Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review: Sad Desk Salad

By Amy Bromberg

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. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

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 magazine, which I’m not ashamed to admit at all! There’s also a serious side to the book, that being the views on what is considered just the right 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, however, 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 chick lit read, then Sad Desk Salad needs to be on your list. Looking forward to Jessica’s number two.

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Laura Donovan said...

I want to read this!

I Made a Kitchen to Measure said...

I love the title - and the cover made me smile (even though its sad).