Friday, 1 May 2015

Harper Impulse Fortnight - The Temp by Emily Benet

"Twenty-something Amber is fresh out of university with a degree she has no clue what to do with… so she temps in order to earn enough money to cover the cost of living the good life in London.
While scrounging free wine from a wacky modern art gallery (her favourite life-hack) she looks at the ‘art’ and thinks ‘if they can do it, why not me?’. Enter a drop-dead gorgeous gallery promoter and a bunch of unlikely friends, including her housemate Egg (short for Egbert), to help – and hinder – her crazy idea to unleash spray painted bananas across the capital.
Laugh out loud with this fun romantic comedy and follow Amber as she literally spray paints the town red – and blue – and yellow – and pink…"

As part of Harper Impulse fortnight I interviewed the lovely Emily Benet about her novel 'The Temp' and now I'm also going to share my review on this hilarious and wonderfully written book. 

This is the first time I've had the joy of reading Emily's work and I can't wait for more. She is BRILLIANT. Witty, sharp and fast-paced The Temp, if I'm honest, surprised me- I wasn't expecting such a delight to be nestled between the cover. 

The Temp follows the story of Amber, a recent graduate now wanting to make her mark on the world. While she works out what to do with her life she flits from temp job to temp job - each as boring as the last, and spends her spare time at art gallery exhibitions - mainly for the free wine, rather than the artwork which she doesn't really 'get'. I was hooked immediately, sucked into Amber's world and practically sipping on cheap wine in her small living room with her, as her unusual and anti-social flatmate, Egg, looked on. 

Amber is downright hilarious and so, so relateable. She seems a little lost, coasting by until the right thing falls into place and immediately I related to her - she's going through the same feelings and thought as any recent graduate. It transported me back a couple of years to when I was in the same situation and you can completely see why she makes the choices she does. I love her attitude and imagination, and right from the beginning you are rooting for her in whatever she does. When she meets handsome gallery promoter Elliot, and lies that she is in fact an artist, she decides to give it a whirl in hilarious and unplanned circumstances. I don't want to ruin the fun of the story too much but lets just say it involved bananas. Lots of bananas. 

There are a whole host of other characters in this story that add to its brilliance. Farrell, Amber's life long best friend is absolutely wonderful - kind, attentive and supportive he is quite clearly besotted with Amber even if she can't see it. I think I need to stop gushing over him now but he really is fab! Elliott arrives on the scene in a flashy way and remains just as flashy throughout - fabulous flat, expensive car, posh wine - alarm bells were ringing for me form the off-set as it all just seemed too good to be true. Cynical huh? Throw in her unusual housemate Egg and her raucous, loud friend Bibana you have a brilliant mix of personalities and characters that add another great layer to this story.

I can't do it justice just how much Emily manages to make this book realistic and jump off the page. With any good book you should feel transported to it's setting and like you could be friends with the characters, but The Temp, for me, was another level. It didn't even transport me there - I just WAS. 

The Temp is a typically British, hilarious read. I love Emily's quirky style and absorbing nature which makes it an absolute must-read. More please! 


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