Book Review: The Assistants by Camille Perri


Title: The Assistants
Author: Camille Perri
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam’s Son (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-399-17254-0

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?”

About Author:
Camille Perri
is the author of The Assistants. She has worked as a books editor for Cosmopolitan and Esquire. She has also been a ghostwriter of young-adult novels and a reference librarian. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from New York University and a master of library science degree from Queens College. Perri wrote the first draft of The Assistants while working as the assistant to the editor-in-chief of Esquire.

My Review:

The Assistants is the perfect book to start my 2016 summer reading challenge journey.  It is a light and easy read.  After reading it, I felt so fortunate I did not have any debt after graduating college, thank you Georgia Lottery’s HOPE Scholarship.

Tina just finds a way to pay off her student loan but because of all the blackmailers, her scheme is growing like a snowball.  Even though most of the main characters are blackmailers, they are all very likable.  Although Tina and her friends are doing illegal things, I wanted them to get away with it and become rich.

I personally do not think paying off someone’s student debt is a good charity.  Those people made the decision themselves to take on the loan.  They should have researched their career paths to see if they could pay it off before making that decision.  I understand that they were probably only eighteen or seventeen, but at that age they were also allowed to vote or serve the country.   These are only my opinions.   One more thing that keeps bothering me is: How did Tina file her income taxes.

Overall, The Assistants was a very enjoyable read.  I really like the author’s writing style.  I would definitely read her next book.   I highly recommend this book to any college students who are still choosing their majors or recent graduates who are struggling with student loans.

4.5 out of 5 stars
Received a free copy from Booksparks #SRC2016 in exchange for an honest review.


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