The Only Girl in the Car by Kathy Dobie
A Memoir

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The Only Girl in the Car

Bookworm and dreamer, Kathy was a young girl with a tender heart, an adventurer’s spirit, and a child’s terrible confusion about her proper place in the world. As the oldest daughter in a family of six children, she seemed trapped in her role as Big Sister and Mommy’s Helper. Then, one day, teetering on the brink of adolescence, hormones surging, she heard someone call her “cheesecake,” and suddenly saw her path.

“Cheesecake, jailbait, sex kitten”--the very words seemed to be “doors opening” to a splendid new self. But from the moment she decides to lose her virginity and reels in her prey, a “full-grown man,” fourteen-year-old Kathy is headed for trouble. One cold, raw March night some months later, parked in a car with four boys on the outskirts of her small suburban town, she finds it.

Though she could never have foreseen the outcome of that night, the “boys in the car could just as well have been Gypsies foretelling my future,” she writes. Girls who break the rules in small towns like the one she lived in are expected to pay a very high price for their transgressions--and she did.

And yet...this young girl, as scrappy a protagonist as any in our literature, manages to transform her fate. The story of how she came to be in that car, and how she stepped out of it forever altered, to be sure, yet not forever damaged, is the theme of this extraordinary coming-of-age tale.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Kathy Dobie

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Kathy Dobie has written for Harper’s, The Village Voice, Vibe, Salon, and a number of other magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.From the Hardcover edition.
Published September 29, 2010 by Delta. 242 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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A singular story of a girl who, when she discovered boys in the spring of her 14th year, set her sights on having sex with as many as possible.

Mar 04 2003 | Read Full Review of The Only Girl in the Car: A M...

Entertainment Weekly

Every high school class has one: the ''bad girl'' whose overt sensuality is equally fascinating and frightening to those who feel far less steady in their adolescent bodies.

Mar 28 2003 | Read Full Review of The Only Girl in the Car: A M...


“The Family was an entity,” Dobie notes, “a being with needs and desires, an appetite all its own.

Jul 08 2003 | Read Full Review of The Only Girl in the Car: A M...


The title of Dobie's graceful and disturbing memoir is a snapshot of the author's naïveté as a teenager, when she felt protected and admired by the bad boys of her town.

Mar 17 2003 | Read Full Review of The Only Girl in the Car: A M...

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