Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Indie October Review: My Life on Craigslist by Alexandra Ares

Title: My Life on Craigslist
Author: Alexandra Ares
Publisher: Smart Media New York
Publish Date: January 2, 2011
Source: I received a copy from the author. This did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book?:

  • You're looking for something witty and funny.
  • You like interesting characters.
  • You like sparkling dialogue.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "My Life on Craigslist by Alexandra Ares sketches an entertaining satire of today’s mores as reflected on the fifth most popular website in the US and the most uninhibited. A book about survival in dog-eat-dog New York City in a unique blend of angst and humor.

Emily Thompson is a 25 years-old girl with a passion for contemporary art and a desire to surpass her modest condition as a bank teller in Buffalo’s suburbs. One year after she moves to trendy East Village in New York City, where she lands a job in an art gallery and an artist boyfriend, her life is thrown in an uproar when she loses everything: her job, her boyfriend, who cheats on her with a girl he met online, and her friends, who all move out of New York because of the Great Recession.

Suddenly alone, with no boyfriend, no money in the bank (she only worked for cash and has no unemployment benefits), no friends and a family far away, Emily starts to live vicariously through Craigslist in an anxious search for a love connection and a work break. On that very site, Craigslist, she finds dates, an unexpected luxury sailboat trip and free theater tickets, an interesting cast of roommates and dates, one night stands and temporary jobs that all first seem like heaven and turn out to be hell. With each new experience she is either the con or the conned, and learns something about life and about herself. When things spiral out of control, Emily discovers the double edge of fame, morals, and the unexpected turn of fortunes in New York."

My Two Cents:

Emily is living the life that so many 20-somethings are living right now. DC is a very different city than NYC but a lot of my friends are still going through the same thing here. Do you stay here and try to make it or do you go back home to your family's house to re-group? It's a decision that a lot of people have to make.  Emily tries to make the best of her current situation with mixed results. Through Craigslist, she finds a roommate who doubles as a escort/prostitute. She finds a slew of guys who just want a booty call. She finds jobs that aren't good fits and don't pay and other jobs that would mean paying too much on her side. 

This book is a very funny and witty look at a situation that could be very bad and dreary. Emily is a character that you can really feel for. She's also one that you will want to root for as she deals with all of these situations. Some of the supporting characters really add a lot to the story. I found Emily's different roommates to be very funny. Most of us have had a roommate before where things either weren't what they seemed or had incredibly annoying habits. There are just some people that we are really aren't meant to live with and Emily learns that lesson herself. 

Another bright spot in the book is that the author does a great job with the dialogue, which really serves to move the story along. I loved it!

Bottom line: A funny take on a real situation!


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