Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Enjoyment Rating: ****
This book would be rated: PG-13 for talk about sex, and one character who swears
Lincoln is kind of a loser. He's been pining for his one and only girlfriend for a decade. He lives with his mom. He could stand to lose a few pounds. And he hates his job, which is something in IT for a newspaper, but basically boils down spying on people by reading the emails which have been flagged as objectionable by the filtering software. Lincoln hates reading these emails and he especially hates reading the email conversations between Beth (the movie reviewer) and Jennifer (a copy editor). He hates it because their emails are funny and cool, and he feels like such a jerk for being drawn to them. But through their emails, readers get to see the lives of Beth and Jennifer unfold. We know that Beth desperately wants to marry her boyfriend, but he's not interested. We know that Jennifer is terrified to have a baby. Over the course of nearly a year, their story unfolds, and Lincoln finds himself falling in love with Beth, which brings about a whole set of complications and guilt.
I believe that Attachments was the first novel Rainbow Rowell published, and I also think it's the only book she wrote for adults. However, it's very much in the vein of Eleanor and Park or Fangirl, it's just that the protagonists are in their late 20s instead of their late teens. I had a friend who commented that the book has less "adult" material than her YA novels, and that is true (just skip the parts where Lincoln is out partying with his friend Justin). I felt that unlike the other novels, which had small payoffs throughout the story, which made the whole reading process enjoyable, this novel felt more like a traditional romance, where the whole story is based on what happens in the final chapters, when the romantic leads come together (whoops, spoiler alert, but you have to know it's going to happen). Anyway, some of the things I liked best about the novel was seeing the evolution of all three characters, but especially the evolution of Lincoln, who was motivated by these two women he's never met to get his life in order. I also liked that a romantic novel was primarily voiced form a male POV. And the final chapters really are great-- she brings the whole story together in a way that's really rewarding for a reader.