Something to Talk About
Author: Meryl Wilsner
What I’m Talking About:
I initially requested Something to Talk About based on the blurb alone, but became increasingly excited to read it as the general anticipation about this debut continued to build. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one story, but I believe both the author and the narrative have lived up to the expectations I’ve seen very well. It’s way past time for more stories with this kind of representation to see daylight, and I’m grateful to have this chance to review it.
One of the more impressive aspects of this story, at least from my perspective, was the number of battlefronts these characters face—and eventually survive—with their imperfections and vulnerabilities on full display. There’s no cure-all, no magic “A-HA!!!” moment of unclouded purpose, etc. to make things easy. The author tackles racism, misogyny, ageism, sexual harassment, Hollywood class structures, and so on in a thoughtful, well-researched way that made me really want to trust their storytelling.
Another noteworthy thing about Something to Talk About is measured, almost disbelieving approach to romance. Far from navigating their interactions from the sex side out, the author allows Jo and Emma’s relationship to unfold from appreciation and admiration to confusion to mutual regard, then back to confusion, through a lot of misunderstanding, and finally arriving at acceptance and happiness. Theirs is definitely a journey, and kudos to everyone involved in its making for avoiding so many of the more tempting pitfalls that could have derailed what turned out to be a very sweet story.
I’m also a sucker for stories with strong secondary characters, and Something to Talk About has those, too. Emma and Jo are each fortunate to have others in their lives who will support and defend them, but never let them off the hook. While there are several who handily fit that description, I was very much taken with Evelyn, Jo’s best friend. I’d gladly read a separate novel about her, or just be content to pay extra attention to her scenes when I sit down with this one again.
From the completely adorable cover and the vividly rendered characters to the attentive writing and editing, Something to Talk About was a welcome addition to my yearly reading list. While I did get a little lost with regards to the passage of time in the narrative, as well as one or two other minor concerns, everything came together beautifully in the end. Meryl Wilsner is absolutely an author to keep an eye on, and I hope that they have many more stories to tell that are just as wonderful along the road ahead.
My Rating: B+ Liked It A Lot
About the Book:
A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.
Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time—threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.
As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.
With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, f/f
Format(s): paperback (336 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Amazon (affiliate link)