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on April 4, 2013
I am an avid reader of Demetria's musings going back to when she was writing for Honey Magazine online. The book was a good read. You will laugh out loud, root for certain situations to work, scratch and/or shake your head, nod it in agreement, and generally be entertained while reading about "Belle's" various (mis)adventures. And, no one can deny that Demetria is a compelling writer.

However, what continues to concern me about Demetria's advice in general is the hypocrisy in her giving it to single girls from atop her perch of always having a date (as inferred from her book and blog). Or guy friends who treat her like a girlfriend. Or being in a relationship. And now, being engaged. I wonder how long Demetria has spent actually being single; as in, alone, not dating or exclusively seeing anyone or having some surrogate beau referred to as a "friend."

Note that Demetria had been in several serious long-term relationships prior to becoming a fiancee, yet she remained extremely vocal about her ambivalence towards getting married. Her supposed ambivalence comports with her advice to women to "live their best single lives" by focusing more on personal development and achieving individual goals and not so much on entering relationships or becoming a wife. To this day, she advises women to date for fun (meanwhile not considering a date's potential for marriage, or even a relationship) instead of dating for the purpose of vetting men for their potential to be beaus and/or husbands. As if, by serendipity, it will all work out in the end, like it did for her. And she wasn't looking for it and didn't even want it!

I for one, am not falling for the okey-doke. Demetria had the good sense not take her own advice as she seemed to date only "good" marriageable men in relationship-type contexts (i.e. not "just for fun"), and is now engaged to be married despite her incessant yelling that she could take it or leave it.

In sum, it is disingenuous for Demetria to tell women to "live your best single life" and have fun "doing you," not concerning yourself with relationships and all that jazz, when Demetria always had a man (or several) waiting in the wings, likely by design.
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on August 24, 2011
Initially, I was reluctant to write a review of this book because when you write anything that is not congratulatory on Ms. Lucas website you are called a hater. However, I want to spare someone from wasting their hard earn money like I unfortunately did.

If you were a follower of her blog (as I was a long time reader) there is no need to purchase the book. Almost all the stories are from the blog with the exception of maybe two. I like others found the book to be all over the place. You finish one chapter and then the next chapter goes into a completely different topic. It was not the page turner it was hyped up to be. She is a talented writer and since she no longer writes about her personal life maybe book 2 will be better. Unfortunately, for me I will not be buying it.

Once again if you are a long time reader of the blog save your money and don't buy the book. Or maybe borrow if from someone that bought it already. I don't want to knock anyone's hustle but I felt like I wasted my money when I have read these same stories on the blog for free.
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on June 16, 2011
I don't know if age has anything to do with what was taken away from this book (probably not), but as an early 30-something I didn't take away much after I was done. There were some tender moments (see Chapter 2), but I didn't really have any "Aha! moments." There were some very, very funny moments, but outside of that I was left feeling like this is an account of her life. As another commenter said, I didn't go in with any expectations. I bought the book to support because I'm a fan...and there was some level of curiosity as to what it would be about. I thought the book was too much Demetria. I very much enjoyed the chapters when she incorporated the conversations she had with her group of guy friends about women, dating, and sex. Those were the best parts of the book!

In another chapter she elaborated on something that made it into Essence--a particular guy was quoted in the mag but not in his entirety, so she elaborated and gave his full quote for more insight. Those things were interesting. Those conversations & pieces of interviews were the most relevant to me and my life. If I wanted to reminisce on my days of partying in my 20s I'll call up my girls.

Other [small] things to point out: the book is not in chronological order, no dates are provided, and the jumping around of stories was a tad confusing. At the end when she mentioned Nathan I had to jump around to find what his story was. I had not a clue. I'm sure there was a method to the madness, but it made the book somewhat hard to follow. However, I did enjoy the chapters about Jump Offs, dating your friends ex, and why it's okay to be single. (P.S. all of those were "advice" chapters...not detailed stories about her life.)

Overall, the book was good and I DID enjoy it. It was well-written, funny, and an easy read during my commute. But, perhaps the early 20-somethings can benefit from this more than I did.

I think the title of the book would have been better off entitled "A Belle In Brooklyn: The Unintentionally Hilarious Adventures Of A Southern Woman Living Way Too Far Above the Mason Dixon." The title of her blog...and that's exactly what it is, but with a little more detail.

I will purchase ABIB part 2. and because I know you read the reviews, Demetria, congrats & continued success. :-)

Signed,
Always A Fan
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on June 14, 2011
Let me start by saying that I am a fan and avid follower of the author and her blogs. I literally have just put the book down (kudos to the dramatic ending, which fits the author's online personality). And for reference, I am a single woman in my late 20s.

Overall, the book is an entertaining read. However maybe because the word "advice" is in the title (and now re-reading the title, the author is positioned as a Giver of Advice), I expected an advice or self-help type book. Instead, it's more of a collection and musings of the author's adventures in her 20s. It reads intimately, as if the reader is a dear friend - people are referred to in shorthand and nicknames, and the stories do not follow perfectly chronologically. There are a lot of characters in her life, and at times it gets confusing to remember who-is-who, who-lives-where and why someone is important.

The beginning delves right into her life and really drives home a reason to care about this woman's journey. About 60% of the way through got a bit choppy for me - chapters that felt more like blog posts - less story-telling, and more musings. Some things read fairly influenced of our generation's internet lingo - for instance, use of the phrase "where they do that at?"

It reminds me of the type of book Carrie Bradshaw's (Sex and the City TV Series) fictional book would have been - a conglomeration of her columns. But even Carrie had the challenge of presenting a theme and message (which she chose as "remain hopeful for love"). I know what the mission of the book was, but I am unsure if it met its goal. The author shows us that she has lived a full (really, enviable) single-girl city life with fabulous adventures with men... but I don't know if it taught me anything or inspired me. It's more of a "learn from my example" -- yet it does not have the "story summary"/"story wrap up"/"lesson learned" parts that other books would have. You have to glean and infer what the author learns in her trials. Based on what the author has mentioned of the book, I did not expect it to be fully focused on her dating life (um, where were such blog nuggets such as "empire state of mind" and "rules for a fabulous life" ?). When the moral is supposed to be "there is more to life than men," a book that glamours someone dating life is a bit hypocritical.

4 stars. Fun, escapist read. Looking forward to reading more from the author.
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on June 10, 2014
This book has nothing to do with a title like AT ALL!
I was ready for an uplifting read about something more along the lines of the Tao of Dating or something, and instead read about the girls who are always falling in and out of relationships and putting themselves in the most awkward situations like they didn't have a choice.

Like I don't even have energy to party after work lol.

Kudos to her for doing it and having all the men swoon over her, but some girls are like me - cute, rather sleep and eat good food, than party EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, and rather to have been respected by men on all levels of life then just be in and out of dating people frivolously.

Like even at the end she went on a trip with a new man!!!! Like you can't do anything alone?!!!! Like at all though?!

Sorry I'm just really through, if anything after reading this I had to go back and re-read books that put me in a better , less bitter state of mind.

IF you are young out of college, beautifully cute, goal oriented, and work in a field filled with men, and rather not party in 6 inches heels every night for fear of arthritis at 35 - THIS IS NOT THE BOOK FOR YOU!!!! Lol

Sorry I never wrote a bad review, but this book is not a book for the single - it's really just about the authors life. That's it!

Hopefully after the book was written the author was able to reflect and realize that to enjoy life you don't have to share everything with someone else, because it is true humans are capable of anything we put ours minds to!

Wishing the author endless self enlightenment and peace!!
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on August 4, 2011
I purchased this book in excitement hoping to get some golden nuggets on navigating the dating world fabulously but what I got was a play by play of the dating life of Demetria Lucas.
As funny as it is to read about, I think the title is a bit misleading. It is not an advice book. For emotional reads that tickle my funny bone, I enjoy David Sedaris.
When reading a book listed in the Self Help section, I expect just that. Next time at the end of each chapter maybe she can itemize the lesson she learned from the experience and
the advice she'd offer based on it.
Sure I can do it myself.
But that's not why I bought an 'advice' book.

2 stars because the stories are interesting but not enough for me to have finished the book 2 months after purchase.
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on November 11, 2011
I enjoy Reading Demetira Lucas' columns in Essence and I enjoy her style of writing, but I agree with other reviews on here that this title was very misleading as it is not "The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life." There little if any advice in here at all. The book is basically an autobiographical account of the author's experiences and in some cases she may share what she may have gathered from the experience.

If you are single and looking to find out where the men are; how to date; how to go on one of Lucas' infamous 'cutie runs'; what questions to ask on a date, etc., don't look to this book to help you with any of that. It is still an easy and lighthearted read, but definitely not an advice book.
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on September 11, 2013
I bought this book b/c I heard about the author as well as a former co-worker had recommended. It was interesting for the escapades she wrote about. But as I was reading it, I thought to myself, I could've wrote this!! I have plenty of stories regarding relationships and the scenerios I have expereienced. I also think the author at times isn't as realisitic to everyday woman with issues with men, that may not be makeing high 5 figures or come from a well rounded family. I was following the author for while on various social media but since have loss interest. I feel she's still too young to try and tell a on the cusp of 40 yr woman what I need.

But I will give credit for the fact that she is a young African American, college educated woman that got her book published. That should give hope to other young women of color that they can do the same.
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on January 23, 2014
I'm reading this right now. It isn't advice. It's her story. I was a fan of her column in Essence....but...eh. I bought the book for more of that sister to sister advice she gave in the magazine. If that's what you're looking for....it's not in here. Sorry.
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on August 1, 2013
There was no "advice!" It read like a junior high school girl's diary of "Life in the Big Cities", i.e., NYC, Paris, D.C., with a quick aside on college.

It is hard to believe that she is an editor for Essence Magazine. I was very disappointed.
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