The Chocolate Money - Ashley Prentice Norton | Book Review

12:51 PM
Pages: 288 paperback
Publication date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Mariner Books
How I got the copy: Bought
Rating:  4.5 out of 5


As addictive, decadent and delicious as chocolate itself

Set in 1980s Chicago and on the East Coast, this electric debut chronicles the relationship between an impossibly rich chocolate heiress, Babs Ballentyne, and her sensitive and bookish young daughter, Bettina. Babs plays by no one’s rules: naked Christmas cards, lavish theme parties with lewd installations at her Lake Shore Drive penthouse, nocturnal visits from her married lover, who “admires her centerfold” while his wife sleeps at their nearby home.

Bettina wants nothing more than to win her mother’s affection and approval, both of which prove elusive. When she escapes to an elite New Hampshire prep school, Bettina finds that her unorthodox upbringing makes it difficult to fit in with her peers, one of whom happens to be the son of Babs’s lover. As she struggles to forge an identity apart from her mother, Bettina walks a fine line between self-preservation and self-destruction.

As funny as it is scandalous, The Chocolate Money is Mommie Dearest,Prep, and 50 Shades of Gray all rolled into one compulsively readable book.


A coming of age story about a young girl named Bettina who is born into a family of one, a wealthy mother, Babs who couldn't care less about her. Babs is cruel and cold to Bettina but all she wants is her mothers approval. 

Character development was great in my opinion, you grew up with Bettina and see who she's becoming because of how her mother treats her.

I enjoyed the book more from part II and on just because Bettina was a teenage from that point in the book. Part I was harder for me to read and relate to because Bettina is a little girl and Babs does not care for her like a mother, she makes Bettina do the odds things to seek revenge on other people using her daughter. While Bettina is a child Babs confides in her as a friend her age and tells Bettina all about her sex life and how Bettina should go on in life like her and not like a pathetic teenager oblivious about sex. 

After part I I couldn't put this book down. I really enjoyed it. When Bettina attends boarding school at sixteen she tries to be a normal teenager from a normal family, hiding the fact of who she really is and about her personal life, regarding Babs. Bettina makes decisions that are influenced by what she has been told by her mother since she was a child about sex and explores that with the boys of Cardiss, however she steps on some feet while doing this and loses the little of what you can call friends she was able to attain. 

It follows up to when Bettina is 26 years old, where she is and who she has decided to become.

I really enjoyed this book and if you like coming of age fiction I recommend you pick this up! 


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