cover image Sad Desk Salad

Sad Desk Salad

Jessica Grose. Morrow, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-218834-2

Grose, former editor at Slate and at Jezebel, makes her fiction debut with a fun read. Alex Lyons is a writer for Chick Habit, an online women’s gossip magazine. Having been there six months, she is used to the frenzied pace and “‘round-the-clock posting,” and locked into her computer (the last time she stepped away for longer than 10 minutes, a celebrity died). She’s used to second-guessing her own decisions on posts, but the pressure is on to up her views, and Alex has found that it pays to “be a bitch.” When a tip comes in about a genius political writer’s daughter behaving badly, Alex leaps to be the first to leak the story. But the consequences of her action lead to Alex’s life unraveling and her beginning to question everything. Grose (who coauthored Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home) takes what could be a heavy subject—ethical choices and their repercussions—and lightens it. Alex’s rethinking her decision and worry about the consequences strikes a chord, especially considering today’s social networking. An enjoyable debut with a message. Agent: Elizabeth Weed, Weed Literary. (Oct.)