Title: Temping Fate
Author: Esther M. Friesner
Summary: Until she stumbled upon the Divine Relief Temp Agency, Ilana Newhouse was having a hard time finding a summer job. Apparently, a T-shirt that reads “Orc: The Other Green Meat” isn’t appropriate for an interview. But when she reports for her first day as a temp, Ilana discovers why Divine Relief isn’t shy about hiring someone a little left of ordinary. Ilana is temping for the extraordinary, life-controlling, Greek mythological goddesses, the Fates. Now her summer is going to be less about surviving a stuffy office and more about avoiding being turned into a pig, or worse!
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 of 5)
My Review: The premise of this book was TO DIE for. I absolutely adored the world that Esther Friesner created. I mean, how perfect is it? The gods (and other mythological characters) hire high school students to temp/intern for them?! That wasn’t a very good description, but, seriously, this world is THE BEST. I’m in love with it. It was a completely new twist on Greek Mythology in Modern Day. It’s nothing like Percy Jackson, but I feel it will appeal to a lot of the same type of people. This is definitely NOT a book that a boy would enjoy. I can think of absolutely zero guys I would recommend this too.
Hero/Heroine: Ilana: Ugh. In Friesner’s attempt to create a feminist strong female character… she ended up creating a stubborn, whiny, and incredibly arrogant teenage girl =who spent all her time talking about how tough and stubborn she was, and how much everybody hated her that nearly every time she talked I just rolled my eyes and sighed. She was a decent character, but had a far to high an opinion of herself and how much the world hated her. Not Friesner’s best character, but still enjoyable.
Plot: Ehhh… As I said. Sold on the world. Loved it. That’s the real reason this book has such a high rating. Cuz honestly… The characters? Wasn’t really a huge fan. The sexism? Hated it. The plot? It was… meh. It was a fun plot, and an enjoyable one in the moment. But it’s one of those books, where in retrospect, you just think… Wait. Why did I read that, again? I think that Friesner created an INCREDIBLE world, one with AMAZING potential. And I almost feel like she spent SO MUCH time creating this to die for world, that she just mashed together a few lame plots from various MG fiction novels. It felt very Break-Up Artist meets Gimme a Call… inside a Greek mythological world. The plot (outside of the office) focused almost entirely on the wedding planning and bridezilla-ness of Ilana’s sister. Been there, read that. Watching her sister’s backstory unfold was fascinating, to say the least. I found it very intriguing how all the pieces of the story fit together. I did enjoy the ending of the book, even though the “big reveal” was one of those “really?” *smh* moments. If a sequel ever came out, I would read it, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of this plot. I also found it a bit feminist heavy (Don’t get me wrong, I am a teenage girl), however, I felt that this book was very degrading to men, and by extent very offensive to anyone with an honorable man in their life. All of the male characters were solely there for the purposes of a love interest, and most all of them were pathetic. A bit too much Female superiorty, and not enough gender equality. I was very disappointed.
Content Advisory: A handful of minor cuss words. (B-, D-, H-, S-). Some thematic elements. A Greek god is naked at one point. Very sexist and offensive at times.
To Sum it Up: All of that last paragraph aside, I did enjoy this book. It was a fun, fluffy, read, and a fresh, new take on modern day Greek mythology. I recommend it to anyone looking for a little-thought required book who is over the age of 10+.
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?