Friday, October 14, 2011

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

Even girls working high pressure jobs like to read once in awhile. BOND GIRL provides a funny yet insightful look into the finance industry - and it's a book you shouldn't miss.

10. The number of U.S.-owned banks and/or brokerage houses actually located on Wall Street: zero.
9. Office windows that open are overrated.
8. Moran's Ale House & Grill, located in the heart of Manhattan's Financial District, caters primarily to Wall Street employees and people who want to marry them. It serves more beer between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other bar in the city.
7. Free pizza cures all, especially before 10 A.M.
6. A $65 limo ride with road sodas is a perfectly acceptable way to travel 10 blocks...
5. ...or five blocks if it's raining.
4. Knowing math is important - but nowhere near as important as knowing wine, golf, and watches.
3. Gucci loafers go with every outfit, in all weather, all year round.
2. Socks are optional (and rarely necessary).

And the number on thing you probably don't know about working on the Street is...

1. A bet is a bet is a bet. If you lose at Credit Card Roulette, you will pay the bill. No one cares that you're only twenty-two and the bill is $1,000.

BOND GIRL by Erin Duffy
Published January 24, 2012 by William Morrow Books
304 Pages


I was lucky to receive an ARC of this book thanks to Book Reporter ( and after my life settled down (if you didn't know, my grandfather was in the hospital and then stayed with my family for two weeks) I finally got a chance to pick it up. I read the book in 24 hours and put all other books and my job search aside. It was that good.

BOND GIRL follows Alex, a recent college graduate who has aspired to follow in her father's footsteps and work on a financial trading floor since she was a child. She joins Cromwell Pierce and immediately realizes her ideas of what it would be like are completely and 100% wrong. There is sexual harassment, no desk for her, bullying, tricks, high pressure scenarios...and a love interest that doesn't take as much interest in her as she thinks.

Alex as a narrator is fun and insightful, as well as fresh and interesting. I loved her story and wanted to know more after the book even ended. The characters were well fleshed out, including the secondary and tertiary ones, and the way this book was written has "make this a movie!" stamped all over it. The situations in this book seem all too real, even for someone like me who worked in Lower Manhattan (albeit not on Wall Street) and saw women like Alex daily rushing about in a world that still treats them as a joke.

The way Alex deals with the problems of her career are fresh, exciting, and driving. A client constantly hits on her, for example, but she is pressured into not saying anything thanks to her extremely large paycheck. But her increasing disenchantment with the field she's always admired makes the book compelling and harrowing, while Alex brings to the narration her ever-present humorous take on her life, her job, and the people around her.

If you don't have a business background, some of the concepts might confuse you (I took economics courses and don't have a clue what bond trading even is still), but putting that aside, BOND GIRL is an exceptional novel that I will recommend to anyone and everyone. And if you want to know more about the type of office where Alex works, trust me, it helps to look it up. I found THIS from UBS that pretty much sums it up. Trust me, it's kind of scary. Especially if you're like me and multiplying 6x15 is a cause for a calculator.

VERDICT: BOND GIRL is a hilarious book with some real impact about a world most of us will never know. It's funny, thrilling, and compelling. Trust me, you want to read this book. It's that good.


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