Tina works for the guy in the charge. The man at the helm of a worldwide media giant. For six years she sees him spending more money on fancy wines or a pair of shoes than she gets in a year. Until one day, when an error occurs within the expensing system, leaving her with a check big enough to pay off all her debt. After seeing what she’s seen all these years, the temptation becomes too much and she gives in. “It’ll be a one-time thing,” she tells herself. But it doesn’t take long before one-by-one other assistants find out what she’s done… and want the same thing for themselves.
The Assistants by Camille Perri is one of those books that is just plain fun to read. It hooks you off the cuff, and moves quickly from beginning to end. I think it took me a total of 3 hours to read - does that make it a perfect beach read??
Many people who have worked in a support role before will find themselves debating whether to cheer Tina on or wag their finger in disappointment. Though I find it’s sometimes second nature to cheer for the underdog (I am a Detroit Lions fan), I was often frustrated with our main girl and her crew of feisty assistants. That’s likely more of a slight against the characters than one against the plot - which I loved. In fact, the one character I really liked was the big, powerful boss who I found stern, yet smart and sympathetic.
Also in the mix was a budding romance between Tina and Kevin, from the company’s legal department. As usual for me, I found myself cringing at almost every “romantic” moment they had - but that’s me, not you (you being the book).
In my opinion, the key to this book is not to take it too seriously. Yes, it hits on some relevant issues today, such as wage inequality and student debt, but more than anything it is a light-hearted and quick read.