About the Author: Camille Perri is the author of The Assistants and When Katie Met Cassidy. 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.
Genre: Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary
Synopsis: 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?”
If you’re the type of person to root for the bad guys, then you’ll definitely enjoy this novel.
Tina Fontana has been a PA to Robert Barlow for six years. He’s worth millions and she’s barely getting by. One day a mix-up lands her with a check for $19,147. If she cashes it she can pay off her student loan debt, so even though she struggles with the decision, she does it. Except Emily Johnson from the 43rd floor finds out and wants her own loans paid off. And it only gets bigger from there.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book was that nothing was simply black and white. Robert was a good guy now, but he had a shady past. Did that make what Tina did right? Tina was a goody-two-shoes and really good at her job. She made a mistake, but then she kept going and helped a lot of people. Does this make her embezzlement serious or no big deal? Because Robert is clueless, and let’s face it has plenty of money to throw away, does this mean it’s okay to root for Tina to get away with what she’s done?
I think Camille did a great job exploring these questions in her debut novel. I definitely sympathized and rooted for Tina. But at the same time, this book was light, fun, and a fast read. The friendship that developed between Tina, Emily, Wendi, Ginger, and Lily was funny and definitely stereotypical. I could see this book as a movie. Something as a cross between The Devil Wears Prada, Oceans 8, and Confessions of a Shopaholic. So while parts of this novel seemed a little unrealistic, (I couldn’t get into her romance with Kevin and let’s face it, I doubt embezzlement of this size would have the outcome the author leaves us with.) it was definitely snarky, witty, fresh, and likable.
P.S. I personally think the cover of this book is genius. It definitely drew me in and made me pick up the book.
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