I heard about The Assistants by Camille Perri on Instagram. I can’t remember who had been reading it and loving it, but it was enough for me to put it on hold at my local library. The book arrived a month or two later (it’s a popular book), and I started and finished it within a couple of days.
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?”
This book was hilarious. The characters are very fun, quirky, and over the top. This book is not meant to be serious, and because it knows that it isn’t the read is just fun and entertaining. Tina is definitely the kind of character you can root for because we’ve all had the moment where we get in way over our heads (not to the level of embezzlement obviously) and just end up scrambling. But for all that she definitely scrambles for a bit, Tina comes into her own, figures it all out, and gets everything sorted.
The topic of student debt is a continuous one in this novel, and while the book is rather silly and fun, the issue of student debt that students will never be able to pay off and thus never get ahead in life is a serious one. Too many people have serious student debt that makes saving for a house, children or retirement next to impossible. University and college shouldn’t be that expensive. There has to be a way for it to be made affordable or free (which has happened in some countries around the world) so that students can then go on to lead productive, healthy and happy lives.
This book is definitely a fun, quick read that is perfect for when you need a laugh and a pick me up. Give it a go! @