Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner + Dreamcast

01 October 2020

Something To Talk About
by Meryl Wilsner (Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram)
Published on May 26, 20202 by Berkley
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQ

A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn't come at a worse time--threatening Emma's promotion and Jo's new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a "source" is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is "no comment".

With the launch of Jo's film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all...but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames? 
I can’t explain how excited I was that more and more sapphic romances are making their way into the “popular” circle of the bookish world, particularly with the release of Something To Talk About — this novel came as a surprise to me, given the fact that it’s Berkley’s first foray into FF romance. It’s a wonderful piece of work and the cover illustration is just stunning that I just had to purchase a physical copy. A digital copy isn’t going to cut it.

In Meryl Wilsner’s debut novel, we meet Jo Jones, a Chinese-American former child actress turned Emmy-award winning showrunner, who accidentally gets “tangled up” with her long-time executive assistant, Emma Kaplan, after a series of rumours began to surface right after their appearance at the SAG Awards. While the rumours may be false, they’ve pretty much added more fuel into the fire that is Jo and Emma’s developing attraction for one another.
"Emma was Jo’s cheerleader, but she was never afraid to give Jo a kick in the pants if she needed it. She made Jo better."
Something To Talk About isn’t what I expected. First of all, it’s an extremely slow-burn romance that made me want to yell at the characters for continuously tip-toeing around each other. When I say slow… I mean, reeaaaally slow to the point that I almost gave up on it in between, but something in my gut told me to keep reading. Parts of the book were a bit lackluster and felt like fillers that weren’t necessary at all. However, I think Wilsner did a good job of writing the individual characters of Jo and Emma. Jo is an older woman with more experience in life and her job as a Hollywood powerhouse and you have Emma, a naive yuppie in the industry. They’re both enjoyable and relatable characters; flawed but genuine at the same time. Jo seemed to be a formidable character, having been exposed to the life of a celebrity at a young age. She knows the horrors that happen behind the scenes and the lack of privacy celebrities are faced with. Meanwhile, Emma, at first, seemed to be like a goody-two-shoes; ready to serve on her boss's every whim and I actually somehow felt bad for her when she started getting hounded by the paparazzi when the rumours exploded but she actually began to be more confident and less meek as the story progressed. However, together, I think there was just so much time wasted in the slow burn that the romance fell somehow flat for me despite the satisfactory ending.

However, what surprised me about Something To Talk About is that it isn’t just a sapphic romance — it’s also a story about female resilience and being a woman in the Hollywood industry, whether you’re a star, or someone behind the camera, or someone working the corner office. The novel also explores quite a bit the technical side of filmmaking, which I think was quite interesting to read about since I myself have had a couple of experiences in this field.

Something To Talk About isn’t a perfect novel. It has its flaws: the romance is a little undercooked and needs a bit more heat, the characters need a bit more chemistry and while the plot was promising, the execution needs a bit more work. All in all, this was a solid read for a debut novel and I hope it paves the way for Berkely to publish more FF romances in the near future!


Here's a little bonus! I personally think Something To Talk About would do better if it was turned into a movie, so I thought I'd create my very own dream cast! I definitely think Lucy Lui would make a perfect Jo Jones. They've got the same BDE that'll make your knees turn to jelly. As for Emma Kaplan, who's described as a young refreshing brunette and a tall drink of water, Hailee Steinfield is just the perfect fit! 

@ Netflix, please make this happen!!!