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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Help Wanted, Desperately

**** Help Wanted, Desperately by Ariel Horn. chick lit.

Alexa Hoffman is a college senior with no idea what she wants to do after graduation--other than get a job in New York City so that she can stay with her boyfriend Jared. Unlike certain other people (ahem!), she starts actively looking and counting down the days with over six months left to go.

Making it even more imperative that she find a job, she's signed up to go teach English in Majuro, a third-world country, for a year, starting immediately after graduation. If she doesn't have a job, she won't have an excuse not to go.

So Alexa applies for job after job, each one more unlikely than the last: deodorant sniffer, earthworm breeder, model scout--you name it, she applies for it.

It's a cute story, though being on the other side of the generational gap made me a bit less sympathetic toward Alexa than I might have been. In particular, I didn't find her resume-padding and outright lying amusing. But she's young, and she does learn from her mistakes, writing down her lessons learned in a Bridget-Jones-ish section of each chapter.

What really redeemed the story for me is that Alexa does change and grow through the story--a pleasant surprise, as her character at the beginning of the book was fairly standard for chick lit: self-centered and focused on her goal. The fact that she developed into more than that; that the story wasn't just about her escapades but actually had some heart, made it definitely worth reading.

Help Wanted, Desperately was the result of one of my forays into Amazon's bargain bin in search of new authors, and one of the successes. I think I'll pass it on to Dagny (ahem), though I suspect she'll be hesitant to read it, thinking I'm nagging (which I am, but on the off chance that it'll help....).

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