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A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life Hardcover – June 14, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"[A Belle in Brooklyn] is a fun, yet practical dating advice guide. Lucas is candid, confident, and curious, challenging common notions about dating and relationships. I fully support any means that helps promote open, honest and fearless conversation between men and women." --Hill Harper, author of The Conversation

"A relationship columnist who has devised rules black women should abide by when seeking a date. She advises them not to think about the dire statistics and well-publicized odds against them. Instead, focus on the possibilities." --Washington Post

A Belle in Brooklyn is like a warm hug and firm-but-thoughtful counsel from that girlfriend you trust unconditionally—honest, straight-no-chaser anecdotes and advice that implores each of us, whether single, looking or committed, to stop wasting time and live the right here, the right now, at this very moment, as if it’s urgent. Read it and be inspired. —Denene Millner, co-author of the New York Times bestselling "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man."

About the Author

Demetria L. Lucas (aka "Belle")  is the author of the award-winning blog ABelleInBrooklyn.com where she muses daily on dating, relationships and women's empowerment. Lucas, a trained life coach, is also the Relationships Editor at Essence Magazine where she writes her own advice column, Dating Guide, and selects eligible sexy bachelors  for the publication's Single Man of the Month page and annual Do Right Men issue. 

Lucas has shared her optimistic dating outlook on VH1's Let's Talk About Pep, BET's Being Terry Kennedy, TV One's Access Hollywood, the Oprah Radio Show, NBC4, Good Day New York, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show. She's also been profiled in The Washington Post (where she was dubbed "The Black Carrie Bradshaw"), advising single ladies, "not to think about the dire statistics and well-publicized odds against them. Instead, focus on possibilities." She's been a guest panelist at Harvard, Princeton New York University, and Spelman College; and was recently named one of Essence.com's "40 Fierce & Fab Under 40."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781451606317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451606317
  • ASIN: 1451606311
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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