Clickbait

Holly Baxter
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With the dark comedy and sharp observations of Monica Heisey and Dolly Alderton, a whip-smart and laugh-out-loud funny debut novel about a disgraced, newly divorced journalist demoted to a “clickbait” job at a Manhattan tabloid.

The first thing they tell you when you begin your training is never to become the news.

 Natasha has screwed up royally. Her mistake isn’t just embarrassing, it's a breach of journalistic ethics that makes headlines and costs her a plum job reporting from London. Back in New York at thirty-five and single, divorced from a kind man she loved, she finds herself at the bottom of the media food chain—a junior reporter at a clickbait factory, rewriting sensational tabloid stories to make them just different enough to avoid lawsuits.

 As if her professional fall from grace weren’t bad enough, she’s taken the money she’d saved for a down payment for a home on a charming Brooklyn block with her husband, and rashly bought a boxy apartment overlooking the gray ocean in Rockaway Beach, Queens.

 Though seeing friends and family only serves to remind her of what she’s lost, things begin to pick up when her ex-boyfriend Zach moves back to New York and accepts her offer of a spare bedroom. The arrangement is strictly platonic, of course—for him. But Natasha can't help but wonder whether he might be the solution to all her problems.

 As Natasha's obsession with Zach grows and her involvement in increasingly dystopian "churnalism" deepens, her worlds threaten to collide in the most cataclysmic, extremely public way.