Briddey Flannigan undergoes a fairly new procedure designed to connect two people who have an emotional connection with an even deeper one. The procedure is supposed to allow a couple to feel each others emotions, unfortunately Briddey finds herself gaining telepathy. To make matters even worse she didn’t connect to her boyfriend, but instead finds herself tethered to her coworker, C.B.; the seemingly crazy, if cute, basement dwelling technician. Briddey finds things going from bad to worse at an exponential rate and only C.B. can help her keep sane with the flood of information assaulting her senses. Can she keep her boyfriend and doctor from learning of the botched surgery or her meddling, overbearing Irish family from making an even greater mess?
Connie Willis’s Crosstalk is one of those rare books that will keep you up all night long because you can’t bear to put it down. This book is all about information and connectivity of both the emotional and cerebral variety. The tongue-in-cheek nature of the writing style pokes fun and draws attention to current trends of information consumption – how most Americans are glued to their digital devices for a growing percentage of the day and how even though we feel more connected than ever our ability to emotionally connect one-on-one seems to be decaying. The book is also incredibly fast paced almost to the point of rendering the reader as completely exhausted as the main character!
The characters in Crosstalk are a joy to read about and even briefly mentioned side characters are vibrantly rendered. Briddey is an easy character to emotionally connect with as most people will be able to identify with having crazy family, overly nosy coworkers, and/or clingy boyfriends/girlfriends while trying to juggle the stresses of a job on top of things. Throw in a bit of unexpected telepathy into the mix and you’re in for an exhilarating and laugh-inducing read. This is a great book for readers of general fiction, romance, and science fiction, although the science fiction in the book is only just a touch beyond the world we currently know. With plenty of factoids about psychology, history, and Lucky Charms, readers of Crosstalk will find themselves wrapping up this 500+ page roller coaster longing for another ride.
Whitney Smyth received a Master’s in Book Publishing and Technical Writing at Portland State University, following a Bachelor’s in English at the University of Arizona. She took over ownership of Portland Book Review in December of 2014. She also works as a freelance editor and can be commissioned at Smyth Editorial Services and spends what little free time she has on her own writing. Coming from a family of readers she devours an average of one hundred books a year, in a variety of genres. Her favorite authors are far too numerous to list, but include Alexandre Dumas, Mary Shelley, Jim Butcher, and John Green.
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