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Book Review: Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA+ Fiction (F/F)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Maybe
Favorite Quote: ” ‘Sometimes things are hard,’ … ‘Really hard. Sometimes you have to work at them. Sometimes you have to fail first. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth doing.’ … ‘Go for what you want. No matter what anyone says, no matter what anyone thinks. I know you…and if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.’ ”

ABOUTHollywood 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?

 

*I had trouble getting my thoughts down for this review, so I hope it makes sense.*

My Review: Something To Talk About is a good read but I expected more, especially with such heavy topics the main characters deal with.

The beginning was rough as I didn’t like that those closest to Jo and Emma – people who have known them best for years – teased them at their expense about the rumors. As supportive as these characters where throughout the rest of the story, I never completely lost my dislike of them because the teasing never stopped.

Jo is a tough woman; she’s had to learn how to survive in order to thrive in Hollywood. Despite being a household name, Jo is immediately discredited as being not good enough to write the next installment of a well-loved film series/franchise (like how Marvel or Star Wars movies have so much canon and fandom that spans decades and generations), so she has to constantly fight (against racism, sexism and misogyny) to not give anyone a reason to think she can’t do this project even after decades of successful acting, writing and directing in television.

Emma is hardworking and loves her job. But the rumors don’t spare her from its thrashing. She too faces a lot of sexism and misogyny about being Jo’s personal assistant and how she might have gotten there.

Their feelings clash against what is appropriate in the workplace, causing a lot of assuming, miscommunication and lack of honesty. Jo can’t communicate emotionally and Emma is insecure. This results in too much back and forth anytime a problem would arise (which was a constant).

Jo is an Asian woman in her 40s and a big name in Hollywood. Emma is a white woman in her mid-20s and an assistant to someone famous. By industry hierarchy Emma is essentially a nobody. Sometimes they expected too much or too little or not enough from each other. So over and over there’d be a fight and a quick resolution. I’m not sure if 317 pages was enough to fully capture what takes places while at the same time parts of conflict between Jo and Emma could have been cut.

All things considered Jo is actually a great boss and Emma has a big heart. There were some lighthearted moments here and there that I liked. Jo and Emma are a great team and I’m hopeful for their future.

At the end are discussion questions at the end to go along with the book. While this story didn’t wow me, Something To Talk About opens a dialogue for important issue in Hollywood (and the entertainment industry) to be discussed.

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