Published by BERKLEY on January 26, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Last year I read and fell in love with Rachel Lynn Solomon’s YA contemporary novel Today Tonight Tomorrow. I was captivated by both her characters and her storytelling and couldn’t wait to get my hands on anything and everything else she’s written. So when I heard she had a new adult contemporary novel called The Ex Talk coming out, I was quick to rush over to Netgalley and request a review copy. And I’m thrilled to report that, as soon as I started reading, I fell in love with Solomon’s writing and storytelling all over again.
As with Today Tonight Tomorrow, it’s the incredibly realistic and well drawn characters Solomon creates that really pulled me in. The Ex Talk follows Shay Goldstein, a radio producer who has been working at a public radio station in Seattle for almost ten years. Shay loves her job and can’t imagine ever doing anything else. Her job also makes her feel connected to her Dad, who passed away a while ago, as they both shared a love of public radio. Shay has also held kind of a Rockstar status at the radio station because she’s young and talented. That all changes, however, when Dominic Yun starts working at the station. Fresh out of grad school and anxious to prove himself, Dominic quickly threatens to steal the spotlight from Shay. Needless to say, Shay is not impressed (although she has to admit he’s pretty cute, even though he is absolutely infuriating).
Shay is so likeable from the opening pages that I was immediately rooting for her to put Dominic in his place. That is, until the banter and the sparks started flying! When the radio station falls on hard times and needs fresh new programming in a hurry, Shay suggests a talk show about relationships that features two exes as cohosts. The boss loves the idea and says that since there’s no time to look for actual exes, Shay and Dominic will pretend to be exes and host the show together. Can you say awkward? I’m a sucker for a good enemies to lovers story anyway so throw in some fake dating on top of it and you’ve got yourself a practically perfect romcom. As soon as Dominic and Shay started with the verbal sparring, both on and off air, I was completely hooked. And of course, as soon as we start to learn more about Dominic, I fell in love with his character too and just wanted the two of them to get together already, haha!
There’s so much more I could say, but I don’t want to spoil the evolution of their relationship. I’ll just leave it at this – I loved pretty much everything about The Ex Talk. I loved the characters, the dialogue, the focus on public radio, the actual scripts from their show, etc. The Ex Talk is one of those books that was so much fun to read I didn’t want it to end and I’m predicting now that it will make my Best of 2021 list.