I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.B. S., Incorporated by Jennifer Rock, Michael Voss
Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing on May 17, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Humorous, Satire
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Business Solutions, Inc., is falling apart at the seams. While employees are killing time stalking free snacks and filming porn in the HQ stairwells, the company’s co-CEOs bring in shadowy corporate consultants to shake up their business in ways even they don’t understand. As the communications manager tasked with translating C-suite doublespeak, Will Evans is constantly torn between his blue-collar warehouse past and his white-collar future. When he is put in charge of rolling out a dubious strategy the consultants brand Optelligence, Will is thrust deep into a muddle of absurdity and responsibility he never expected. Enter Anna Reed, corporate mercenary with heels as high as her ambition. To her, BSI is just a stepping-stone to a better job at a smarter company. Demoted to Will’s team on her first day, she’s ready to steamroll anyone to get her career back on track.
When BSI is pushed to the brink of bankruptcy, Will hatches a covert plan that just might save them all. But he needs Anna’s cunning and courage to pull it off. Can Anna, the consummate job jumper, find a reason to go all-in on BSI? Or is she better off bailing and letting the company go down in flames?
I was not expecting much from B. S., Incorporated. I hoped it would be a cute read in the same vein as The Devil Wears Prada, where a plucky heroine saves herself from an unfriendly work environment. I did not get that, and I could not be happier about it. What I got instead was a sharp and smart tale from Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss that was equal parts humorous and thoughtful. Anna is a woman on the rise. She is following a carefully crafted career progression plan that brings her to BSI a huge copier and office supply company. As soon as she starts, things begin to change. BSI is going down a path that they might not recover from and it is up to Anna and her co-worker, the most optimistic nice guy ever, Will to create a plan to save it.
The plot of B. S., Incorporated was a rich combination of comedy, ingenuity and sass. It all worked very well together to create a dynamic storyline. The writing of Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss was nicely detailed and it read as one voice even though there were two writers. They were able to include a wide array of emotion and heart throughout. There were a few small pacing issues where I was unsure of how much time had jumped, but nothing substantial. The world built was superb. Set in only three locations, corporate headquarters, a warehouse and a bar, it was interesting to see how they all intersected. There was a nice emotional tug wrapped through the story. I enjoyed seeing Anna grow and her path change. The characters were what set this read apart. They were an engaging bunch, from the lecherous finance guy, to the PR Manager full of inventive curses, to the snarky barmaid, all played their roles to perfection.
B. S., Incorporated is not the book I thought I would read. Expecting more of a chick-lit feel, this was instead a smart comedy with a great cast. There were a few issues, as a business person IRL I was a bit frustrated with the C level employees as they were all portrayed as bumbling fools and that just drove me crazy. That small annoyance was not enough to hamper my reading. Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss crafted quite a debut and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Favorite lines – Actually, Human Resources intersected rather nicely with classic literature. HR departments operated like the ninth circle of hell from Dante’s Inferno: a frozen lake of blood and guilt. The staffers tended to either be barbarians—slashing headcount with impunity—or bleeding-heart softies with no guts or authority to add any value. And employees needing help skated circles on that frozen pond, twirling between continuously changing generalists who listened with great empathy, before routing the hapless skaters to a call center in Mumbai.
Biggest cliché – My consultant told me to.
Have you read B. S., Incorporated, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge