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Brooklyn Story

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  315 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews

To me, some people lived in the real world and others lived Brooklyn. . . .

It’s the summer of 1978, and Samantha Bonti is fifteen years old, half Jewish and half Italian, and hesitantly edging toward pure Brooklyn, even if her dreams of something more are bigger than the neighborhood girls’ teased hair. She lives in Bensonhurst with her mother, Joan, a woman abandoned and

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Gallery Books (first published December 8th 2010)
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Oct 14, 2010 Adrianna rated it did not like it
This is bad... really REALLY bad. It's incredibly poorly written and I didn't get past 50 pages of stereotypes and harping on the same character traits.
Dec 18, 2010 Angelc rated it liked it
Naive Brooklyn girl, Samantha, falls for a handsome guy and ends up moving too fast and finds herself in an abusive relationship. This isn't really the type of book I like to read, I'd recommend it to those who like a very raw, gritty read. The book doesn't gloss over any of the seedy details. Parts were very hard to read, some scenes really made me squirm.

There wasn't much else going on besides Samantha's relationship with Tony, which to be honest was quite a downer. This story was tough to rea
Jan 07, 2011 Sara rated it liked it
When I first heard about this book It hit a nerve in me. The story is practically my life in fiction. Samantha Bonti is a girl growing up in Bensonhurst who meets a controlling man and aspires to be a writer. That's pretty much my life in a nutshell, even the growing up in Bensonhurst part. That said, I was easily sucked into the story because of it's similarities to my life. The novel so far is pretty good, I won't say great, but good. The only thing that really aggravates me so far is samantha ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Maria rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Maria by: Simon and Schuster
What I Can Tell You:
As a young girl, I lived in Bensonhurst Brooklyn when I was 13 1/2 years old after my mom died. It was a big move for a young girl from Millbrook, NY and I never quite fit in. Brooklyn is like a different world and I moved out the day I graduated High School.

Suzanne's Brooklyn is the real Brooklyn. It is about honor, family, tradition, silence, and rising above. Samantha is a smart, head strong girl who loves with her beloved Grandma and her ailing mom. She meets Tony through
Apr 11, 2014 joan rated it it was ok
I ran into the Dollar store to pick up a card, stopped by the book bin and picked up Brooklyn Story. I'm glad I only paid a dollar for this sophomoric, jejune story.

I understand Ms. Corso based this on her own life. As she recounts her sessions with Mr. Wainwright, the writing teacher who unfailingly praised her articles, I find it hard to believe that this part of the story was true.

There were several incidences of grammatical errors and the author's editors did her no favors. By the way, the w
Jan 15, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok
I'm surprised at all the positive reviews for this book. Yes, it's a nice coming-of-age story and shows the horrible effects of abuse and sexism, but it was very difficult for me to finish. The plot was slow and very predictable, and the story wasn't well-written at all. The author kept coming back (probably dozens of times) to the image/theme of Samantha crossing the bridge into Manhattan constantly. It seemed to be featured in almost every paragraph. The characters didn't have any depth and th ...more
Ann Frohoff
Sep 28, 2013 Ann Frohoff rated it it was amazing
This book had me from start to finish. Compelling, heart-wrenching and honest. Tony was such a douche bag & brings back memories of putting up with shit because of being young and in love (too young to know better no matter what people say) and hoping someone will change. This story is one of conquering adversity and ripped at my heart when the deaths came along, calling many of my own ghosts to return. Well done, Suzanne! I look forward to The Suite Life!
Jan 11, 2011 Terri rated it it was ok
Hard to believe Ms. Corso found a publisher for this predictable, one dimensional, juvenile effort. Give this one a pass.
Nov 12, 2016 Kristina rated it it was ok
2.5, a quick read. I liked the concept a lot, a naive girl falling for a Mafia member in the 70s. I think the author did a good job portraying the feel of the time period and that lifestyle. However, it was pretty poorly written in some parts, inconsistent in narration tone, and heavy on the stereotypes which would be ok except it was too in your face.
Dec 17, 2010 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, review-copy, blog
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing

Brooklyn Story by Suzanne Corso is the story of Samantha, a young girl growing up in Brooklyn in the late 1970s, desperate to escape across the bridge into what she knows will be a better life. But then, at 15, she meets Tony, a local Brooklyn Boy with ties to the local mob.

I was intrigued by the idea of this book, but unsure what to expect. The book mirrors experiences in the authors own life- growing up in Brooklyn and living
Renia Carsillo
Oct 09, 2016 Renia Carsillo rated it did not like it
I gave it 100 pages, but had to put it down. The attempt at translating a Brooklyn-Italian accent to the page was clunky and obnoxious. The main character talks about how poor she is at least once on every page...I wanted to like this book and I feel bad giving any book one star, but this one is badly in need of an editor. I think there's a decent story there, but it's buried under a lot of garbage.
Virginia Campbell
Sep 11, 2011 Virginia Campbell rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Suzanne Corso's semi-autobiographical novel, "Brooklyn Story", offers a "slice" of the savory pie that is the world-within-a world called Brooklyn, NY. Samantha Bonti is young, smart, pretty and waiting for the moment she crosses the bridge into Manhattan and into a better life. Living in poverty with her caring grandmother and addict mother, Sam turns her life experiences into written stories that she hopes will lead to her dream career as an author. Her mother was born Jewish and later convert ...more
Cassandra (The book & movie dimension blogger)
--Full, non-spoiler review courtesy at Book & Movie Dimension a Blog--

Here this is a book that showcases the sweetness of life but is no stranger to the disappointments in life. Its a blunt novel of those held aspirations in life that easily be lost when we let ourselves forget ourselves. An eye-opening novel with some beauty. Have to recommend so much outright. Don't believe would disappoint a reader who picks it up.

Samantha Bonti is a young woman living in Brooklyn during 1970's when its a
The time is the late '70s and Samantha Bonti is a fifteen-year-old, living in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. She dreams of someday becoming a writer and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to become a success in Manhattan.

Samantha, "Sam" is half-Jewish, half-Catholic and lives in a predominantly Catholic, Italian neighborhood. She is sometimes shunned by these neighbors. Luckily, when she begins high school, she meets Janice Caputo on the bus stop. Janice is a senior at the school and street savvy. She becomes
Wendy Hines
Jul 03, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it
Samantha Bonti never knew her dad. She saw him once when she was six but he immediately pushed her away. She's raised by her mom, who has her addictive habits and her grandmother, whom is very opinionated, yet encouraging. Samantha is half Jewish and half Italian and poor. She doesn't fit in well at school, so she is intrigued when Janice Caputo, a girl several years her junior and wealthy, takes her under her wing.

Samantha wants to get out of town and make something of herself, hopefully a writ
Oct 15, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, 2016
In Brooklyn Story by Suzanne Corso, a half Jewish and half Italian girl, Samantha Bonti comes of age. She lives with her wise and loving Jewish grandmother and her mother. Her mother is depressed, sick and addicted and offers very little to her daughter. They are on welfare but Sam dreams of buying things for her mother and grandmother after she is a writer. But first she has to make it through high school. Her best friend, Janice Caputo, unfortunately introduces her to Tony Kroon. He is very ha ...more
Molly (Cafinated Reads)
Dec 18, 2010 Molly (Cafinated Reads) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly (Cafinated Reads) by: Gallery Books
Well, how do I start off this review? It's not a bad book. Let's start with that. It's different. This is a book about a time of poverty, and of longing for an escape to a better life. A book about mobs and gangsters. Definitely not the style of book that I would normally pick. But, as always, I feel every book deserves a chance, and then an opinion formed.

This book is wonderfully researched. The depth of the story lies in the way the author created a real to life feel to the story. A time peri
Jan 25, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
I really, really enjoyed this book, but it was one of those that you feel guilty reading because of some of the language and content. I kept thinking "I should really stop reading this", but I couldn't. There was bad language, but it didn't seem that bad because it fit perfectly with the story. There are some books that seems to just throw in language for no reason, but everything about this book felt so real and natural. And yes, I know "you can justify anything" which again is why I feel guilt ...more
Val Wilkerson
Oct 14, 2011 Val Wilkerson rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-books-read
I think this should be read by all teenage girls. Samantha is a teenage girl, living with her mother who chain smokes, drinks, is on welfare, and her delightful grandma who always encourages Samantha and gives her undivided love. Her father has never been on the scene. Typically Sam would like to have new clothes, verses the thrift shop buys that grandma alters for her, she would like to have a bedroom of her own, she shares hers with grandma, and she would like to be popular, its not that she i ...more
Brooklyn Story is the story of Samantha Bonti's life from the age of 15 to 19 while growing up in Brooklyn. There were some really good aspects to the book---I found the descriptions of the traditions and lifestyles fascinating. Much of the plot revolves around Samantha's relationship with her boyfriend. I found it interesting although some of the sex scenes were too graphic for my taste. However, it seemed to fit with the overall plot. Samantha was admirable in how she pursued her dream of writ ...more
Apr 11, 2012 Tracee rated it really liked it
It is amazing what this girl has gone through and come out normal & successful. I know I couldn't be that strong, especially at that age. I'm glad to hear it will be a movie because I could picture everything so well. The writing is so descriptive and I love the details like the song lyrics/mentions, the clothing, etc..

One thing I questioned was how confident the narrator was. Teenage girls seem to question every decision they make, so I wondered if Samantha really had that much confidence
Vanessa Booke
Nov 11, 2011 Vanessa Booke rated it really liked it
The Brooklyn Story by Suzanne Corso is a deep and thought provoking read. Semi-autobiographical this book focuses on Samantha, a fifteen-year-old living in Brooklyn who dreams of becoming a writer but falls short because of the relationship she's in. I found this story extremely sad. Samantha is caught up in a vicious cycle of abuse and although it leaves you with a glimpse of hope, the overall tone is a little depressing. The Brooklyn Story is well written and I enjoyed Corso's writing style wi ...more
Apr 04, 2012 Ghada rated it it was amazing

in August, 1978, Samantha, "Sam" Bonti, is a fifteen-year-old living in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. She dreams of someday becoming a writer and crossing the Bridge to become a success in Manhattan.
Sam is half-Jewish, half-Catholic, in a neighborhood that is predominately Catholics of Italian heritage. Sometimes she is shunned in this Italian neighborhood. Luckily, as she begins high school, she meets Janice Caputo, a senior at the school. Janice is street savvy and becomes Sam's best friend. and that
Oct 24, 2010 Bea rated it liked it
This book was interesting enough and I read it straight through since I have a cold anyway. It just wasn't anything new. A young girl falls in love with a mobster-type guy, and even though everyone warns her about him and she sees what happens to other women who date men like him, she thinks their relationship will be different. She wants to be a writer and change her life, move to Manhattan from the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge and she has some intelligence and drive. It seems like she cou ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Sara rated it liked it
I picked this up because it had Brooklyn in the title, and I will always read anything about that fascinating NYC borough. Across between a Sweet Valley High novel and the Goodfellas flick, Brooklyn Story is a coming of age novel set in Brooklyn's Bensonhurst neighbourhood in the late 1970s and 80s. The Brooklyn Bridge is used as a metaphor throughout the novel as the only way protagonist Samantha Bonti, as aspiring writer, can escape her broken-down family, poverty, the mob and abuse.

This was a
Sep 04, 2013 Alexis marked it as could-not-finish
I'm going to try and send this one through without a rating as I only read two chapters. I couldn't finish. I'm one of those people who feels life is too short to keep reading a book you are not enjoying. The story would probably be interesting in another format, perhaps the movie that was supposed to be made (I never looked it up, did it get made?). Anyway, the writing killed it for me. I tried to push through since my copy is an old uncorrected ARC from my days in retail. But I felt like I was ...more
Jan 31, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Set in 1978-1982, this semi-autobiographical work, shows the life of Samantha Bonti, a half-Jewish/half Italian girl living in a very Italian Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst. Not being fully Italian is a draw back socially, and Sam in no exception. Her dad left her mom when Sam was a baby, and her mother turns to drugs to get through. She lives on welfare all of her life but has a lot of love and support from her grandma. Sam has big dreams that almost get stunted when she meets a wanna-be ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Ar rated it it was ok
This book was really poorly written, but the story was very familiar to me. It was difficult to get past the lack of real literary value but I usually finish a book once I start it.

Throughout, the author thought she was telling a very unique story, but the strength of it was that the reader could relate. It was very realistic, probably completely autobiographical and had a somewhat feminist bend; expressing the frustration of a girl's coming of age in Italian Bensonhurst Brooklyn. A kind of Sat
Mary (BookHounds)
I adored debut authors and this one lived up to my expectations. While reading it, I thought that this would make a wonderful movie and yes, it will be made into a movie! Some books just really lend themselves to the big screen. I was also interested in how the author depicts the year of 1978 and how New York becomes the goal of Samantha and how it represents "making it". There is lots of angst and drama that keep with the time period. It reminded me a bit of Boardwalk Empire as well.
Apr 25, 2011 Ann rated it liked it
This book was a diversion from what I typically like to read. I found I could relate to how the main character lived, having witnessed close family with similar lifestyles during the same period in Brooklyn. The egregious attitudes of some of the Italian men towards their women definitely still exist and I cringed at some not-so-happy memories of my own when I read this (minus the physical abuse). A fast read, but still a good one.
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