Review: Sad Desk Salad
As a writer for the web site Chick Habit, Alex is under enormous pressure to produce posts that will gather a lot of attention and a lot of hits, so she spends most of her day scouring news feeds looking for the next big story. Things have gotten so bad she rarely gets dressed and only leaves her couch to grab a salad at the bodega across the street.
When Alex receives an anonymous email containing a video that shows the daughter of a parenting expert turned politician snorting cocaine, it seems like the answer to a prayer. Being the first to break a story like that is sure to bring Chick Habit a lot of attention and ease the pressure on Alex for a little while. But Alex has second thoughts – is it really fair to post something like that?
In the meantime there’s a hate blogger out there posting about Chick Habit and she seems to know a lot about Alex. When she threatens to post something incriminating, Alex can’t imagine what it is or who could be behind it. At times it all seems to be too much but Alex doesn’t want to disappoint her mother or give up on her dream of being a writer – she’s got to figure out a way to make things work before she loses it.
Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose is an entertaining and thought provoking novel. As I started it, I thought it would only appeal to those who are very familiar with the internet but as I got farther into the story I realized it’s deeper than I initially thought. Not only does it address moral dilemmas – do we really have the right to know EVERYTHING about semi-public personalities? – it also addresses personal crises – at the end of the day, we have to please ourselves. I thought a lot about Alex and the situations she found herself in and realized there were no clear cut answers for her, so I think this would make a great discussion book.
Alex is a great character. She’s a people pleaser, like so many women, often losing herself because of it. What she has to figure out is who’s really worth pleasing. Is it the boss who makes sure she receives a paycheck, Alex’s mother, Alex herself, or a little of each one?
In case you can’t tell, I really enjoyed Sad Desk Salad. I nodded my head, laughed, and urged Alex to make the right decisions as I read it. I also smiled every time I saw the cover.