Review Tuesday: The Assistants by Camille Perri

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.

assistantsFrom 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?”

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! @CamillePerri

Review Tuesday: Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren is book four in the Wild Seasons series. I really love this series. Book two is definitely my favourite, but I do like them all. Before we get into this one, here’s the description from Goodreads:

wicked sexy liarWhen three college besties meet three hot guys in Vegas, anything can—and does—happen. Book Four in the New York Times Wild Seasons series that began with Sweet Filthy Boy (the Romantic Times book of the year that Sylvia Day called “a sexy, sweet treasure of a story”), Dirty Rowdy Thing, and Dark Wild Night.

For two people ambivalent about dating and love, they sure get naked around each other an awful lot . . .

London Hughes is very content to surf daily, tend bar, hang out with her group of friends, and slowly orient herself in the years after college. Everything’s going great and according to the non-plan.

But when a wave knocks her for a loop one morning, then Luke Sutter’s flirtatious smile knocks her for another that evening, she veers slightly off course…and into his path. Sure, he’s a total player, but the Why not—it’s only one night is a persistent voice in her ear.

For his part, Luke’s been on hookup autopilot for so long that he rarely ever pauses to consider what he’s doing. But after an amazing time with London, he realizes that he hasn’t been moving on from a devastating heartbreak so much as he’s been drifting to wherever—and whomever—the current takes him. With London he wants more.

Every relationship involves two people…plus their pasts. And as much as she enjoys her fling with Luke, when London learns about his past—more specifically, who’s in it—everything becomes the brand of complicated she strives to avoid. It’s up to Luke then to change some things in order to try and ensure he’s not something she’ll outright avoid as well.

This was a super quick read for me. I read it in about two sittings. It was light and fun and exactly what I was looking for. London and Luke are hilarious together. They have great chemistry and fantastic banter. For me, in a romance book, good banter is essential and Christina Lauren always delivers on it.

There was of course a more serious part of the book where London and Luke have to deal with their pasts, and how it effects their current selves and well as their future selves. This was done though without too much drama, and without taking anything away from the flow of the story or the tone of the book.

Overall a great, fun read, and I can’t wait for whatever they’re writing next!

Review Tuesday: The Job by Janet Evanovich

The Job by Janet Evanovich is book three in the Fox and O’Hare series.

From Goodreads:

Charming con man Nicolas Fox and dedicated FBI agent Kate O’Hare secretly take down world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons, next job Violante, the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire. The FBI doesn’t know what he looks like, where he is, or how to find him, but Nick knows his tastes in gourmet chocolate. the job

From Nashville to Lisbon back alleys, from Istanbul rooftops to Thames, they chase clues to lookalike thefts. Pitted against a psychopathic bodyguard Reyna holding Kate hostage and a Portuguese enforcer getting advice from an ancestor’s pickled head, they again call driver Willie for ship, actor Boyd for one-eyed Captain Bridger, special effects carpenter Tom, her father Jake – retired Special Forces, and his talent – machete-wielding Somali pirate Billy Dee. This could be their biggest job – if they survive.

The Job – like the other two books in this series – reads very much the same as Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. The books are an incredibly quick read, lots of danger and excitement, but for all that there’s danger and excitement you know that nothing terrible is going to happen to any of the characters. They will be fine in the end. There isn’t much – if any – character development or emotion either. These are books where the plot drives the book forward.

Fox and O’Hare are a very funny tag team, and the crew that was assembled in book 1 shows up again, and makes the reading of this book a fun one. Kate’s Dad is actually one of my favourite characters. He always makes me laugh.

For all that there isn’t any depth to this series – or any of her series that I’ve read – they are highly entertaining and a perfect beach read.

If you are looking for a light hearted silly book I would suggest starting with book one in the Stephanie Plum series – One For the Money. (The movie for that by the way was terrible! Also did anyone else notice that Katherine Heigl was the only character with a ridiculous accent? No one else had it!). If you like One For the Money then be excited because she’s written a lot of books in that series and in other series, so you’ll definitely have some things to read!

 

Song Wendesday: Tap and Irish

Once upon a time I use to Irish dance. I competed and won some medals. It was a lot of fun, and every time I hear a reel my toes start to move almost as if on their accord, dancing some steps that my brain only foggily remembers.

This is one of my favourite dances from Riverdance (the second edition of Riverdance).

 

My First Business Trip

This past week I took my first business trip. It was really awesome. It was in California (my first time there), the weather was incredibly nice in comparison to where I live, and I met some fantastic people.

The first stop on the trip was Pasadena, where I attended Children’s Institute – a conference of/for American children’s booksellers. Everyone comes together to meet, and to talk about what’s working for them in their stores and what isn’t, to talk about the industry, and to also talk with publishers about their books. It was a very informative experience (and the people were very nice).IMG_1042

During this time, I also got to spend the morning in Santa Monica where I walked along the pier, and along the beach. It was completely beautiful – perfect weather, great experience.

I also got to spend some time at the Huntington Library in Pasadena. It’s a huge estate that has rare manuscripts, artwork, flowers, etc. It’s completely stunning and gorgeous. You could easily spend a day there just walking around the grounds and seeing the different gardens and collections. Definitely a highlight of the trip. (Second picture an image of the Gutenberg Bible – one of 48 copies left in existence)IMG_1062

The second stop was Berkeley where my company’s sales conference was. I got to meet with a good chunk of the reps that I email daily – it was nice to be able to put a face to the email – and I got to tell them about my company’s new books for next season, which was pretty exciting.

During this time I also got to drive to some independent bookstores in the area and check them out. They were so gorgeous. I could have spent WAY more time in them. How awesome is life when I get to hang out in bookstores for an afternoon?

Things only turned slightly rocky on the flight home when I was delayed for 8 hours in San Francisco. I have never been delayed on a flight before, and I have to say I am not a fan. The saving crazy was the company I had, the free wifi, and a loaded up Kobo with some good books.

Thus, I got home a little later than expected, but with some great stories to tell, and a very cool new experience under my belt.

Best part of it all? I get to go back again 🙂

 

Review Tuesday: Vanity Fair

Now, usually my Review Tuesdays are about books. And next week’s will definitely be a book review. However, I do read more than books. I also really enjoy reading some magazines, so this Review Tuesday is showing some love to them.

One of the magazines that I read every month is Vanity Fair. I got into reading Vanity Fair a couple of years ago when I found out that the editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, is Canadian (we’re everywhere). I don’t usually care who’s featured each month, celebrity wise, because I find those articles not nearly as interesting as some of the other ones that they have. Vanity Fair Cover

It is true that a good chunk of Vanity Fair is very much about the who’s who in the world of celebrities, tech mongols, the rich and the famous. But sometimes it’s good to be in the know about these things. So I use Vanity Fair as my one stop shop on pop culture things.

However, another chunk of Vanity Fair is about interesting topics, and world issues. Some of my favourite articles have included reading about the NuvaRing, cyber warfare in Iran, and Kiva.

I find that reading Vanity Fair is a good way to take a break from the world of imagination and books and to step back into the real world. The real world is something that we need to be active participants in, and to engage in. We need to have an understanding and knowledge of what is going on in it and Vanity Fair is one the sources I use for that knowledge.

Some other magazines that I read – not as regularly as Vanity Fair but fairly often – are Wired and Monocle.

What about you? Besides books what do you like to read?