A genre-bending science fiction romantic comedy that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever desired.
...snappy dialogue, wildly eccentric characters, comic misunderstandings and, of course, an unlikely romance that is central to the screwball tradition. At the same time, she offers some timely satirical jabs at our overconnected society and high-stakes corporate culture, and ties the whole package together with a classic science fiction idea that's been fairly uncommon in recent decades —telepathy ... The plot ends up a good deal more involved than most screwball comedies, but with a satisfying ending and more sheer hilarity than any science fiction novel this year.
Hijinks ensue. The dialogue crackles, with lots of laugh-out-loud lines ... This is a book built around a profound critique of Internet culture and present-day society’s desire for constant connectivity, and yet the three characters in the Crosstalk love triangle barely engage via the Internet. They are not the zombies, and this is a bit of a shame. Outsider arguments can be hard to make effectively, and this one does not convince ... Crosstalk is undeniably a romp, but I wanted more.
My disappointment with this book is in large part a sort of helpless bafflement. It has so many elements I'd have expected to love. I'm absolutely here for meditations on our hyper-connected society, on how social media has shifted the meaning and performance of privacy, on how an increase in the quantity of connections sometimes means a diminishment of their quality. I'm also very happy to read romantic comedies — a genre built on foregrounding women's desires and agency — that focus on whole families. But Crosstalk isn't interested in nuanced exploration of any of these topics — which would be fine, if it ever actually committed to being outright farce ... it's trying to have its farce-cake and eat it too, and the result is a half-baked mess.