The-Very-First-BiteReviewed by Heather Bryant

Lanie, a copy editor who works at home, is obsessed with her weight. She weighs in at 155 pounds and is upset that she is not the 130 pounds that she once was. The Very First Bite follows her obsession with food and love and how her friends and family either help or hinder her goal of losing weight before her 15 year high school reunion.

With her class reunion quickly approaching, Lanie starts with buying food at Whole Foods – if it’s wholesome, it HAS to be good for her, right? Wrong, she soon realizes that the foods she picked out only made her gain weight. She tries Atkins, Nutri System and takes over the counter diet aides before going to the gym. Shawn, her trainer, only reinforces Lanie’s irrational belief that she is fat and flabby and needs to not only lose weight, but also tone up.

Lanie’s relationships with people are as toxic as her relationship with food. She misses her best friend Candace and old boyfriend Chad who had both moved on with their lives; her other friends Lance and Sara try to help but tire of hearing the woes of her love life. Lanie’s family is not any better. Her parents do not see her as fat and get upset when she does not want to eat what they are having at meals. Her sister Libby is there to constantly put her down because compared to her Lanie is fat and she too tires of hearing about her sister’s relationship issues. Mark, Lanie’s current love interest is terrified of commitment so when Lanie tells him she wants quality (he treats her like a queen) and quantity (at least one date a week) in their relationship, Mark freezes and Lanie breaks it off with him.

Finally the day of the reunion arrives and Lanie wakes up to her period! She fervently hopes that this is not a bad omen but the evening turns out to be crazier than she could have ever imagined. Libby set her up with Chad for the night, who arrives clad in a gold leisure suit. In Lanie’s wildest imagination she could not have seen that an old enemy, Lisa, would become a friend and that Candace stopped communicating with her because she has been hiding a secret. Chad reveals that he once had sex with Candance, but only because she was questioning her sexuality. It becomes clear that Candace was confused about her romantic feelings for Lanie and thought it easier to disappear without saying anything.

It takes a crazy reunion night, uncovered secrets and a reconciliation with Mark to make Lanie realize that her obsession with thinness is not healthy, and that she is much better off forming a healthy relationships with food – as well as with her friends and loved ones.

I struggled with The Very First Bite because I do not see 155 pounds as fat. Lanie constantly putting herself down did wear on my emotions and self confidence a bit since I could relate to how Lanie felt about food and relationships. This book is a good light read as long as one can get past the main character obsessing over being fat when she so clearly isn’t.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

One of Heather’s favorite things to do is having down time and curling up with a good book! As a blogger, mom and so much more, she enjoys sharing her honest opinions and being creative. Click here to learn more about Heather.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Cynthia Langston. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.