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    Review of HELP WANTED, DESPERATELY by Ariel Horn

    Avon Trade, 2004

    Alexa Hoffman is in her senior year at Penn and hasn't a clue what she's going to do. Obviously she needs a job, especially since she ignores her mother's suggestion she consider law school. Still, an English degree is not exactly the road to wealth and employment. And Alexa doesn't really care what job she gets, but it has to be in New York, so she can be near boyfriend Jared.

    Alexa's job hunt takes her through a fashion magazine (where her non-straight nipples cost her the job), to cheap department-store buyer, to under-arm sniffer, to public relations. A nasty combination of lying and telling the truth (both at the wrong time) leaves Alexa the last person she knows still jobless--even as Jered lands his dream job. One problem is, Alexa doesn't really have a dream job.

    Author Ariel Horn recently graduated from Penn and her writing feels authentic, filled with twenty-something angst. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Alexa pinballs from one dumb activity to the next.

    HELP WANTED, DESPERATELY is well written and has plenty of funny moments--surely that's reason enough to read a book. I would have liked to see a bit more growth in Alexa, though, and thought that the final resolution was a bit, well, unresolved. Despite her quirks, Alexa came across as spoiled, insensitive, and amoral. Not a bad place to start, but again, I would have prefered to see her grow beyond that.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 4/24/05

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