cover image The Ex Talk

The Ex Talk

Rachel Lynn Solomon. Berkley, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-20012-4

The transition from enemies to lovers is handled with wit and humor in YA author Solomon’s exceptional adult debut (after Today Tonight Tomorrow), which puts an unexpected twist on the fake relationship trope. It’s taken Shay Goldstein 10 years to work her way up in public radio, from intern to senior producer, so she can’t help resenting the smug new reporter, Dominic Yun, who strolls in with a master’s degree in journalism and immediately impresses the bosses with a big scoop on a City Hall scandal. When Shay pitches the idea of a relationship-themed podcast hosted by exes, the station’s program director—who’s noticed Shay and Dominic’s sparring around the office—persuades the pair of them to pose as a recently broken-up couple and host the show themselves, to spare the station the expense of new hires. Their banter and obvious chemistry helps the show take off, and real romance soon develops off-mic. But both are struggling with private insecurities: Dominic’s previous relationship ended in heartbreak, and isolated Shay throws herself into work at the expense of her personal life. Shay and Dominic are a couple to root for and the diverse, well-drawn supporting cast only adds to the appeal. This charming, multicultural rom-com is a winner. A[em]gent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (Jan.) [/em]

Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated this was the author's first book.