Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blog, Scandal, and Videotape (Book Review: Sad Desk Salad, Jessica Grouse)

I was attracted to "Sad Desk Salad" because it is a story of a blogger, and right now I am writing on a blog. Jessica Grose used to write and was an editor of Jezebel, a famous women's blog, and I thought it would be great to get an insider's take on the whole blogging business. It's a fairly entertaining novel, and though I thought it would be, it's not entirely a rip-off of the Devil Wears Prada formula. 

Alex Lyons works for Chick Habit, a snarky blog that skews a female audience, and she has a tough boss, Moira. When someone tips her off on a NSFW video of a daughter of a conservative politician, she at first questions publishing it, but eventually does. She then confronts the consequences of her actions. 

The book raises some very important questions - mainly on how people live in the internet age, and on the twenty four hour news cycle. It also touches on celebrity, and notoriety, and how it makes or breaks people. It also deals with how some peopel live in an internet bubble - how they surround themselves with online life, and how that can destroy one's perception of "reality."

I found the novel very engrossing, if uneven. While I don't think it was a distraction, the side story about Alex and her boyfriend seems unnecessary plot contrivances. The whole story was also rounded up rather quickly, with some plot points hard to swallow in their impossibility. But, there was enough drama in there to keep the pages turning, and I like the fact that Alex wasn't entirely sympathetic: she was unlikeable at times, making her human. All in all, I liked it more than I didn't, and would even recommend it for a quick read.

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