The Ex Talk

Rachel Lynn Solomon

The Ex Talk takes place in current day Seattle, Washington. Shay Goldstein has worked at Pacific Public Radio for the past ten years, and has gone from being an intern to producing her own show. Her father passed away while she was still in high school, and she’s been trying to make him proud ever since. Her father owned a gadgets store and was obsessed with radio. He had the perfect radio voice and the two used to have their own little radio shows in the kitchen together. It’s safe to say the two were inseparable. So when Shay got the radio job, she had to get herself on the air. If only she wasn’t insecure about her voice. 

Dominic Yun started working at PPR four months ago, and ever since, Shay has been annoyed by him. Maybe it has something to do with his 6’3” lean body, or his toned forearms, or maybe his thick dark hair. Whatever the case is, Shay can’t stand him. 

When Shay’s boss, Kent, announces that they will be taking her show off the air, she has to think of a way to save her job. She jokingly comes up with the idea of exs giving out relationship advice. Kent loves this. Shay wasn’t expecting him to go for the idea, and what she definitely wasn’t expecting was for Kent to suggest that her and Dominic to host it. Since, you know, they’ve never dated! They eventually agree to doing the show, but have to keep it a secret from everyone, their parents, their producer, and especially, the public. 

They don’t expect the show to blow up the way it does and their business and personal relationships get pushed to new boundaries. When someone calls in the live show, accusing the two of faking their whole relationship/ breakup, Kent sends the two to an excluded cabin for the weekend to learn every single thing about each other. How they take their coffee, how they brush their teeth, everything. And of course, there’s only one bed. The two get closer as friends and eventually, have a moment. After the weekend, Dominic suggests that they should try the casual thing. It should be stated that Shay always gets attached to her boyfriends too quickly and is always saying “I love you” before anybody is ready to. And Dominic has only had one girlfriend, ever. Shay gets a little bummed about this but she agrees. After a few weeks of them trying the causal route, they make it official. To find out how that goes over at the station, you’ll have to read it…..

This book was fun, steamy, cute, filled with tension, and emotional. There were a couple things I could relate to. Shay’s friend Ameena, that she’s known her whole life, has a boyfriend and gets a job in Virginia. There has been strain between the two ever since Ameena and her boyfriend got together. Shay becomes the third, and the fifth wheel when her mom starts dating again. I’ve experienced this first hand. My best friend in high school got a boyfriend and suddenly, I didn’t know what was going on in her life when I was the first person she usually told. That feeling of being left out sucks and it’s terrible. We wouldn’t see each other and it felt like she didn’t want me anymore. So I really connected with Shay on this and felt for her. No true best friend does this. 

And I understood where Shay was coming from when she went into radio after her dad died. It was a way to stay connected to him after he was gone. Now while my situation wasn’t as extreme as changing my whole life plan, but I still went through something similar. My aunt and I used to make cakes every year for my school’s spring fair cake walk. She would come over the night before and we’d spend all night (I even got to stay up late lol) and make these crazy extravagant cakes. One of the last cakes we made together was a toilet. With poop and pee in it. But after she died, I didn’t want to make a cake that year. It was something we always did together and doing it without her wasn’t something I could comprehend. In the end, I did because I wanted to hour her. So I understand why Shay wanted to go into radio because she feels connected to someone she can never physically be with again.

Sorry, I got a little off track there. Back to the book. I enjoyed it. It was light and quick and required little brain power. It was steamy in a subtle way. Overall, I loved it. Place on shelf earned.