Last week I finished Crosstalk by Connie Willis, a novel about the future of technology and communication, and the consequences of abusing them. The story starts when Briddey is asked by her fiancé to undergo a certain medical procedure before getting married. He wants her to get an ‘EED’, a minor surgery that, when done in couples, enhances the ability to send and receive emotions. So, basically, all the rich couples are getting EED’s to make sure when their partners feel love or hate or disgust, or any other strong emotion towards them. Briddey is sure that getting an EED will strengthen her relationship and can’t wait to feel all the love that her handsome, rich, perfect Porsche-driving boyfriend will telepathically send her. The only problem is that one of her coworkers won’t stop bothering her about the dangers of the EED and too much communication. And it seems he will do anything to mess with Briddey’s perfect plan.
- Fun Social Criticism. I love reading books that make me question my way of life and society in general. In Crosstalk, the not-so-distant future seems incredibly realistic. With people and companies doing everything they can to enhance communication and being connected all the time, the author makes fun of those who can’t be out of loop, who need to share every bit of their life in social networks and that have apparently forgotten about privacy. The novel, of course, takes everything to an extreme, but in a fun parody way.
- Fun Settings and Characters. I don’t know why I like office settings so much. I find T.V. series like The Office, Parks and Recreation and movies like Office Space incredibly fun and relatable because I’ve worked in different offices and they all have so much in common. The morning coffee, long and boring meetings, all the gossip and old chatty people are part of Crosstalk too. And I found it really entertaining!
- Weird Romance. I do have fun with romantic comedies, but I’m so repelled by abusive relationships, cheating, lying and stalkers. It’s a shame that so many comedies rely on one or more of these to create their main obstacle. What bothered me with Crosstalk’s romance were the many times Briddey’s love interest lied to her, concealed information and misinformed her. Even if I thought they made a cute couple and rooted for them during half of the book, they guy’s behavior turned incredibly creepy towards the end. The main topic of this novel is the danger of sharing too much, but I think hiding information from someone who trusts you is equally bad.
- Incredibly Long Conversations. This book is 512 pages long. And I bet half of that were just conversations between the main characters about breakfast, books and hating on their coworkers. Too many conversations when on and on, adding nothing to the plot nor developing the characters. Some of them were fun and some completely unrelatable. (For some reason the author references a lot of things from the 80’s and 90’s – in a novel with young protagonists living in the future).
- People who love romantic comedies and want to add a Sci-Fi twist.
- People who for some reason love stories inside office settings.
- People who can overlook a pinch of creepy behavior from the main love interest.
- People who like to people-watch and wonder about their thoughts and feelings.