Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: 04/14/11
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Description: Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke. When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories. By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.
Thoughts: Your eyes are not deceiving you, I am reviewing an adult book here on my little YA blog. I debated whether or not I should review this year. When I first started my blog (nearly a year ago!) I reviewed a few adult books, but eventually decided that I liked sticking to just YA on the blog and posting reviews for adult or new adult books on Goodreads. But Attachments I feel differently about. Not only is it by Rainbow Rowell, who is obviously a YA genius, it’s also just a damn good book and if there’s anyone like me out there’s who searching for an adult novel that’s really well done, but still fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously I encourage you to pick this up.
Attachments shares several things with Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, all three take place in Nebraska and all three feature quirky, different main characters. In this one it’s Lincoln, a somewhat stunted 28-year-old who recently started as an internet security office at the local newspaper. His job is basically to read other people’s emails, something he’s not entirely comfortable with. He turns people in for their dirty jokes and other inappropriate things, but he can’t bring himself to send a warning to Beth and Jennifer, two friends who spend large portions of their day emailing back and forth about their personal lives.
The book did start out kind of slow for me. I couldn’t get a good feeling for Lincoln, is he just having a hard time figuring out what he wants to do with his life or is he the creepy guy who lives at home with his mom? Jennifer and Beth I liked pretty much from the get go, but I struggled with the email format. We only get to know Jennifer and Beth through their emails and while we definitely got to know intimate things about them, it was a format that took some getting used to. Speaking of the emails, I know it wouldn’t have been particularly interesting or relevant to the story, but I can’t believe there wasn’t more complaining/gossiping about their coworkers or bosses. Or maybe those emails just didn’t get flagged?
As the story goes on Lincoln, who it quickly becomes clear is a good guy, feels more and more of a connection with Beth and Jennifer, but he particularly likes Beth who is the film critic at the newspaper. But it’s an awkward situation, Lincoln can’t really introduce himself as the guy who reads her emails, plus she has a boyfriend. As time goes on Lincoln still has strong, maybe even stronger, feelings about Beth, but he also starts to build is own life. He makes friends, he goes out, he joins the gym, and I really loved watching his growth over the course of the book.
One of the things I thought a lot about during this book was who people are when communicating over writing verses who they are in person. A little over halfway through the book I thought how weird it would be if we were actually to see Jennifer or Beth speak and I wondered what they would be like. In a way it’s kind of like “meeting” people online. I think the way that I write on this blog or on Twitter is a pretty good representation of my actual personality, but I think it’s just natural that there are differences. In writing you completely control who you want to be since there’s no other way for people to judge, but in real life there are things like body language and tone of voice to interpret.
Bottom Line: The entire time I was reading this book I had a smile on my face. Even at the beginning when I was struggling to click with it. Fangirl remains my favorite Rainbow Rowell book, but Attachments is definitely a close second. I loved the internet monitoring premise, I loved Lincoln’s quirkiness, and I loved the late-1990s setting. This is a must read if you’re a fan of Rainbow Rowell’s young adult books.