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Pounding the Pavement    by Jennifer van der Kwast order for
Pounding the Pavement
by Jennifer van der Kwast
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Single twenty-something Sarah Pelletier is having a rough few months. Well, make that six months as she has been unemployed since the film company she worked for went bust. Sadly, a college degree from Brown and experience in the film industry is not helping her break back into Manhattan's employment market.

Sarah spends her days lounging around in boxer shorts and T-shirts, eating candy bars for breakfast, smoking, checking E-mails (for responses to job inquiries), and heading to the gym to work out so she can take advantage of the cable television in the cardio room. Sarah's roommate (employed and annoyingly beautiful) is an irritant in her life, but given that Sarah is barely scraping by on unemployment checks, her housing options are limited, to say the least. Sarah's quest for 'The Right Job' in New York City is a daunting task that requires her to pad her resumé, work truly strange temping jobs for cash (under the table so unemployment checks keep coming), and dodge her parents' telephone calls that badger her about not having health insurance and try to strong-arm her into applying to law school. When a temp job leads her to meet Jake, a truly cute and nice guy, Sarah is already overwhelmed by job hunting, financial pressures, and jealousy of those that do have jobs; she is not looking for a man. Or is she?

Van der Kwast's debut novel was a fun read although it took me a while to warm up to the main character, as she initially comes across as immature. That said, I enjoyed the book once I got into the meat of the story and the author's dry wit makes for a funny read as Sarah attempts to find the ever elusive 'perfect job.' While Pounding the Pavement may be enjoyed more by twenty-somethings, than by older readers, most fans of chick lit will appreciate the humor and almost all of us can relate to the frustration of job-related struggles and challenges.

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