Review: The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Title: The Ex Talk
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 352 Pages
Published January 2021
Summary: Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can't imagine working anywhere else. But lately it's been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who's fresh off a journalism master's program and convinced he knows everything about public radio. When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it's this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it's not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts. As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.

After seemingly everyone and their mother recommended this book to me, I knew that I had to pick it up. I've been a huge fan of Rachel Lynn Solomon for awhile, especially loving TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW last year (which you can read my review of here!), so when I found out about her adult romantic comedy debut, I was totally on board. And let me just tell you, this book is SO worth it. If you're a rom-com fan, this one needs to be on your radar, without a single doubt. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, the story follows Shay, a young woman working as a producer of a public radio show. She absolutely can't stand her co-worker, Dominic, but when their careers and the livelihood of the station are on the line, they agree to do a radio show called The Ex Talk, where they pretend to be exes who once dated and are now sharing relationship advice for the whole world to hear. But the big issue? They didn't date. So even though they're doing what they can to save themselves, and Shay is achieving her dream of being on the radio, it means that they have to lie to their fans in order to do it. But while they're fake-dating and fake-breaking up, they start to feel some real feelings for each other that can't be ignored...and can definitely lead to trouble.

You guys, I cannot say enough great things about this book. I absolutely adored it! Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous, which made me extra excited about it from the start, but it's also just such an awesome premise. Enemies-to-fake-dating-to-lovers? That's all of my favorite tropes wrapped up into one! Seriously, I spent this whole book swooning or laughing or gasping around every turn. Dominic and Shay's dynamic, first sour and then sweet, feels really well written and I love the way that their story moves along without anything feeling unnatural or forced. And this book definitely inspired me to look into some more contemporary romance/pop culture podcasts, so if anyone has any recommendations, please comment down below and let me know!

I also really loved the way that Shay is encouraged to find more of herself throughout the story. As another young person who is also growing up in a world where it feels like work has to be our whole identity and we can't separate ourselves from it -- especially working from home in the time that we live in -- it can be really scary to try to explore who you are outside of that. So in addition to the swoon-worthy romance taking place in the story, I also thought it was really refreshing to see a young person like me finding ways to separate themselves from their work lives and to find out who they are when they aren't just doing things for pay. It made me feel a lot more seen in a way that I hadn't been expecting.

Overall, I absolutely adored The Ex Talk and I sincerely hope that Rachel Lynn Solomon continues to write adult contemporary romances, because I am absolutely on board with this. If you're looking for a sweet read to settle in with and laugh, cry, swoon, and gasp throughout the whole thing, then this is definitely a book that you need on your TBR! 


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