A Lady's Guide to Selling Out

A Lady's Guide to Selling Out

A brilliant young woman navigates a tricky twenty-first-century career—and the trickier question of who she wants to be—in this savagely wise debut novel in the tradition of The Devil Wears Prada. Casey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best frie...

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Title:A Lady's Guide to Selling Out
Author:Sally Franson
Rating:

A Lady's Guide to Selling Out Reviews

  • Gail F.

    It takes two or three chapters to get past what appears to be a chick-lit book, but STAY WITH IT as it is SO worth it, because it's actually a novel which explores friendship, love, and what it means to be a woman navigating the sticky paths between self identity through career vs. "a true and meaningful" life--whatever that is!--, the human problem of always wondering if one's perceptions are clouded by false ego and past trauma. Franson's voice is so clear, so strong, so true; the pacing is fa

    It takes two or three chapters to get past what appears to be a chick-lit book, but STAY WITH IT as it is SO worth it, because it's actually a novel which explores friendship, love, and what it means to be a woman navigating the sticky paths between self identity through career vs. "a true and meaningful" life--whatever that is!--, the human problem of always wondering if one's perceptions are clouded by false ego and past trauma. Franson's voice is so clear, so strong, so true; the pacing is fast but not at all superficial, and as the book goes along, it just gets more and more intelligent. The narrator's voice feels ultimately like the reader's own thoughts which is Franson's real strength as a writer. This is one of my favorite books, ever, and her treatment of female friendship especially is both delicate and truthful. It seems, at first, to be a light read, but it gains weight and heft as one goes along--the writing is clever, quirky, but finally, thoughtful, honest and supremely well crafted. Highly recommended!!

  • M

    i don't really know how to talk about this book, because i think the way a lot of readers have approached it is with a very weird perception of what makes a strong protagonist.

    casey is the provocative best friend in all of those novels where the narrator is some sad shut-in nerd. she is incredibly smart, and you learn along with her that she carries with her the baggage that we all carry.

    but what really spoke to me was casey's undoing and how it was fueled by months of internal unrest about her

    i don't really know how to talk about this book, because i think the way a lot of readers have approached it is with a very weird perception of what makes a strong protagonist.

    casey is the provocative best friend in all of those novels where the narrator is some sad shut-in nerd. she is incredibly smart, and you learn along with her that she carries with her the baggage that we all carry.

    but what really spoke to me was casey's undoing and how it was fueled by months of internal unrest about her career and who she wanted to be, versus who the world was making her into. i rooted for her and felt for her harder than i've felt for any protagonist in a long time.

    remarkable, really, is the timing of this novel and what it says about the male abusers lurking in publishing. but so many people will never get as far as to read to that point because they can't stand who they think casey is, and her approach to life -- as she puts it, as a maximalist. they will think "she's a spoiled brat vapid girly girl and i'm much more like susan," (the audiobook narrator does her best jane lane impression here, which is truly magnificent)

    this book is honestly the first i've read in a long, long time where the protagonist changes wildly and for the better, where she grows and doesn't become a new person, but a whole person instead of fragmented and shadowed beneath outside expectations.

    i loved this book for a lot of reasons. i hope people will give it an honest chance. it deserves better than to be disregarded because of the reader's internalized misogyny and prejudice against the fun best friend.

  • Jamie

    This book, a gift: underneath the surface, the frippery, the marshmallow whipped cream that you immediately think this book will be, there is quite a stunning tour de force; the lyricism and clarity of some of the paragraphs and prose pierce through the bubble of the stereotypical 'chick lit' novel and inevitably speak important truths about the #metoo era, misogyny, insecurity, loneliness, and the impact of social media on everyday life.

  • Patricia

    A LADY'S GUIDE TO SELLING OUT is about 28 year old Casey who works at a top notch PR firm. Casey get a big pay raise when she heads a new branch of her firm which hires famous writers to promote different products for various companies. Casey had been a literature major in college and loves books and authors. At some point Casey begins to believe she is helping writers sell out.

    I thought I would love this novel. However, the first half was so slow for me that I almost quit reading the book twice

    A LADY'S GUIDE TO SELLING OUT is about 28 year old Casey who works at a top notch PR firm. Casey get a big pay raise when she heads a new branch of her firm which hires famous writers to promote different products for various companies. Casey had been a literature major in college and loves books and authors. At some point Casey begins to believe she is helping writers sell out.

    I thought I would love this novel. However, the first half was so slow for me that I almost quit reading the book twice. Fortunately the second half was great. Because of the beginning I would only rate A LADY'S GUIDE TO SELLING OUT with 3.5 stars. I received this book for an honest review.

  • Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

    Casey Pendergast works for the man, but its not her true passion. At 28, she makes a very good living and as all the material things she wants. She finds herself in a few moral dilemma's as her PR company aims to use artists to promote products they wouldn't normally use: in essence selling out. She herself selling out as she is essentially doing the same thing. There is a strong lesson here on the power of social media.

    I really wanted to like this book as there were some really good messages o

    Casey Pendergast works for the man, but its not her true passion. At 28, she makes a very good living and as all the material things she wants. She finds herself in a few moral dilemma's as her PR company aims to use artists to promote products they wouldn't normally use: in essence selling out. She herself selling out as she is essentially doing the same thing. There is a strong lesson here on the power of social media.

    I really wanted to like this book as there were some really good messages outlined throughout the story; it just wasn't cohesive. After reading the first few chapters I almost shelved it as a DNF, but in came Ben Dickinson and I was like "hey, this chemistry is well written just keep going." Parts of this book are good, some are not.

    I will say I did not like the Devil Wears Prada book, but loved the movie (when does anyone ever say that - that the movie is better than the book - right?!) I think this story may be a better fit for a screenplay. It has potential.

    I do need to note: great cover design. It is certainly eye catching.

  • Samantha Plotkin

    I was very conflicted about this book. It drew me in and kept me reading but at the same time I was annoyed with the selfishness of the main character, Casey, (and not in the way I think Fransen intended) and the plot could use some shoring up. It's supposed to be a classic deep-down good person gets caught up in bad things, has crisis, redeems herself. The biggest problem was there was just not enough for the reader to care if Casey's life gets better - it didn't seem like she was a good person

    I was very conflicted about this book. It drew me in and kept me reading but at the same time I was annoyed with the selfishness of the main character, Casey, (and not in the way I think Fransen intended) and the plot could use some shoring up. It's supposed to be a classic deep-down good person gets caught up in bad things, has crisis, redeems herself. The biggest problem was there was just not enough for the reader to care if Casey's life gets better - it didn't seem like she was a good person underneath. I found the ending overly simplistic and convenient. Also, Fransen is prone to random high level analogies and overly long descriptions that just don't fit in this Devil Wears Prada type of story. The farcical reliance on negative millennial stereotypes was a huge turn off for me. A more heavy handed editor could go a long way.

    I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

  • ChallengeGReads

    Be warned that what you are about to read is a very negative review of A Lady's Guide to Selling Out.

    Maybe my 29 years of age makes me too old to appreciate this or maybe I'm just too like Susan ... but alas I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Let me tell you a little story of my own (be warned I am no great writer either)

    I excitedly received an ARC of A Lady's Guide to Selling Out from Random House. It was beautiful and called to me to read it immediately despite a stack of books that were also demandi

    Be warned that what you are about to read is a very negative review of A Lady's Guide to Selling Out.

    Maybe my 29 years of age makes me too old to appreciate this or maybe I'm just too like Susan ... but alas I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Let me tell you a little story of my own (be warned I am no great writer either)

    I excitedly received an ARC of A Lady's Guide to Selling Out from Random House. It was beautiful and called to me to read it immediately despite a stack of books that were also demanding my attention. The giveaway had sold it as a cross between Mad Men and The Devil Wears Prada, and although I never cared for The Devil Wears Prada, this "chick-lit" still piqued my interest. I thought it would be a fun light read with a hopeful message tacked in for all of us career women out there. By page 50 though I had a growing dislike for the main character (Casey). She is a caricature of the millennial woman: vapid, shallow, self-obsessed, social media driven, and obsessed with money. Basically like an updated version of Carrie from Sex and the City, but more annoying in that you are stuck inside her head listening to her ever increasing psychosis.

    I pushed on though, determined to finish, and hopefully be won over to Casey's side. I took it a chapter a day. Treating it as if I was reading an acquaintance's Facebook post that you knew would be part bragging and part pity party. By the end of Chapter 6, I threw the book across the room as I cursed at it, and decided I simply didn't care how it all ended for Casey. Why you may ask... well there is a scene in Chapter 6 that I simply could not stomach. A scene straight out of today's headlines which reinforces all that is wrong with our patriarchal society. The author through Casey isn't telling woman to change the system, but how to accept it quietly so that you live with ease at the expense of your own morals and conscience.

    To the author I simply say no. You may have been able to write something like this ten years ago, but now it is unacceptable.

  • Samantha

    I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program. I just couldn't with this book. I felt no empathy for any of the characters; they were all horrible, and I could not finish this book.

  • Danielle

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

    A possible contender to the Worst Book of 2018 (it will be published in April 2018).

    Ms. Franson doesn't seem to understand her own characters, as she repeatedly emphasizes how likeable and attractive they are and then characterizes them in the least attractive and most unlikeable ways.

    Casey, when she isn't insipidly describing herself as a midwest girl who has no concept of life in the m

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

    A possible contender to the Worst Book of 2018 (it will be published in April 2018).

    Ms. Franson doesn't seem to understand her own characters, as she repeatedly emphasizes how likeable and attractive they are and then characterizes them in the least attractive and most unlikeable ways.

    Casey, when she isn't insipidly describing herself as a midwest girl who has no concept of life in the midwest, is manipulative, petty, and thoughtless at best, with seemingly no character arc.

    This story is one inane situation after another as this supposed 28 year old, wealthy in NYC ad exec engages in casual sex with an innumerable amount of strangers, skyrockets her career with the most unimaginative PR speech I've ever read, and generally relies on the reader believing what we're told that she creates chemistry with everyone around her to believe anyone is drawn to her at all.

    While this was an ARC copy and I do expect to see errors every now and again, there were at least 3 instances of the author using a word incorrectly. Generally the writing is in a comedic tone, so I let much of the bad writing slide, but ultimately the author sounds as if she is new to writing and does not read much of other's writing that she wishes to emulate.

    Unless this was written by a teenager dreaming of a Kim Kardashian style womanhood, I don't see why a publishing company signed off on it.

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