Review: The Assistants by Camille Perri

Title: The Assistants
Author: Camille Perri
Pages: 288
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Source: Free ARC from G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Rating: B-

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Review: In the acknowledgments, Perri mentions that someone thought this book would make for a fun movie and I wholeheartedly agree with that. It is exactly the kind of book I could see made into a movie. In fact, while I was reading it, I was envisioning a young Kristen Chenoweth as Emily (though I had the darndest time imagining Tina as a brunette). But I digress…

It was a light, entertaining read centered around a very real, contemporary issue: student loan debt and how very little an investment in education actually gets you these days. It also highlights the very hot topic of corporate greed and the realities of the 1%, but does so in a way that kind of humanizes the issue as well.

But don’t get me wrong. This isn’t really a book that is meant to delve deep into the abyss of societies issues. It’s really more about relationships and finding your own way. And doing the right thing even when it’s hard. There’s a little bit of love, a fair amount of friendship, and a heavy dose of soul-searching, all laced with levity and a heavy dose of reality.

I like that Tina was relatable and felt real, that she was relatable. And even though I wouldn’t make the same choices she did (I ALWAYS get caught!),  I understand how she could find herself in the trap that she did. That she found a way to turn something bad into something good is commendable. The ending was not my favorite, mostly because I didn’t completely agree with the way things played out, but I do understand that there are a lot of disenfranchised people who are angry at the system (don’t get me wrong, I’m angry, too, but there are lines I wouldn’t cross) that would be very satisfied with the way this story plays out. There is obvious appeal for the generation that came after mine.

The writing was good, the story was fun and entertaining, and I really enjoyed Tina (if not her choices), so overall it was perfectly respectable. A nice light read to offset heavier fare. Perhaps a great vacation read. 😉

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