Friday, May 01, 2009

Fire Me by Libby Malin

Fire Me by Libby Malin
Copyright 2009
Sourcebooks - Fiction
293 pages
Author's website

Anne Wyatt is sick of her job and on the verge of a dramatic change. A new job awaits her in California and she will be happy to leave Washington, D.C. and her egotistical boss behind. On the morning that she plans to hand in her resignation, though, the boss calls a meeting announcing that one person will be laid off at the end of the day -- with a severance package. The pink slip will be given based on the day's performance.

Now that she's heard about that tempting severance package, Anne sets out to make a mess of things deliberately, so that she can get fired instead of resigning. But, it's not so easy as it sounds. One of her co-workers also has her eye on the severance package. And, her next-cubicle neighbor has a little bit of a crush on Anne. In order to help her avoid being laid off, he ends up thwarting her every move. Will Anne win the battle of the pink slip or is it even the right decision to leave the company? And, why didn't she realize sooner that Ken is a really great guy?

I'd classify this book as slapstick chick lit, although I hesitate to do so because I think a lot of people frown on chick lit, period. I usually love chick lit. In this case, I found the book so-so. It took two attempts for me to get into it and I think that may have at least partly boiled down to timing. When I first opened the book, my son's workplace had just laid off 1,000 people. It's hard to wrap your head around the idea of trying to get fired when so many people are losing their jobs. But, the timing is certainly not the author's fault and I deliberately worked at setting that little bias aside.

In the end, I actually started to care about Anne and wonder how things were going to turn out. But, I still hated her reasoning for wanting the severance package. Rather than seeing it as a way to help her get set up in her new job, she wanted to take a vacation with the added benefits she would receive. It wasn't till nearly the end that she started to really evaluate herself and her plans, how she had treated people and what she honestly wanted to do with her life.

I really liked the ending, since Anne did come to her senses. To say much more would give too much away, but the storyline is nicely resolved and all the little strands are wrapped up. Libby Malin's website says the book has already been optioned for filming and that doesn't surprise me. As I read the book I kept thinking it would make a good movie.

In other news:

I'm enjoying absolutely everything I'm reading, right now. I just love it when that happens, don't you? I'm not sure what will be next. My review of The Blood of Lambs has been an angst-ridden, hair-pulling process because I feel like I already said so much about it, but I'll keep working on it and also hope to write up a month-in-review post a little more quickly than I usually do.

Happy May! I can't believe it's already May, can you?


  1. This is in my TBR list. It just looks like a great read.

  2. Liyana,

    I hope you love it! While this wasn't my absolute favorite chick lit, I liked it and I'm glad I read it. Anne grew on me and I liked Ken from the beginning. The ending is just right.

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun!

  4. This looks like fun. What rating would you give it for language and s*x?

  5. I love it when I enjoy everything I read too :) I'm enjoying ALMOST everything I'm reading...I just gave up on Spiced though :( It just wasn't holding my attention...but I'm giving it away on Twitter so that someone can review it!

    Guess what?! I got a new camera today!!! It's a Canon Powershot SX110. And it's so so so much better than the little Sony Cybershot that I had before. 10x optimal zoom as opposed to the 4x I had before...and it can zoom all the way up to 40x! I wanted a Rebel, but I can't afford that :/

    Oh, and I posted a vlog if you want to hear my trashy accent :p

  6. Sounds great. Wonderful review!

  7. Holly,

    It's really an office slapstick book and Anne is working on breaking up with her current boyfriend. I don't recall anything at all -- a kiss or two is about it. So, it's nice and clean, apart from a little swearing (for effect, since Anne is really a nice person).


    I enjoyed Spiced, but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone.

    Wahoo for new cameras!!! I hope you love it. :) Yeah, the Canon Rebel is a bit pricey.

    Oh, dear. Will I totally lose respect for you if I watch your vlog? LOL I'll try to drop by, later. I took the whole weekend off, so I have a lot to catch up on. I should have reviewed The House on Grosvenor Square on Saturday. Oh, well. It's still finished and waiting on me. :)


    Thank you!

  8. Chick lit gets such a bad rap doesn't it? I guess it's because I think so many people thought they could write it and what happened was that all the books started to just seem rip-offs of Bridget Jones! At least that's what I think.

    I do enjoy a good chick lit every now and then and this sounds kind of cute but I totally understand the whole lay off issue. Sadly, that's something that's not funny at all. Anyway, I'll keep this book on my list :)

  9. Iliana,

    Absolutely. I think chick lit is just like any other genre or subgenre -- some of it's good, some is so-so and some sucks. I do think the effort to ride the Bridget Jones wave led to some seriously sub-par releases, but I blame the publishing industry. I was still writing, at the time, and they were looking for "single gal in the city", period. There wasn't a lot of flexibility and everything came off sounding like . . . well, a whole lot of ditto.

    Yeah, the layoffs are so sad, but it's certainly nothing the author could have predicted, so I just had to shut off my inner whiner. LOL I love a good chick lit, now and then, too. Jill Mansell is my personal favorite. Have you read any of her books? You must, if you haven't. Her books are consistently wonderful.

  10. I am not a huge fan of chick lit, but there is something to be said for the light, predictable, consistent read every now and then. This one is on my TBR list.

  11. Rebecca,

    I agree completely. Sometimes a light, predictable book is a joy. I hope you enjoy Fire Me!

  12. Sounds like a fun read, but I can see how it wouldn't be so fun if you're dealing with a downsizing in real life. :(

    Diary of an Eccentric

  13. Anna,

    It's a fun book, though, once you get past that!


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