"The Assistants" by Camille Perri
Thirty-year-old Tina Fontana is great at her job. As the executive assistant to the CEO of a multinational media conglomerate, she spends her days making reservations, pouring drinks, and putting out small, ridiculous fires. Her boss loves her, trusts her, and couldn't function without her. But things aren't going well for Tina. The glamour of her job is long gone and her student loan debt and inability to pay the rent has stuck around.
One day, while preparing expense reports for her boss, Tina realizes that a technical error has put enough money into her bank account to pay off all of her debt. She should let someone know of the error, but she also realizes that her boss has so much money he would never notice what is missing. Against her will, Tina lets a few others in on what happened and they begin to pay off debts for other assistants around the company. Very quickly, what started out as one little indiscretion turns into a movement that Tina can’t quite contain.
The Assistants, by Camille Perri, is a fun call to arms for the overeducated and underpaid generation that can’t quite seem to make that breakthrough in their career and who feel as though they are doomed to make coffee for others for the rest of their lives.
First off, I have to say that the colour of the book cover is absolutely gorgeous. Every time I pass by it at the bookstore I am drawn to it. It had been a while since I had read some good chick lit so I thought I would give in to the cover completely and give it a go. I like the plot of this book because it is very timely. There are a lot of well-educated people out there who cannot find jobs that their education prepared them for and who are taking on jobs that just barely let them scrape by each month, let alone pay off their massive student debt.
The idea that the women in the book come up with to pay off their loans is a fun part of the story. However, the book lost me with the writing. I don’t know if it was because the writing in the book I had read previous to this was so beautiful and descriptive, but I found the writing in this book very plain and at times it did not even seem correct to me. Some pop culture references felt like they were just thrown in because that is standard to the genre and the plot is completely predictable. I honestly felt as though this book was rushed, as in this is a good idea so let’s get this book to print as fast as we can.
This book is a quick read and it is definitely fun but it did not blow me away compared to other novels of the type (I’m thinking The Devil Wears Prada, etc.) It seems from the reading the acknowledgements that this book may become a movie and I honestly believe that this would be a fantastic film. With the right cast it could be a ton of fun. So I hope that it does get the movie treatment because the idea is great but the book just didn’t work for me.