Belle in the Big Apple: A Novel with Recipes
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Belle in the Big Apple: A Novel with Recipes

2.21 of 5 stars 2.21  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  38 reviews
When Belle Lee, a vivacious, tart-tongued daughter of Mobile, Alabama, decides that the only way she'll ever make a name for herself as a journalist is to leave the family paper and head to New York,she soon realizes just how daunting life in the big city can be. An outsider desperate to carve a place for herself in the cutthroat world of New York journalism, Belle marches...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Scribner (first published 2008)
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I wanted to like this book . I really wanted to like this book. I picked it up on a whim because it was discounted at Books A Million and I just ran with it. I liked the premise, I myself am doing an internship at a news channel next semester, I've been really into coming of age story involving New York City recently, and I am an English major. The stars were in my favor to like this book.

Now, lets talk about what happened.

From page one it was clear that Belle was a person of privilege, heck i...more
Mama says life is like a box of chocolate. I mean, Mamma makes gumbo. The only enjoyable pages of this book are the recipes.
Hated it!! The writing didn't flow well and I quickly got over the whole "southern girl in the big city" BS.......
Fair warning: Your ability to enjoy this novel will be directly proportionate to your ability to cope with sentences like "White-collar Manhattan is an overly sanitized urban bazaar, Lisa, and I'm just a country girl used to the smells of the county fair." Some people are going to find that sort of thing charming, others aggravatingly precious, and over the course of the novel, maybe a little of both.

There are some typical first-novel problems here; so much time is spent on defining Belle's voic...more
Tina Hayes
Sep 01, 2008 Tina Hayes rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody with taste
Shelves: vine
I was truly disappointed with this book. The main character is a bad caricature of the south (Her name is Belle Lee, for goodness sake, and it gets worse from there) who moves to NYC in hopes of being a news personality. I suppose that was meant to be the plot, though you really can't find one as you read the story.

Belle is supposed to be a debutante from Alabama with a grandfather who owns most of the town, including the newspaper she for which she worked. That said, the author seemed to prefe...more
I got this book on a whim from because it's about the 25-year-old granddaughter of the (fictional) Mobile Constitution gone to NYC to work for the American News Channel (Fox News). And of course I relate as a 20-something journalist about to move to Mobile.

It seemed like it would be a light, breezy, stupid read, but in fact, I was quite impressed with author Brooke Parkhurst's attention to detail and overall intelligence in her writing. It was honest and brazen, not light and...more
Nov 07, 2008 Helen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 08-09
I think I sort of liked this book, but I think it was mostly from the recipes that were there. I found that I rather read something that talked about food then about the life or the main character. But the thing that I liked about this book was that the recipes that the protagonist listed related back to that she was talking about. She gave us or rather me the recipe of what she was talking about, which was really helpful because it showed that I can not only read about what the food was like bu...more
Like a previous poster, I couldn't finish this book either. The character is one dimensional, whiney and otherwise annoying. There is no way to like her, or feel sorry for her predicament. All it is is a book about a spoiled little southern girl who depends on Grandaddy for everything. Ho hum, yawn.
I am tremendously happy that I borrowed this book, and didn't spend a cent on this, otherwise, I may have contacted the author for a refund.
Lacking in Southern charm... Belle leaves her cushy job in Alabama to try her luck in NYC. Of course the position her newspaper-owning grandfather helps her get isn't what she thought it would be. But all works out well in the end, especially with her new boyfriend, whom she met on a visit home. Not being a "foodie," the recipes at the end of each chapter were pretty annoying.
Definitely not impressed with the book. For a small read it took me way to long to read and the only reason I kept reading, beside my need to finish books even if I don't like them, was because of the recipes. I kept trying to figure out the plot and the purpose and then it was like plot, climax, and end all at once. I was disappointed.
Sep 21, 2010 Kourtney rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone from the South who can relate to Belle's upbringing
Recommended to Kourtney by: Barnes and Noble - I'm going back to Amazon!
I read to page 59 and can go no further. This book just is not what I am looking for. I need more action going on - every thought Belle has is so painfully detailed it takes 3 pages for her just to turn around! I've given up on this one and will pass it along to someone who can appreciate it more than I can.
Cute read. Good writing but sometimes her story telling didn't quite flow for me. The ending seemed to happen a little too fast as well. Loved the idea of throwing in recipes for chapters. I really liked the character of Belle, wish Chef had entered in earlier in the book. I'd recommend it for fun to others.
Maybe I just wasn't in the mood? A transplant from a newspaper family in Mobile, Alabama, Belle comes to NYC to make it in print or broadcast media. Premise was promising, a few mildly amusing episodes, but it never really delivered. Even the recipes did not particularly appeal.
This was terrible. It was billed as a chick-lit/girl in the city kind of book and instead it was like the author wanted to write literature instead of fiction. There may or may not have been a good story in there but I just couldn't get past the writing. Left at a bus station.
Valerie Hubert
This book was terrible it was horribly organized and half of the sentences didn't make sense. Also the only thing she talks about for the first 100 pages is how her granddaddy is super rich. Only reason it's getting 2 stars is because the last 30 pages were decent.
really disliked this book - I browsed or skimmed a lot of it - I've read other books that included recipes but this one was mainly that - ONLY recipes! where was the actual substance to the book? the story?!?!?!!? I definitely don't recommend this one.
Although my expectations weren't high, I was still disappointed by this book. The plot is really slow for 90% of the book and then really rushed in the end. (Especially the love story.) But the recipes looks good.
I thought I'd really like this book. I love New York City and the main character was a journalist. But the book started off very slow and never really picked up. I think that it was lacking dialouge. Disappointing.
Jun 04, 2009 Becky rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes recipes and NYC
I felt this book moved slow and abruptly ended. It took Belle the whole book to find a boyfriend and then they are a perfect match. The recipes appear to be fantastic and I'm going to copy a few down to try.
not really sure why I'm reading this book. I saw it at the library and wanted a really light read, but I'm afraid it's never going to pick up.

Awful. Couldn't finish it.
I thought this looked cute, but it wasn't that great. Poorly written and jumps around, adding characters that I didn't know who they were. Cute story overall, but not a must read.
Can you give a book no stars? Abandoned. Could not relate to the Belle character at all. Starts off with a vulgar and racist first few lines. Glad I didn't buy this.
This one fell sort of flat for me -- the story line had a lot of potential, but I think it was not well or fully developed and was therefore unsatisfying.
Quick read. The plot was good, but not what I had expected. The book ended kind of suddenly without wrapping some things up.
This was much ado about nothing. This is a woman with a too-inflated sense of her own importance.
Really, nothing special.
Aug 22, 2010 Nancy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
This book was just ok - cute story but it lacked depth. If you are looking for a quick summer read, this is it.
Giving it 2 stars only because some of the recipes seem good. Other than that the book was bad and very disjointed.
Oct 22, 2009 Tara added it
Lots of good reciepes in this book. I tried about 5 of them. Good southern cooking. The story was just OK
Recipes to try! Accurate portrayal of TV news! What more could a girl want?
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Brooke is a southerner living in New York City. After eighteen years of standing next to her grandfather and her mother at the typewriter and at the stove, Brooke realized that journalism, cooking and writing about cooking was her destiny. While attending Davidson College, she landed a television news internship in Charlotte, North Carolina and spent her weekends as an assistant in the pastry kitc...more
More about Brooke Parkhurst...
Just Married and Cooking: 200 Recipes for Living, Eating, and Entertaining Together

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