Genre: Contemporary Romance and Adult Fiction
Warnings: Workplace misogyny, mentions of racial stereotyping, grief of a parent
Review: Shay Goldstein’s life is public radio; she has spent her whole working career at this Seattle station and can’t imagine doing anything else. Dominic Yun is a new, idealistic journalist who’s just started at the station fresh from his master’s program. Shay and Dominic are constantly clashing (which I really didn’t see so much). When Shay pitches a new show to her boss, the Ex Talk, he decides the duo is perfect for it. To save the station from financial ruin and their jobs, Shay and Dominic agree to host the new show pretending to be exes giving advice to other people…as they spend more time together, they end up falling for each other. Can it really be that simple? What happens when their audience finds out they have been lied to?
This debut novel was adorable! It was light and funny but a little slow at times. There were some things I loved and things I wasn’t really a fan of. The public radio setting was awesome! I grew up listening to NPR with my Dad, it felt special to hear about in a book. There was a lot of intentional diversity but it didn’t feel forced. It really did feel like my friend group + a good representation of a modern family.
On the flip side, I didn’t think their connection was super strong (and I’ve heard this from friends too). At times, it just felt more like two lonely people that developed a friendship but bickered a lot and then liked each other. However, these characters were relatable for me. Creating adult friendships, moving to a new city, questioning one’s identity in a space are all hard things people deal with everyday…I know I have!
This would be a nice entrance into the romance novel scene and the ending really did tie things up nicely. I look forward to seeing what the author comes up for us next!
Things I loved: The diversity of these characters was amazing + interracial relationship…I was here for it! The setting of podcasting/public radio, the pop culture references and I really loved that Shay was older than Dominic (let’s normalize this friends!).
Things I didn’t care for: We didn’t need a friend fight, the workplace misogyny, the TWO make-up/break-ups, and how/why it was revealed they we’re actually ex’s.
Have you read the Ex Talk? What did you think?