BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
Sad Desk Salad
by Jessica Grose
Contemporary Chick Lit
As a writer for Chick Habit, an increasingly popular women’s website, Alex Lyons gets paid to be a bitch. She’s churning out several posts a day, and she saves her juiciest ones for blog prime time, when working women eat their sad desk salads in their offices. Alex tells herself she’s fulfilling her dream of being a professional writer; so what if it means being glued to her couch and her laptop from six a.m. to six p.m., scouring the web in search of the next big celebrity scandal? Since Chick Habit’s parent company keeps close tabs on page views, Alex knows her job is always at risk.
So when an anonymous tipster sends her the year’s most salacious story—a politico’s squeaky-clean Ivy League daughter caught in a very R-rated activity—it’s a no-brainer. But is Alex really willing to ruin the girl’s life by igniting the next Internet feeding frenzy? And what she doesn’t yet realize is how this big scoop is about to send her own life spiraling out of control.
MY THOUGHTS: 3.75 OUT OF 5 STARS
Alex Lyons is a 25 year old living in New York City with her financier boyfriend, Peter. If you think that sounds glamorous, well, it’s not. Alex is a writer for a infotainment blog called Chick Habit, and she is literally on the computer looking for her next post, every waking moment. She is pretty snarky, but never thought she’d done anything bad enough for someone to target her on a hate blog!
And things go from bad to worse when Alex posts a video of a celebrity daughter in a compromising position. In a very short period of time, Alex finds her life spiraling out of control–her virtual life has come to affect her real one. Can she find a balance between the two?
I thought this was a pretty good, non-standard piece of chick lit. The book is interspersed with texts, emails, IM’s, and Facebook statuses, so it was pretty easy reading for a tech savvy 20-something like myself.
I was able to easily relate to Alex from the beginning. Like her, I am a blogger and spend tons of time in front of my laptop. I skip around from Facebook to reddit to various culture blogs I read, and soon enough I find that hours have passed without me really doing anything productive at all! I think it is a sign of our generation, I can’t recall the last time I turned on the TV to look for news updates.
Alex came off as a bit cocky and immature though. It bothered me that when things got tough, she ran away. She either drank, or stayed away from the one person who she should be able to confide in, Peter, completely. This was a pretty lame way for her to deal with things, and I’m not sure if by the end she had changed this about herself at all.
The story doesn’t really get rolling until about halfway though, but I had no trouble getting into the book. Alex does go into a lot of background info about herself that seems not entirely relevant to the story–her entire relationship with Caleb, her parents’ history, etc. I mean, some parts of it were embedded in the main plot, but the amount of backstory she gave could have been trimmed a little.
The end moved pretty quickly, and I was really excited to find out who the hate blogger was. But once I found out her motives, it left me a little “eh…”. The ending was also wrapped up a little too sweetly. I wish we could have seen the dynamics of Alex and Peter’s relationship much more.
I believe the reason that I enjoyed this book so much is because it’s so relevant to my life right now–this book actually made me sit back and take stock of the time I spend online every day. I had to ask myself, “Am I really accomplishing anything by being on the internet right now?”
Any book that makes me ask questions to re-evaluate myself is great for me. Not something I would have expected from this genre of book, but I’ll take help where I can get it 🙂
About the Author
Jessica Grose is a writer and editor. She was previously a senior editor at Slate and an editor at Jezebel. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, Marie Claire, Spin, and several other publications, and on Salon.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.