Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BROOKLYN STORY: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
 BROOKLYN STORY
BY SUZANNE CORSO

ABOUT THE BOOK:
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 scarred in a ruinous marriage, poisoned with cynicism, and shackled by addictions; and with her Grandma Ruth, Samantha's loudest and most opinionated source of encouragement. As flawed as they are, they are family.

Samantha's best friend is Janice Caputo, a girl who understands, as well as Samantha does, this close-knit community of ancestors and traditions that stand like roadblocks, this insular overcrowded little world of controlling mobsters who mold their women like Jell-O; and of the wannabes, the charismatic young guys who are willing to engage in anything illegal to get a shot at playing with the big boys. Yet, Samantha has something Janice doesn't—a desire to become a writer and to escape the destiny that is assumed for all of them in the outer reaches of Bensonhurst. And it's to be had just across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Then comes Tony Kroon.

Older than Samantha, Tony is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, half-Sicilian, half-Dutch mobster wannabe. A Bensonhurst Adonis. Taken in by his adoring attention, and empathetic to Tony's own struggles with identity, Samantha is falling in love, even when she's warned never to ask imprudent questions of Tony's life. Even when her family and friends warn her to stay away. Even when Samantha knows she's too smart to fall this deep . . . but the last thing she wants is the first thing to happen. Unable to resist Tony's seductive charms, Samantha soon finds herself swallowed up by dangerous circumstances that threaten to jeopardize more than her dreams. Grandma Ruth's advice: Samantha had better write herself out this story and into a new one, fast.

Told from the adult perspective, this is a powerful, true-to-life novel of leaving the past to history and the future to fate—of restoring hope where there was none, and reaching for dreams in an inspiring promise of paradise called Manhattan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Suzanne is the author of two feature film screenplays, has produced two documentaries, and written one children's book. She currently lives in New York City. This is her first novel. You can watch a fascinating interview of Suzanne Corso by award winning actress Lorraine Bracco by going HERE.

MY REVIEW:
In BROOKLYN STORY, Suzanne Corso has eloquently written a novel that feels more biographical than fiction.  With blunt reality as well as heartfelt desires of the main character, Samantha, Corso’s words draw readers in and make you feel like you are experiencing the narrative first hand. Having come from Brooklyn myself, I was immediately “back home” in many parts of this story. From the accepted slang to the intense descriptive physicality of the story, this is a coming of age story that rings true. Sometimes raw and hard to take, but always spot on when it comes to the realism, BROOKLYN STORY will be a book you will start and not put down until you have finished it.

As a teenager growing up in the 1970s, Samantha Bonti, has a dream of becoming a writer and leaving home for the bright lights of Manhattan. Not an unusual idea for a story but the “character” of the Italian Bensonhurst Community of Brooklyn and the people who inhabit this neighborhood play a strong part in Samantha’s tale. As a normal teen wanting to fit in, Samantha has a tough hill to climb as she doesn’t quite fit “the mold”. Living with her Jewish Grandmother and Mother, who fights a myriad of problems and bemoans her long gone Italian husband, Samantha must rise above her food stamp, poor girl, socioeconomic status, as well as NOT being a full-blooded Italian in an area where that makes her somewhat of a second-class citizen.

Wanting to fit in as much as she wants to get away, Samantha is torn as she idolizes her friend who wears the latest designer looks and when Anthony “Tony” Kroon enters the picture, good girl Samantha really tries to be herself while slowly fighting a losing battle. Tony is strikingly handsome and well known in the neighborhood as someone working to make a name for himself with the “wiseguys”. Tony does the typical wine and dine routine with Samantha as stars dance in her eyes from the expensive gifts and respect shown to “her man” by the locals, as well as the attention he pays to her. However, as their relationship grows, Samantha becomes more involved and sees for herself the world of lies and violence that Tony moves in. Things becomes more explosive when Samantha begins to see the reality of being “Tony’s girl” which means she must go to school and then come right home, and when he strikes her for asking a question about his “business”, Samantha is stunned. Abuse is abuse, no matter how one looks at it! Just how much is Samantha willing to give up for someone who is disrespectful to her and is moving more and more into a world of criminals? Can Samantha relight her creative fire and fight to be her own person, or has she gotten in too deep, too fast? With dreams still very real, Samantha must be very brave to regain her footing and start back on that road she wanted to be on so badly to Manhattan. Can she do it? Come on across the East River and visit to see how BROOKLYN STORY turns out. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KRISTIN AND MY GREAT
FRIENDS AT SIMON & SCHUSTER, I HAVE
FIVE COPIES OF BROOKLYN STORY  TO 
GIVE AWAY TO FIVE LUCKY WINNERS! 
 
--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE
SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT
AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ AND LISTENED TO ABOVE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK THAT I CAN FOLLOW

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING WHEN YOU VISIT SUZANNE CORSO'S WEBSITE HERE

 +1 MORE ENTRY: JUST AS BROOKLYN IS CLOSE TO MY HEART, SO IS TEACHING. PLEASE COMMENT ON THE GIVEAWAY FOR THE NEW COOL  AFTER READING MY REVIEW AND GAIN AN ENTRY THERE AS WELL AS HERE. PLEASE COMMENT HERE WITH THE NUMBER OF YOUR COMMENT YOU LEAVE FOR THE NEW COOL.

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, APRIL 6!
GOOD LUCK!

88 comments:

mamabunny13 said...

I was a teenager in the 70's so I can probably relate to this character somewhat.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

tweet http://twitter.com/#!/mamabunny13/status/50439468678791169
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

I left a comment (#36) on your review of The New Cool.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

I think it's interesting that one of the main topics throughout the book is the influence neighborhoods have on their communities.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

debbie said...

It would be interesting to see how she can rise above what is happening and be herself.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I commented #37 on the new cool giveaway.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Tore said...

It really sounds like a good story with some love and history in it. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Steve Capell said...

I can relate to the pressure that teenagers endure while trying to fit in with society. I am very interested in this book. I find it even more interesting that she is working on a sequel to this book. Thanks so much for hosting this contest.

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

Margie said...

This sounds like a very interesting coming-of-age novel.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The author has written screen plays, documentaries, and a childrens book.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

+5 Swag
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

March Facebook fan bonus entry
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

bermudaonion said...

I want to read that book since it feels biographical. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

I left comments # 6 and 7 on your New Cool giveaway. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Margie said...

Entered a comment about your review on Cool...number 39.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Bethie said...

I was born in Brooklyn. I loved reading about places I know so well.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Colleen Turner said...

This sounds fascinating! I love that it seems to have a more biographical feel then typical fiction and, since I don't know much about the New York/gangster culture I would love to find out more! Thanks!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I found out from the author's website that, along with writing novels, she has penned numerous screenplays for both stage and screen.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

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Anonymous said...

I think this would be an interesting comig of age novel--with the heroine feeling pressure from family and friends to conform to their standards.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I find it interesting that the author is working on a sequel to this book.

suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

traveler said...

This book sounds appealing and compelling for its characters and the story. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

The author is talented and I would read her next book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I commented # 10 & 11 on your review of New Cool. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

This character is someone whose life I would enjoy reading about. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

The author has written screenplays and has a sequel planned. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Comment # 13, and 14 on New Cool. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

If I don't win this one I will probably buy it. I am currently reading a book that is along the same lines, 'Strings Attached'. Different time period-1950s she moved from Rhode Island to New York and she also got involved with a ruthless mob character. I am loving that book. I have no idea if any of it is fiction. I would love to compare the two books. I am
also very interested in what her experiences of the 1970s were compared to my own. Sometimes you can tell if the book is a winner without even reading it and I think this is one of those times.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted: http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/2011/03/brooklyn-story-review-and-giveaway.html Giveaway of 'Brooklyn Story'

My Twitter name is Carolee888.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

From her website, I went to the section of press and praise,12/14/10, The Back Page and discovered some more tidbits about her.

She said that it was very difficult to change her story into fiction, it was like lying about herself. I think that would be the case.

At the end, she says "love your past. It has made you who you are". I love this and agree with wholeheartedly.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

Please see my comments #8 and #12 on the post for 'The New Cool'.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Connie said...

Hi! This book reminds me of books written by Adriana Trigiani which I love. I think I would greatly enjoy reading this book. Thank you for a fantastic giveaway! :)

aliasgirl1976@yahoo.com

Renee said...

this book interests me since I was about the same age as the main character in 78.. I grew up in Fairfield County CT (which is a commuter area for NY)

reneesuz82(at)msn.com

bloggingmom said...

I was a teenager in the 70's and I lived in Brooklyn. I am also Italian so there is quite a bit about this book to catch my interest. I can't wait to read it. Whether I win it or not I plan to read this book!

bloggingmom said...

I entered and left a comment for your review of The New Cool. That also looks like a great book. garczynski (at) aol (dot) com

Melanie L said...

I love reading coming of age types of stories anyway and hearing that the character is possibly getting involved with the mob makes this book sound really fascinating.
peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

Melanie L said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/Melanie_2006/status/50657024798765056

peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

Melanie L said...

It's interesting to learn from the author's website that she is also a screenplay writer she produces plays and documentaries.
peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

Enamored Soul said...

Although I was born in the mid-80's, I can completely relate to the character. Especially since, to this day, I still some times have to struggle to date people who are outside my religion. My parents never tend to object to people of different races/religion, but if anything serious comes into play - they tend to have a few objections, and that is a serious issue that I tend to deal with as well. Also, I've been in an abusive relationship, so I can most certainly relate. I'd love to read this book.

Thank you so much for hosting this amazing giveaway!

Email: Enamoredsoul@gmail.com or Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Enamored Soul said...

I tweeted about the giveaway:

http://twitter.com/#!/inluvwithbookz/status/50837733006000128

Email: Enamoredsoul@gmail.com or Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Enamored Soul said...

Upon visiting the author's website, I learned that she has written a children's book pertaining to preserving the environment called "Sammy & Sue Go Green Too" - I think it is awesome when authors tend to be eco-friendly, and encourage that, especially in younger generations. Because if they learn those habits earlier, they are more apt to practice them throughout their lives, and create life-long habits.

Email: Enamoredsoul@gmail.com or Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

Enamored Soul said...

I've already entered the giveaway for "The New Cool" which seems to be an amazing, informative and educational read. (Comments 18-20). But I also made a response in regards to your review and the book trailer for the book - I am comment # 40.

Thank you for introducing this book to us - I am definitely looking forward to reading it! :)

Email: Enamoredsoul@gmail.com or Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

ktgonyea said...

Sounds great :)

ktgonyea at gmail.com

ktgonyea said...

GFC Follower (ktgonyea)

ktgonyea at gmail.com

holdenj said...

Sounds like a really good coming of age type tale. I also really like the cover, with all the wires and bridge span going forward. Thanks for the info and chance to win.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I am comment 41 over at your New Cool post.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

One of my best friends grew up in Brooklyn and told me loads of stories. This sounds good.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

She wrote a children’s book Sammy & Sue™ Go Green Too!

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Laura H. said...

Oh, I would LOVE to read this book!!! It sounds like a cross between "Saturday Night Fever", "The Godfather" and throw in a little "General Hospital" as a nod to Bensonhurst. My husband is from Long Island so I love a Brooklyn accent and am fascinated with all things NYC.

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

Tweeted giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/MamaHendo3/status/51321355576164352

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

From the author's website I learned that there's to be a sequel to "Brooklyn Story". I'll be anxiously awaiting that one!

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

Left additional comment #42 on "The New Cool".

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

#1 March FB fan bonus entry (Laura G. Henderson).

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

#2 March FB fan bonus entry (Laura G. Henderson).

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

#3 March FB fan bonus entry (Laura G. Henderson).

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Laura H. said...

#4 March FB fan bonus entry (Laura G. Henderson).

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Laura H. said...

#5 March FB fan bonus entry (Laura G. Henderson).

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bison61 said...

I like that statement-leaving the past to history and the future to fate—of restoring hope where there was none

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Pamela Keener said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds great! I love books with this kind of feel, and lived in Brooklyn myself for a time and would really like to read this.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I learned on her website that she's writing a sequel. Sounds good! :)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

#44 on The New Cool! :)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Amy said...

This book had me at Bensonhurst, Brooklyn if not before with the wonderful picture on the cover. I'd like to read this book because I suspect many women can relate to it since there were many families living in Bensonhurtas Brooklyn in the '70's and a very large Italian Community. But it's also a time of unrest, especially for older teenagers who are trying to figure out their lives.
This sounds like a greta story!

Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com

Amy said...

Suzanne Corso has written screenplays for movies and stage plays as well as two documentaries including one of great interest to me - HEAR THEM ROAR shot at the Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary in Citra, Florida.

Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com

Amy said...

I commented at your giveaway for The New Cool by Neil Bascombe. My comment was #45

Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com

Laura H. said...

April Fool's bonus entry.

BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

Carol N Wong said...

April Fools!


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Steve Capell said...

April Fools

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

April Fools. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

lag123 said...

I was a teenager in the 70's and can relate. You know that it is wrong to fall for the BAD boy.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/lag32583/status/55028300778708992

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I found out that there is to be a sequel to The Brooklyn Story!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Mona said...

Sounds like a great story. It's got family drama, friendship,romance... The cover is really pretty. I would love to win this.

monagarg@yahoo.com

Mona said...

Tweet

http://twitter.com/#!/Kulmona/status/55652328749023234

monagarg@yahoo.com

Mona said...

I read that she wrote 2 feature film screenplays based on her novels. Also, there will be a sequel to BROOKLYN STORY.

monagarg@yahoo.com

Nancye said...

This book sounds great! I liked how the Brooklyn Bridge is seen as an escape. I enjoy coming of age stories like this that are set in the 70's.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/55745858599268352

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I learned that Suzanne Corso is currently working on the sequel to Brooklyn Story from her web. Cool!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

+5 SwagBucks

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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