the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘romantic comedy

Crosstalk, by Connie Willis

published in 2016

where I got it: the library







I have a bad habit of reading way too much into things.  I also have a bad habit of thinking a book is one subgenre, when in reality it is a different subgenre.


For the first 50 pages of Crosstalk, I thought it was a horror story.


In reality, Crosstalk is a science fiction romantic comedy.  I was supposed to  be laughing out loud, and instead  I was hiding under a blanket. (maybe I was having flashbacks of reading Blackout?  Stranger things have happened)


Let me explain.


Our plucky protagonist, Briddey Flannagan works for Commspan, a large smartphone company. Her assistant often greets her with a list of missed calls and upcoming meetings and appointments, morning strategy meetings often run 5 or 6 hours, and of course the salespeople speak a completely different language than the IT Developers.  Briddey is very close with her family, and they will often show up, unannounced, at her office at work. And if she’s in a meeting? They’ll wait. And text her, while they are waiting.  Let’s not even start on the 300 emails she hasn’t had time to do something with yet.


Putting myself in Briddey’s shoes, with meetings that go for hours, no time to breathe or catch up on email, co-workers stopping me before I can even take my coat off because they want/need something, and needy / neurotic family members texting constantly and then showing up at my work because they can’t wait until I’m off the clock?  My gut reaction was that this world of unnecessary overcommuniation was the bad place, and Connie Willis had written a horror novel about never getting a moments peace because it’s rude to want just 30 seconds to yourself.

Could just be my personal neuroses, but it took me a good 200 pages to calm down. The rapid fire dialog and cute-as-a-button-ness of the story helped.


Because yes,  this is a romantic comedy.  It would make the most adorable TV show!

Read the rest of this entry »


Zipped right through An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, because it is a fun, super fast read. First person perspective, all dialog, no one really thinks before they act,  buckets of fun escapism. Review (or something) coming soon (maybe).


I usually shy away from horror, because I am a ‘fraidy cat.  If Angeline Jolie’s movie Changeling is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen, y’all really think I can handle anything scary?


So of course I started reading Daryl Gregory’s We Are All Completely Fine.  it’s  a novella, and it is about a bunch of people who are doing group therapy. All these people have been through terrible, awful, traumatic things. When I read the back cover copy, i immediately got an earworm of Heathens, by 21 Pilots (huh. I get a lot of 21 Pilots earworms).


The older, chatty guy in the group was the survivor of a group of cannibals. When the artist lady got thinking about the scrimshaw thing, I noped right outta there. Like I said, I’m a total ‘fraidy cat, and this novella was gonna way too scary for me.


So I started reading Crosstalk by Connie Willis, which like a lot of her books, is supposed to be a scifi screwball romantic comedy.  I’ve only ever read her Oxford time travel books, and the only one of those I’d describe as remotely comedic was To Say Nothing of the Dog.  anyway.


The premise of Crosstalk is. . .  it doesn’t matter for the purposes of this conversation. The main character, Briddy, is overwhelmed with people trying to get a hold of her.  Her sisters text her a few times an hour, and call her at work if she doesn’t respond, and they also randomly show up at her office, at work, because they want her attention/opinion.  That’s fine, because she can’t even get to her office at work, because as soon as she steps into the office building, people are pestering her every five feet, and it takes her a half hour just to get down the hall (this is supposed to be funny, but to me, it was horrifying!).  When she does finally get 30 seconds to herself at her desk, 90 emails come in.  Of course having family that won’t give you a moments peace means you are loved, and being bombarded with emails at work means you are important, right?


Umm . . . the Daryl Gregory is suddenly sounding much less scary.  At least when those people go to their group therapy meeting, their phones are turned off and people aren’t barging in the room asking them their opinions on online dating sites.


(by the way, i kept reading Crosstalk, because it was so so freakin’ cute. It’s not exactly super scary anymore. Only a little scary. I KNOW Briddy will end up being thankful for her meddling family who doesn’t give her a moment’s peace. . . because it’s better than not having any family at all, and that’s kinda how these Willis books work, so . . . )


stay tuned!


I owe you a Deep Space Nine post, don’t I?

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.