Camille Perri’s The Assistants is a modern-day Robin Hood-esque tale of opportunity, financial gain and a sense of entitlement.
Tina works as an assistant for a media mogul. Like many others of her generation, she is highly educated, stuck in an unfulfilling and underappreciated job, and saddled with student loan debts.
So when she is handed a cheque that could end her financial troubles without anyone noticing where the money has gone, she takes her chance. What started as a means to an end soon spirals into illegal money laundering.
On the face of it, The Assistants would make a good, light-hearted movie about the trials and tribulations of recent college graduates struggling to find a proper job while trying to make ends meet. There is humour, blackmail and love. It has got the pace it needs, reads well, features a beautiful protagonist and a clever scheme. But said beautiful protagonist is also the problem.
Tina herself does very little out of her own choices. She gets dragged along by colleagues and friends, guided by the actions and decisions of the people around her. While she is the face of it all, she is not the mastermind. She commits crimes and gets away with them, while others convince her to keep going back for more. Self-pitying and self-righteous, Tina is a bit too whiny to be a proper heroine. She is meant to be competent but comes across as easily manipulated and bullied.
The Assistants is nonetheless an enjoyable read, which I would have no problems recommending for light entertainment and vacation reading. Tina’s initial situation may hit a bit too close to home for recent graduates, though.
My Rating: ♥♥♥
Title: The Assistants
Author: Camille Perri
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: May 3, 2016
The Assistants by Camille Perri was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by
Penguin Random House’s FirstToRead.