THE TEMP - by Michelle Frances
Published: November 2018 - Pan Macmillan.
Genres: Adult / thriller / contemporary
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild violence / mild bad language / sexual innuendos.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was expecting to love this book. I hardly even considered the fact that I might be disappointed.
The writing is bad, there's absolutely no point sugar-coating it. It's extremely cheesy, childish, cluttered with overused cliche phrases, and the dialogue is terrible. There is so so so much exposition, as well. It'll induce eye-rolls.
The story and plot are shoddy. There's no originality whatsoever, and everything feels so terribly contrived. The story unfolds around a film production company and with all the pop culture references and celeb name dropping, the author's lack of research is glaringly and painfully obvious. It feels like a cheap, surface-level glimpse at a British television company and business. It never once feels authentic. I couldn't suspend disbelief for a moment.
The plot doesn't do the setting any favours. It's predictable and contrived, and certainly not thrilling or entertaining. The pacing is up and down, too.
The characters are annoying stereotypes that I cared zilch for. They are all so boring and uninspired, and there's no depth to their personalities at all. I honestly can't even say what they're each like because their personalities are so poorly formed. Maybe if the point of view had been first person, that might have deepened and fleshed out each person more. But third person does them no favours.
As an additional note, I also feel uncomfortable about how Adrian's character was treated. He's painted as the stereotypical male scumball, but Emma's treatment of him towards the end of the book was awful and inappropriate (she had him handcuffed to the fireplace for days); all because - SPOILER - he stole her film script years ago. Yes, he did wrong, but so did she. She shouldn't have gotten away with it. That made me angry. It also feels like the author was out to get the guy in the story and paint the women as the wounded heroes. Even when Emma and Adrian sleep together, Emma leads the reader to think he forced/pressured her into it, when he clearly, clearly didn't. It all feels very biased.
The Temp is contrived, superficial, and packed with cliches. To make things worse, the writing is lacking and the characters are pathetic.