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Perfectly Impossible

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,676 ratings  ·  220 reviews
In this witty debut novel, Elizabeth Topp crafts a story that ventures behind the fanciful facade of Park Avenue and into the life of one lovable type A assistant.

Anna’s job is simple: prevent the unexpected from happening and do everything better than perfectly. An artist at heart, Anna works a day job as a private assistant for Bambi Von Bizmark, a megarich Upper East Si
Kindle Edition
Published November 1st 2020
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,676 ratings  ·  220 reviews

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Larry H
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
It’s totally easy to hold your life together at the same time as your employer’s, right? Elizabeth Topp's Perfectly Impossible weighs in on that question.

Anna has been the private assistant to Bambi Von Bizmark, an immensely wealthy NYC matriarch, for a long while now. Her job is simple: make sure there are no surprises in the family's life and do everything perfectly. It’s always hectic because she never knows what she’ll be asked, what will be needed, or what she’ll need to remember, but s
Lisa Vita
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just completed Elizabeth Topp's book and adored every moment of it!

Before going in to what I believe the book did very well, I'd like to mention what I do NOT think the book IS or should be compared to. This work of fiction did not speak about the idle rich to me nor was it particularly reminiscent of the 20+ year old book about battered assistants in The Devil Wears Prada, the Cinderella fairytale or even Sex In The City.

What "Perfectly Impossible" did DO was nail the genre of 'the affluent'
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was ok

Full disclosure, I skimmed a lot of this book. I just couldn't connect with the characters at all. Perhaps this is a book for fans of Real Housewives or Kardashians TV shows?

I think I was supposed to feel sympathy for Anna, the put-upon assistant of the super rich/artist looking for a showing, but I didn't like her at all. She came across as an entitled brat.

In parts of the book it was obvious the author was trying for humor, but it mostly fell flat.
Janet Newport
Thank you NetGalley and Little A for this arc.

I read this a couple of weeks ago, early in the COVID-19 "shutdown". It must have been what I needed at the time, as I found it engaging and amusing. Truly mindless entertainment. I found the main characters, Anna and Kizzy both to be likeable in spite of their complete self absorption and self-serving actions. The absurdity of their indulgences was so OTT that I found myself laughing out loud in several times. The story itself was kind of pointless
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely give out 5 stars, but this book was an absolute joy to read. This debut novel is about a highly educated assistant to a mega-rich wife and philanthropist in NYC. She is also an artist and a top notch professional juggler. This book is reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada in all the right ways. It is funny, lively, and unexpected. I completely enjoying reading about the mishaps of Anna and the crazy life of the ultrarich. The use of upstairs/downstairs characters was fun and engaging. I ...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
I know people who have the high level, executive/personal assistant job and it is NOT easy. 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. And it's like stepping into a completely different world. One you knew of, but wasn't sure if it REALLY existed like you see on TV. I was eager to read this as I wanted to get a birds eye view of sorts, through a fiction read on an all too real world. I'm a little confused. Is this supposed to be satire or a real, but comical also, look into this type of life?

Anna is an i
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-releases
This is the story of an assistant to the wealthy von Bizmarks who is also an artist. Anna wants to change the world with her art (while working part time as an assistant); she also has to arrange everything for the big Opera Ball. Her boyfriend wants to change the world through his apps. Kissy von Bizmark (Bambi) and Peter von Bizmark are the rich people, but they did feel like very dry characters. V interesting premise and I was expecting a witty, light read. However, I wasn't able to get acqua ...more
Meg Leader
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's light and airy and nothing much really happens except someone wanted to explain the value of personal assistants to the rest of the world.

I got it for free from Amazon for their monthly prime reads and I didn't expect to stick with it long enough to finish it, but I did. There was no reason to stop reading. The style was smooth and the plot wasn't lost in wordy details. That said, I won't be recommending it to anyone.
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book just wasn’t for me. Struggled to read it.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun read, and a great escape from all the Coronavirus news reports that we're all living with. The story centers on Anna, an unknown artist and senior personal assistant to one of the richest socialites in Manhattan, Bambi (Kissy) Von Bizmark,. I have no idea whether the Von Bismarks' uber-rich and privileged lifestyle is partly based on truth, because the circles they move in are nowhere close to mine. I will say that the descriptions of the family members, their 'people' and th ...more
Lynne Spreen
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Did not finish. Anna is a personal assistant to a revolting person named Bambi von Bizmark, who epitomizes great wealth, privilege, and narcissism. Anna, a heroic functionary, is nothing more than a machine to her employers. Yet she has her own dreams of artistic success, which conflict with the demands of her "employers" (more like owners). I think everyone can identify with that challenge, and I think the author might have wanted us to admire Anna's extreme capability and dedication, but I fou ...more
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it
A Glimpse into the Unknown

If I ever thought I knew anything about how the other half lives, then clearly I was wrong. I can't even begin to fathom living the life led by the Von Bismarcks. The story sucked me in with its helicopter rides and personalized fireworks display. And the $4.7 million dollar necklace!!!!! My brain can't wrap itself around it all. All I can say is I'm glad I do not work as a personal assistant to the fabulously rich.
Elaine L Haas
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this book. An easy read and though I skimmed a little, mostly it held my attention to the end. It did make me wonder if this is the way the very rich actually live, hard for me to imagine. It did show that money does not buy happiness. I would recommend, if you are looking for an easy read and a book with a sense of humor.
Jamie Jack
Oct 01, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, 2020
Sound and Fury, Signifying…

Having finished this book, I find myself scratching my head and wondering what it was all about… and wondering if I have wasted my time. Is it satire? A witty look at the lives of the mega-rich? A light bit of fluff about high society in New York City? I can't quite put my finger on what it is and what the author wanted us to “get” from it. I'm not quite sure who the ideal reader of this book may be. At times, the book was definitely over the top and extreme—and so far
Oct 10, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I thought this book was quite a fun read! I liked so many of the characters. There were a few humorous moments and plenty of ridiculous moments!
Ida Wilcox
Oct 18, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was rather bored with this book. Nothing really happen until almost the end. And that even fell flat.

It was like reading someone schedule book with side journaling notes.

Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing

What a new and refreshing book! I feel like I've never read anything like it. Definitely new subject matter for me. I probably didn't even know private assistants existed. Great view into the lives of the super rich. A great read! Highly recommend!
Perfectly Impossible is a delightful debut novel from Elizabeth Topp!

Meet Anna, the personal assistant to one of the wealthy of Park Avenue, Kitty Von Bizmark. Her job keeps her on her toes, as she attempts to meet all of Kitty's needs before she asks, keep anything unexpected from occurring and do it all with perfection. Anna is able to do all of this, with grace and charm. However, things get extra interesting when the Von Bizmarks are to be honored at the Opening Night Gala for this years ope
Jul 29, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure who this book is for. Anna, an artist and a personal assistant to a super-rich woman, manages her job as a PA while trying to get established as an artist, Ultimately, she uses her PA position to get her paintings sold and the attention of a major agent. It's kind of a Cinderella story, I suppose--even the servants go to the ball. Readers get a view of the lives of the top 1% of the 1%, but those lives aren't terribly interesting--it's a job being rich: your time is spent accumulati ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
An interesting but anticlimactic tale about an artist and personal assistant to the super rich in NYC.

To be fair, for most of this book I would have counted it a four-star read. The details of the lives of the super rich are impeccably done and wonderfully detailed. No one without personal experience could have layered it in so deeply and exactly, and it's a voyeuristic read to see into the lifestyles of people most of us will never be (and many of us would never want to be). Also, the subplot c
Peter McGinn
Nov 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I will start out by saying that I didn’t enjoy reading this novel as much as I expected, but in the same sentence I hasten to add that it has nothing to do with the quality of the writing. It is well-written and well researched.

It is the subject matter that caused my interest to dissipate. I do not follow the lives of celebrities or care about the super rich. The rich own everything already; why do they require my attention also? I don’t want to sound condescending about it. I enjoyed reading th
Cindy Roesel
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it

"Make sure nothing unexpected ever happens." The answers to her dozens of tasks had to be "not simply correct, but perfect." These were the job descriptions for an assistant in Elizabeth Topp's debut PERFECTLY IMPOSSIBLE.

Anna is a Yale educated MFA painter and collage artist who is the assistant to the Park Avenue Von Bizmark family. She oversees their ten thousand square foot duplex, Hampton's castle called Coolwater, staff, property, vendors, it's practically a whole economy unto itself.

Anna w
Jennifer Robb
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers who like an inside look into "glamorous" jobs
Recommended to Jennifer by: Amazon
3.5 stars (rating shown may vary depending on whether site allows half star ratings)

This was one of my 2 Amazon First Reads picks for October 2020.

Anna (the main character) works part time as a personal assistant for the wealthy Von Bismarcks, where her job is to anticipate, fulfill every whim, and keep on top of quite a few things. Anna is also an aspiring artist and in a relationship with Adrian.

Given the sheer volume of work discussed in this book, I'm not quite sure how Anna does it only pa
Cary B
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A look at luxury

I found this book hard to like at first. Anna, the central character is very annoying and hard to like or get used to first off. She creates scenarios in her head, and gets unhappy because of it, then she blames everyone else. She's steeped in her own negative cloud. She devalues her own job, even though she seems excellent at it. She compares herself to her husband and exaggerates his role in her mind.

Anna expects her man to support her without question, but gives him no support
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Fun book, if you ignore the boyfriend

Good book for fans of The Devil Wears Prada, light escapism colored with fashion, jewelry and the finer things in life.

(Spoilers ahead)

I enjoyed this book, a light, fun read that allowed me to momentarily forget the humdrum circumstances of the pandemic. But my enjoyment of a good story and interesting main character was spoiled by the characterization of her boyfriend, who was at best a dope and at worst a manipulative sociopath. It was obvious that he inten
2.5 stars. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Perfectly Impossible is a light, fast-paced contemporary, a perfect escape during these troubling times. However, in its lightness and opulence, there isn’t room for a ton of depth in the midst of it all. I mean, some books can be just fun, but the result of this one left me feeling very conflicted.

While the life of a personal assistant to the rich and famous is not easy, I s
Jeeves Reads Romance
Fluffy filler

This is the kind of light, over the top fiction that ultimately feels like filler. A lot happens, but also nothing at all. The writing style sort of lost me from the start; our heroine is kinda insanely bubbly and the whole thing just feels a bit frantic. It's a low angst, easy read, and not a bad way to spend a few hours, but I can't say that anything about it ever really hooked me in. It can all kind of be summed up in one sentence: everybody's got problems.

Essentially, the story
Andrew Small
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Baran
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Styled as chicklit, and potentially a romance, Perfectly Impossible is actually an equally seductive enjoyablee read genre - the career crisis of the artist doing another job. As per the recent Tory misunderstanding that many,if not most, arts practitioners actually already do another job to make ends meet, here our heroine Anna is a Yale MFA graduate artist, who also happens to be a personal assistant to an obscenely rich woman. The enjoyable surface of the book is the crisis in not being a suc ...more
Perfectly Impossible

This light and sometimes heartwarming book felt like a throw-back to the sixties, when escapist reading often delved into the lives of the uber rich and the problems that they create just by being. I didn’t care for them then and didn’t love this book now. I’d rather read about accessible people, not modern-day fairy tales.

Yet if you take away the glitz and glam, you are left with Anna, an undiscovered artist who pays her way by working for The Rich and Famous and Vacuous Kis
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Elizabeth Topp penned her first short story in the second grade and has been writing ever since. A graduate of The Dalton School, Harvard College and Columbia’s School of the Arts, Liz co-authored her first book, Vaginas: An Owner’s Manual with her gynecologist mother while she worked as a Private Assistant, a job she still holds. Liz lives in the same Manhattan apartment where she grew up with he ...more

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“but then I studied at Yale.” “Yale! There is a great pizza place there—” “Frank Pepe!” Anna said. “Where they have that crazy—” “White clam pizza!” they said together.” 0 likes
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