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Around the World in 80 Dates by Christa A. Banister

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Around the World in 80 Dates
by Christa A. Banister

Reviewed by Lori Fox

"Christa A. Banister takes us into a world few get to see . . . my only regret is that we didn't get to spend more time with the great cast who help shape the world Sydney lives in."

Sydney Alexander is a twenty something travel magazine writer who has dated and dumped (and been dumped by) twenty something men. Although she'd probably tell you that's low balling it.

The truth is, while her professional life seems to be going pretty well (being a writer for Get Away magazine she no longer needs to moonlight at the local Walgreens), her love life is not. Only for Sydney, it's not the lack of men that's the problem.

Samantha, Sydney's beautiful sister, is going through a similar crisis. She's got a good man who would do anything for her, except tell her how he feels. So while Mr. Wonderful is pining away in the shadows, Mr. Doesn't-Mean-To-Hurt-Her-But-Doesn't-Want-To-Commit gets to make all the moves.

What is it about the Alexander sisters that seems to only draw men with commitment issues?

Christa A. Banister takes us into a world very few get to see. Her background in working for a top Christian music magazine comes through strong as Sydney explores the dating scene in Nashville, Chicago, and Minneapolis. 7Ball magazine was mentioned (anyone else remember that?), and she gives a pretty accurate view of the perils of dating a musician.

Around the World in 80 Dates: Confessions of a Christian Serial Dater begins with a very engaging, casual but intimate tone as Sydney introduces herself and invites us into her world. The supporting characters are so interesting that I wish they'd been offered a little more opportunity to shine. In particular, Sydney's friend Rain, a hippie of the more old school persuasion. She's a character so rich in possibilities that I'd love to see Christa's next novel focused on her. Rain even has a theory on how men compare to different types of Campbell's soups.

With an inside look at freelance writing in the magazine world, Christa is a good example of an author who makes the most of her experiences to make her story come to life. Her career as an editor at CCM magazine, and now as a freelance writer really prepared her for Sydney---a character who follows much the same path. Hopefully Christa's life isn't quite so crazy.

With such unique characters, my only regret is that we didn't get to spend more time with the great cast who help shape the world Sydney lives in.

Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.