Most helpful positive review
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2011
The synopsis for "Bond Girl" made it an instant pick for me; usually I carefully go through all my Amazon Vine choices, and whittle them down book by book. But as I have an interest in finance and business, I immediately selected this book. Alex is a pretty plucky protagonist, and I liked her voice from page one. She's sarcastic, and I could see a lot of myself in her. And even though Alex is fictional, I envied her, especially for the money she made!
For the most part, I enjoyed "Bond Girl." I carried it everywhere with me until I finished it. The book is a pretty quick read, and while Alex works on Wall Street, it doesn't delve too deeply into her actual job. So if you're looking for a light read, this may be it for you.
That was one of my problems with the book. Because I picked it for my interest in Wall Street, I would have liked to see more of Alex's actual job. For example, she has to take the Series 7, 63, and 3 exams (required by the Securities and Exchange Commission) to speak with clients and execute trades. But they are only mentioned twice -- once when her boss tells her she has to pass them the first time, and then when she gives him the paper saying she passed them all. I would have liked to hear more about them, such as how she found time to study while working, or some of the material on them.
Financial terms are dropped here and there, and I can't say if this is an accurate look into a brokerage firm (somehow, I doubt it), but it is a funny one. There were times when I was laughing while reading, and others were I kept thinking "Really??" Alex, who decided she wanted to work in "The Business" at the age of eight, joins a sort of "Boys Only" club when she starts working at Cromwell Pierce. There is a lot of sexism in the book -- Alex's nickname at work is "Girlie," and there's more than one mention that she should avoid becoming fat, and so on. Eventually after a hazing period, she's accepted by most of her co-workers, and they become something like big brothers. You won't believe some of the absurd things they get up to. Once, when she's late for work, Alex's "punishment" is to buy a $984.61 fifty pound cheese wheel. Another time, one of her co-workers takes on a $28,000 bet to eat the contents of a vending machine in one day.
If you're looking for a how or why on the 2008 financial crisis, that isn't in this book. But there an "on the front lines" view, where Alex watches her co-workers disappear without warning, and she herself has to make some difficult decisions.
At first, I found the writing style to be a little much (tons of adjectives in every sentence, especially in the prologue), but then I got used to it and enjoyed it. I tend to like more description than less, and the quick pace of the book also matches the content. Sometimes, though, "Bond Girl" moves too quickly, but I think that is due to some extreme cutting. Based on the author's notes, the manuscript was originally 700 pages, and the final published version will be around 300.
There's some romance, which I could personally have done without, but at least there wasn't the all too common love triangle. The ending did leave me hanging, and I was left wondering what Alex's next step will be.
All of that said, "Bond Girl" will go in my re-read pile. I wanted to *be* Alex, and for me, that's the sign of a good book. I also found the cover eye-catching, a picture of a Louboutin on top of the Wall Street Journal.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the Amazon Vine program.