WHY can’t we get half stars, books like this one are MADE for them.
This is a 3.5 star book, or more accurately a 4 star book dropped down to 3.5 because while I will forgive many an implausible plot twist in the service of DRAMA, even I have a limit, and that limit was reached in this book. As I noted to my friend, this book is about 50% a walking talking advertisement for the benefits of having a robust, fulltime HR department. And perhaps a PR staffer on hand as well.
Shay and Dominic make for a pretty sparkly couple, all banter and verve about their chosen field–public radio, which seems to me pretty indistinguishable from “podcasts that you have to listen to in the car” on account of, you know, no one owning radios anymore. I’m automatically not the target audience–I have, with two exceptions, never found an audiobook I could not fall asleep to–but they were passionate about it (and each other!) and so I could set aside me in real life and get into the vibe as well.
In case you’re wondering, the two audiobooks are Jane Eyre as narrated by Thandiwe Newton and Spinning Silver.
The interludes which are transcripts/scripts of their radio banter were very, very easy to read in “podcasting voice,” which I found hilarious because, again, I have listened to exactly one (1) podcast in my life (Serial). And while I understood why people would have thought them scripted, the were just so reminiscent of the banter-y His Girl Friday era that I couldn’t fault Solomon too much.
I suppose the issue I have is with the overall premises being just too far on this side of eyebrow raise. I agree that the premise of “exes talking about their relationship and about relationships!” is scintillating, but it’s also like, a big hurdle to overcome. As a result, your remaining mental hurdles need to be more manageable in order to keep this reader’s plausibility meter functioning. I love me some tropes, but There’s Only One Bed on a work trip? For that matter, a last minute, enforced weekend-long work trip to “bond” because “viewers find you scripted”? Why not just, you know, chill and hang out around town? [The ending as well, just what? Kent thinks he can blow up their lives and keep Dominic no hard feelings? And yes, he does keep Dominic at first because Dominic is going to dramatically use a pledge drive to win Shay back (what?) (how did he know she wasn’t going to reply back and he’d need to use the pledge drive to reach out to her?) (who would listen to an ENTIRE HOUR of a guy rambling about an ex?) (an ex who is drawing from ~10 weeks of a relationship?)]
I know this isn’t the book for it, but I would have appreciated more time with Shay and Ameena, whose cross country move from high cost Seattle to suburban Virginia hit me more acutely than probably intended because of *personal life reasons.* I thought the relationship with Shay and her mother was well characterized. Is Shay’s lack of friends a symptom of the infamous “Seattle Freeze” that I’ve read about?
I very much liked Today Tonight Tomorrow which is also predicated on a series of implausible constructs. The more I think about how much I liked that book, the more I’m tempted to bring this down to a 3 star rating to stay honest with the curve.