Who wrote this and when?
Beverly D’Onofrio wrote this as the first part of her autobiography and published it in 1990.

Has there been a film version?
Yes, starring Drew Barrymore as D’Onofrio; it was co-produced by the author but is different from the book.

Who are the main characters?
Beverly – a self-proclaimed bad girl who finds herself pregnant in high school and is forced to marry the father of her baby
Jason – Beverly’s son
Ray – Jason’s father
Fay – Beverly’s best friend

What’s it about?
This is the story of how Beverly learned to become an adult. All she’s ever wanted is to be a kid and have fun, but when she gets pregnant before graduating from high school, everything changes. Her policeman father forces her to marry the baby’s dad, Raymond, and the pair move into low-income housing. Beverly does everything she can to escape what she views as a prison of motherhood during the sixties; drugs, sex, wild parties and escapades. But eventually, she decides she wants to make something of herself.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Mostly because of the movie made from it, I believe. It is very good, though.

Do you recommend I read this book?
Yes. It’s wonderfully funny and poignant, but I will warn you. There is a lot of swearing, sex, and drug use in it…it WAS the sixties.

How did this book make your list?
I saw it on the shelf at the RPL.

Has it won any awards?
No.

Personal thoughts:
I had no idea this book was the basis for the Drew Barrymore movie. Unfortunately, it’s one of the rare cases where I liked the movie better than the book. The movie brought you from Beverly’s pregnancy to her maturity in a smoother manner than the book did. Not to say I didn’t enjoy this book – quite the contrary. I gobbled it up. I just couldn’t believe some of the things Bev did, especially with a kid. It was kind of sad because she didn’t have a clue how to raise her son, but at the same time hilarious since you knew she didn’t want to admit she needed to grow up herself. And I was very shocked with her openness about drug use. With all the anti-drug campaigns they have nowadays, I suppose I’m just a greenhorn. The amount of drugs you can do without being permanently brain deficient is astounding. Or maybe Bev just got lucky…

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