The basics: The Assistants, Camille Perri's debut novel, is the story of Tina Fontina, a thirty-year-old who serves as the executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the CEO of Titan, a media conglomerate. What begins innocently soon spins a big scheme to falsify expense reports to pay off the student loans of assistants throughout the company.
My thoughts: As I wrote the basics above, I kept trying to come up with a description that made it sound like a book I would actually want to read. I didn't know much about this novel when I downloaded the audiobook from my library, and I think that's the way to go into it. It's a quick listen, and I found it entertaining, funny and surprisingly insightful. In that way, the book sneaked up on me. I was enjoying the story, as it was clearly diverting from reality into delightfully reckless fictional insanity, when I found myself wowed. Perri has absolutely written an entertaining novel, but it packs a wonderful punch without feeling like an idea novel.
Audiobook thoughts: Jorjeana Marie was a delightful narrator. At first, I found her voices for other characters to be slightly over-the-top, particularly Robert, but I soon grew to enjoy them. She reads in a somewhat confessional tone, and I thought she captured Tina perfectly. The tone of this novel is key to its enjoyment, and Jorjeana Marie delivers.
The verdict: I love novels that entertain me and make me think, and The Assistants does both. It's the perfect balance of light and deep, and I enjoyed the time I spent with it. I listened compulsively, but it's biggest gift is how much I'm still thinking about it.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 7 hours 49 minutes (283 pages)
Publication date: May 3, 2016
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy The Assistants from Amazon (Kindle edition.)
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