by Heather Cochran

September 2004
ISBN: 0-373-25069-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

While others have grown up and left the tiny town of Pinecob, West Virginia, twenty-five year old Leanne Gitlin has remained home with her widowed mother and disabled brother, Beau Ray. She keeps busy watching over her family, working at the county clerkís office, and overseeing the fan club of hunky actor Joshua Reed.

When a drunk driving charge lands Joshua in Leanneís home for ninety days under house arrest, the entire town of Pinecob is suddenly bitten by Hollywood fever. That is everyone except Leanne. The heartthrob prince of her dreams turns out to be a rude, unappreciative toad of an actor.

As the months go by, Leanne and Joshua discover new things about themselves and each other. Joshua learns the importance of healthy relationships and family, and Leanne learns that leaving home is often a big part of growing up.

Witty and unforgettable, Mean Season is a story from which dreams are made. It enthralls from the very first sentence and leaves the reader with a pleasure inducing thought, what if it were me? The answer Ė if Tom Cruise were under house arrest in my home, I definitely wouldnít have time to read.

Mean Seasonís characters are arresting and likeable. Even when Joshua stands atop his pedestal, itís still impossible to dislike him because itís then that one remembers the quality time he spent with Beau Ray. Leanne is a warm-hearted innocent who is maybe even too kind for the entire world. It is inspiring to watch her as she changes into the person she should have always been without losing any of her gentle spirit.

Perhaps the best message of Mean Season is that mean doesnít always have to be only a stereotypical bad thing. Sometimes, things happen which arenít so great, there are people in life who arenít so nice Ė elements of life which are mean; these things inspire people to dig within themselves and change for the better.

And for that important lesson which is delivered in an entertaining, thought provoking way, Heather Cochran deserves major props as a writer to be read in the 21st century.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Natasha.

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