William Morrow Paperbacks, ISBN 978-0062188342
October 2, 2012, 304 pages.
This is not quite the writing career that Alex Lyons foresaw for herself, but it could be worse. It has been worse.
And some might think it is an ideal job in some ways. As a write for Chick Habit, a popular woman's website, she gets to work from home, trolling the internet for several story ideas each day, hoping to get picked to write the coveted midday story, when female workers, tied to their desks eating their sad desk salads, will read it and get her the high number of views she need to compete. But all is not swell. The competition is fierce, and pretty catty, and from 6 a.m to 6 p.m she is almost a prisoner to her couch and laptop, afraid of missing the Big Story.
And then a gift drops in her lap. She get a link to a private YouTube video that seems to show the daughter of a famous politico doing some naughty things that will not get the sort of publicity her mom wants. Should Alex pursue it, even if it may ruin lives...but on the other hand will skyrocket her to new blogging heights?
And maybe ruin Alex's life in the process as well...
You know, sometimes you are just looking for something fun, something quick to read. And in large part, Sad Desk Salad fills that bill. It is, at times pretty funny and although most of us inhabit a very different little quarter of BlogLand, I think many of us will find the subject of a online obsession slightly familiar. And some of the characters are great, including her hoot of a mom, her sweet boyfriend and a couple of interesting co-workers.
My one big problem with the book was Alex herself.
Not the least of which is her hygiene. I have to say, this is the first time that was a huge issue for me in a book, but in this book it was.
Ok, if you work from home you don't have to get all dressed up. Or dressed at all.
But not to shower...to wear the same black mumu for days and days on end e,ven though she comments on it's dirtiness and odor. To almost brag that she or the boyfriend have not cleaned their bathroom for months! I am sorry Ms. Grose..but I found that gross and well, unnecessary. After awhile it was all I could think about as I read. Maybe because Alex tells us about it again and again.
Or so it seemed.
Then there is the fact that, as Alex tells us on several occasions, that she gets paid to be a bitch online. The problem is that in Real Life Alex is often a bit of a whiny bitch as well, not the most likable of people. Between her wardrobe, that bathroom and her personality, I do not see us being pals.
Still, if you are a fan of chick lit, you may well like this one. As a former editor for Jezebel and Slate, I have to assume many of the backstage details that Grose writes about are based on real experiences in the business, and that is fun for the reader. Overall, it is an interesting premise, pretty well done, funny in just enough places and all tied up with a nice neat bow at the end.
If you can get over that no showering thing. I really couldn't... ;-)
My thanks to William Morrow for providing me with a copy for review.