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Sad Desk Salad PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Sad Desk Salad
Author: Jessica Grose
Publisher: Published October 2nd 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780062188342
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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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 glued to 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.

30 review for Sad Desk Salad

  1. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    When you linger over the two-star review option on this side, a little pop-up appears that says, "It was okay." It was okay. This is the book I am afraid I would write if I tried to write a book. A little too close to my own life, a little more exciting than my own life, a little too expose-y of my career, a little too... this friend of mine from college, that friend of mine from college, this ex-boyfriend, that ex-boyfriend, this grown-up realization that I am responsible for my actions, that gro When you linger over the two-star review option on this side, a little pop-up appears that says, "It was okay." It was okay. This is the book I am afraid I would write if I tried to write a book. A little too close to my own life, a little more exciting than my own life, a little too expose-y of my career, a little too... this friend of mine from college, that friend of mine from college, this ex-boyfriend, that ex-boyfriend, this grown-up realization that I am responsible for my actions, that grown-up realization that I am responsible for my actions, etc. I like Jess Grose The Journalist. I ate so many Sad Desk Salads at my first job, when Jezebel was a New Awesome Thing, and I know that the Internet as I know and love it is thanks in large part to the sites she has helped create. I just didn't like her novel, is all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    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 t 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, fucked up society. The crazier and bitchier 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, CUNT, 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    This book made me feel about a hundred years old. The whole way through I wanted to grab Alex by the shoulders, give her a good shake, and then tell her to a) take a shower and WASH YOUR HAIR THIS TIME b) eat some food that is not from the bodega across the street and c) take off that goddamn muumuu and burn it. I'm not a mother, yet I felt like someone needed to tell this idiot what the basics of human care are. Maybe you'd be less of a psychotic freak if you got more than a few hours of sleep This book made me feel about a hundred years old. The whole way through I wanted to grab Alex by the shoulders, give her a good shake, and then tell her to a) take a shower and WASH YOUR HAIR THIS TIME b) eat some food that is not from the bodega across the street and c) take off that goddamn muumuu and burn it. I'm not a mother, yet I felt like someone needed to tell this idiot what the basics of human care are. Maybe you'd be less of a psychotic freak if you got more than a few hours of sleep at night? It's certainly worth a try, sweetheart. (Wow! I didn't realize how much I hated her until I wrote this review! I've upped it to two stars since I had such a reaction to her.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Rayment

    The Good Stuff •Delightfully wicked and fun •Perfect for a day at the beach or for commuting •Good character development and relevant to today's life (Damn people get paid to blog -- cough cough somebody pay me please) •Actually makes you think about the moral dilemma involved - what would I have done in the same situation - do we have a right to intrude into the family of celebrities, etc •Laugh out loud funny yet almost heart warming at times •Nice to see realistic friendships between the char The Good Stuff •Delightfully wicked and fun •Perfect for a day at the beach or for commuting •Good character development and relevant to today's life (Damn people get paid to blog -- cough cough somebody pay me please) •Actually makes you think about the moral dilemma involved - what would I have done in the same situation - do we have a right to intrude into the family of celebrities, etc •Laugh out loud funny yet almost heart warming at times •Nice to see realistic friendships between the characters •Actually quite fast paced for this type of story - was engrossed could not put it down (Um maybe not good for commuting after-all - nothing worse than missing your stop because you were too engrossed in a book - not that that has ever happened to me or anything-- cough cough LIAR) •I really enjoyed her commentary on judgmental mothers and those that propose that staying home with your kids is the ONLY way to raise healthy, happy, successful children •Love the real relationship between Alex and her mom The Not So Good Stuff •A tad repetitive at times Favorite Quotes/Passages "These days if feels like I get paid to be a bitch. It makes me feel pretty terrible when I think about it, but the meaner I am, the better my posts do - and I can't afford to meet my quota." "If I had rebelled by doing whippets in the woods rather than reading in my room, would it have been because my mom wasn't home to open the front door for me every day of her damn life." Who is Darlene West anyway, to tell people that they're bad parents? Now that she's running for office, she has the potential to have even more influence on American women than she already does." "Now I go silent. I thought my mom would have an easy, soothing answer for me. But now I realize that was a foolish expectation. I have to take responsibility for my own choices." Who Should/Shouldn't Read •Perfect for fans of Jennifer Weiner, Jen Lancaster, Jenny Lawson and Helen Fielding •Blog writers will get a kick out of it •Anyone who just wants a smart but fun read 4.25/5 Dewey's I received this from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review

  5. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    I was very excited by the premise of this book. An internet blogger dealing with the fallout of a post and how we aren't just anonymous and what we say and do even online has consequences. That we can't or shouldn't separate who we are in the world from who we are online and think it is okay to do something morally ambiguous because its coming from a keyboard and not face to face. All great ideas and could be thoughtful and insightful. However, Alex, the protagonist of this story, is a whiny self I was very excited by the premise of this book. An internet blogger dealing with the fallout of a post and how we aren't just anonymous and what we say and do even online has consequences. That we can't or shouldn't separate who we are in the world from who we are online and think it is okay to do something morally ambiguous because its coming from a keyboard and not face to face. All great ideas and could be thoughtful and insightful. However, Alex, the protagonist of this story, is a whiny self-absorbed snot! Maybe I am too old to care about her 25 year old angst, but I don't think so, since I work in the high-tech industry as well as help my young adult children navigate the murky waters of the internet and social networking. She is totally tortured over her choice to post a racy video of the daughter of a Sarah Palin type mother. She cry's to everyone, alienating them all. She treats her significant other like crap when she is in the wrong for having read his work documents that were confidential. She is unbelievably immature. I am sure there are a ton of people like Alex in the world, but if this is a week in the life...then she will be dead by her 30th birthday! It was written in first person present as thought Alex is telling us this story, but for a writer she is not the best story teller. It's obvious the writer knows her world well and I think this story, if Alex had been a more likeable person, could have been very compelling. Instead it was just another self-absorbed 20-something living their life out-loud on the internet and then regretting it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Ardoin

    3.75 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 compro 3.75 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 :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I’m not quite sure how I came across SAD DESK SALAD, but I believe it involved shopping on Amazon many months ago while half asleep, mindlessly clicking and inevitably buying something I didn’t mean to. In my haze, I forgot to return it, and in the end found SAD DESK SALAD by Jessica Grose sitting on my Kindle as I browsed through. After finishing HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? by Sheila Heti, honestly the written equivalent of the show Girls (by the way, Lena Dunham is not the voice of my generation, I’m not quite sure how I came across SAD DESK SALAD, but I believe it involved shopping on Amazon many months ago while half asleep, mindlessly clicking and inevitably buying something I didn’t mean to. In my haze, I forgot to return it, and in the end found SAD DESK SALAD by Jessica Grose sitting on my Kindle as I browsed through. After finishing HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? by Sheila Heti, honestly the written equivalent of the show Girls (by the way, Lena Dunham is not the voice of my generation, so critics can stuff it), I was looking for something in the same category – twentysomethings dealing with issues beyond which bad boy to make out with and brood over. SAD DESK SALAD can be described as Girls meets the internet gossip community Oh No They Didn’t. It’s about a Brooklyn hipster who writes for a juicy gossip blog who uncovers via email the link to a Sarah Palin-type’s daughter doing coke and getting naked on camera. Our hipster protagonist decides to post the clip, and all hell breaks loose in the form of her boyfriend getting worried, the pressure of sudden fame, the pressure of sudden hatred, and more. OKAY, FINE, IT’S THE NOVELIZATION OF JEZEBEL Author Grose is a former staff writer for Jezebel, the women-centric gossip blog that gets its fair share of love and hate. Chick Habit in SAD DESK SALAD is basically Jezebel except much snarkier, unless Jezebel has suddenly morphed into a website known more for its bitchery than its content. I have to admit it – although she was a complete mess of a person, a woman who needed a stern talking to by her mother and not just an excuse for her to think about her actions, I actually liked our heroine Alex. The people in her life, from her boss to her boyfriend to her friends? Not so much. Beyond our heroine and her issues, the rest of the characters are completely two dimensional and But I’ll just admit it. This book is a train wreck, but you know train wrecks. You see the train spinning out of control, bursting into flames, hurtling bits of metal and steel everywhere, but you can’t look away from the crash. Would I suggest this book? Maybe, if you’re looking for super light. But otherwise, there isn’t a lot to say. It’s ultimately a forgettable, yet temporarily amusing, escape. That’s about it. VERDICT: Yes, it’s not the most well-written book in the world – far from it, actually. But SAD DESK SALAD’s exploits and fun and enticing, keeping you reading to find out what ridiculous thing happens next.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Alex works for Chick Habit, a gossip blog. Perk: Alex gets to work at home. Cons: Alex can never go anywhere without her laptop. Also the death threats are a major con. You have to take the good with the bad when you write for a gossip blog. Alex’s day starts with her waking up early, chatting with her boss where her boss gives her four topics to choose form to write about on the news for the morning and then the rest of the day involves Alex writing fluff pieces about random topics. This is whe Alex works for Chick Habit, a gossip blog. Perk: Alex gets to work at home. Cons: Alex can never go anywhere without her laptop. Also the death threats are a major con. You have to take the good with the bad when you write for a gossip blog. Alex’s day starts with her waking up early, chatting with her boss where her boss gives her four topics to choose form to write about on the news for the morning and then the rest of the day involves Alex writing fluff pieces about random topics. This is when the most readers log on to read about the latest happenings involving their favorite celebrity or latest teen pregnancy. All the time while sitting at their desk eating their Sad Desk Salad. Alex gets her big break when a prime story lands in her lap. Alex runs with the story. She causes a major uproar with the story. Sad Desk Salad is a cheeky, chick lit read. This book is about reporting the news via the world wide web. Readers like you and me see these stories all the time when we get on the internet or check out gossip blogs for the latest news about news or celebrities. We don’t really get to see the behind the story look at how the writers gather information or the back lash they receive from publishing the stories. This is what this book is about, the behind the look. It is not pretty. You have to be thick skinned. The characters while they can be annoying at times and snaky are entertaining. I do have to agree with Alex’s boss, Moira that Alex did need to grow some balls. She was a bit of a push over and had a soul. Not a bad thing to have a soul but it is a bad thing when you are writing for a gossip blog. As Alex learned just how quickly people can turn on you when you do an expose. After a while of reading this book, I did jump ahead some to where the meaty part of the story really picked up. Sad Desk Salad is worth a look.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I received this book as an early copy from another website and of course, I had hoped to enjoy it and not be bored or irritated by it but I didn't expect that I would like it as much as I do. It was a great story. There were times when I couldn't put it down. It shows a life that I am not familiar with but I see from a distance. I see those postings on Yahoo and other places but I never really thought about who would be writing them and why, where and how. And how the writer might also be reading I received this book as an early copy from another website and of course, I had hoped to enjoy it and not be bored or irritated by it but I didn't expect that I would like it as much as I do. It was a great story. There were times when I couldn't put it down. It shows a life that I am not familiar with but I see from a distance. I see those postings on Yahoo and other places but I never really thought about who would be writing them and why, where and how. And how the writer might also be reading those comments. I love good character development and I thought that was really good in this book. For me, good character development means things don't seem phony and exaggerated, it just seems realistic, and these characters did. Even though it is about a generation of women much younger than me, some things remain the same, like best friend connections. No matter how much time has passed since you've seen each other, that is the person who understands you. That's the person you need to talk to when things get crazy. Also, what it's like to adjust to a good relationship when you've only had bad ones before. Things like that are timeless and made me able to identify with the main character, regardless of her age. There were lines in the book that left me thinking for a while and not every book does that. To paraphrase one, she basically says that while life often moves at a frantic pace, the consequences of the choices we make only unfold over a long period of time. That type of statement makes it a 5 star book for me. I expected that at best this would be light entertainment and it was light entertainment but I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. Great book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I think that anyone who blogs will appreciate Alex's story for sure, especially those who blog professionally. Internet and blogging ethics are still evolving and this book is a great commentary on the nebulous state of them today. Also, the author worked at both Slate and Jezebel so I assume that Alex's story is fairly realistic as far as what it's like working as an online writer. Alex has to keep up on pop culture as part of her job and this book is full of pop culture references which was fun I think that anyone who blogs will appreciate Alex's story for sure, especially those who blog professionally. Internet and blogging ethics are still evolving and this book is a great commentary on the nebulous state of them today. Also, the author worked at both Slate and Jezebel so I assume that Alex's story is fairly realistic as far as what it's like working as an online writer. Alex has to keep up on pop culture as part of her job and this book is full of pop culture references which was fun if you are an entertainment junkie like me. I love reading dirt about celebrities even though I know I shouldn't. Alex feels twinges of guilt about her snarky posts just like I sometimes do when I read that kind of snark. The author did a great job of making the stress that Alex feels palpable to the reader. I spent most of the book wishing Alex would take a shower! She wears the same ugly dress most every day and doesn't have time for much personal grooming because she must be in front of her computer at her editor's beck and call. In addition to the ethics storyline, there is also a mystery element as someone is trying to sabotage Alex's career. I already found the book fun to read and the mystery made it that much harder to put down. If you spend a lot of time online (and who doesn't these days?) and are looking for something quick and fun to read, then this would be a great book for you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    I don't quite remembering yelling "take a shower" or "change your clothes" quite so much at a fictional character before. So, that was new. More of a two and half star book - interesting look at the rather cutthroat business of celebrity gossip via the internet but presented through a week in the life of someone who, aside from the before-mentioned hygiene issues, is highly unlikable because she sits and thinks through all the reasons she shouldn't do something and then does it anyway. That gets I don't quite remembering yelling "take a shower" or "change your clothes" quite so much at a fictional character before. So, that was new. More of a two and half star book - interesting look at the rather cutthroat business of celebrity gossip via the internet but presented through a week in the life of someone who, aside from the before-mentioned hygiene issues, is highly unlikable because she sits and thinks through all the reasons she shouldn't do something and then does it anyway. That gets annoying after about 50 pages.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I waffle between 2 and 3 stars. The book was not what I expected from the title, which is great, and what made me pick up the book. I spent too much time being annoyed at the main character - she suffered from the urban 20-something version of the romance novel trope of misunderstanding. Also there were some odd occurences in the book that were intended as red herrings to the sort-of mystery, but they were never explained.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    The title is what caught my eye first: I too find salads eaten at one's desk to be unbearably tragic. Then I saw the author's name and the fact that she is a former blogger for Gawker media, and a light bulb went on over my head: she used to write for Jezebel! She wrote a book based on Jezebel! I opened it up and was hooked; it's official: this smart, funny book based on my favorite blog has me wanting more!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leila Cohan-Miccio

    This book about professional blogging was TOO REAL and made me anxious enough that I had to repeatedly remind myself that I never have to do that job again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arielle

    Vapid, not a whole lot happened, and the title is a dumb phrase that appeared in the book but has absolutely no business being the title because it isn't related to anything important.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Schorr

    This book was a gritty, urban chick lit where the heroine didn't always do the right thing and was sometimes unlikeable. I liked it. Alex grew as a character and we got to see her through those growing pains. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading about sweet characters falling in love against a setting of cozy tea shops in small towns, but I do wish there were more books like this in the genre like there used to be - protagonist in the big city trying to find her way and getting a whole lot of los This book was a gritty, urban chick lit where the heroine didn't always do the right thing and was sometimes unlikeable. I liked it. Alex grew as a character and we got to see her through those growing pains. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading about sweet characters falling in love against a setting of cozy tea shops in small towns, but I do wish there were more books like this in the genre like there used to be - protagonist in the big city trying to find her way and getting a whole lot of lost along the way. Sometimes chick lit and romantic comedy can be used to describe the same thing, but not in this case. There was no romance, but it was most definitely chick lit.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I remember getting this from one of those daily book deals emails and thinking the premise sounds good for the price I don’t recall what I paid for it but I really hope it was free. It’s cheap writing

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    2.5 stars. Alex is a blogger for a website called "Chick Habit" that basically rounds up interesting news from around the web and summarizes it up along with snarky commentary; the more hits her posts receive, the happier her boss is - and the more likely she is to succeed at her job. Posts about celebrities get more hits and comments than ones about serious news, so she's glued to the computer, waiting for new scandals to hit so she can write about them. She takes criticism from commenters on t 2.5 stars. Alex is a blogger for a website called "Chick Habit" that basically rounds up interesting news from around the web and summarizes it up along with snarky commentary; the more hits her posts receive, the happier her boss is - and the more likely she is to succeed at her job. Posts about celebrities get more hits and comments than ones about serious news, so she's glued to the computer, waiting for new scandals to hit so she can write about them. She takes criticism from commenters on the blog really personally, but she still makes the controversial decision to post a video of a "perfect" daughter of a celebrity snorting cocaine. Her name suddenly becomes recognizable, thanks to being the writer who broke this news, but she's torn about whether she did the right thing. Meanwhile, a hate website has sprung up demonizing Alex and the other regular bloggers, digging up dirt from their pasts, and Alex is determined to figure out who's behind it, even though her full schedule strains her relationship with her boyfriend. I liked the idea behind this story. "Chick Habit" is basically every gossip website out there, and it's easy to see how such a site could become so popular. It was interesting to think about Alex's daily routine, not wanting to be away from her phone or laptop for more than a minute, scared she'd miss out on breaking news, and struggling to fulfill her daily quotas of posts. It seemed like a fairly realistic look behind the scenes. The characters and plot were kinda thin, as was the book. Alex was supposed to be kinda neurotic and sensitive, but she never really came alive; I found her annoying. She seemed to take things too personally and didn't seem to bring much to the relationship with her boyfriend, either - she took him for granted, rarely showered (she'd miss news if she was in the shower!), and constantly wore a muumuu because it was easy to throw on. It didn't make sense why he even wanted to be with her. I guess I just didn't relate to her very well because her personality seemed manufactured and not "real". Her friends and other bloggers all felt one-dimensional as well. It was as if the author gave each character a stock personality and never bothered to develop them deeper: The perky, brown-nosing intern. The too-cool girl. The mysterious hot-and-cold girl. That was as deep as the personalities went. For the plot, I was interested in the moral dilemma of whether a celebrity/politician's children are fair game to report on when video evidence of them in illegal situations surface. I also was interested in the mystery of who was behind the hate website, even though the website itself sounded pretty lame and I didn't understand why Alex and the other bloggers were so upset about it. The book seemed to move along pretty quickly, which kept me reading, even though nothing was touched on any deeper than that. This is one of those books that I probably could have put down and not finished reading, but I kept at it because I was curious how it would end. The ending, however, was really disappointing - it just skipped ahead in time and recapped the elapsed time. It was rather anti-climactic to not be able to "see" the aftermath of everything, but at the same time, the plot was so thin that not much actually happened. This is not a book I'd recommend, but it wasn't bad.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    ARC received through the Goodreads First Reads program. I wish I could have given this book 2.5 stars, but since that is not possible I made the decision to round up after I realized how quickly I had zipped through the book. It may not have been my favorite, but I definitely wanted to know what happens next. Sad Desk Salad chronicles a week in the life of Alex Lyons, a blogger for the gossip website “Chick Habit.” From Monday to Thursday, Alex’s life becomes progressively more hectic, and on Frid ARC received through the Goodreads First Reads program. I wish I could have given this book 2.5 stars, but since that is not possible I made the decision to round up after I realized how quickly I had zipped through the book. It may not have been my favorite, but I definitely wanted to know what happens next. Sad Desk Salad chronicles a week in the life of Alex Lyons, a blogger for the gossip website “Chick Habit.” From Monday to Thursday, Alex’s life becomes progressively more hectic, and on Friday it finally looks like things may settle. There are of course the normal stresses of her job: writing her post quota for the day, making sure she gets enough page views for the month, and finding time to eat and shower without her boss sending her a nasty IM when Alex does not respond to an e-mail right away. Then there are the crises that are not so every-day. She and her co-workers find a hate blog about them and decide to find out who is behind it. Then, Alex receives an anonymous e-mail linking to a video of a celebrity's perfect daughter participating in some not-so-perfect activities. The rest of the week consists of Alex coping with the hate mail and death threats she receives after releasing the video on “Chick Habit.” Oh, and there is also relationship trouble between Alex and her co-workers, friends, mother, and boyfriend. And an appearance on the Today show. All of that rolled into one week! I was exhausted just reading it. As mentioned before, Sad Desk Salad is a fast read. There were times when I would think, “Woah, that’s me,” like the part where Alex is describing her mounting desperation to find a job after graduating. Other times, I was just frustrated because of the bad decisions she made. Constantly. Avoiding her boyfriend who obviously loves her and is good for her, ignoring her best friend’s advice, accusing her co-workers of things because she is paranoid and the list goes on. The bad decision mountain just got very difficult to climb after a while. There were also tangents that, while they explained Alex’s relationships with other characters, were a bit lengthy. By the end of some of them I forgot what was happening before the tangent was started. While I found Alex a bit frustrating, I did enjoy the people she surrounded herself with. Her best friend, Jane, tells it like it is, even if she knows Alex won’t like what is being said. Jane also is caring and supportive of Alex, and knows when to be tough and when to sit back and listen. Peter, Alex’s boyfriend is sweet and brings Alex down to earth. For most of the novel he is annoyed-progressing-to-angry at Alex (with good reason), but our brief glimpses of Happy Peter show how he tames Alex’s crazy side while still being fun. And then there is Alex’s mother, whom Alex is constantly trying to make proud. Alex’s mother is not harsh or hard to please. She is the opposite: nice, hard working, able to calm Alex down, and very much concerned with Alex’s happiness. The relationship between Alex and her mother was my favorite of the book. Spoiler: Don’t worry. Even with all the crazy drama and death threats, drama everything works out for everyone.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    When I heard about Sad Desk Salad, I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to read it. I mean what kind of title is Sad Desk Salad? However, despite finding the title just a little bit strange, I decided to go ahead and see exactly what the book was about — and after reading it, although I still don’t think the title sufficiently sums up the book, it IS a part of the book therefore, it works. I thought the synopsis sounded excellent so when I saw it was on Edelweiss to request to review, I went ahead When I heard about Sad Desk Salad, I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to read it. I mean what kind of title is Sad Desk Salad? However, despite finding the title just a little bit strange, I decided to go ahead and see exactly what the book was about — and after reading it, although I still don’t think the title sufficiently sums up the book, it IS a part of the book therefore, it works. I thought the synopsis sounded excellent so when I saw it was on Edelweiss to request to review, I went ahead and requested it, and was approved which made my day and I duly started reading that evening. Sad Desk Salad is one of the only novels I’ve ever read to focus on what it is to be a blogger, in this case, a celebrity blogger (think TMZ, Perez Hilton etc). Alex Lyons has a job most people would dream of, spending her days on her sofa writing up stories for the gossip website Chick Habit. The juicier the better, as far as Alex (and her bosses) are concerned because all that matters in the blogging world is page views, page views, page views. So when Alex is sent a juicy exclusive – a perfect mum’s (and politician) young daughter snorting coke it goes without saying that Chick Habit will indeed publish it, but publishing the video has repercussions for Alex she never dreamed of. Repercussions that not only threaten her, but also threaten her job, her friendships and her relationships, but is it just too late for Alex to do the “right” thing? I quite liked Sad Desk Salad. It wasn’t perfect, but for what it was I enjoyed it. The novel takes place over the course of a few days, but in those few days, Alex’s life is turned upside down. As much as I liked Alex as a character, I found her to be wanting. She just couldn’t see the way she was acting was just not good at all. She wasn’t at all culpable with the video she posted, blaming everyone but herself, and I just sort of wanted her to admit she was struggling. Admit she was wrong. Instead of trying to carry on with things as if it were normal. As if treating your boyfriend terribly is an OK thing to do. Basically, I think I just wanted her to get a bit of a grip, I wanted a bit more oomph and passion. However there were bits of Alex I liked. I thought her job gave us a fab insight into the celebrity blogging world. Her narration was excellent and even when I most wanted to strangle her, I still wanted to carry on reading because she was just a brilliant to read heroine and her narration was very much the kind I enjoy reading. I will very much be on the lookout for a second novel by Grose. She clearly is a good writer, and with a little bit more depth and oomph into a character, she can probably pull off an even better novel. Despite it’s weird title (I said it makes sense, I still think it’s a strange title, although I will settle for calling it quirky), Sad Desk Salad is very much a title worth your time. A novel about blogging is so rare (surprisingly so, actually, now that I think about it) and Grose is very on the money with Alex and Chick Habit.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This sort-of roman à clef is about Alex Lyons, a 25 year old New Yorker who blogs for Chick Habit, a snarky women’s website that closely resembled the real-life Jezebel.com (where Jessica Grose previously worked). The book spans roughly 4 days, during which Alex suffers moral pangs after posting an incriminating video featuring the daughter of a Republican politician/parenting advice author. Under pressure to attract traffic to the website, Alex writes increasingly outrageous and unkind things, This sort-of roman à clef is about Alex Lyons, a 25 year old New Yorker who blogs for Chick Habit, a snarky women’s website that closely resembled the real-life Jezebel.com (where Jessica Grose previously worked). The book spans roughly 4 days, during which Alex suffers moral pangs after posting an incriminating video featuring the daughter of a Republican politician/parenting advice author. Under pressure to attract traffic to the website, Alex writes increasingly outrageous and unkind things, while simultaneously losing her shit when an anonymous blogger starts a website devoted to insulting Alex and the other Chick Habit writers. She grows increasingly evasive around her real-life circle, comprising her mom, boyfriend Peter and best friend Jane -- each one more saintly than the next. The book is a quick read, and anyone who wants an inside, slightly cynical view of working for women’s interest media will probably enjoy parts of it. For example, Alex talks about breaking down “hard-news posts” into three categories: “sad foreign ladies, dead babies, sexist statistics.” We’re lead to believe that Alex is notionally passionate about these topics, which unfortunately do not attract pageviews. Instead, she has to focus on “celebrity drama and civilian controversy” -- which is what the job demands, but it also seems like it would be easier to do anyway. The downside to this book is the thin characterization of basically everyone. Alex is a cipher with the generic backstory of today’s modern girl. Before meeting her nice boyfriend, she dated a guy who was not nice. She’s also had “some scattered hookups that provided fodder for hungover Sunday brunches with the girls.” Oh, do tell! Her chief weakness is her attraction to guys who are attractive: “muscular without being bulky with a perfectly proportioned tall frame.” Her other chief weaknesses are a limpet-like clinging to other people’s expectations, coupled with an acute sensitivity to judgment. Plus bad hygiene. (For the record, the supporting cast fairs no better in terms of characterization. We’re lead to believe, for example, that one of Alex’s coworkers is intimidatingly cool. As evidence, we’re told that “her IM handle is a reference to Todd Solondz’s indie film classic about an unfortunate tween called Welcome to the Dollhouse.” Okay, sure.) I’m always interested to see how the Internet gets represented in the classic print genre -- the novel. I wish that Grose spent more time on some of the contradictions of Alex’s job. I’m curious to know what it’s like to churn out posts for a maw of difficult to please commenters. Those aspects of the book were far more interesting than the manufactured drama between Alex and her boyfriend or the tacked-on mystery of figuring out who was behind the anonymous hate blog. There were the beginnings of some interesting themes here and it would have been nice to see them fleshed out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Viviane Crystal

    Chick Habit is a sponsored website where a group of women are paid to write what others refer to a "gossip" column, posting comments on contemporary social and cultural items of high interest throughout the entire day. Their success depends on the number of hits they achieve each day for the advertisers and promoters, and the ceiling rises with time. Alex Lyons works for this site, known as "Chick Habit." Alex works from home in a smelly mu mu and leaves the apartment only to get her lunch of th Chick Habit is a sponsored website where a group of women are paid to write what others refer to a "gossip" column, posting comments on contemporary social and cultural items of high interest throughout the entire day. Their success depends on the number of hits they achieve each day for the advertisers and promoters, and the ceiling rises with time. Alex Lyons works for this site, known as "Chick Habit." Alex works from home in a smelly mu mu and leaves the apartment only to get her lunch of the title name of this novel. Her life is consumed on getting the dirt that will really capture her reader's attention and increase their large audience. It's one website that is multiplied dozens and dozens of times elsewhere, sometimes under the guise of news and at other times being equivalent to a sleazy paparazzi-haunted newspaper or TV scandal sheet. So just when Alex's quota seems unreachable, a "source" hands her a provocative story on a silver platter via email and some quick chat texts with photos. The news is an explosive expose about the behavior of a daughter of a woman who has written a book about perfect parenting. What follows is not just cute, inane comments about social events or notable people. Some interpret the expose as a violation of civil privacy and some treat it as a necessary statement about those who don't live the talk of perfection. The responses are even more devastating as one particular writer decides to get even with Alex and begins to post pictures and comments that are hugely embarrassing to Alex. The writer even threatens to tell a story about Alex's father that would shame her immensely and which even make her wonder how much she did or didn't know about her father. At the same time her relationship with her boyfriend is deteriorating and he challenges her reasons for spending innumerable hours on such a sordid career, which offends her but causes her to question her own career goals. She and her friends decide to track down this attacker and find out why this response is so vitriolic. And, as usual the media are having a frenzied heyday with the whole sordid series of exposures. Sad Desk Salad is a timely novel about an issue of immense significance in today's media onslaught of "bad" behavior on the part of stars and notable persons. Where is the line between privacy and public right to knowledge of those who hold themselves up as public models? How far is "too far?" Light in tone in just the right spots, serious where such an issue should be, this novel is one that deserves higher attention and discussion. Although it's a surface treatment, it's the beginning of a necessary conversation. Nice intro, Jessica Grose!!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    Taking us behind the scenes of the world in which author Jessica Grose has forged her career, Sad Desk Salad gives a lighthearted insight into modern day tabloid journalism. Alex Lyons is a blogger for Chick Habit, an online zine site focusing on celebrity gossip, fashion, pithy social commentary and controversial opinion. Responsible for publishing a dozen or more posts a day, Alex obsessively browses through Twitter, Facebook, her RSS feeds and news sites for inspiration from her couch, churni Taking us behind the scenes of the world in which author Jessica Grose has forged her career, Sad Desk Salad gives a lighthearted insight into modern day tabloid journalism. Alex Lyons is a blogger for Chick Habit, an online zine site focusing on celebrity gossip, fashion, pithy social commentary and controversial opinion. Responsible for publishing a dozen or more posts a day, Alex obsessively browses through Twitter, Facebook, her RSS feeds and news sites for inspiration from her couch, churning out pieces designed to attract the attention of Chick Habit's readers. Sad Desk Salad traces a frenetic week in which Alex's desperate desire to meet her quota (1 million hits a month), creates a conflict between her real and virtual life. Caught up in her world of virtual drama, which includes being targeted by an anonymous 'hater' who sets up a blog "Breaking the Chick Habit" Alex fails to recognise the changes in her self that are putting a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend and friends. Her perspective warped by her immersion in a arena that rewards controversy, gossip and scandal mongering, it isn't until Alex posts a damning video that could do irreparable harm to the reputation of a young woman who is only a 'celebrity' by association with her politically ambitious mother that she is hit by a crisis of conscience and begins to reconsider what is important to her. Grose keeps things light in Sad Desk Salad, it is often funny and sharp but unfortunately the novel lacked the insight I had hoped for. The author's examination of the eroding boundaries between 'public' and 'private' arenas is superficial at best. Not exactly a surprise really considering the author's own background as a writer and editor at sites just like the fictional Chick Habit, but disappointing that the potential of such a relevant social issue was left unexplored. What Grose does do well is highlight society's growing obsession with virtual connections. Alex doesn't shower for days in the fear of missing an important text or email, her iPhone is her constant companion and her obsession with the virtual world overshadows her interactions with real people. Sadly Alex reminds me of at least a couple of women I know whose obsessive checking of Facebook and Twitter has stalled many a conversation. Sad Desk Salad (so titled in reference to the meal women most often consume as they browse the internet during lunch at their desks) is a quick contemporary read. Largely amusing and socially relevant (especially if you are a blogger) it's light entertainment for the igeneration.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    Well, if you're reading this, you're connected online in some way - reading blogs, surfing websites, tweeting, posting etc. Now how much time do you spend online? Alex Lyons, the main character in Jessica Grose's debut novel, Sad Desk Salad, spends a minimum of twelve hours a day online. She's a writer for Chick Habit - a women's website that skewers just about anything and everything. When Alex receives an anonymous email with a link to a blockbuster scoop, she has to decide if her job is worth Well, if you're reading this, you're connected online in some way - reading blogs, surfing websites, tweeting, posting etc. Now how much time do you spend online? Alex Lyons, the main character in Jessica Grose's debut novel, Sad Desk Salad, spends a minimum of twelve hours a day online. She's a writer for Chick Habit - a women's website that skewers just about anything and everything. When Alex receives an anonymous email with a link to a blockbuster scoop, she has to decide if her job is worth more than her morals. For, the scoop may ruin another young woman's life. And is the job ruining hers? It was interesting to see behind the scenes of an online site - the frenetic postings, the pressure to find the next scoop, to have the comments and stats needed to stay on top. Grose herself worked as an editor at Jezebel and Slate. Both publications bear a remarkable similarity to Chick Habit, so it truly seems like Grose has given us a real insider's look behind the curtain. Grose raises interesting questions about our fascination with celebrity, gossip and the effect modern media has on our lives, using Alex as a vehicle. Sadly though, I just didn't like the main character. I found Alex to be shallow and self centred and very two dimensional. I identified more with her best friend Jane, who was more grounded and saw things with clearer eyes. Although Alex makes some personal revelations as the book progresses, they just came too late for this reader. (And I'm pretty grossed out by the fact that she doesn't bother showering and wears the same mu mu for nearly a week.) There is a thinly veiled 'mystery' that kept me reading as I wanted answers. And, I wanted to know if Alex would reclaim her life. The final chapters do provide neat tying up of ends. Fans of the aforementioned online sites will eat this book up, but for this reader it was just okay.Tag lines have declared the book funny and comic. Others may find it humourous, but I didn't. The cover is pretty cute though. Speaking of eating - the title? "We get the most readers around lunch-time, when girls in offices all over the East Coast eat their sad desk salads and force down bites of desiccated chicken breasts while scrolling through our latest posts. We get another traffic bump around four, when our West Coast counterparts eat their greens with low-fat dressing." On reading the author's notes at the end, Grose thanks many people - "for encouraging the crazy idea that I could write a novel in five months while holding down a full-time job without having a nervous breakdown. And they were mostly right." Hmm.....

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    I didn't not like this book, but it wasn't the best thing I ever read, either. Alex Lyons is a writer for a website called Chick Habit, a kind of celebrity gossip site that also has some real news stories. She had always dreamed of being a serious writer, but since jobs were scarce and she needed one, she has this one. She works from the apartment that she shares with her boyfriend, but seldom leaves the apartment, since there are a certain number of stories that must be done on a certain deadli I didn't not like this book, but it wasn't the best thing I ever read, either. Alex Lyons is a writer for a website called Chick Habit, a kind of celebrity gossip site that also has some real news stories. She had always dreamed of being a serious writer, but since jobs were scarce and she needed one, she has this one. She works from the apartment that she shares with her boyfriend, but seldom leaves the apartment, since there are a certain number of stories that must be done on a certain deadline each day. The "Sad Desk Salad" of the title refers to the quick and standard lunch that so many office employees eat at their desk every day - though Alex is usually sitting on her couch eating hers. Also, she has been facing a lot of stress, since all of the writers have been told that they need to have a daily pageview number to keep their jobs. And there is a new assistant at the actual office for the website, who Alex is certain is trying to steal her job. But that stress is nothing compared to what happens when she gets an anonymous e-mail with a link to a story about a politician's daughter that could ruin the daughter's life, but get Alex the pageviews that she needs. Once her boss tells her that they can legally run the video, and she posts it, her life seems to spiral out of control. She gets another threatening e-mail saying that video should be removed, or she will be sorry. Followed up with some pictures from her high school days posted on a hate website for the Chick Habit one. At this point, Alex becomes paranoid, and loses all sense of reality trying to determine who is doing this. She is also having problems with her boyfriend, but feels she can't take the time to work them out. For anyone who might be reading this book or wanting to, that's all I'll say. It was an interesting enough book, but Alex was not incredibly likable to me. One thing this book did reinforce for me is that today's world with it's instantaneous sharing of events and stories means that nearly everyone has access to incriminating or embarrassing stories, pictures, etc., as well as the ability to share them. With cell phone cameras, and social media, millions of people can see/hear about something before the subject even realizes that something is happening in the first place. It makes me even happier that I am not a well-known person!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    The Deal: For the last six months, Alex Lyons has been working for Chick Habit - a up and coming blog that covers all sorts of women-related things like celebrities and pop culture - and though at first it seemed like a great opportunity, it's starting to drive her crazy. She spends her days glued to the computer/iphone, showers only occasionally and has been wearing the same ugly muumuu every day of the summer so far. And she has melt downs each time she gets hate mail. Still, she can't seem to The Deal: For the last six months, Alex Lyons has been working for Chick Habit - a up and coming blog that covers all sorts of women-related things like celebrities and pop culture - and though at first it seemed like a great opportunity, it's starting to drive her crazy. She spends her days glued to the computer/iphone, showers only occasionally and has been wearing the same ugly muumuu every day of the summer so far. And she has melt downs each time she gets hate mail. Still, she can't seem to tear herself away, and she can help but succumbing to the pressure her boss, Moira, puts on her to keep spewing out content and grow a pair and stop whimpering about said hate mail. Things get seriously complicated one week when she stumbles into an irresistible scoop that could very well destroy someone's life. My Thoughts: I started Sad Desk Salad with high hopes, I was actually talking through a friend while I read the first few chapters and kept quoting stuff at her, because Sad Desk Salad starts in a very funny way that resonated with me - I'm a blogger too, after all - and when she was going nuts about page views and less than nice comments that part rang quite true. But as time passed and the scoop bit was revealed, I found myself wishing Alex would grow a pair too. And that she would stop being such a paranoid psycho. She's almost thirty yet she keeps behaving in a very childish way - particularly with her boyfriend Peter and her best friend Jane - and blames everyone but herself for the things that keep happening to her. I started the book liking Alex a lot, but by the end I'm not sure I liked her at all. Though the book had it's funny moments it did started to moralize a little toward the end which is just annoying - and there is this sort of mystery thread running through that added to that and was pretty thin. Sad Desk Salad comes out October 2nd, 2012. Favorite Quote: "What I wrote could sometimes be constructed as mean - but I always tried to be fair. "Nice" is different than "good", as Stephen Sondheim says. My new rule turned out to be: Don't write anything you wouldn't say to a person's face. Sober."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jena

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I usually enjoy light, funny, commiserating books aimed at females. (I won't call it "chick lit," which sounds as stupid as "ditzy rom com.") Unfortunately Sad Desk Salad did not live up to its cute title or its author's slick blogging cred. I did get the requisite goopy thrill out of the quirky cast of characters, could relate to all the discussion about gossip blog culture, and was initially empathetic to the narrator's work-related anxiety. Beyond that, the book fell short as both a comedy an I usually enjoy light, funny, commiserating books aimed at females. (I won't call it "chick lit," which sounds as stupid as "ditzy rom com.") Unfortunately Sad Desk Salad did not live up to its cute title or its author's slick blogging cred. I did get the requisite goopy thrill out of the quirky cast of characters, could relate to all the discussion about gossip blog culture, and was initially empathetic to the narrator's work-related anxiety. Beyond that, the book fell short as both a comedy and, as you later find out, as a whodunit. Some areas where it ran out of gas: 1. Narrator Alex repeatedly diverts into long back-stories that are barely relevant to the plot. Throughout the book, we hear about the heroine's supportive mom and deceased dad and her multiple ex-boyfriends. Most lent nothing to the story, besides painting Alex as someone who had neuroses long before the trouble at work. I skipped a whole ~10 pages about her ex-boyfriend Caleb, and another 2-3 about her mother's stifled writing ambitions (that side plot is eventually tied up sloppily at the end.) 2. One of the main tensions in the story is supposed to be Alex's inability to communicate with her boyfriend about everything she's going through. But seriously. She acts like a brat. As the pages go on she just keeps avoiding him, day after day, until anyone who's been in a sane relationship would pick her up by the hair. Likewise, her boyfriend is way too chill and understanding - a real guy would be taking a long country drive by day 2. 3. (Spoilers here) Ultimately, Alex doesn't ever really face the consequences of her decision to leak the story. If anything, her act is justified. The culprit ends up being a random, harmless crazy, rather than a worthy opponent. The victim of her decision turns out to be indifferent to the negative press. There were a few other things that bothered me personally and as a young woman, but the issues above are what I think would turn off most readers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    First off I have to say that I first heard about this book from Jennifer Weiner tweeting about it. If Jennifer Weiner recommends a book, it’s safe to say I will definitely want to read it. Sad Desk Salad is a quick and fun read which explores what goes on behind the scenes of online blogging. What makes it juicy is that part of it is blogging about the entertainment and celebrity worlds. Right from the beginning Alex, the main character and narrator, sucked me in. Over the course of a week, read First off I have to say that I first heard about this book from Jennifer Weiner tweeting about it. If Jennifer Weiner recommends a book, it’s safe to say I will definitely want to read it. Sad Desk Salad is a quick and fun read which explores what goes on behind the scenes of online blogging. What makes it juicy is that part of it is blogging about the entertainment and celebrity worlds. Right from the beginning Alex, the main character and narrator, sucked me in. Over the course of a week, readers get a glimpse at the complicated and constant “go go go” world of online journalism. But what’s even better is that among the topics that Alex writes about, one of them is celebrity gossip. I know many of you out there do glance at the tabloids while you’re waiting in line at grocery store. Hey, I have a subscription to People, which I’m not ashamed to admit at all! There’s also a serious side to the book, that being book the views on what is considered just enough amount to share over the internet, vs. too much. I often wonder this due to seeing tweets where I ask myself “why in the world is this person talking about this to everyone in the world?” As I often hear people say, and read, where is the line between public and private? I would love to work in the media, but I had no idea how time consuming this type of job is. Alex, though, let her job take over her life, especially after she found, and published, the biggest scoop of the year. It’s hard sometimes to keep a perspective and realize that you need to step away from your laptop (or smartphone, tablet, etc.) and spend time doing other things. You can’t let your work be all that you are and do. We need to remind ourselves that spending time with family and loved ones has to be a must in our lives. If you’re looking for a fun, light, chicklit read, then Sad Desk Salad needs to be on your list. Looking forward to Jessica’s number two.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    A sad desk salad is the lunchtime standby of the working woman--that meal you consume at your desk--either working or while surfing the net. Alex Lyons is one of four writers for Chick Habit, a popular website for women, where she is responsible for ten posts a day--mostly salacious celebrity gossip and stories about those not-so "regular" people that you might see on Jerry Springer. She spends her days waiting for news feeds to drop stories interesting enough to write about and post to hit her w A sad desk salad is the lunchtime standby of the working woman--that meal you consume at your desk--either working or while surfing the net. Alex Lyons is one of four writers for Chick Habit, a popular website for women, where she is responsible for ten posts a day--mostly salacious celebrity gossip and stories about those not-so "regular" people that you might see on Jerry Springer. She spends her days waiting for news feeds to drop stories interesting enough to write about and post to hit her work quota of one-million page views per month. Although she tries to tell herself she is achieving her dream of being a professional writer, it doesn't really feel that way and her conscience suffers--basically, in her words, it feels like she "gets paid to be a bitch." Scrambling for blog-worthy fodder when her monthly numbers are down, an email from an anonymous source drops a red-hot story in her lap--one of a famous "tiger-mom"-style author and current senate candidate's quadruplet college-age daughters has been caught doing something she shouldn't. Alex has to decide whether to run the story, hit a career home-run while potentially ruining the girl's life, or stick to the ethics she struggles with. Sad Desk Salad is a light chick-lit read, funny--in a snarky way which appeals to me. I relate well to snarky. ;-) It paints an entertaining picture of blogging and how obsessed with celebrity screw-ups the media is with lots of pop culture references. At the end of the day, it's not at all deep and meaningful, but it entertains and is a quick and easy read to enjoy over a few days of consuming your own sad desk salads. You can see my full review and a recipe inspired by the book here: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    When Alex Lyons said she wanted to be a writer, Chick Habit wasn't exactly what she had in mind. Sure, it's fairly simple: find a topic, write a scathing and bitchy piece pertaining to said topic, then sit back and let the hits begin. But Alex doesn't necessarily like being known as a bitch. In fact, for each mean post she generates, she worries herself sick. And when a new hate blog aimed right at Chick Habit appears, Alex becomes a bit obsessed over who could be behind it. The added stress of When Alex Lyons said she wanted to be a writer, Chick Habit wasn't exactly what she had in mind. Sure, it's fairly simple: find a topic, write a scathing and bitchy piece pertaining to said topic, then sit back and let the hits begin. But Alex doesn't necessarily like being known as a bitch. In fact, for each mean post she generates, she worries herself sick. And when a new hate blog aimed right at Chick Habit appears, Alex becomes a bit obsessed over who could be behind it. The added stress of continued demand for increasingly popular pieces is also weighing heavy on Alex. Then she gets a scoop on a huge story: the daughter of a would-be politician and self-proclaimed perfect mommy is caught snorting coke online. Jessica Grose's debut is pretty darn hilarious. Snarky humor and sarcasm rage throughout the book. But it's also the kind of humor that makes you feel a little guilty. From the get go, Alex second guesses just about every mean thing she posts. Then when someone starts to strike back, she becomes even more guilt ridden about her job. That underlying layer of Alex's guilt seeps through giving the book more substance. SAD DESK SALAD is still a pretty light read and not a stand out in terms of originality - the whole journalist gets a conscience bit reminded me a little of Catherine McKenzie's SPIN, though both books are ultimately very different. Alex's online job is what makes this one a bit unique as it provides a great behind-the-scenes look at blogging and online writing, something Grose is very familiar with herself. I have to admit that I'm not opposed to a rehashing of that sort of storyline either. In fact, I didn't mind one bit. Grose's writing is snappy, I liked Alex, and I liked her story. I would have burned her muumuu for her if I was her friend, though!

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