By Connie Willis
Del Rey, 2016. Science Fiction. 498 pages.
In a slightly alternate version of our own modern day, people are demanding ever faster and better connections. Briddey Flanagan, who is constantly besieged by her “no boundaries” Irish-American family, works for Commspan, a cell phone company out to beat Apple by coming up with the next great product. Shortly after her seemingly perfect boyfriend and coworker, Trent, proposes, Briddey undergoes a procedure to become empathically connected to Trent. However, things go comically awry when she ends up connected to the wrong guy, instead connecting to C.B. Schwartz, the eccentric techie who works in Commspan’s basement.
Willis juxtaposes a hilarious girl-finally-finds-right-boy story alongside razor sharp commentary on everything from corporate espionage and helicopter parenting to superficial connections versus true intimacy. While I enjoyed many aspects of this book, it wasn’t a total hit for me. I found Briddey’s utter refusal to believe what was happening to her very grating. I think there could have been a better way to keep the pacing of the story than to fall back on this trope.