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Chocolates for Breakfast

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,079 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
Not much known about author Pamela Moore, who it seems was about 18 years old when she wrote this novel. Story of 15-year-old Courtney Farrell who goes from a well-established boarding school to life as a New York City and Hollywood debutante.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 25th 2007 by Harper Collins (first published 1956)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 13, 2013 Luana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non capisco – e tantomeno penso che capirò mai – il meccanismo per il quale alcuni libri finiscano nel dimenticatoio mentre altri rimangano scintillanti sotto le luci della ribalta. Gli alcuni libri di cui parlo, naturalmente, sono libri che valgono la pena di essere letti, che hanno conosciuto momenti di fama e hanno poi perduto del tutto seguito.. Non mi preoccupo infatti di quei libri che, smaniosi della meritata fama del più forte, nell’orgia assassina della catena letteraria defraudano i pe ...more
mark monday
read during my College Years.

I Remember: a girl comes of age in trashy 50s Los Angeles by way of sleazy Hollywood and its sleazier residents... a light, fast read... shallow, overly snarky, homophobic... a brightly-hued & fluffy bit of nihilism... somewhat enjoyable, often fun in a pulpy sort of way... the best-selling Less Than Zero of its generation... women can be sexist too!... apparently the author published the novel at age 18... and committed suicide at age 26. sad!
Book Concierge

Courtney Farrell is a 15-year-old boarding school student with divorced bicoastal parents. She has little interaction with her parents (they actually forget about her over spring break, leaving her alone at school for a couple of days), so her only advice comes from Janet, her roommate and best friend; well, her only friend. After a breakdown Courtney leaves school and moves to Hollywood with her actress mother. Proximity doesn’t provide any more parental influence, however. She is basically lef
Feb 05, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So not only did Pamela Moore write an incredible book, but she wrote an incredible, taboo, feminist book about growing up when she was only 18 years old and living in the socially conservative 1950’s. That’s a pretty powerful act if you ask me, and you can be damn sure that Chocolates for Breakfast made the banned books list in about 0.5 seconds flat. (A compliment, in case you didn’t already know).

This book is pretty dark and probably not my first recommendation for the glass-is-half-fullers o
Ellyn Oaksmith
This book is the 1950's version of Gossip Girl, with classic drunken socialites kicked out of boarding school, slouching their way towards Bethlehem and generally behaving badly. It's a booze soaked world swirling in cigarette smoke where parents are ineffectual, children are given unlimited spending money and New York seems to fall at their feet. In other words, it's great fun.

Reading this book I was continually mesmerized by the age of the author: 18. (This is a reissue - it was contemporary a
Nov 01, 2013 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction

This is a reissue of a novel published in 1956. At the time it was scandalous with its teenaged characters drinking and carousing about unfettered by rules or morals or parents.

The book itself was written by 18 year old Pamela Moore who shockingly ended her life at age 26.

The characters, the plot, all reminded me of The Valley of the Dolls somehow. It is very easy to overlook that most of the characters in the book are 17 years old. I can see why it would have been such a scandalous book in the
Bill Kupersmith
Mar 30, 2016 Bill Kupersmith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me-emma
I was drawn to this book about a teenage girl because it was published when I was a teenage boy & indeed the idiom brought back the 50s wonderfully: “ it’s a blast” “have a ball” “making out” “weenie” “that’s a drag” “out of it” - as well as some of the little details, like the new white luggage Courtney’s mother buys for their return to New York. I can’t recall wanting to read Chocolates for Breakfast then but I know I didn’t. I read Bonjour Tristesse, tho’ I had no idea who was this Bergso ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Bert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The perfect book to read at 'cocktail hour'. Frothy, catty, glamorous and absolutely soaked in alcohol.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Written by an 18-year old girl who started at Barnard College at 16, Chocolates for Breakfast is a sad, frenetic, pensive, self-indulgent, and deliciously dramatic novel of the late 1950s, Hollywood, and that horrible transition from child to adult.

Set in 1956, the novel follows Courtney Farrell, who at 15 is pulled out of her posh Connecticut boarding school when the school notifies her parents of Courtney's depression. Courtney is nursing a sapphic crush on a school teacher (which may or may n
Jun 12, 2013 Natalie rated it it was ok
I saw a review for this and it sounded intriguing. And then, lo and behold, it was on the free table at work so I snatched it up. It was... ok. I liked it. It was an easy enough read. But all I can think is that it was kind of Catcher in the Rye meets Bret Easton Ellis... via Judy Blume? It just kind of wandered around in the guise of a coming of age story. But she never really seems to find herself? I dunno. I can't put my finger on exactly what I thought of this. But, I do really enjoy reading ...more
Amanda Harris
This easily became an all time favorite! I picked this up in a used bookstore while visiting Chicago and that experience paired with the history of this novel really added to the experience of reading it. Originally published in 1954, this story is still relevant to today's culture. Pamela Moore was truly ahead of her time. I thoroughly enjoyed the Foreword which sheds light on the republication of this book (thank goodness!) and a brief insight about the author and how this novel parallels part ...more
Jacqueline Masumian
This book is not great literature, but interesting given its time frame. It is the story of a 15-year-old girl who, due to the neglect of her self-absorbed movie star mother, becomes enmeshed in a world of sex, cigarettes, and alcohol in Los Angeles and later New York City. When the book came out in 1956, it was thoroughly shocking and a best seller. Unfortunately, seen in the light of current literature, the characters are paper thin, the plot plods from party to love nest to party, and the pro ...more
Sharon Chance
This was quite a different novel for me. For one thing, it was originally published in 1956, so the viewpoint of the story is unique to that era. The characters' actions and personalities are so different than that of today - it was interesting to see the differences.

The subject matter was a little tough - a young girl, basically ignored by her self-absorbed parents, has all the symptoms of a severally depressed young person, yet no one can recognize her need for help for all their own selfish
Rayna  (Poindextrix)
Jun 13, 2013 Rayna (Poindextrix) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bea
I received an ARC of the Harper Perennial edition that will be released with additional material and my review reflects that. Review originally published at

Pamela Moore originally wrote Chocolates for Breakfast in 1957 (when she was only eighteen) and it was widely read and acclaimed for a number of years before going out of print and slipping from our collective consciousness. Until now. Harper Perennial is reissuing it with a number of extras (like biog
Kayla West
Jun 24, 2013 Kayla West rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chocolates for Breakfast by Pamela Moore is a book after my own heart and soul. I chose it, mainly because it stood for something so completely different than what I read, and because of the title. The title is intriguing and sucks you in (or at least it did me) to the story at hand. A story of the link between childhood and adulthood. That moment every teenager reaches where they are in limbo between both of those worlds. Not quite in one, but not quite part of the other.

Chocolates for Breakfas
David Streever
I really loved this book; maybe one of my favorites this year, and that includes some really remarkable fiction.

I've read the entire original American version, the deleted portions, and parts of the altered later version first published in French.

The original, with the censored material, seems the best version.

That this book was shocking speaks volumes about our society. The author, at eighteen, grasped childhood, the role of parents and children, better than many older and more experienced writ
Aug 09, 2014 Bridget rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nope
I got about 1/2 way through this book and had to stop because I was so bored. I kept reading for as long as I did because of the biographical details of the author were fairly compelling (she wrote this at 18! she killed herself shortly thereafter!)and I felt like I should cut her some slack. But no...
Comparing this to The Dud Avocado is insulting to Dundy because there just isn't anything in the writing that compels me to keep reading, no style and no substance.
Maybe I'll come back to this at
Sep 13, 2013 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not about Chocolate or eating it for breakfast. No mention whatsoever in the book. You might think one would have an eating problem but no...many other addictions though. I think the name of this book is very symbolic of addiction and waywardness and many more things this book was actually about. Bad parenting and social peer pressure can be added to the mix.

Courtney victim of divorce and being sent to elite boarding school, get's the raw end of the deal with being raised, growing up an
Jan 09, 2016 Latanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worth-the-paper
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gigi Scott
And we thought today's generation was in trouble! A great trip back in time (circa the 50s). A tale of decadence, self-indulgence, self-absorbence, youth gone wrong, old Hollywood, lots of alcohol, young sex, and tragedy. A mesh of all that is at the end, a very dry martini (a constant reference in the book). Chocolates for breakfast, indeed (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Sue Kozlowski
Okay. Reminded me of Breakfast at Tiffany's. The amazing thing is that it was written by an 18-yr-old. Amazing the insight she had! This book was out of print and was brought back. Coming of age story of Courtney, a rich, private school student with divorced, dysfunctional parents. The author killed herself at the age of 26.
Gosia Labno
Similar to Valley of the Dolls, but the girls are younger and there is very little character growth. Risqué for its time but no longer shocking. Exactly the book you expect to be written by a privileged girl with writer parents who ends up taking her own life.
Jule Hack
Es tut gut, wenn man nach längerer (erzwungener) Lesepause wieder damit anfängt. Wenn es dann aber etwas so berauschendes und erfrischendes ist, wie „Cocktails“, ist die Leselust wieder vollends entfacht! Ich musste beim Lesen immer wieder innehalten und kurz nachdenken, stammte es doch aus den 50er Jahren, traf thematisch aber genau den Puls der Zeit. Ich habe nicht nur meine Generation darin wieder erkannt, sondern auch die meiner Eltern. Deswegen ist dieses Buch wohl auch ein moderner Klassik ...more
May 31, 2015 Shelley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
What I especially liked about Chocolates for Breakfast is that the young author is clearly making her own choices to live her life the way she did. It's sad that she made some of those choices, and in reality she later took her own life as a result, but I respect her right to make her own decisions.

I remember being 16, 17, 18 years old, long ago, and remember thinking I already knew everything about life. When you feel jaded and cynical at a young age you lack perspective and consequently tend
Cathy Klein
I will admit that it is the title of this book that first sparked my attention. Never judge a book by its cover, right? Well, never judge a book by it's title either. Based on the title, I thought it might be a light hearted book about a couple of socialites trying to make their way. Instead, it was a much more intense and somewhat dark tale of coming of age.

Courtney is hid away at boarding school for most of her childhood due to her folks' lack of interest in putting aside their needs in order
Dec 20, 2013 TinHouseBooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-we-love
Victoria Savanh (Editorial Intern, Tin House Magazine): Pamela Moore’s Chocolates for Breakfast, a controversial 1956 bestseller, was reissued earlier this year, and I was sold on it after reading Emma Straub’s enthusiastic foreword. This novel did indeed make me swoon, and I’ve been suggesting it to anyone who loves The Bell Jar. Courtney Farrell, a fifteen year-old who has grown up too fast, leaves her elite East coast boarding school to Hollywood, to live with her struggling actress mother, t ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More enjoyable than you might think given a summary of the book and comparisons to works like the Dud Avocado. Chocolates for Breakfast is in the category of books I read between high-brow, intellectual works or non-fiction, along with Rona Jaffe and Mary McCarthy. Pamela Moore was young, precocious, and clearly had a spark of brilliance that comes across in this, her first novel. Is it schmaltzy and melodramatic, designed to shock? Yep, and that's why I love it.

If you like this, you might also
Deborah Pickstone
This book is a favourite of mine, despite being not especially well written. This is because it submerged me in the process of the spiral of despair experienced by so many people who come to feel alienated from....humanity, I guess. Hopelessness. And, historically, it actually says that incest and child sexual abuse can happen in 'good' families.

In other words, she didn't gloss over the truth of misery. For it's great authenticity of feeling I put it into an all time fave category though it is h
Over all, I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I enjoyed this book very much. I think this book is one of those book that will always be relevant. Being that the subject matter will always be relevant, this book is about depression, the struggle to find yourself, sexuality and the very real struggle in life to grow up.

I was surprised when Janet ended her life and of course sadden. I was secretly rooting for Anthony and Courtney to some how work out but you can't "change a tiger's stripes" and
Aug 19, 2014 Olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very enchanting; something that I wish to re-read at some point later. This novel focuses on a young woman named Courtney, who is attempting to not figure out the throes of growing up. Along with things that make you smile, this fact also makes you want to cry.

What's so interesting about this is the fact that it was written in 1956, put out of print, and then revisited just a little while ago. The subject of sex, although, obviously known about, was quite scandalous in literature,
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1964 TIME Obituary: Fledgling novelist who hit the bestseller lists at 18 with Chocolates for Breakfast, describing a girl's first bittersweet taste of adult pleasures and problems, but had less success with a second novel, and tound her inkwell dry part way through her third, about a washed-up writer who puts a rifle to her head; by her own hand (.22-cal. rifle); in Manhattan.
More about Pamela Moore...

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“Oh, Al, shut up! Stop criticizing me! First I'm criticized for being a prude and sounding like a social worker or something, then I'm criticized for looking like a cheap broad. How am I supposed to live? Under the water or something, coming up only to say 'I beg your pardon if I disturb you by coming up for air. I'll do my best to remain submerged.” 2 likes
“That's the hell of sand castles. They are always doomed. That's part of their beauty — their impermanence.” 2 likes
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