C R O S S T A L K
Author: Connie Willis
Published: Sept. 20, 2016 by Del Rey
Length: 592 pages (ebook)
My Rating: 4 stars ⍟⍟⍟⍟
Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants…
Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept (‘anything to beat the new apple phone’) to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They’ve been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other’s feelings. Trent doesn’t just want to tell her how much he loves her – he wants her to feel it. Everything is perfect. The trouble is, Briddey can’t breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she’s had two minutes to call her family. And they’re hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD – which they will – they’ll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later. Only Apple are poised to deliver an amazing new product and she has to be one step ahead …if she can only persuade their tech genius, C. B., to drop his crazy ideas about a ‘privacy phone’ with its ‘do not disturb’ settings, and focus on what people really want: more efficient, instinctive and immediate ways to communicate. The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and – for Briddey – a chance for love at the heart of it all.
Warning: This is gonna be a long post.
M Y T H O U G H T S :
Okay so… I’ve been putting off this review for a while now. It’s supposed to be an ARC review, but since Crosstalk is already out there, this will be just a simple review and I won’t make it any more complicated. God knows how difficult it was for me to describe this particular book!
However, I will tell you this one obvious thing: I really, really ENJOYED Crosstalk.
And no matter how much I loved it, it is my duty as a blogger to inform you not just the pros of reading of this book but also its cons. So, without further ado, let’s get started:
PROS (Why I loved this book!)
1. Briddey’s family is hilarious! Other people might find this annoying but I don’t. In fact, I love them all so so much! It’s so funny how they don’t worry about bothering Briddey – they just show up unannounced or unload on Briddey without even pausing to think if she’s busy or not. They are relentless, intrusive, and crazy as hell but put all that aside, it is evident how much they care for Briddey and how they only have her best interests at heart.
2. Connie Willis shows in this book the downsides of telepathy and TOO MUCH communication. As the male lead character C.B. Schwartz puts it, “There’s such a thing as being too connected, you know, especially when it comes to relationships. Relationships need less communication, not more.” This is true especially in our modern day era. People rely too much on social media, gadgets and technology now to the point that communication is almost instantaneous and secrets don’t remain secrets for long.
In Briddey’s world, privacy is almost impossible. Wherever she is, she’s constantly bombarded by calls and texts from colleagues and family. Even her workplace has its own gossip network. And to make things worse, her getting an EED caused her to become telepathic and connected to the wrong person. I won’t say any more on this lest I spoil you but I am telling you that this will definitely change your perceptions on telepathy. You won’t just see it as a cool superpower or a useful ability to have. This book focuses more on its adverse effects and unintended consequences. Something that C.B. is always eager to point out in the book.
3. Most of the characters are Irish (or a tad for some). I have neither been to Ireland nor do I have any Irish friends, but I’ve been a big fan of Ireland and its people since I started reading Nora Roberts’ novels way back in high school. And so, I was super happy when I found out that Briddey’s whole clan was Irish. And so were the other characters. But not all though, thank goodness for that. The only thing that really bothered me about their Irishness is that they have this special gene, which I’ll talk about more later on.
4. C.B. Schwartz!!! As an individual, I freakin’ love him, but as a love interest, not so much. C.B. works at Commspan, the same as Briddey and Trent but he mostly spends his time at the basement coming up with new app ideas for their company, which I might add is always competing with Apple. However, C.B. is ostracized by many because of his weirdness and drabby appearance. His colleagues often call him by his nickname the Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I honestly found stupid. Out of all the characters, he is probably my most favorite. He’s very funny, bright, doesn’t hold grudges but is also a pro at lying!
5. A fast-paced, engaging read. Seriously, I only needed two seconds to get hooked into this book. Though admittedly, there was a part which I found dragging but it was only a small part so I decided to let it go. Plus I loved reading all their dialogues, both internal and external.
“People always say books can be a refuge, and they’re definitely right.”
6. The twists and turns! Expect this guys, there are surprises all over the book (some were predictable and others not). I love how when a bad thing happens in the book, it is then followed by another, and another, until the stakes become progressively worse.
CONS (the things I didn’t like!)
[Watch out for spoilers on #4]
1. C.B. and Briddey’s relationship! In all honesty, their relationship feels all wrong. C.B. has the upper hand and is the dominant one in the relationship because he kept deceiving and manipulating Briddey, even though it was out of good intentions! And Briddey, my god, why did Willis turn her into a complete damsel in distress! Plus I can’t believe how Briddey fell for Trent when it was painfully obvious he had other motives! Even Briddey’s family didn’t like him.
2. There’s a lot of info dump in the story. Personally I didn’t mind it all that much since we’re talking about sci-fi here and you can expect some info dump here and there. But for other readers, this can get pretty overwhelming and cause them to abandon the book.
3. Maeve, the 9-year-old kid who doesn’t act like her age at all. Maeve plays the role of Briddey’s niece and the daughter of Briddey’s super-neurotic sister Mary Clare. As much as I love Maeve, it’s unbelievable how a kid her age could have advanced knowledge in technology when all she’s watching are a bunch of zombie movies and Disney princesses.
“In case you haven’t noticed, your niece is a very smart kid – and a whiz with computers, he said. When she was down in my lab, she showed me how she’d disabled the V-chips and spyware her mom had installed on her laptop and I was impressed.”
4. (SPOILER ALERT) Only Irish can be telepathic! This is where that special gene I was talking about earlier comes in. The book reveals that only Irish people have this special gene that can activate the telepathic ability. So unfair, right?
5. People keep talking about how Crosstalk is a disappointment compared to Willis’ previous novels. I wouldn’t know, really, since this is my first time reading one of hers. But it’s exactly because of this that I can judge this book without bias. I can say without a doubt that I’m truly happy and satisfied with it despite its flaws.
Overall, Crosstalk was insane, fun, and a mind-racing read. Perfect especially for teens.:)
“‘Of course’ is a dead giveaway that you’re lying.”
“And you know who people lie to the most? Themselves. They’re absolute masters of self-deception.”
“Who knows? That’s the thing with unintended consequences. You have no way of knowing what they might be till they happen, and then it’s too late.”
“What is it with you and Hitler?” Briddey exploded.
“Vulgar? Vindictive? Spiteful? Scheming? I’m afraid that’s what people sound like in the privacy of their own heads.”
“Never underestimate the power of good books.”
“Have ye no faith in me, mavourneen?”
“An albino eggplant?” she said, laughing. “Why would they put an albino eggplant in a children’s cereal?”
“As long as C.B. was with her, she could face even Niagara Falls.”
“Shit. It never rains, but it pours.”
“She just wants to protect you.” “I know, but I’m fine. Or I would be if everybody’d just stop asking me questions.”
“There’s such a thing as being too connected you know, especially when it comes to relationships. Relationships need less communication, not more.”
Karen Gillan as Bridget “Briddey” Flannigan
Robert Sheehan as C.B. Schwartz
Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Maeve
Darren Criss as Trent Worth
Alan Cumming as Dr. Verrick
Judi Dench as Aunt Oona
Jayma Mays as Mary Clare
Isla Fisher as Kathleen
I hope you guys enjoyed this post!!! 😊