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SAD DESK SALAD by Jessica Grose

SAD DESK SALAD

By Jessica Grose

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-218834-2
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Fat celebrity thighs and coke-sniffing coeds are fair fodder in this rollicking tour into the life of a gossip blogger, from former Slate editor Grose.

When Alex graduated from Wesleyan, she was hoping for a job in serious journalism. Change the world kind of stuff. But alas, she ended up at an NYC online music journal. When an offer to write for Chick Habit came along (a real salary and the chance to write about real issues), she counted herself lucky. That was before the quotas began—she needs a million hits a month, or else. So goodbye sad stories about foreign ladies, hello Real Housewives. This new numbers game is keeping Alex shackled to her laptop, scanning news feeds all day for potentially sexy stories to blog about. Alex knows things are out of hand when her sweet boyfriend, Peter, begs her to shower. Monday begins with a story about a fallen beauty queen, but then Alex gets wind of a hate blog directed at her: Break the Chick Habit, or BTCH. Alex, Tina and Rel, two other writers at Chick Habit, commiserate over scorpion bowls. Hate bloggers are common, but this one seems to have a lot of intimate information. Tuesday brings Alex a shot at blogger fame when an anonymous link is sent to her email. In the video, Becky West, MIT wunderkind, is shown snorting coke. Hardly unconventional college behavior, but it’s newsworthy because Becky’s mother is Darleen West, Tiger mom famous for her patronizing parenting books. Alex isn’t sure she should publish—does Becky deserve the notoriety? Alex’s boss, Moira, herself born of the flames of U.K. tabloids, pushes forward. The next day, the video goes viral, Alex will soon appear on the Today show, and BTCH is threatening to expose some dark secrets. Before she has a nervous breakdown, Alex has to find the missing Becky, track the creator of BTCH, reconcile with a furious Peter and patch up her fading sense of self.

A quick-witted insider’s view of the blogosphere, media pandering, Internet privacy and the difficulty of being a good girl in a bad, bad world.