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Jess Knows Best! Advice on love, life, and more for the modern geek and geekette!

Jess Knows Best

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This week: Good News: “How to Break Bad News” not bad!

In fact, it’s very good. I happened upon the title when its author Tim Molloy mistook me for another Jessica on Facebook. Our chance “meeting” led me to the perfect specimen for my column’s first foray into book reviews, “How to Break Bad News.”

Bad News begins by painting a picture of a man rejected. We see how the recently dumped Scott Thomas lost the perfect girl -- one who stops at the apartment to retrieve only her garter belts and Batman comics before she walks out on him for the last time.

Less than 24 hours later and still reeling from the night before, Scott finds himself tasked with a new project at work. A reporter for a major news outlet, our hero is given a new directive that even further illuminates the moral ambiguity that just cost him his relationship. Operating under cover at a fast-food Mexican restaurant, his hidden camera is supposed to reveal a connection between reported workplace abuses and the chain’s owner, the next secretary of labor.

As the story unfolds, Scott finds a different truth entirely: No relationship is free from damage and the truth is never what it appears to be on the surface. The pacing was quick but steady, and the dialogue as crisp as a well-written screenplay. In fact, it was very easy to visualize this book as a film. As someone who has worked in both fast-food and the media, I was impressed by the horrified recognition that I felt while reading this.

How to Break Bad News is a promising start for first time author Molloy, whose news stories have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wired. The characters are recognizable, the pop culture references are wry, and the double meaning of the title becomes all too apparent as one enters the final act.

Sounds like nothing but good news for Tim Molloy.

Ask Jess!

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