Sad Desk Salad: A Novel

Paperback | October 2, 2012

byJessica Grose

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As a former editor for popular websites, including Slate and Jezebel, Jessica Grose intimately understands the realities of life in the blogosphere--and she employs this knowledge to hilarious effect in her edgy and timely debut novel, Sad Desk Salad. Grose's story of a savvy blogger who stumbles upon an irresistible scoop--one that could cause irreparable damage to a young woman's life and reputation--and must reconcile her true values with the ruthless demands of a gossip- and reality-obsessed culture is a stinging and wildly funny indictment of America’s obsession with celebrity dirt. This fictional behind-the-scenes look at a booming online industry is smart and sharp contemporary women’s fiction, a The Devil Wears Prada for the twenty-teens.

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From the Publisher

As a former editor for popular websites, including Slate and Jezebel, Jessica Grose intimately understands the realities of life in the blogosphere--and she employs this knowledge to hilarious effect in her edgy and timely debut novel, Sad Desk Salad. Grose's story of a savvy blogger who stumbles upon an irresistible scoop--one that co...

From the Jacket

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 write...

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 theNew York Times,Glamour,Marie Claire,Spin, and several other publications, and on She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.68 inPublished:October 2, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062188348

ISBN - 13:9780062188342

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wicked and Funny 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 (Darn 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 b***h. 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 darn 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
Date published: 2012-10-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay for this reader 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.....
Date published: 2012-10-03

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Editorial Reviews

“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.”