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

2.23  ·  Rating details ·  149 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Now in paperback, a lively tale about a sassy, food-loving Southern gal who moves to New York City to become a jour- nalist—“think Scarlett O’Hara, and, dare we say it, maybe just a hint of Rachael Ray.” —Daily News (New York)

When vivacious, tart- tongued Belle Lee decides that the only way she’ll ever make a name for herself as a journalist is to head to New York, she

...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Scribner (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Christina
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Jodi
Aug 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Kourtney
Sep 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Jay
Oct 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hard-copy
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.
kathleen
Sep 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
Mama says life is like a box of chocolate. I mean, Mamma makes gumbo. The only enjoyable pages of this book are the recipes.
Alison
Sep 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Hated it!! The writing didn't flow well and I quickly got over the whole "southern girl in the big city" BS.......
Christina
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Ron
Sep 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, debut-novel
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
Aug 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Lisa
I thought the beginning of this book was tasteless and really rather disgusting - and, since I never finished the book, I never could figure out how it fit in with anything. Probably the worst beginning I've ever read to a book.

I stuck with it for at least 2-3 recipes (one way to mark your progress), but it got no better.

Like others who have commented, I really wanted to like this book. I didn't absolutely hate it. It just never came together for me. To innane, too disjointed, and when not too,
...more
Jessica
Aug 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. I'm a southern woman in the media field. The idea of a woman making it big in the city, making her own way, is very appealing. Except that's nothing what this book is about. It's all about Belle Lee's relationship with her grandfather, who pays for her rent, and keeps referencing some South that hasn't existed since 1843. Looking at Parkhurst's life, this book feels like a thinly-veiled attempt at a humblebrag. Read to page 39 and then quickly put the book the down. C ...more
Kristen
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I got this book on a whim from paperbackswap.com 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
Deb
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Krystle
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Julie
Sep 10, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Margaret
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Valerie Hubert
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Noelle
Dec 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
Julie
Feb 15, 2016 added it
Shelves: alabama
I abandoned this book. It didn't seem to flow in a way that I could understand. There were recipes at the end of each chapter, but the character rarely referred to baking or cooking. I just didn't get it, and I found that I was not invested in the main character.
Becky
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Amy
Aug 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Kathryn
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Christopher
Oct 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
A VERY SLOW READ......BUT SOME GOOD THINGS TO MAKE...AS IN COOK....IN THE KITCHEN...
michelle
Mar 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
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.

update...
Awful. Couldn't finish it.
Sarah
Oct 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Quick read. The plot was good, but not what I had expected. The book ended kind of suddenly without wrapping some things up.
Vickie
Aug 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
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.
Elaine Gardner
May 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
The only thing that kept me engaged was hearing about NYC. Very disappointed....predictable ending.
Tara
Oct 22, 2009 added it
Lots of good reciepes in this book. I tried about 5 of them. Good southern cooking. The story was just OK
Rebecca
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was OK - nothing spectacular
Nicole
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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...

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