Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Sad Desk Salad

Sasd Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
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.

I had zipped through this book. It may not have been my favorite, but I definitely wanted to know what happens next.

Spoiler: Don’t worry. Even with all the crazy drama and death threats, drama everything works out for everyone.

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