Crosstalk – Connie Willis (Review)

Title: Crosstalk
Author: Connie Willis
Publisher: Del Ray: An imprint of Random House, Oct 2016 (ARC – Uncorrected Proof)
Genre: Science Fiction
**I received this copy on NetGalley free from the Publisher and Author in exchange for an honest review**

You can find this review on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page.

My Review:

It’s been hard to wait to post this, and I didn’t even put up a “Currently Reading for Review” post. This read has been going on ever since I received the copy and, in a major push, I finished it this morning. I got to a point in the book where I just COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. I have never read anything by Connie Willis, but I can see why she’s a multi-award-winning author. This book took my breath away with its ingenuity and unbelievably humorous and heart-wrenching plot line. I laughed out loud and I was frustrated by people and I panicked and I felt every emotion of the protagonist. This was a great read for me, and I wish I could push rewind and do it all over again. It was just that good.

Briddey Flannigan is trying to keep a secret: she and her boyfriend, Trent Worth, are having an EED, a procedure that will allow them to feel each other’s emotions. All the celebrities have had one: Kim Kardashian swears by hers. Trent promises that once they connect emotionally, they’ll get engaged. And who wouldn’t want to be engaged to the most eligible man at Commspan? Briddey and Trent both work there, and to waylay any gossip, he’s sworn Briddey to secrecy. 

But C.B. Schwartz, the eccentric genius who works in a basement lab at Commspan, has found out, and he warns Briddey there might be UICs (unintended consequences) to having brain surgery. She may think it’s a minor procedure, but who knows what could happen? While Commspan is trying to beat Apple in the phone wars by pushing MORE communication, C.B. keeps inventing ways to prevent it. Briddey ignores C.B.’s warnings and has the procedure. She wants to feel closer to Trent…she loves him, and he loves her, right?

But when Briddey starts experiencing the first UIC of the procedure, she realizes she CANNOT tell Trent. Because the truth is, she has connected…but not in the way he thought. And not to him.

That’s all I can say without getting into spoilers, but it is hilarious what happens and how Briddey reacts. And her crazy family makes having any personal boundaries seem like a pipe dream. Her poor niece Maeve can’t watch Princess movies without her mother (Briddey’s sister Mary Clare) worrying about the values warping her young daughter’s mind. She puts spyware on her computer to make sure she’s not talking to terrorists online. Briddey’s Aunt Oona insists she has “the sight” and can tell when trouble is coming. And Kathleen, Briddey’s other sister, keeps dating losers and falls in love after a single date. The whole family is a circus while Briddey tries to keep her surgery, and the consequences of it, under wraps.

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Yes. Since I normally focus on YA on the blog, that would be what I would recommend sticking with, but I can still see younger people reading this book. It doesn’t have anything inappropriate, and a higher level reader would enjoy this novel. I would love to include this in a college English class, because the science is really believable, and it is a warning to all of us that feel we aren’t close enough with the current level of communication. Yes, it seems tempting to want to know how people feel and what they think, but as C.B. so clearly reminds us, “It’s a cesspool in there.” I think it warns all of us that a little privacy isn’t such a bad thing. Especially when it comes to how what we think and feel can change so suddenly.

Age Range:

While this is labeled Adult, and not YA, it’s usually supposed to be for readers that are older. However, I found nothing offensive in it to suggest that younger readers wouldn’t enjoy this. I would have loved this at 16 or 60. It’s a contemporary story with science fiction elements. I think it all comes down to the proficiency of the reader, as there are some advanced concepts. I was able to read it, and I was never bored like with other “adult” books. I would really like to read more by Willis.

End Result:

Oh, ★★★★★ easily. I would recommend this to everybody. Briddey will drive you a little crazy sometimes, but you can’t blame her with the events that transpire. I think all my YA aficionados should reach beyond the genre for one minute just to read this book. I never doubted for a minute that I would enjoy this as I read it, and I’m glad I did. I’m personally requesting that when it comes out, you all give it a chance, because I think you’ll find it fresh and funny and sweet. I did, and you know I won’t steer you wrong. And Willis has won numerous awards, so I think I might check out some of her other stories.

Thank you again to Del Ray for the advanced copy of this book! I would never have known about it if not for NetGalley, and I know this is a book that I’ll read again, because I’ll never get sick of Briddey, Aunt Oona, Maeve, and C.B. I will seriously miss C.B. and his ever-present Doctor Who t-shirt!


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32 thoughts on “Crosstalk – Connie Willis (Review)

    1. You could request it…and I think that might’ve been me! I recommended on Goodreads to all my blogger friends. lol.
      You’ll love it. It’s so amazing. I’ve not felt this strongly about a book in a LONG time. I hated to publish it early (I thought 30 days, but after I reviewed it, their policy said 2 weeks, so I’m going to republish when it gets closer, I guess).
      But I was just too excited to wait!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh duh you’re right it was you. Lol. My brain is trash today. Haha! 😂 I have like zero focus. I’ll check out NetGalley. I requested a bunch like two weeks ago and I still haven’t heard back. Waiting on these publishers lately is crazy slow.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I know!! I’m waiting on two right now, and I know I swore I wouldn’t request any more, it’s like I can’t help myself!!
      Btw, now we have both had our ditzy moments: remember, I also thought someone else reviewed your book when it was YOU reviewing the first book and the sequel!! So we are totally even!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Yeah, I’m waiting on five, but lucky Jasmine got one that I requested, so she’s doing something right? Oh, you should add her, too. She’s one of my friends, if you can see her. She’s one of my friends on here, and I think she’s yours, too? At How Useful it is?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, good for her. Which book did she get? Jasmine and I follow each other. I was actually just talking to her earlier. 🙂 Yeah, I love that book blogging is sort of a smallish community. Everyone seems to know everyone. It’s great. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I only got denied for two books in two months. That’s not too shabby. It’s the waiting that’s annoying me. I requested some of these books like two or three weeks ago and haven’t heard a peep. 😂 I don’t know what the secret is to get ARCs. Some people say followers, some say number of reviews, but from what we’ve both seen, I don’t think that’s all it is. I think some of it is timing and luck.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. There really is no rhyme or reason to it, it seems. I just will never understand that site. But I think that the three of us are friends is going to help the approval process. What are the odds that we are NOW getting books after not getting them? (Well, yours happened before that, but I bet you’ll get approved for the pending one)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I took a chance on it, and I was also thrilled that Random House approved me for a book!
      But though I usually shy away from anything that leant sport a YA tag, I def thought the description sounded awesome. I’m glad I went outside my usual comfort zone!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A procedure to feel each other’s emotions.. hmm.. I do like science fiction reads.. I see it’s still available on NetGalley and requested it.. we’ll see 🙂 I do enjoy books that makes me laugh out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will! My mom thought I was crazy…she kept looking over at me, and I kept trying to explain what was happening, and she just shook her head. I guess she’s used to my shenanigans. Glad you requested it: I know you won’t regret it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great review, and it sounds like a really interesting book as well. I’m definitely going to be adding it to my to-read list and I may even check out what else Connie Willis has written.
    I really like the sound of the concept behind this book and honestly the idea of Briddey’s family being a circus sounds like an amazing addition to the plot too. I hope I enjoy this book as much as you did, the cover is really gorgeous as well which is always a plus in my opinion! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I had some cover love for it, too!
      I know you’ll like it because we have similar tastes. I can’t think of anyone who won’t laugh their asses off at this book, and also get so wrapped up you won’t realize you’re running late for work (like I did).
      Let me know!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We do actually have similar tastes, its great because I definitely trust your opinjon on books and if you love something I know I’m bound to as well! 😀
        Ha, I’ve done that once or twice, mainly when I’ve been on my lunch break though. Late back because I’ve lost track of the time, my lunch hour is up and I’m still reading! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the whole point behind it: it’s touted as a “minor procedure” and all the celebs do it, so it must be safe. It’s a definite warning book to all of us out there that wish we were a little clairvoyant in some way!

      Like

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