All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Talk Bookish To Me by Kate Bromley

on July 12, 2021

Talk Bookish To Me
Kate Bromley
Zaffre
2021, 326p
Read via my local library/Borrow Box

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}: Inspiration can come from the most unlikely – and inconvenient – sources.

Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love – albeit fictional. As a best-selling romance novelist and influential Bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book. 

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week – which means big wedding stress – but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver. 

With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending?

******Please beware that this entire review will contain SPOILERS******

I don’t often write reviews that are riddled with spoilers but for me, it’s really hard to talk about this one without addressing several things in the plot that I think are definitely a dealbreaker for a lot of readers, particularly those that are romance lovers. I’ve read a lot of romance in my time and this book contains something that had I known about it going in, I’d never have read it. And even though I didn’t like this book anyway before that….it definitely made it irredeemable and unsalvageable as a read for me.

Kara is about 30, she’s an author who is experiencing writers block. About to be maid of honour for her best friend, she’s horrified (or is she?) when the best man turns out to be her old college boyfriend, whom she broke up with in acrimonious circumstances about 10 years ago, when she was 20 and he was 22. She believed Ryan was cheating on her, if not physically, then definitely emotionally during a long distance period in their relationship when he’d graduated and moved for work.

I hated Ryan. He’s one of those smarmy characters that’s supposed to be charming but for me, he was just a complete jerk. He shames Kara for reading romance, both in the past when they meet in college and in the present day. He calls it “literary porn” and basically insinuates it’s all the same and even though he doesn’t suggest only those lacking in intelligence would continue reading the same book, it’s generally what people mean when they say that. The two of them are toxic in their first interactions upon reintroduction and I honestly couldn’t understand why Kara’s best friend was attempting to throw them together in ways that were both rude and stupid. She seemed to think that these people who hadn’t seen each other in ten years and had broken up in very upsetting and hurtful circumstances, were “exuding a vibe” or something. It was ridiculous. And then because seeing Ryan means Kara is able to write one chapter of the book that’s due very soon that she’s been completely blocked on, she invites Ryan to stay with her in her one bedroom apartment with his dog when he’s thrown out of his hotel. This is despite all the words coming out of her mouth are that she doesn’t want to spend time with him or be reminded of him and what happened. Not only are there break up feels but it’s also tied up in her father’s death and Kara is very messed up over that still. Then Kara is immature and arranges to go out on a date…..which Ryan then crashes and I hate things like this because this sort of behaviour is not normal and should never be accepted as such.

Yikes. Oh God, yikes. Honestly, this would probably have been enough for a poor rating, because Ryan is awful, Kara is spineless and her friends are pushy and disrespectful. But after they “get back together” because the chemistry/feelings haven’t gone away, Kara discovers in the worst possible way, that Ryan oops, forgot to mention that he’s engaged. To the woman she once thought he was cheating on her with, ten years ago. This renders Kara the ‘other woman’ and I cannot properly express the howl of rage this induced and if I hadn’t been reading this on an iPad, I’d have hurled this book at the nearest wall. For me, cheating is a hard no and the side characters do utter backflips to justify it, one of Kara’s friends even basically telling her “it’s okay, he didn’t cheat on you.” What in the actual fuck is that? Girl, if he did it with you, he’ll do it to you. We’re supposed to just ignore this poor other character (who never did anything wrong because they actually weren’t involved many years ago) and accept that Ryan and Kara have some sort of higher love that transcends other commitments. Oh to the hell no. Ryan is such a garbage human that he equates the secret he kept with the fact that Kara booked a 6 month sabbatical in Italy to write her next novel twelve months before he came into her life again and didn’t mention it immediately. One of these things is not like the other Ryan. Also Ryan didn’t speak to his dad for ten years after he cheated on Ryan’s mother…..and then cheated on his fiancé with Kara. Hello hypocrisy. And although it’s made clear that Ryan didn’t physically cheat on Kara ten years ago, I don’t think the emotional aspect of it is adequately addressed and seems best forgotten because of the fact there was no physical activity. But he was clearly pulling away from Kara and choosing this other person to confide in and spend time in (and stay at her house).

Kara goes to Italy and meets someone else and I thought, it would 100% redeem this book for me if she fell in love with this dude and forgot all about Ryan but, alas no. She gets some counselling from her friend who tells her that it was fine, Ryan explains why he did what he did and also, he was totally Kara’s first and he didn’t cheat on her like I mentioned above. Her other friend interferes as well and these two starstruck lovers are reunited. Bless.

Public Service Announcement: If he cheats on you or with you, he’s still a cheater.

Also I got so mad that I forgot to mention the fatshaming which is also gross.

A huge nope for me.

2/10 (solely for the argument Kara makes to Ryan to express how her reading different romance novels are like him watching different baseball games. The only part of the book I felt was well written or made any sense).

Book #112 of 2021


4 responses to “Review: Talk Bookish To Me by Kate Bromley

  1. I agree – there are a lot of deal breakers in this one. Too bad – it sounded pretty good. I hope you enjoy your next read a little more. 🙂

  2. Criss says:

    This book did sound good but while reading it I felt uncomfortable. Thanks for clearly articulating why.

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