BooksAdultsStaff Review

Something to Talk About

By Sarah Smith, Adult Services

In 1993, a book featuring two teen girls falling in love created a controversy in the town where I lived, and copies of the books were removed from libraries and even burned in protest. This incident left an impression on me as a child, and is a big part of why it’s so exciting for me to see books by and about the LGBTQIA+ community not only on library shelves, but celebrated and enjoyed by readers.

Something to Talk About” by Meryl Wilsner is a book featuring two adult women falling in love that came out in 2020 to my great delight as a reader. If you enjoy a slow burn romance that focuses deeply on the characters, this might be the book for you too! I’m also very excited to share that on Wednesday, June 9, at 6 p.m. CST author Meryl Wilsner will have a virtual event with Carnegie-Stout Public Library! You can learn more about this event, register to attend, and be entered to win a copy of “Something to Talk About” at bit.ly/WilsnerDBQ.

This is Wilsner’s debut novel, and it’s a strong start to their writing career. The story is set in the high pressure world of Hollywood. Jo is a successful television showrunner and former child star who is intensely private when it comes to her personal life. Emma is Jo’s capable assistant, on the verge of breaking into the industry if she can just find confidence in her own abilities.

Jo invites Emma to be her plus one at a smaller awards show. Emma enjoys the glamor of the red carpet event, and Jo enjoys Emma’s excitement at an event that for Jo is just another work function. Unfortunately, the paparazzi start a rumor that Jo and Emma are romantically involved, upsetting their well-ordered lives. Of course, things only get more complicated when Emma and Jo both start to realize they really might be feeling a spark of something more than friendship… !

Wilsner takes time to develop these characters outside of their romantic relationship, from supportive family and friends to their career aspirations and challenges. Miscommunication or lack of communication is a common stumbling block in a romance novel, but I really appreciated the way that Emma and Jo chose to say or not to say certain things from a place of wanting to protect the other woman. Even if I was internally screaming, “JUST KISS HER ALREADY!” I did understand why the characters weren’t ready for that to happen when I was, and the anticipation did make that eventual happy ending all the sweeter!

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