wild, reckless and a haphazard parent. In her true essence, Beverly did everything in excess: drugs, alcohol, sex, and rebellion!
Motherhood was a curse for Beverly; she could barely look after herself, let alone a child. Jason was often dirty, neglected, and left to his own devices. However, an important question must be raised; how did Beverly and Jason survive?
Amidst the chaos and confusion there was a great bond forged between Jason and Beverly. A traditional parent-child relationship...no, a relationship with love...yes. Riding in Cars With Boys takes the reader on Donofrio's path through motherhood and discovering that her life was not ruined, rather enriched.
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