July 2007

Megan Walton

fiction

Slacker Girl by Alexandra Koslow

Slacker Girl, the debut novel by Alexandra Koslow, tells the tale of Jane Cooper, an artsy, boho New York City girl who just doesn’t want a real job. While everyone can empathize with a certain reluctance to work in a cubicle, the protagonist of Slacker Girl takes it one step further. Jane Cooper informs us that the majority of her life is spent sitting in a café, eating pastry, daydreaming and occasionally asking the universe to intercede on her behalf. As Jane says, “What I do now is contemplate my life and future in fabulous scenarios and then just wait for the Universe to deliver them.”

Why do I feel like Jane Cooper is about to Learn A Lesson and perhaps Grow Up and maybe even Find Love?

Because she is! But not before landing a job at an investment firm and refusing to show up for it on time. Jane makes up for this habit by buying the receptionist muffins and (innocently!) flirting with her hot boss, Ray. One might think the novel is about to wrap up rather quickly, with Jane Cooper being on the right track so soon (if one conceives of the right track as having an affair with one’s boss), but then her job security comes into question. Obviously, the next logical step is to anger her (still hot) boss and further endanger her already tenuous grasp on her job by going on vacation to Palm Beach with her best friend Rebecka.

What happens next? Will Jane Cooper find a way to turn her true passion (embroidering) into a money-making scheme? Will she help her heartbroken friend find a new man? Will she continue to insist that her boss, Ray, is just a friend-boss hybrid, or will she realize she is in love with this attractive, emotionally available man right under her nose?

If you cannot answer these questions, you have probably never read a chick lit novel. 

It’s a shame Slacker Girl devolves so quickly into the most typical example of the most predictable chick lit, because Alexandra Koslow has largely untapped potential to be funny, making such astute comments as, “If a female New Yorker says to you, ‘Oh my God, I have to go into work on Saturday...’ and she sounds upset about it, don’t worry, she’s really not. What she’s really saying is ‘Check this out, I’m so important to this company they need me to come in on a weekend... aren’t I ambitious and motivated? I’m going places.’”

But then she also writes the following musings on hair; “Rebecka’s hair was just long. I think it was all one length, it’s hard to remember exactly. And it was dyed really dark brown or black. My hair was its natural brown color and long and I had bangs so I could give it a ’40s look when I put it up in twists and buns.” Huh.

In the end, Slacker Girl is a fairly generic piece of chick lit, good for the beach or any time when you really, really don’t want to think.

Slacker Girl by Alexandra Koslow
Plume
ISBN: 0452288371
256 Pages