Monday, January 19, 2015

Another Bite at The Apple by Dana Bate

Title: Another Bite At The Apple
Author: Dana Bate
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: November 25th, 2014

Cover Impressions: Super cute cover. Love the color combination of the red background and the green apple.  I would like the font to be a little more substantial, but overall it is a nice design.
I'm not sure what the title has to do with the book.  I get it, Sydney is starting over but there is a bigger connection to bread in the plot than to apples.   


Sydney has always dreamed of writing about food.  Her first love are human interest stories that feature the people behind the food.  But, food writing is an exclusive club and after any unsuccessful attempt at breaking in, she takes a job that while not exactly fulfilling, pays the bills.  That is, until budget cuts leave her out in the cold.  Picking up the pieces, she begins working at a local farmer's market, writing for the newsletter and blogging again.  When she throws her dating hat back in the ring (years after a terrible break up) Sydney suddenly finds herself with a story that could allow her to land a job at any newspaper - IF she is willing to risk losing her new friends and her new romance in the process. 

The major problem that I had with Another Bite at the Apple was Sydney.  She was irritating, self-deprecating to the extreme and very judgemental.  With the exception of finding herself unemployed, every problem in the book is one of Sydney's own making.  She was overly naive for a woman her age and either had no idea of the consequences of her actions or didn't care enough to consider how other people would be impacted.  She was completely bitchy to her eventual love interest and was so difficult on each of their dates I started to assume that he must have been a serious sucker for punishment to keep coming back for more.  She spent most of the book whining about how her sister was more popular and pretty than she was and was spoiled by her parents.  Sydney appears to be an expert at pointing out other people's flaws but is completely unable to see those same flaws in herself. 

The storyline itself is lackluster.  It takes a long time to get going and, when it does, becomes a cringefest while the reader waits for everything to blow up in Sydney's face. And boy does it ever!  All of Sydney's terrible decisions come to light in a 24-48 hr period of "Oh my God, there is no way this could all happen to one person."  After that, there is the inevitable warp up with ends just a little too cleanly.  True, Sydney has fixed some relationships and learned some valuable lessons, but I hated how all the consequences of her actions were wiped away.  No one suffered any negative effects of the plot and Sydney got the ultimate happy ending. 

Admittedly, this book was not my usual fare.  I thought the connections to food and a sweet romance would hold my interest (as they have in other women's fiction titles - see Sarah Addison Allen), but they just didn't cut it.  I don't think I will be signing up for any more of Dana Bate's novels.


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