Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Assistants by Camille Perri

What They Say.....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?” 

What I Say.....I think I'm in the middle of these two generations.  But both of them seem to think the world owes them something.  I can definitely say over the last few years, my mind is a little more open to the how the game is rigged in favor of people who have more money than they could ever need or use.
But I also have open eyes to the fact that the millennial generation feels like they have been robbed if they don't have everything they want as soon as they want it - thanks, helicopter parents.

Tina innocently gets reimbursed for a plane ticket that she bought her boss, after it's already been refunded (because a multibillionaire doesn't think he should have to pay to fly first class - and block the seats around him).  Tina struggles for weeks trying to decide what to do - be honest, and turn it back in or cash it and pay off her student loans.  A simple snap and click deposit sets a whole chain of events that she could have never imagined.

Soon the people who are employed to stop this kind of thing from happening are blackmailing Tina to make sure it keeps happening, to their benefit.  It's designed to look like a modern day Robin Hood, but is it less stealing when it goes to student loans than a new car or better apartment?  Let's be honest, it's the same thing - freeing up income that would be spent on student loans to buy other things.

in the meantime, Tina has a budding romance with the office hunk, although she is terrified he will find out what she's up to, as he is a young idealist, who believes her to be as honest as he is.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but the ending was pretty neat and tidy for such a large, criminal mess on both sides.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.58

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