My Life on Craigslist
by Alexandra Ares
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My Life on Craigslist / 9781450746045
I'm not usually much for "chick lit" like "Bridget Jones's Diary", but I picked up this indie author book because I liked the first chapter and the premise sounded cute: protagonist Emily is trying to find her dreams in the big city, and her preferred search method for jobs, dates, and roommates is the online ad-posting site, Craigslist.
The premise is fun, but the execution is sometimes a little heavy-handed. Almost everyone Emily meets uses Craigslist extensively, and quite a few of the men and women she interacts with in the chapter vignettes (Emily gets a Roommate, Emily gets a Job, Emily gets a Date, Emily gets a Different Roommate, etc.) have rather long monologues about their views on Craigslist in general and the people online in particular. The speeches are generally clever and cute, but sometimes don't flow perfectly within the narrative.
"My Life on Craigslist" doesn't vary extensively from the chick lit formula. Emily is constantly on the verge of eviction, starvation, and crushing debt, but still manages to somehow go out for drinks and buy designer clothing when her fleeting jobs require it. She's picky about her roommates and prospective dates to the point of self-parody, and frequently repeats the chick lit meme that being 5'5" and 12X pounds is somehow "chubby" and "fat". Still, these bits are in the minority for the most part, and buried in a lot of cute and clever situations that frequently found me smiling at the text or outright laughing out loud.
This novel isn't perfect, especially not towards the end when the biggest deus ex machina I think I've ever seen blindsides both Emily and reader with the force of a speeding bus, but the overall story is fun and compelling, and will carry the reader happily to the end. The novel isn't particularly deep and it's often not entirely congruous, but it's light and fun and has plenty of cute moments along the way.
~ Ana Mardoll
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