Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Book Review: The Ex Talk (& Once Upon a Book Club steamy romance box reveal)

Remember when I told you I started subscribing to Once Upon a Book Club? OK, well I've finished my second box and YOU GUYS! 

I freaking love this box! I feel like if you're in a reading slump or you just need something fun, you should absolutely try this. For real. I have my March box yet to read so stay tuned for that. You can use my link and I think you get $5 off

The Ex Talk - Rachel Lynn Solomon

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.
The fact that this is a romantic comedy debut blew my mind. For real. I've been in such a reading slump and I so needed this book because it had my laughing and cheesing and yes. It's such a fun read. 

So we have Shay and Dominic. Shay is working at an NPR station and it's basically the only thing she knows and she's doing it to honor her late dad, and she's really terrible in relationships. Basically, she's the clinger who loves you on date three, if not sooner. We also have Dominic, the golden boy with a Master's and the two of them don't really get along. In fact, they are enemies and it's just a weird situation. 

When donations are down and it is clear that the station needs a jolt of something exciting, and obvious that jobs are on the line, Shay suggests the idea of a show where ex couples talk about basically remaining friends. They would invite different couples on, ask questions, ask a therapist, etc. The basis of the show though is that they would have to sell that they were a couple, it didn't work out, and now they are forced to work together so how do they do that? It's all a lie, and while neither of them love that, they both want to keep their jobs so they are determined to make it work. 

Turns out, they do a really great job because the show is a huge success, but as their popularity grows, so does doubt on the believability of their relationship. Meanwhile, they realize they are actually kind of falling for each other, and how will that play into their show? 

I have to give you some quotes that I just loved and seriously, this book. For real. 

"What would a mediocre white man do?" she asks. Ameena and I started saying this years ago, after she had a seminar about diversity in the workplace. Ameena is Indian, and she relayed that women, especially women of color, are statistically less likely to ask for things men don't think twice about. WWAMWMD, one of us will text the other when we need support. - page 50
On our drive home, Steve (her dog) vomits in the car carrier. When we get inside, he vomits again on a rug I never really liked, pees on my coffee table, and poops on the living room carpet. If my house felt empty before, now it's teeming with chaotic energy. I set up his bed in my room, and he humpts if for a solid forty-five minutes before turning around in a circle four and a half times and curling himself into a tight ball. When I try to get near him, he growls, baring his underbite. Steve, as it turns out, is kind of a hot mess. - page 69
I could go on and on, but there were so many pages that I found myself laughing and this was exactly what I needed. It was a fast read and I really cannot wait to read the next book from Rachel Lynn Solomon. I loved that this was her debut and that it comes out so strong, I love that it was so funny, but I love that she tackles workplace sexism with relatable humor AND! Did I mention Shay is Jewish/white and Dominic is Korean American? I love that we have such a great romance with some damn diversity- FINALLY. 

I bet you want to know what I got in my box, right?
The first gift was a glass, because Dominic is so much taller than Shay and there's a part where she asks for him to get her a glass and it was a steamy moment in the breakroom. Next up were a couple of lavender bath bombs, same as what Shay used. Easily my FAVORITE is the pair of WWAMWMD silver bracelets! I have no idea who I'll give the second one too, but it's become a new mantra of sorts I ask myself on the daily and I cannot love it more. Lastly, a pair of wireless headphones because they work in radio after all. 

I absolutely adored this box and the entire experience of a box with book related items is such a fun experience and a thousand times better than random swag you mostly throw out. If you're looking for a box, you have to try this. 

If you can't commit to a box but you want to read this book (for real, it's a fun one), definitely pick a copy up! 

This post contains affiliate links.


Why Girls Are Weird said...

This sounds SO GOOD Sara, adding it to my list!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I've heard good things about the book so that's awesome you really loved it. I'm glad you are enjoying this box. I love the idea behind it so much!!!