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Help Wanted, Desperately

Help Wanted, Desperately

3.5 13
by Ariel Horn

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Seven months, three weeks, two days -- that's exactly how long Alexa has to establish herself in an exciting career. At twenty-one, she's determined to gallop into "the Real World with a Real Job, a Real Life, and a Real Future." Moving in with her parents and commuting from New Jersey into Manhattan is not an option -- and if she fails to find serious employment


Seven months, three weeks, two days -- that's exactly how long Alexa has to establish herself in an exciting career. At twenty-one, she's determined to gallop into "the Real World with a Real Job, a Real Life, and a Real Future." Moving in with her parents and commuting from New Jersey into Manhattan is not an option -- and if she fails to find serious employment before the time runs out, it's off to teach English on the Third World island of Majuro for $100 a month!

But what jobs are available for an inexperienced young woman in the Big City? Writing headlines about yeast infections for Trend magazine? Sniffing deodorants for a living? Earthworm breeder? Phone sex operator?

The Real World, apparently, is not such a welcoming place. With employment opportunities growing increasingly fewer and more bizarre daily, should Alexa consider seeking some stability by moving in with her boyfriend Jared? Between her participation in a clinical sleep study for cash and her desperate attempts to become the voice of a cartoon cat in a last ditch effort to gain "respectful employment," Alexa hardly knows anymore. Maybe what she's really looking for is in the last place she ever thought she'd find it ...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alexa Hoffman, the 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania senior at the center of Ariel Horn's debut novel, has got exactly seven months, three weeks and two days before her initiation into the real world. Determined to secure a job in New York City, she embarks on a life-altering journey from one bizarre interview to the next. As a last resort and to avoid moving back in with her parents, she signs up to become an English teacher on the Third World island of Majuro while continuing her search for a job that will prevent her from actually having to go there. Over the course of this witty and wise coming-of-age novel, Alexa interviews for every imaginable position-earthworm breeder, deodorant sniffer, phone sex operator-evoking all the expectations and anxiety of the modern-day career search. Each chapter ends with a list of "Lessons Learned" comprising such hard-learned aphorisms as "Never assume your mother believes in something you plan on doing simply because she doesn't say otherwise" and "Do not-under any circumstances-interview for Internet jobs listed as `other' ever again." Blithe and fresh-voiced, this book covers almost every tribulation of entering adulthood, forging a career and falling in love, against the odds. Agent, Jeff Kleinman. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
“Soon-to-be and recent graduates will certainly relate to Alex’s travails and enjoy the over-the-top humor.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Ariel Horn is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, many of the anecdotes in the book are based upon her own real-life experiences in her desperate attempts to find post-graduation employment. Ariel currently lives in Manhattan, where she continues to search for a life. If you find one, please call. Help Wanted, Desperately is her first novel.

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Help Wanted, Desperately 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Georgann Woods More than 1 year ago
This book was not good, not funny AT ALL, wondering how some readers seem to think so?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got the book through the great reviews that the readers had given. Next time I will reconsider. Yes the book had its funny moments, but it was B-O-R-I-N-G. I kept reading it to see what was going to happen at the end and to my surprise it was horrible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The heroine is trying to decide if she will teach for a non profit. Even after she has agreed to work for the non profit AND has theairline tickets in hand, she can't decide if she is going. I know it is only a book, but the idea of stringing along the non profit agency AND possibly wasting their funds through the nonuse of the airline tickets really pissed me off. The ending was ridiculous. The writer shows a lot of promise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, I read in the middle of the night. The fact that I laughed out loud so much at this book has no doubt got my neighbors wondering about me. So be it. The book is worth it. All in all, it's a light read, not necessarily life changing, but great for the abs!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this up only because I liked the cover, but soon discovered a true treasure inside the pages. Horn is clever, witty, and her story is hilarious! I only feel bad for her that she actually had to live through some of this stuff. This is a great read, and really funny. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful book which I bought for my daughter but actually enjoyed myself. The author has a great way with language, and uses it for great comedic effect. If you need a laugh (and I know I did), this is good for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i absolutely loved this book! so fun, and a great read for the subway-- perfect little episodes to read one by one. horn's got a really unique voice that's funny and real-- can't wait to read whatever she does next! (ps: i think the other reviewer messed up with the star system since she thought it was 'amazing' but gave it one star)
harstan More than 1 year ago
The countdown to employment has begun for New Jersey¿s Alexa Hoffman. The twenty-one year old knows she has seven months, three weeks, two days and a few nanoseconds to find a job that will enable her to enjoy Manhattan with her boyfriend Jared. If she fails to make it in Manhattan by the time her self imposed clock runs out, her next choice is teaching on some remote Pacific island Majuro.--- Alexa is ready to shake the world or at least the Big Apple. Would you believe a run down roach infested apartment requires an advanced degree in higher math to calculate rent. She applies for an assortment of positions that run the gamut from deodorant sniffing to participating in a sleep test. Alexa feels depressed as she believes she must make it in Manhattan. As her frustrations and worries mount with one failure after another, Jared becomes irritated with his beloved and they squabble. Her desperation starts driving them apart as Alexa considers becoming a Majuro.--- At times readers will commiserate with Jared as Alexa¿s shtick wears on the audience and her boyfriend. However, her antics in Manhattan as she jumps from one employment scenario to another turns amusing and raises the deep social issue of a lack of opportunities for recent graduates. Alexa¿s desperation to obtain gainful employment as she tries to take Manhattan by storm will leave fans laughing especially at her interviews and her fuddling thorough various work. Readers will enjoy this help wanted 'lessons learned' (at the end of each chapter) chick lit tale.--- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Funny, entertaining and realistic. Loved the whole thing-- recommend it to anyone who needs a laugh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read a lot, and I really liked this one better than many others in the genre. It was laugh-out-loud funny and yet thoughtful too. It would make a great stocking stuffer for the holidays.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing, there are no words to describe it, i think ms.horn is a wonderful writer and i cant wait to read her second book