A Second Bite at the Apple by Dana Bate

When choosing a book, most often it is the cover that encourages me to read more – then I look at the synopsis. If I have an ‘ooh moment’ there, then I’m grabbing the title. With a foodie / romance / chick lit theme, I just couldn’t resist this title. And Dana Bate did not disappoint. Please read on for my review of

A Second Bite at the Apple

Far from being a passive read that just entertains, the protagonist, Sydney is teetering between funny and confident and a hot mess: from being let go from her job, to finding a new position for a rather difficult boss, but in the food industry that she so desperately wants to break in to, her trajectory and learning curve in this book are amazing.

The food descriptions (and recipes at the end) are luscious and delectable: you will want to try each one out, and snack as you read.  Sydney loves food: the taste, color and texture are all described and detailed with care, and bring instant food memories to the reader. Food is common to everyone, and appears simple to write about, but the skill and detail is far more specific and difficult than you would think at first glance.

Yet this story is bound together by more than the ingredients in the meals and snacks: Sydney is slowly developing her eye and voice for her ultimate goal of food-journalism. The opportunity to write the ‘newsletter’ for the farmer’s market that soon parlayed into writing for the local paper is going to test Sydney in ways she never expected.

Sydney has to grow up significantly and see how the secrets she keeps (and that others keep) are not necessarily all that define them, but sharing those secrets to gain her own biggest dreams has the potential to ruin everything.  I love that the author made her so real and tangible, with flaws and the ability to make mistakes and then learn from them. Sydney’s best moments for me were when her life was falling apart: she really had to dig deep and reevaluate her life, her relationships and even her own unwillingness to forgive some of the people in her life.

There was a nice mix of laughter and interactions that ran the gamut between funny to deeply emotional, with a solid voice for Sydney and decently developed secondary characters that fuel the forward motion of the story. This was a fun read that moved quickly, carrying surprising depth in characters and choices in the end.

A Second Bite at the Apple by Dana Bate

Title: A Second Bite at the Apple
Author: Dana Bate
Published on: 26 November, 2014
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 336
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food. Not with eating it--though she does that too--but with writing about the wonders of the gastronomic world, from obscure fruit hybrids to organic farming techniques. Since food journalism jobs are more coveted than Cronuts®, Sydney pays her bills working for one of TV's biggest egomaniacs--until she's left scrambling for shifts at a local farmers' market.

Stacking muffins for the Wild Yeast Bakery isn't going to win her any James Beard awards. But soon Sydney is writing the market's weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of putting her love life into deep freeze, she's even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot at the story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a crisp--along with her relationship and her reputation...

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Dana Bate

Dana Bate graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, then became a broadcast journalist with a specialization in finance and business, and then gave it all up to write romantic comedies.

Don’t worry: none of this makes sense to her parents either.

Before writing fiction full time, she was a Washington producer and reporter for PBS's Nightly Business Report, where she won the Gerald Loeb Award for a series she produced on the Indian economy. She lives outside Philadelphia with her family.

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