Chocolates for Breakfast
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Chocolates for Breakfast

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  560 ratings  ·  80 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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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!
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
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...more
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...more

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...more
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
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...more
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...more
Rayna  (Poindextrix)
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...more
Kayla West
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...more
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...more
This is the story of Courtney Farrell, the daughter of Sondra, a fading Hollywood actress, and Robbie, a wealthy publisher. Her parents are divorced and she attends an all girls boarding school. While at the school, she develops a crush on her English teacher, Miss Rosen, and the two become friends. However, both Courtney's best friend Janet and the school faculty disapprove of the relationship - which has definite lesbian overtones - and the two have to break off their friendship. Depressed, Co...more
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...more
A coming-of-age story set in 1950s Hollywood and New York. Fifteen-year-old Courtney Farrell leaves boarding school to live with her actress mother and attend public school. However, she's pretty much left to her own devices and under the influence of her freind Janet, finds herself hanging out with twenty-something men, staying out all night and developing a taste for martinis - very dry. This novel is very of its time, and a teenage world of deb balls and cocktail dresses that has all but vani...more
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
Long before Gossip Girl and its gaggles of precocious alcoholic teenagers, there was Pamela Moore's Chocolates for Breakfast. First published in 1956, the novel centers on 15-year-old Courtney Farrell, just pulling out of a failed crush on a teacher at her boarding school in New York. She then moves to Los Angeles to live with her movie-actress mother, where she spends her days with her mother's adult friends who pour her vodka drinks at 11 a.m. "To Courtney," they toast, "May she always rise la...more
I thought this was a marvelous book. The writing is phenomenal, and to think that the author published this when she was just 18. I wish I could write just as well. There are some beautifully turned phrases that I absolutely loved (can't quote them right now because I don't have the book with me) but they were too insightful, especially for a girl of 18 to be writing them. Because of this book, I plan on reading Bonjour Tristesse very soon.

A lot of online reviews say this is kind of like a pre-...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...more
Lindsey Marolt
A fascinating novel, dealing with identity, gender, sexuality, morality, and growing up. A child of divorce, Courtney grew up taking care of her temperamental actress mother, and not seeing much of her father. Deprived of a real childhood, she is a confused adolescent, more mature than she should be, and aspiring to a rather skewed ideal of adulthood. At the beginning of the story, Courtney is fifteen with schoolgirl crush on her boarding school teacher, Miss Rosen, and she ages to seeming matur...more
This is one of those forays I tend to take into genres I don't typically read. I can't remember what caused me to chose this book and having read it I must write that it was a book that still pops into my thoughts even a week later. Courtney Farrell is a 15 (?) year old nascent alcoholic who smokes like my grandmother did. I found myself several times during the narrative having to remind myself that the book was written in 1956.

Courtney's parents are divorced - her father a NY publisher, her mo...more
Youth, sex and debauchery collide in a reprinted novel penned by an author as interesting as her wild, dead-eyed heroine.

Pamela Moore’s Chocolates for Breakfast is. . . crazed. Frenetic. Haunting. First released in 1956, Moore herself was only 18 years old when it reached publication. She would take her own life less than a decade later, already struggling to recreate the success of her explosive first novel, and it’s hard to separate Pamela from Courtney, her beautiful and morose main character...more
There are books that have stayed with me for years, causing a shift in my thinking, making me see things a little differently, and taking me into a world that I want to leave, but I’m somehow drawn to stay and linger for a while. This book is reminiscent of , The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, and Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks. It’s such a great book, and deserves to be republished again!

What I love about Pamela Moore‘s writing is how easy her writing flows...more
Kim Fay
I probably would have given this novel 5 stars if I hadn't read it in the wake of The Dud Avocado. While many feel that Chocolates was America's answer to Bonjour Tristesse, I disagree - Avocado is (in my opinion). All were written by women not yet twenty years old, all reveal young women far more sophisticated than their years, but while Avocado has a lovely insouciance about its seriousness, Chocolates is quite grim beneath the light touch of its prose. The story of a teenage girl who shuttles...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"Chocolates for Breakfast" was originally released in the late-1950s. It is being re-released this summer by Harper Perennial(and with good reason).
This book both captures the time in which it was written but there are definitely some timeless qualities to this book. I think modern readers are going to find a lot to like about this book.

This book is a coming of age story and definitely on the darker side. Courtney is only a teenager but she's pretty much alone in the world. Her family seems to s...more
It takes a moment to adjust your perception of your current world and situation and rewind in your mind what the world was like almost 60 years ago during the 1950s, and the mindset of people there. People were so different back then, they acted different and spoke differently and thought differently than we do now. But also, there are a lot of similarities too, especially between how one may feel growing up as a teenager in the 2000s versus the 1950s, and that's one of the things that makes thi...more
This was a great book and I am so glad that the decision was made to reprint it. The book includes a couple of sections at the end that really enhance the story. Pamela Moore wrote and published this book in the 50's when she was only 19. It was very risque for the time period because it dealt with many adult themes that are commonplace today. The book opens with Courtney Farrell, age 16, at a private prep school and her roommate, Janet, laying nude on her bed, chiding Courtney about her crush o...more
I went into this book knowing nothing about it other then it was being re-released and would be perfect for Throwback Thursday. I found out that it was written by the author when she was 18 and was really the only successful book that she had published Tragically, she committed suicide when she was 26. In addition to the story, the re-release contains extra content at the back of the book. I found the section about the author very interesting as well as about the book. If read anything, you shou...more
Angel Suarez
This book was provocative and really modern for its age (the book was published in 1965). I enjoyed the worlds that Courtney lived in (Hollywood vs. New York City), and Moore's writing allowed me to feel same disillusionment of the glitz and glam of those places today. The progression of Courtney's character was as dismal as the reality of adulthood. I felt that her depression was a little too elongated for the novel and made the pace of the novel slow, even though I read the book in three days....more
I picked this up for some light summer reading and spent a day on it--at 250 pages, it's a very quick and easy read, and definitely entertaining. this book wasn't in print when I was at the target demographic age, so I feel a little unfair giving it three stars considering I probably would have appreciated it more ten years ago. thinking back to my teenage years, I think the book's themes of attempting to come of age gracefully, shifting parent-child dynamics, and the depression that can accompa...more
This was covered on Jezebel so I had added to to my "to read" list back when I first read the article. I ordered it when it was on sale with Apple books and was pleasantly surprised. It starts slow but really picks up when the main character goes to Los Angeles. I was impressed that an 18 year old wrote this and was able to do a great job of conveying a character's growth. It is very reminiscient of The Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye and can be melodramatic at times but overall it was an intere...more
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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.” 1 likes
“That's the hell of sand castles. They are always doomed. That's part of their beauty — their impermanence.” 0 likes
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