Published by Del Rey on September 20, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction
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Science fiction icon Connie Willis brilliantly mixes a speculative plot, the wit of Nora Ephron, and the comedic flair of P. G. Wodehouse in Crosstalk, a genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever desired.
In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal - to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don't quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely - in a way far beyond what she signed up for.
It is almost more than she can handle - especially when the stress of managing her all-too-eager-to-communicate-at-all-times family is already burdening her brain. But that's only the beginning. As things go from bad to worse, she begins to see the dark side of too much information, and to realize that love - and communication - are far more complicated than she ever imagined.
It’s a rarity, when you read as much as we bookish folk do, to come across something that feels new. Most stories are reminiscent of some other thing read long ago. Familiar tropes pop up. The end is easy to guess before the halfway point. Not Crosstalk. It was wholly unexpected, fresh, and kept me guessing until the end. And now that I’m finished, it left me wanting a lot more of CB, Briddey, and Maeve, and their telepathy. I will concede that it did make me draw connections – namely to Black Mirror (which it should because I found the recommendation of What to Read While You’re Waiting for More Black Mirror list), and About Time. The second, well, I want everything to remind me of that movie because I love it, so any time there is a genetic gift with a dash of love, bam.
“She watched him a while longer and then shut her eyes again. And even though she knew her hand was tucked beneath her cheek and he was on the far side of the room, the instant she closed her eyes he was there beside her again, his hands crossed on his chest and her hand held tightly under them, pressed safely against his heart.”
I should shave a star off for how crazy CB and Briddey made me. If someone had the powers to listen to my thoughts, they would have heard me internally screaming at them to KISS ALREADY for like 98% of the book. But in all honesty, I just wanted more everything of the main duo. They had a very appealing, slow-build chemistry, add in a dash of super powers, tech espionage, a real bastard of a villain, and I’m just supposed to call it good now? I don’t think so. I want, no, I need more please!
Pro tip: This title is included in Audible’s Romance Package (which you already know how much I love). The narration was most excellent, so add it to your priority list for that free first month, ya hear?!