Leanne's Reviews > Office Girl

Office Girl by Joe Meno
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's review
Jul 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, romance, american
Read from July 12 to 13, 2012

Office Girl is a light, easy summer read, perfect for the beach. It's a tale of love and ultimately growing up. Odile is an art school dropout who wants to make everyone happy, in the form of sexual favors and money. Jack is a depressed art school graduate whose wife is leaving him. His main form of happiness is recording the sounds of the city on cassettes which are stacked in boxes all over his house. Both begin work in third shift Muzak phone sales and meet, sensing immediately they are alike. Odile creates an art movement of sorts, and Jack follows along. Both ride the city on their bicycles, vandalizing and surprising the city.

It's obvious that both characters are confused about life and immature. Odile rejects everything popular and doesn't recognize pop culture's importance, even though she used it in one of her "anarchistic" art pieces. I think she has less depth than Jack, and is a bit of a manic pixie dream girl. She does change at the end of the story, without spoilers, but not horribly significantly. Jack needs someone to love and make him realize what he wants and needs in life, and that is Odile. Jack changes fairly significantly by the end of the book. I don't know if there is a word for it, but Jack seems to me to be a sort of improved stock character, too: sensitive, depressed, meek young man who needs to learn how to be happy. I found both characters surprisingly likeable given all this, and did actually care for them, Jack more so than Odile.

For light summer reading, this book gives you a lot to think about. It's one of the better books of its genre in that respect. The characters were slightly stock but likeable, and the story of their growing maturity is enjoyable. Once I got over being annoyed by the constant band-name referencing, as if to show exactly just how indie these two people are, I found the atmosphere excellent. If you need something not too heavy but still thoughtful, this is the book for you.

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