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Cover: 'Crosstalk'

Staff Review: "Crosstalk" by Connie Willis


Briddey Flannigan is thrilled when her boyfriend, Trent, proposes that they both undergo a relatively new and popular surgical procedure that enhances one’s ability to experience a romantic partner’s feelings. Sure, it’s literally brain surgery, but who wouldn’t want to share such an emotionally significant moment as a marriage proposal at a deeper level?

Ignoring the protests of her intrusive family members and the eccentric tech guy (C.B.) at work, she seizes the opportunity to have the procedure ahead of schedule. She is able to do so secretly and must continue to keep it secret, which is no small task given the total lack of boundaries among her family members (who call and text frequently and have keys to her apartment) and the high-functioning gossip mill at work, where both she and Trent are employed. Briddey wakes from surgery and eagerly seeks out her new emotional bond to Trent; instead, she discovers that she is connected to C.B.! With C.B. as her only possible confidant, Briddey is desperate to get connected to the right guy before any of the growing number of secrets she is protecting are exposed, but is that even possible?

"Crosstalk" is a delightful blend of sci-fi and witty romantic comedy that explores the potential dangers of the increased connectivity that technology can provide. It wrestles with significant questions relating to technology, interpersonal connections, and privacy with humor, heart, and a bit of satire for good measure. I appreciated how the personal, workplace, and family drama contributed to the escalating stakes without feeling contrived and the care taken to develop key relationships in the book. The whip-smart dialogue is the icing on the cake. Fans of Rainbow Rowell (particularly Attachments), "The Circle" by Dave Eggers, Nora Ephron movies, and classic screwball comedies (such as "His Girl Friday") are sure to enjoy this book.

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, science fiction

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