Title: Brooklyn Story
Author: Suzanne Corso
Pages: 336 pages
Publisher: Gallery (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Isn't the cover gorgeous?? I think so!
Ok, so, the thing is, I feel a little bad because this book was one I was so very excited for, that I searched out the publicist and specifically requested this book for review.
I started reading this book on two different occasions, two months apart, and just couldn't really get into it either time. In fairness to the book, I never got very far, so it could have potentially gotten better for me later on. So let me explain why I finally decided I was done reading it and why I believe others will still enjoy this book (hence the giveaway).
Brooklyn Story is based on the real life of the author growing up in Brooklyn. With aspirations of being a writer, the main character, Samantha, dreams of one day "crossing the bridge" from Brooklyn into Manhattan. Brooklyn Story tells the story of her adolescence in Brooklyn. This is reportedly the first of a planned trilogy and is currently in development for a movie.
I read less than 75 pages so, again, I can't comment in the whole thing. However, in that first part of the book... I did feel that the writing flowed well enough but I felt it was written in sort of a simple, straightforward manner. Not that that's a bad thing for everyone. But that in combination with the content made me feel this book might be better marketed towards young adult readers. The storyline in this first part of the book focused largely on describing Samantha's desire to escape Brooklyn, as well as her chronicling the beginning of her relationship with the popular "bad boy", Tony. I suppose I felt the characters were slightly caricature-ish... and especially in Tony, I couldn't stand it. He's one of those supposed charmers who apparently looks so good people forget he's a jerk even in the beginning. There were two other things that specifically bothered me: the constant reference to "the mob". I guess I have an idea of what the mob is, but because the character kept referencing them as though they were part of her every day life, I started to get confused and wonder what they really are. Are they a gang of rebels who merely "rule" their neighborhoods? If so, how do they get there? It was explained in too much of a commonplace manner for me to understand. The other thing that bothered me was that in the first however many pages I read there was constant, repeated reference to Samantha's desire to cross the bridge into Manhattan. I felt like saying, "I get it!" after a while and felt the cliche was overused. A little subtlety can go a long way.
All that being said, despite this not being the book for me I do feel there are readers out there who will like this book. The part I read focused a lot on the daily life of the teenage Samantha, her best friend, her boyfriend, and there was also the start of some issues with domestic violence. I can't comment on how the violence situation plays out and whether there is a good lesson to be learned or not. And I don't know if it's necessary or not. But I think especially readers of the various young adult books that have a prominent love story and focus on the adolescent life will enjoy this book.
Soooo, I am giving away an ARC of my copy of Brooklyn Story to someone who thinks they might enjoy this book. To enter, just fill out the form below. Please keep in mind that entries in the comment section will not be counted. I will choose a winner on January 3, 2011.