Sad Desk Salad: A Novel

Sad Desk Salad: A Novel

4.6 20
by Jessica Grose
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Grose, former editor at Slate and at Jezebel, makes her fiction debut with a fun read. Alex Lyons is a writer for Chick Habit, an online women’s gossip magazine. Having been there six months, she is used to the frenzied pace and “‘round-the-clock posting,” and locked into her computer (the last time she stepped away for longer than 10 minutes, a celebrity died). She’s used to second-guessing her own decisions on posts, but the pressure is on to up her views, and Alex has found that it pays to “be a bitch.” When a tip comes in about a genius political writer’s daughter behaving badly, Alex leaps to be the first to leak the story. But the consequences of her action lead to Alex’s life unraveling and her beginning to question everything. Grose (who coauthored Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home) takes what could be a heavy subject—ethical choices and their repercussions—and lightens it. Alex’s rethinking her decision and worry about the consequences strikes a chord, especially considering today’s social networking. An enjoyable debut with a message. Agent: Elizabeth Weed, Weed Literary. (Oct.)
New Republic
“Grose offers an affectionate send-up of the slovenly blogger stereotype, creating a quick-witted heroine who lusts after egg sandwiches and takes comfort in an extravagantly stinky muumuu...delivered with Grose’s appealing good humor...A sense of serendipity lingers over the adventures of new-media chick lit.”
Valerie Frankel
“Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose is the Devil Wears Prada for the blogger age. A laser focused snapshot of our time, the novel gives readers an insider’s perspective on the 24/7 grindhouse of celebrity-obsessed new media. Funny and heartfelt, a must-read.”-
Amy Sohn
“Jessica Grose is a smart, engaging, new voice in fiction. She will make you think anew about celebrity culture, modern feminism, and the perils of living online. She is also very funny. So put your work aside, open your sad desk salad, and read this book!”
Jennifer Weiner
“A whip-smart, lacerating, laugh-out-loud look at what it’s like to be young, smart and trying to make it in the big city.”
Glamour
“Dishy, zingy, hilarious.”
Kirkus Reviews
Fat celebrity thighs and coke-sniffing coeds are fair fodder in this rollicking tour into the life of a gossip blogger, from former Slate editor Grose. When Alex graduated from Wesleyan, she was hoping for a job in serious journalism. Change the world kind of stuff. But alas, she ended up at an NYC online music journal. When an offer to write for Chick Habit came along (a real salary and the chance to write about real issues), she counted herself lucky. That was before the quotas began--she needs a million hits a month, or else. So goodbye sad stories about foreign ladies, hello Real Housewives. This new numbers game is keeping Alex shackled to her laptop, scanning news feeds all day for potentially sexy stories to blog about. Alex knows things are out of hand when her sweet boyfriend, Peter, begs her to shower. Monday begins with a story about a fallen beauty queen, but then Alex gets wind of a hate blog directed at her: Break the Chick Habit, or BTCH. Alex, Tina and Rel, two other writers at Chick Habit, commiserate over scorpion bowls. Hate bloggers are common, but this one seems to have a lot of intimate information. Tuesday brings Alex a shot at blogger fame when an anonymous link is sent to her email. In the video, Becky West, MIT wunderkind, is shown snorting coke. Hardly unconventional college behavior, but it's newsworthy because Becky's mother is Darleen West, Tiger mom famous for her patronizing parenting books. Alex isn't sure she should publish--does Becky deserve the notoriety? Alex's boss, Moira, herself born of the flames of U.K. tabloids, pushes forward. The next day, the video goes viral, Alex will soon appear on the Today show, and BTCH is threatening to expose some dark secrets. Before she has a nervous breakdown, Alex has to find the missing Becky, track the creator of BTCH, reconcile with a furious Peter and patch up her fading sense of self. A quick-witted insider's view of the blogosphere, media pandering, Internet privacy and the difficulty of being a good girl in a bad, bad world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062188342
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,043,776
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)

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What People are saying about this

Valerie Frankel

“Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose is the Devil Wears Prada for the blogger age. A laser focused snapshot of our time, the novel gives readers an insider’s perspective on the 24/7 grindhouse of celebrity-obsessed new media. Funny and heartfelt, a must-read.”-

Amy Sohn

“Jessica Grose is a smart, engaging, new voice in fiction. She will make you think anew about celebrity culture, modern feminism, and the perils of living online. She is also very funny. So put your work aside, open your sad desk salad, and read this book!”

Jennifer Weiner

“A whip-smart, lacerating, laugh-out-loud look at what it’s like to be young, smart and trying to make it in the big city.”

Meet 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.

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Sad Desk Salad: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here?
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Robin Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Before you have your coffee in the morning you have to check the blog postings. Don’t deny it you know you do. Trying to find a new place to go to meet that special someone (hopefully) you check the internet. Need to know what is going on in the lives of the celebrities you follow the internet is your go to. The access is fast and ever changing. Unlike waiting for the magazines, newspapers or even the news on T.V., everything is so yesterday once it hits the airwaves or print. But with the internet, tweeting and blogging you get information so much faster. Good? Bad, it is up to you. Ms. Grose gives us a hilarious look into the crazy life of Alex Lyons and her friends Rel and Tina as they blog. The life of bloggers seems glamorous to those that don’t blog. Easy you say…simple. Well, not so much. You still get the positive reviews which bolster your ego along with the negative which make you think twice most times about what you have chosen to do. One thing nice is the instant success of blogging. You don’t have to wait for the reviews you find out right away with IM’s. In this case Ms. Grose made the IM’s very real with her times and dates. Helped in making the IM’s seem more plausible. She had a way of making Alex like a real blogger or perhaps our image of bloggers in pajamas or unkempt clothes that you just throw on because after all who is going to see you when you work from home? The writing for this easy-breezy story was spot on with the insight into the digital age of everything. Also, how we as a society tend to want to get information quick because of our lack of attention spans. Ms. Grose touched on the lack of privacy for the rich and famous which caused a ‘stalker’ for Alex who sent her hate/bullying in the blogging world to light. How you can easily find yourself so wrapped up you forget about the real world and how to deal with real people. Her lighthearted look into the world although funny also tended to touch on the truth and made everything seem very real and not just a story. I found myself wrapped up in the lives of Alex and her friends…They made me laugh. Who doesn’t need a good laugh once in a while? Whether you are a blogger or just someone who enjoys blogging you will find this story very insightful into the life of bloggers everywhere. Real or not? You can be the judge?
RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
SAD DESK SALAD takes a snarky and impassioned look at American society through the eyes of Alex Lyons who has much more to offer than just snarky wit and charm. This tongue-in-cheek approach to the Internet way of life had me nearly in stitches at times, and at other times, I seriously questioned the sanity of our society. I mean, many Americans literally live for the latest antics of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Amanda Bynes and seek out the latest celebrity sex tape scandal like it’s a ticket to the Italian opera. We’re a crotch flashing, paparazzi attacking, reality show watching, screwed up society. The crazier you are, the more likely you are to actually get attention. We want immediate gratification, and whatever happened two hours ago is old news. Yes, folks, gnats actually have larger attention spans than we do, and it’s only going to get worse. Like Alex, I’d like to “state my opinion without being attacked by the judgment police every goddamn second.” But if you do write a controversial post, it’s important to stand by what you’ve written without feeling the need to defend yourself, even if the comments flood in like a broken dam. “The positive ones are ego inflating, and the negative ones can be soul raping, but if you let them get to you too much, you start pandering to the audience.” I loved the fact that the IMs were time stamped with hours, minutes, and seconds. That’s what we’ve reduced ourselves to people, even though we have 31,536,000 seconds in a year. And if you don’t use them properly, your life could follow Alex’s train wreck tendencies. Her out-of-control spiral resembled her sketchy hygiene, unwashed black eyelet muumuu, and penchant for Internet abbreviations. I cringe at the thought that we might actually enter a world where we can be BTD, BRB, DARFC, BTFO, CBB, DDG, and EMI all in the same sentence. If you don’t like to take yourself or your characters too seriously and you’d like to take a rather hilarious look at the extremist tendencies of our society, you’ll probably find yourself enjoying this read. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Are you looking for a quick chick lit to read to put you in a good mood?  Are you a blogger and want to read a book about a fellow blogger?  This is the book to pick up, it was a perfect chick lit read for this blogger!  Although Alex and I have very different blogs, it was so fun to read a book that centers around a very consuming hobby of mine!  Alex blogs for a blog titled Chick Habit that specializes in the celebrity and issue related news that is happening here and now.  She spends most of her day on her couch looking for the next story that must be ready to go to "print" within 45 minutes of finding the news blurp.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a slow read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is dragged there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tall 18 year old girl with really curly Marie-Grace style blond hair and grey-blue eyes. Funny smart tomboy and sort of a rulebreaker. Bf none has a little sister named Jackie and an older brother named Chase. Also has a nephew named Jack and a neice named Sierra.~l_ottie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to the book "desktop yoga"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Attacks frank then disappears
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thirteen meth qiuter five feet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FU.CK YOU, PO PO!!!!!! *Firebombs the station*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im nook police department!!^_^ ~ashley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brow hair tall no bf loves to party looking for a sweet guy who will love her no mtter wht she does happy even when ppl make fun of her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has gold eyes has silver eyes with gold streaks through his arm a secret one brother called seprioth valintine gf none
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tall slender girl with waist length auburn hair pulled into abponytail. Shes wearing blu skinjy jeans, a light yellowtanktop and sunglasses. Her fingernails are perfecty manicured and yellow to match her shirt. She walks in confidently, dragging three suitcases. She stands studying a campus map
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tall 17 year old that has long blonde hair has no boyfriebd sexy and hard working athletic and smart sweet fierce and cocky. Wants to go to collwge