Select one of the keywords
Bite    by C. J. Tosh order for
by C. J. Tosh
Order:  USA  Can
Downtown Press, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Samantha Sam Leighton is at the top of her career. She's a magazine journalist who makes a living interviewing famous people, until the rumor of a scandalous event gets her fired. She then goes into a deep depression and can't seem to drag herself from the couch to decide what to do next. To complicate matters, Sam is torn between two men. She has a wild obsession with emotionally and physically unavailable Chris, who drops in from time to time when not on a dig in Egypt. Her 'in-between' guy, Jack, is great for the occasional date and hot sex, but he's mostly just a warm body to combat the loneliness. Will Sam be able to choose once and for all, or is she 'destined to die alone'?

Tom Sanders, who is gay, is Sam's best friend. He works for another magazine as a lifestyle editor, but he's bored with his job and wants more excitement and independence. His dream is to start his own magazine, and when Sam gets fired, that's all the push he needs. Tom brings Sam onboard as his co-editor and Bite is born, envisioned as a sexy, smart magazine that appeals to people on their own level - nothing pretentious. They bring some of their friends and co-workers along for the ride. Liza, Sam's friend, is tired of her rich socialite life and is itching to get to work as the art director. Veronica, Tom's co-worker, is a fabulous photo editor. Throw in a few other outrageous people, and the magazine just might work. Will they have what it takes to overcome the multitude of obstacles thrown in the way of their debut?

At first glance, I thought Bite was a typical formulaic chick lit novel - a single girl journalist, working in New York, obsessed with an unattainable man, and with a funny gay male best friend. However, once the characters are introduced and the reader gets a feel for the plot, things pick up and the story flows at a great pace. Bite is saucy, sexy, irreverent, and a wonderfully fun read. I cheered for the characters to get their magazine off the ground, and to make it a huge success. Sam's dilemmas with love will resound with readers experiencing the same issues. It's easier to look at a problem from the outside, and looking at Sam's romantic struggles can help readers to figure out their own. The authors, Rebecca Ascher-Walsh and Erik Torkells, writing under the pseudonym C. J. Tosh, know the magazine business firsthand. Their expertise shows in the insider details of publishing, editing, and launching a new venture, and brings the story to a higher level.

For a change from typical offerings, Bite is a fresh and often hilarious look at life, love, and relationships - with a bit of work thrown in for variety. As Tom and Sam say, 'Life is short, so take a big bite.'

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews