Authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krauss follow up the stunning success of their first novel, The Nanny Diaries, with Citizen Girl, the tale of a recent college graduate and new addition to the job market. The novel provides an interesting commentary on how women view their place in the working world and how this sometimes stands in stark contrast with how they are viewed by the working world.
Girl, the protagonist, received an excellent liberal arts education that has prepared her to do very little. Girl initially finds herself working for an ultra-feminist who regularly tortures her with the worst possible tasks; soon, Girl is fired for speaking her mind. Eventually, following several bouts of unemployment, Girl finds a cubicle to call her very own as the Director of Rebranding Knowledge Acquisition for My Company. Although she seems to understand little of what she is supposed to be doing at her new job, Girl finds herself quite busy. When My Company decides to pursue a new direction by making a foray into the sex industry, Girl's disillusion with the rat race and the working world grows exponentially.
Girl finds comfort in the arms of Buster, her sometimes-reliable boyfriend. In addition to having to navigate the muddy waters of a new relationship, Girl also endures the search for a new and more suitable apartment. The stress of this coupled with the pressures she experiences at work are almost too much for Girl. Along the way, she discovers that she does, indeed, have principles and standards that, as it turns out, not everyone in the job force does.
Although it is often labeled as part of the "chick lit" genre (perhaps because it was penned by two women), Citizen Girl is decidedly different. Published in 2004, the novel drips with sarcasm and satire; many readers may find themselves wishing that they could stay in school just a bit longer if this is what they have to look forward to once graduating. Anyone who has tried to take the working world by storm with a positive attitude and dreams of making a difference will surely relate to Girl's unenviable plight.