Lauren Anderson on RECRUITED: New eco-women’s-lit

I am delighted to welcome Lauren Anderson to discuss her debut novel Recruited, a potent mix of eco-lit and women’s-lit touching on some of the toughest questions facing young women today.

Plus, thanks to Stormburd Press, I have two ebook copies to giveaway – entries open worldwide.

Recruited by Lauren Anderson - Interview Giveaway

Eco-lit Meets Women’s-lit in the Powerful Genre-Bending Novel, RECRUITED

RECRUITED is a wild coming-of-age story set at the height of the 90s dot.com boom. It tells the story of a young woman, Olivia Gesso, who morphs from eco-warrior to dot.com fly girl in an effort to make fast money at a tech startup. She needs the cash to bring the seeds of hope to a remote, cyclone ravaged country she loves.

As this recent college graduate sets off on a mission to prove her worth – she gets derailed pretty quickly. It’s here that the novel touches on some of the tough questions facing young women today. What risks should a girl take to achieve her goals and when should she say “No”? Can simply being female make it harder to succeed? This entertaining novel explores these difficult issues while satirizing the high-stakes bro-culture of the tech start-up where Olivia works.

In the story, Olivia will do just about anything to fit in and get ahead to make the money she needs, but things just don’t go her way. It is occasionally comedic like when her skydiving tandem, a man, cracks “air-gasm” and “pulling out early” jokes while strapped to her back 3,000 feet in the air. It’s often cringeworthy, like when Olivia is accused by security of running a prostitution ring for simply holding meetings in a hotel lobby. Eventually, her situation becomes downright precarious, greased by the wild workplace she is trying to navigate. Olivia realizes that she can play these office games, but it is hard to win when something about the culture is stacked against her.

Like most twenty-somethings with new money to spend in what was an era of unlimited expectations, Olivia tests the limits. Trying to keep pace with her colleagues, she parties to disfunction, gambles Vegas-style, and pursues a relationship purely for sexual thrill. But instead of reaping the fruits of exploration, Oliva finds herself further than ever from her goals. It leaves us wondering how and where she should draw the line between self-discovery and self-destruction.

As Olivia loses her way, time and time again, it’s her love for nature that serves as her guidepost and brings her repeatedly back from the brink. The story often juxtaposes the serenity of Olivia’s former job as a conservationist with the silicon jungle in which she is now tangled. The text is loaded with environmental metaphors, all united under the idea that “Nature gives us Hope.” And while we hold out hope for Olivia, we just don’t know if she can get through it all to get what she is really after. You’ll have to read to find out!

Proudly published by Stormbird Press: defending nature and empowering communities through the power of story.

Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

Recruited - Lauren Anderson - Book CoverRecruited Synopsis

“What the Devils Wears Prada did for fashion; the Nanny Diaries did for childcare, and Sweetbitter did for restaurants, Recruited does for high-tech.”

Biology major Olivia Gesso knows nothing about the tech world, or the army of seductresses that Kava Technologies is building to recruit its workforce. She is studying the world’s rarest plants on the remote Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues. That is until a class V hurricane eviscerates the place, blowing millions of years of evolution out to sea. Forced to evacuate from one whirling storm into another, – her senior year of college – Olivia struggles with post-graduation plans. When she finds the seeds of a now extinct tree in her unwashed laundry, left there from her harried island departure, she knows she must make enough money to bring them safely home.

Olivia takes a recruiting job with Kava Technologies, a hip start-up, where her payout depends on her success in helping the company hire 1,000 of the best college graduates. She skydives into the company’s culture of excess, and gets sucked into gambling, partying, and a relationship with Kava’s boardroom Adonis, Marion (Mars), who has his own agenda for the recruiting department. He is the one building the army. Olivia realizes that what was promised to be office Nirvana – a place with no dress code, no vacation policy, and lofty ideas – is really a sexist social experiment where hot recruiters, the bedrock of Kava’s culture, entertain a bunch of crazy geeks. Things come to a head as she tangles with a colleague hellbent on stealing her star candidate, a kid who expects Olivia to offer more than just money. With her payday in jeopardy, Olivia needs to decide just how far she’ll go to bring an extinct tree back to life.

‘Lauren presents a stark and dramatic contrast between two ‘worlds’ in her easy to read, fast-paced and beautifully worded novel, to give food for thought to us all.’
—Deborah de Chazal, Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Mauritius

(Stormbird Press, April 2021)

Get your copy of Recruited from:

Amazon Bookshop.org US Book Depository Booktopia AU Stormbird Press

More entertaining women’s fiction:
Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan  /  The Paris Affair by Pip Drysdale  /  My Best Friend’s Murder by Polly Phillips  /  The Moroccan Daughter by Deborah Rodriguez  /  The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

About the Author, Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She serves as a consultant to the United Nations family of organizations, an eco-writer and editor for the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD), and an adjunct professor in the Africana Studies Program of Rowan University. Lauren resides in South Jersey with her family. Recruited is her first novel.

eBook Giveaway - Recruited by Lauren Anderson

Recruited eBook Giveaway

Thanks to Stormbird Press we have 2x ebook copies of RECRUITED to giveaway. Entries open worldwide and close midnight 8 May 2021.

See entry form below. Ensure you scroll to the bottom of this form and press submit to register your entry. You can improve your chance of winning by:

The lucky winners will be randomly selected and announced on our Facebook Page.

SORRY, ENTRIES CLOSED – See winners announcement.

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