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4.2 53
by Sarah Mlynowski

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Must think happy thoughts. Julie Andrews dancing. Cadbury's chocolate Easter eggs. But no amount of positive thinking changes the fact that Jeremy—the man of my dreams, the man I would marry, the man who should spend his whole life worshipping me and lavishing me with kisses—went to Thailand to find himself.

Obviously I'm not as cute and


Must think happy thoughts. Julie Andrews dancing. Cadbury's chocolate Easter eggs. But no amount of positive thinking changes the fact that Jeremy—the man of my dreams, the man I would marry, the man who should spend his whole life worshipping me and lavishing me with kisses—went to Thailand to find himself.

Obviously I'm not as cute and witty as I thought I was, since while I've been sitting around every weekend, he's been sleeping with half of Thailand. And then he found Someone Else. That someone not being me.

I have been pathetic.

But now I will date. I will become the queen of dating. I will forget all about him.

Single in Boston, that's me. But not for long…!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For readers who have not yet tired of the Bridget Jones genre, this entertaining debut represents it with both humor and substance. Twenty-five-year-old Jackie Norris lives in Boston and has been on her own since receiving a breakup e-mail from her boyfriend, Jeremy, who traveled to Thailand to "find himself." Adhering to the first of her five steps of breakup recovery, Jackie slips on a new pair of knee-high black leather boots and jumps back into the dating scene. The men she encounters are, much to the dismay of any female reader, utterly recognizable: the hunk with groping hands, the sensitive poet who can't afford to move out of his ex-girlfriend's apartment and the guy whose sexual performance is practically over before it begins ("Four minutes is a music video. Four minutes should not be sex"). But in spite of it all, Jackie maintains a refreshing level of optimism. Mlynowski is acutely aware of the plight of the 20-something single woman she offers funny dialogue and several slices of reality, including a chapter of e-mails sent by Jackie's circle of friends as they attempt to decipher the male psyche. Any woman who's ever been bored by an unfulfilling job (Jackie copyedits romance novels), jealous of a roommate who has it all together (Jackie's roommate has a full-time boyfriend and regularly cleans her bathroom) or thoroughly perplexed by boy-speak will find something to enjoy here. Mlynowski may not be able to provide all the solutions, but she certainly makes the problems fun. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Jerk, jerk, jerk.

I can't believe what a complete jerk he is.

I am constantly debating whether or not I have a reason worthy of aggravating my boss by making a personal long distance call to Wendy in New York. All minor emergencies merit phone calls to Natalie right here in Boston: tension with a coworker, plans for the evening, boredom… But this—this complete and utter humiliation at the hands of a male, this travesty, definitely merits an emergency-Wendy phone call.

I minimize my e-mail screen in case my boss, the copyedit-ing coordinator, walks by. Instead of seeing Jeremy's random act of devastation in the form of an e-mail from Thailand, Shauna will see Millionaire Cowboy Dad, the manuscript I'm supposed to be copyediting. I dial Wendy's number at work.

"Wendy speaking," she says in her investment-banker-don't-mess-with-me voice.

I hate him. I really hate him. "It's me," I say.

"I must be psychic. I wasn't going to pick up, but I thought it might be you."

No time for small talk right now. "Did you also have a premonition that the jerk would meet someone in Thailand and then write me to tell me about it?" I will never speak to him again. If he e-mails I will press delete. If he calls I will hang up. If he realizes he cannot live without me, jumps on the first available flight to Boston, and comes straight to my house with a diamond ring worth five months of his salary, that is, if his salary weren't nonexistent, I will slam the door in his face. (Okay…I'll probably get married. I'm not that crazy.)

"Shit," she says. "Who is she?"

"Don't know. Some girl he met while he was busy 'finding himself.' I don't hear from him for what, three weeks? Then he writes to tell me hi, how are you, I'm good and I'm in love."

"He actually said the L word?"

Jeremy has never even written the L word, let alone said it aloud. I think his hands and lips are genetically programmed to be incapable of combining the letters L-O-V-E.

I really, really hate him.

"No. He said he just wants me to know that he's seeing someone."

"But you did tell him he could see other people, right?"

"Well, yeah. But I never believed he would actually do it."

Unfortunately, I constantly imagine him doing it. I dream about him having orgies with groups of naked and frolicking Thai women. Instead of working on Millionaire, I find myself picturing him having wild, drug-induced sex with a six-foot Dutch goddess who looks like Claudia Schiffer and backpacks in stiletto heels and capri pants. But up to now I believed that these self-inflicted tortures were manifestations of my overzealous why-would-he-want-to-travel-without-me-if-he-really loved-me paranoia. Jeremy was supposed to come home after one month and tell me that, while he was away finding himself, he realized how much he truly loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of his adult life ravishing my naked body with kisses, using the L word over and over.

Of course he had to go and ruin everything.

"Jackie, he's been backpacking through Asia for over two months. He's probably slept with half of Thailand by now. Let me hear the e-mail."

Will my computer malfunction if I throw up all over it?

"I can't read it out loud at work. I'll forward it to you. Hold on… one second… did you get it?" Millionaire returns to my screen.

"Call waiting, hold on." She puts me on hold and an elevator rendition of Chicago's "You're the Inspiration" plays in my ear.

Oh, God.

I know I'm about to start crying because the computer screen is slightly smudged as if it had been run over by the crappy orange eraser on the end of a cheap pencil.

Must think happy thoughts. Julie Andrews dancing. Cad-bury's chocolate Easter eggs. My sixteen-year-old half sister Iris believing I'm the coolest person ever. Jackie,you look just like Sarah Jessica Parker, only prettier.

Okay, I can kind of see again. The screen has almost returned to its previous non-orange color.

What other happy thoughts? The way Jeremy used to draw little circles on the inside of my arm with his thumb.

Shit, shit, shit.

Try again. The ninety-two percent Professor McKleen gave me on my Edgar Allan Poe essay. The day I got my braces off and my lips felt like they were sliding off my teeth and I kept smiling in the mirror. Okay. I'm all right now. Nothing to see here, folks.

Yuck. I notice that Helen, the associate editor who sits in the cubicle beside me is peeking over our wall divider. She always pops up at the exact moment I don't want her there. Like how you always get your period on prom or Valentine's or pool-party day. Whenever I'm checking out new-movie sites on the Net, or sneaking in just a few minutes late, there she is. It's like some kind of superpower.

Her hair is pulled back into a frizzless tight bun, and as usual, not one hair has strayed. I think she uses glue; she looks fright-eningly like Lilith from Frasier.

"Yes?" I ask in my I'm-very-busy-here voice.

"I'm sorry to bother you, but would you mind… um… refraining from making so much noise?" she whispers, putting her index finger up to her lips in her be-quiet motion. "I'm having concentration difficulties."

I resist the urge to tell her to kiss my butt. On my first day of work at Cupid almost two months ago, I decided I would not allow this type of person, this presumptuous know-it-all, to get to me. On that first day, when I told her I had gone to Penn, she said she knew someone who had transferred there after he hadn't been able to take the pressure at Harvard. She, of course, was a Harvard graduate.

And then there was the time when I swear I was still willing to give her a chance, and I peeked over her cubicle and said, "Helen, Shauna wants to talk to you and I." Without looking up, she answered, "Jacquelyn, it's… um… Shauna wants to talk to you and me."

And for some reason, most of the other copy editors seem to think she's God's gift to Cupid. "Oh, Helen," they chime. "You're the queen of commas." And "What was it like at Harvard, Helen?" Or "Tell us your theory of deconstruction and subjectivity in Joyce's Ulysses, Helen." Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but tell me, what normal person spends her lunches reading Paradise Lost and The Metaphysical History of Literary Criticism?

I'm sure she has a few theories on deconstruction and subjectivity that she'd be delighted to explain to me. "When I was a freshman at Harvard, Jim, my world-renowned professor, insisted on flying me across the country to present my original thesis…" Blah, blah, blah. I did my M.A. in literature, too, you know, although she never lets other people talk about themselves. A half an M.A., actually. I completed the first year of a two-year program. But why is a Harvard graduate working here, anyway? She should be off editing Michael Ondaatje and discussing the profound meanings of life—not the torrid love affair between a robust cowboy and his virgin twenty-five-year-old bride. She obviously had lousy grades in school.

See? I'm just not letting her get to me.

"Sorry," I say, incredibly, with a straight face. "It's just that I'm having a semicolon crisis and I'm finding it very unsettling."

"Really?" Her eyes swerve back and forth between my computer screen and my telephone. She's not sure if she should take me seriously. "Well, I could help. I was a copy editor before I was promoted to associate editor. I would consider scheduling a combined colon and semicolon meeting this afternoon. If you're serious."

"Of course I'm serious." I'm amazed that people like her exist in real life. Do geeks know they're geeks? Does she wake up in the morning, look at herself in the mirror and think, "Wow, I'm such a loser"? Probably not. Does that mean that I, too, might be a complete freak and totally unaware of it? Do stupid people think they're smart? Do ugly people look in the mirror and see Cindy Crawford? Is it possible that I'm not as cute and witty as I think I am? Is that why Jeremy doesn't want me? Am I a hideous, moronic freak?

Helen taps her pen against our divider, a signal that she has decided to believe me. "All right. Since other people have voiced concerns as well, I'll schedule a discussion group." Her cheeks start to flush with excitement. Punctuation appears to be foreplay for Helen. "Is 3:45 a good time for you?"

Yeah, a real good time. "Sounds fantastic."

"Excellent. I'll send out a group e-mail to all my copy editors." Her head finally disappears behind the cubicle wall. Like she can't just pop across the hall to tell Julie. The only copy editors who work on her series, True Love, are Julie and me. And I'd like to further object to her using the possessive term "my." We do not belong to her. Shauna is the coordinating copy editor. Shauna writes our reviews. Helen's series just happens to be one of the many we have been assigned.

"Sorry," Wendy's voice resurfaces on the phone. "Okay, I'm reading it now. Blah, blah, blah… 'Today I did E again'… Why were you wasting your time with that druggie?…'Someone stole my green J. Crew shirt from the balcony'… God, what a loser!…'I'm seeing a great girl and we've been traveling together for the past month— That's it?"

"No, you forgot the 'I thought you might want to know' part."

"'I thought you might want to know. Take care, Jer…' Is this a joke? Is this some kind of sick joke?"

"Unfortunately not." But wait! What if it is a joke? Or maybe some kind of new computer virus tapped into my wildest fears and mutated accordingly.

"And you've been sitting on your ass every weekend while he's been slutting around? Ridiculous. Do you realize you haven't met one guy since you've moved?"

Sometimes I think Wendy definitely lacks in the sympathy department. "I've met guys," I respond defensively. "I just haven't dated any of them."

"You've been pathetic."

I have been pathetic. I even refused to go out with Jason Priestly's look-alike, introduced to me by Natalie, because I was worried that word would somehow get to Jer and he'd feel the need to get back at me and go ahead and fall in love with someone else. And what if Jer called while I was out? I could never have brought a guy home—my room is a shrine of pictures of Jer: Jer and me at the park; Jer and me at formals; Jer's graduation; pictures of Jer, Jer, Jer. It never occurred to me that Jer wouldn't have a picture of us next to his sleeping bag, that maybe it was time for me to buy one of those funky photo boxes and do some filing.


Hmm. Wait a second. "Is it possible seeing just means seeing? Like with his eyes?"

Pause. "No."

Sigh. Yeah, that sounded lame even to me.


"You're right. I'm going to start dating again. I'm going to become Crazy Dating Girl. I'm going to date every guy in Back Bay." Back Bay is the oh-so-hip, oh-so-overpriced area in Boston where I live.

The time has come.

I will date witty, hot, ridiculously rich men who will shower me with expensive jewelry, send roses to my office, and whisper how wonderful I am in my ear while massaging my I-sit-all-day-in-front-of-a-stupid-computer back. Life will be wonderful. I will wake up every morning with a smile on my face like the perma-smile women in coffee commercials.

"You're right. No more whining." But I can't go out by myself, can I? "I don't have any friends to go out with," I whine.

Pause. "Don't you have any girlfriends?"

"Not really." Everything sucks. I hate my life. I will have to send roses to myself with an anonymous love letter and whisper sweet nothings into my own ear. "I guess I can always call Natalie."

"You must have someone else to call."

Wendy does not like Natalie. All three of us used to live on the same floor in a student dorm at Penn. Natalie calls Wendy an intellectual snob. Wendy calls Natalie a Brahmin elitist. Truthfully, Wendy is an intellectual snob and Natalie is a bit of an elitist. I didn't even know what a Brahmin was until Wendy explained that Natalie belongs to the upper caste of Boston society. "It does sound kind of snooty when you say it like that," I told Wendy.

"Unfortunately, I have no one else to call." The only new people I've spoken to since I moved, besides the weirdos at work, are my fifty-year-old manicurist and my superintendent. I haven't left the apartment much, devoting my spare time to Seinfeld reruns and reading Cosmo, Glamour, City Girls and Mademoiselle to try to mentally collect what I refer to as the Fashion Magazine Fun Facts. These are life rules that will one day help me pinpoint all the things I did wrong in my relationship with Jeremy, make me a better person, and allow me to live a successful, sexy and ultimately satisfying life. Page five says ask him out, page seventy-two says wait for him to call me, page fifty says he wants an independent woman, page fifty-six says he'll walk if I don't make him feel needed… Will smoky-colored eye shadow really make me more desirable? More desirable than a Brazilian bikini wax will? What is a Brazilian bikini wax? It's all very confusing.

"So go out with Natalie tonight, but then you've got to find new friends. What about Samantha?" she asks.

Sam is my annoying roommate. She and her boyfriend are always all over each other. "I don't like her. She makes me use color-coordinated sponges in the kitchen—blue for dishes, green for pots, pink for the counter."

"That makes sense."

Maybe it makes sense to people like Wendy who open public bathroom doors with their feet because they don't want to touch the handle. Not to me. I wonder why I surround myself with such anal personalities.

Still, anal friends are better than no friends.

"Again, why do you like Natalie?" Wendy asks.

Natalie may not be the brightest star in the solar system, but she's fun. Brahmins do have some advantageous qualities. She knows the whole world and would be great at introducing me to lots of Brahmin men, if I ever let her. When I called to tell her I was moving to Boston, she had me hooked up to live with Sam in less than a week. "If you moved here I could hang out with you. Since you don't, Natalie is my only option."

Meet the Author

Sarah was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1977. After graduating with an honors degree in English literature from McGill University, she moved to Toronto to work for a romance publisher. While she never met Fabio, she used her experiences to fuel her first novel Milkrun. After publishing her second novel, Fishbowl, Sarah moved to New York City to write full-time. Since then, Sarah has written As Seen on TV for Red Dress Ink and Bras & Broomsticks, her first teen novel, for Random House. She has been featured in the short story collections, American Girls About Town and Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday. Sarah also coedited the USA TODAY bestselling chick-lit anthology Girls' Night In. Monkey Business is Sarah Mlynowski's fourth novel for Red Dress Ink. She'd love to hear from you—say hello at sarahmlynowski.com.

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Milkrun 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely hilarious. Read it in one night. Definitely made her one of my favorite authors.
harstan More than 1 year ago
When Jackie Norris agreed to accompany her boyfriend on his move from Penn State to Boston, she expected their relationship to strengthen and deepen. Instead, a few weeks later, Jeremy informs her he is taking a leave of absence to travel to Asia by himself even though she offers to come with him.

After a few weeks of hysteria and depression, Jackie decides it is time to find a new and nicer boyfriend. She goes to single bars, but only finds a string of losers. Jeremy returns from Thailand and gets together with Jackie for a one-night stand. Nothing further happens because Jeremy is seeing someone else. Jackie decides to refocus on something that treats her better than men have cared for her.

MILKRUN is a poignant but hopeful picture of life for the Generation Y crowd. The tale is humorous especially with Jackie¿s machinations to find Mr. Right. The results of those dates simply drive her crazy, as she seems to swim in a sea of Mr. Wrongs. Sara Mlynowski debuts with an appealing contemporary tale.

Harriet Klausner

Anley More than 1 year ago
Okay, so this book is not going to change your life or even challenge your soul. But it will give you plenty of laughs and is a great just-for-fun book. There are parts of the book that I could relate to but for the most part, it was a just a fun book to read. I won't go as far as to say you should add this your home library, but give it a chance and I think you'll be happily surprised.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dugger0102 More than 1 year ago
It was a book that i walked into a secondhand store and bought cause it was a nickle i think. I sat down at two that afternoon and could NOT stop reading it! I enjoyed the whole book. I have recently started added this author to my libary. Ever one should try her out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first chick lit book I read and it got me hooked on the genre. I am spending my summer reading this type of novels, but Milkrun is still my favorate. Jackie is an entertaining drama queen that I can relate to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much narative, not enough romance, and what can I say about the ending? What ending? Not recommended for a love story. S.A.K.
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i read this once a few years ago and loved it! since then my reading tastes must have changed because i picked it up off the shelf, re-read it and thought it was God awful. it's so boring and slow and just...predictable. plus there are tons of typos in it and i am a real stickler for spelling/grammar. also, i think the author tries too hard to be funny. just..no. :/
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, I like the way the book is written and the overall story, its cute and witty and funny. But what i absolutely could not stand was the main character, Jackie! She's so incredibly selfish, hypocritical, conceited, shallow, and has no morals. I don't know how she's ever managed to have friends or a boyfriend in the book! I've read 'See Jane Date' which is extremely similar, but Jane was very likable and you could sympathize with her. With Jackie I didn't give a flying dookie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read from Sarah M. and it will not be the last. This book was hilarious and sweet and Jackie is just so nuts...that she makes your head speen. What a great book !
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished Milkrun and I have to say that I enjoyed the entertaining experience. I have read about 30 different books included in this genre and have to admit that this book sits close to the top. The author obviously understands what dating in the 20 something arena is really like. I laughed outloud at some of the main characters troubled situations. As is true with most books in this category, a happy ending is expected. I was not let down. I plan to refer this book to my most discerning friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a flashback to my past. It definitly is a great book for all single women to read. I found myself laughing out loud a few times. A must read.