December 12, 2012

Sad Desk Salad...

While I do tend to love chick flicks (hello, Bridget Jones, love ya), I tend to steer away from 'chick lit', that sub genre of female-empowering romance books. Okay I am not sure exactly what chick lit is, but the label sounds derogatory and I don't read it much.

Well all I gotta say is that if Sad Desk Salad is chick lit, I gotta read more of this stuff.

Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose is the story of Alex, a writer at a female-oriented celebrity news blog called Chick Habit (think TMZ with girl power).  She works from home, her boss is a demon, her preppy boyfriend is too perfect; Alex spends a frenzied twelve hours a day online and it is swallowing up her 'real' life... can anyone reading this blog relate at all?

Alex struggles to be successful at her fast paced blogging job as she wrestles with whether the job is ethically and artistically right for her.

The novel's plot revolves around a scandalous story that Alex gets involved in; she has to make a decision about a celebrity's right to privacy in the internet age. Alex gets a naked drug-using video of a semi-celebrity and has to decide if her job success trumps someone's privacy; will posting this video destroy someone's life? And is her job destroying hers?

I read this book last weekend, when one of the top news stories was the apparent suicide by a nurse following the radio hoax at Kate Middleton's hospital. The book and the news became somehow blended and got me thinking about privacy and accountability... heavy stuff for a lighthearted beach read. The book is about our fascination with celebrity, gossip and privacy, and about the impact of our lives being so online. But mostly it is fast fun.

While the main character isn't always likeable -- she is a whiny, lazy, shallow, ambitious 25-year-old  -- she is essentially decent and that makes her relatable. And the book is a fast-paced entertaining questioning of being true to ourselves and each other in the internet age. And it's worth a read...

Thanks to Mandy’s Blogger Book Club (#MBBCWRW on Twitter) for providing a copy of Sad Desk Salad. This review is my own.