Title: The Assistants
Author: Camille Perri
Publication: May 3, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguing Group)
Genre: Women’s Literature
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
A wry and astute debut about a young Manhattanite whose embezzlement scam turns her into an unlikely advocate for the leagues of overeducated and underpaid assistants across the city.
Tina Fontana is the hapless but brazen thirty-year-old executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the all-powerful and commanding CEO of Titan Corp., a multinational media conglomerate. She’s excellent at her job and beloved by her famous boss—but after six years of making his reservations for restaurants she’d never get into on her own and pouring his drinks from bottles that cost more than her rent, she’s bored, broke, and just a bit over it all.
When a technical error with Robert’s travel-and-expenses report presents Tina with the opportunity to pay off the entire balance of her student loan debt with what would essentially be pocket change for her boss, she struggles with the decision: She’s always played by the rules. But it’s such a relatively small amount of money for the Titan Corporation—and for her it would be a life-changer . . .
The Assistants speaks directly to a new generation of women who feel stuck and unable to get ahead playing by the rules. It will appeal to all of those who have ever asked themselves, “How is it that after all these years, we are still assistants?”
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
I am officially joining the Camille Perri fan club! Is there such a thing? If not, I am creating it! “The Assistants” was such a fun read yet really hit some strong points with real life issues in the world of the 1% vs. the 99% and student loan debt. However, the main bonus of this story was pure enjoyment of impeccably written characters with personalities to fit everyone who would ever pick up this book. I’m almost disappointed that there isn’t another Perri book to go pick up and read! But that would be my only disappointment and it doesn’t count because it has nothing to do with this book directly.
“The Assistants” follows the story of Tina Fontana as she is working her sixth year as personal assistant to CEO of Titan Corp, Robert Barlow. He is one that most people fear and gets everything he wants. Tina even knows that there are many who hate him and would love to see his downfall. As a thirty year old PA working for a billionaire you would think she makes bank. Not the case. Barely scraping by, she has a tough decision to make when a minor expense report error makes it possible for her life to get a little easier while taking what would be considered pennies from the company. This all leads to a much bigger ordeal, because when does it not?
Tina is me. She is “the island”. The person that would rather not have a large circle of friends because friends mean drama and problems and connections and feelings. She would rather do her job and do it well, please everyone and then go home and be alone. Unfortunately her little work expense debacle brings a rather misfit group of ladies into her circle that turn out to be just what she may have needed to kick her life in gear. You have everyone from the high maintenance drama queen to the angry at the world and ready to take it down tech girl. Que in overly hot, rate him an 11, legal guy that has a thing for her, and we have ourselves a full blown, drama-filled, story line! I love how there was so much going on but it never felt like too much. Tina was always super stressed about things with her male interest. She was incredibly scared of getting caught (me to a T if i was in that situation!) at work every single day and filled with guilt. She had the others involved in their scheme constantly wanting more, faster, more in-depth, etc. I could not have handled the pressure. There was always something going on but Camille Perri wrote it in a way that the story flowed well and kept everything nicely in line. It did not go too fast or feel rushed. There were minor time lapses when needed to pass a larger chunk of time (a few weeks) and I cannot get over how well the characters were written. There was just enough description to form these lovable and relatable characters while still leaving enough to the imagination that you could add in some of your own little characteristics and match them up with people in your own life to bring them more alive in your mind.
That is what makes a good author! One that can give you the story and the characters but not give too much. It lets your imagination run with the story while you read. I was hooked from the beginning. I had to know how this story continued and ended. I found myself cheering on Tina and her squad of bad ass assistants, while also feeling a bit of remorse for the ones that were taking the hit for what they were doing. But in the end I feel that justice was served properly and to those that deserved it most. Perri shows perfectly that super heroes don’t always wear capes and that whether it is the CEO or the janitor… you should probably treat everyone like gold. Now if only there was a Fontana to pay off all our student loan debts too! A brilliant idea!
My hat goes off to Perri for writing such a wonderful book. Well thought out, witty, and funny as a group of lowly assistants takes on the big men on campus. This could be the next big movie!
This is the perfect beach read. You will find yourself laughing, crying, cheering, and cringing right along with the story. I can not wait to see what Perri releases next. She has a fan in me. Five out of five stars more than well deserved!
Definitely pick up your own copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your nearest local bookstore! Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author, Camille Perri, when you are finished! Also follow Perri on twitter to keep up with all her current happenings @CamillePerri.