Book Reviews Books for Adults

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

February 20, 2014

I first read Attachments in the summer of 2011.

After reading both her YA books (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl) last year, I decided to re-read this one.

I picked it up from the library on a Friday afternoon and had finished it by Sunday morning. It’s just such a cute, fun read.

The premise is that Lincoln works the night shift at a newspaper, monitoring the company email. Beth and Jennifer, who both are journalists at the newspaper, email back and forth like crazy, and their emails keep getting flagged.

But after an email or two, Lincoln finds he quite likes these two women and doesn’t have the heart to send them a reprimand. Instead, he just keeps quietly reading their emails, day after day (well, night after night, actually).

Soon, he feels like they are his friends and, before long, he finds himself falling in love with Beth.

But he knows it’s just too creepy. He’s way past the point where he can just casually introduce himself without ever mentioning that he’s read hundreds of her most personal email exchanges, but he also can’t see a way to TELL Beth he’s read hundreds of her most personal emails without completely scaring her off (the fact that he doesn’t even know who she is also presents a problem).

And Lincoln sort of hates himself for reading these emails in the first place – he hates that this is his job, and he really hates that he can’t convince himself to stop reading them.

He can’t see any way that this is going to turn out nicely for him. And we won’t even discuss the fact that he still lives with his mom.

Having read all three of Rainbow Rowell’s books now, I can recognize that one of her gifts is for setting up a book in a way that is unusual, but doesn’t draw overt attention to itself (and when I say “I can recognize,” I really mean that I read this fantastic blog post by Jessica about Fangirl and it wouldn’t leave me alone the entire time I was reading Attachments).

In this case, you get to know a LOT about Beth and Jennifer, and because it’s email, it feels totally personal. But you’re also reading it all through Lincoln’s eyes and you never know what Beth actually thinks about anything – only what she’s telling Jennifer. It’s very clever without feeling like it’s trying to be clever (which is a good trick, I think).

And character development is really her strong point. Nobody is a throw-away character or one-dimensional. And if she’s doing that with nothing characters like Lincoln’s boss, you can only imagine how amazing she is with the main characters (spoiler: amazing). You never feel like you’re just reading a romance novel; it’s so much more than that.

Best of all, I find Rainbow Rowell to just be extremely witty. I flipped through page after page trying to find a line to quote here, but she’s not just a one-line funny writer. She writes whole paragraphs of amusing dialogue.

You know when you read a book and you think, “Well this is clever, but . . . maybe it’s trying a bit too hard to be clever?” (I always feel a tiny bit that way about John Green’s books). I never feel that with her books. They just are clever, without showing off about it. It’s funny and smart in just the kind of way I like it.

And I can especially buy it in this one because aren’t we often our most clever self in emails when we have a few extra seconds to think of that perfect reply?

I just thoroughly enjoyed reading this book again – I just wanted it to keep going and going and going.

And now I’m counting down the days until her next book, Landline, comes out in July (JULY! I believe that is 40,000 years away).


Copy checked out from my local library

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12 Comments

  • Reply april February 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    This is on my reread list – I absolutely loved it the first time.

  • Reply Rebecca Lately February 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I'm adding this to my to-read list! I've heard of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, but not this one. It sounds like my kind of book.

    I've never read a book by John Green, but I started to feel that way about his and his brother's Youtube channel. Their jokes feel too cookie cutter to really be funny.

  • Reply Keep Up With The Meyer Family February 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Rainbow Rowell wrote a column for our local paper the Omaha World Herald for years and I fell in love with her writing. If you are able to access any archived articles I think you would really enjoy them. As a mother to girls the Snow White article is hilarious (and spot on).

  • Reply Stephanie @ The Good Stuff February 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I have loved all 3 of Rainbow Rowell's books. She is an amazing writer. I am really looking foward to Landline too!

  • Reply Allie @ Everyday Adventures February 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I hadn't heard of this one either, but adding to my Goodreads list! I'm behind the times and still haven't read Eleanor & Park either.

  • Reply ellen February 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I read all 3 of her books (dashed to one library before it closed to get Fangirl). Eleanor & Park was my fave. I can't wait until July either!!

  • Reply Saskia February 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Hold requests placed!

  • Reply Amanda Mustafic February 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I can't wait for Landline either. AH. Rainbow Rowell is a goddess.

  • Reply Jade February 21, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Off too purchase this book after your amazing review!! 😀

  • Reply jennakristine.com February 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Oh fine. I've been putting Rowell off, waiting for E&P and Fangirl to become less popular, and therefore, more findable.

    But now Im hunting for them. At work. Where I should be working. Oops.

    Unfortunately, neither are available from my digital library for Kindle — just audio book, and I haven't quite gotten into audio books yet. But Attachment is, with a bit of a wait! And E&P is $5 from Amazon — so I'm considering which to go for.

  • Reply Jessica February 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Attachments is my favorite Rainbow Rowell book:)

  • Reply Michelle Lindsted February 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Wow, this sounds like a great book ^^ I've added it to my TBR on Goodreads

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