Book Reviews Books for Adults

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

I think you either love or hate Rainbow Rowell.

I happen to really really enjoy her books. But if you’ve read her other stuff and not been a fan, I think it’s unlikely Landline will change your opinion.

Also, Eleanor & Park is by far her most popular book, and it’s actually my least favorite of her books, so take that for what it’s worth.

And also, I’ve read several reviews that were disappointed in Landline, and I totally loved every page, so. . . I probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

Anyway. . .the story.

Georgie and her best friend Seth have been working together since college and their dream is a television show of their own – their character, their ideas, their jokes.

And now, just before Christmas, the chance of a career comes along. Except to take that chance, Georgie won’t be able to go home for Christmas with her husband, Neal, and their two little girls.

And Georgie knows Neal will be mad about it. Their relationship has been strained for quite some time, and this might be the nail in the coffin. What she doesn’t expect is that he packs up the girls and leaves for Christmas without her.

She’s not interested in staying home alone, so she spends the weekend with her mom. And her mom still has the same dialup phone Georgie used as a teenager at home. And somehow, when she calls with it, she gets Neal. But not the Neal she’s been married to for years – it’s the Neal of their college days, when they were dating, before everything got so complicated.

Now Georgie has to figure out if there is any way to make things less complicated.

One thing I love about Rainbow Rowell’s characters is that they’re so real. They do dumb things, they say mean things, they make mistakes and they struggle to make things right again.

Also, holy cow, I think her dialogue is hilariously funny. I keep going back and reading the best lines over again. There is one party scene in college between Neal and Georgie that is about 6 pages of non-stop great lines. But they don’t feel over-written or over-the-top. They’re just funny.

A few days after I read it, my mom listened to an audio copy of it on a road trip, so when she came back, we talked about it at length, which was totally delightful. I would like her to live next door to me and we can share books (and I can make her cook me dinner too).

There’s some swearing in this book (I didn’t notice it as much because I was reading it rather than listening, but it’s definitely there), but other than that, it’s pretty clean. Ironically, actually, I think her adult books are more tame than her YA ones.

Copy received from publisher

You Might Also Like


  • Reply april August 1, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I scrolled straight down without reading your review because I just accidentally bought it (here I was being good about waiting for it to come in from the library and everything) so now I hope to read it on the flight to Colorado next week. I love Rainbow Rowell; I've actually never come across anyone who doesn't like her, and I recommend her books to everyone. E+P is my least favorite too, I thought I was alone there.

    One more thing – I recommended her to my coworker who has worked her way through all of them over the last couple weeks (obviously she loves them too) but she said she just can't get into Attachments. Really? REALLY? Loved that book. And I'm sure I'll love Landline.

  • Reply Chrissie August 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Rainbow Rowell really is great, isn't she? I just finished Landline, and it's right up there with Attachments as my favorite of hers (E&P is my least favorite too). I really like that all of her books have a similar feel, even though they're quite different – she just has a way with dialogue and characters, and her voice comes across really well. And I so agree with what you said about her characters being real – YES. That takes skill, and I just love rooting for them.

    Did you catch the Easter egg towards the end of the book? I won't say anything about it just in case, but it was sweet. 🙂

  • Reply Moira C August 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    This actually gives me hope about Rainbow Rowell! I just couldn't get through Eleanor and Park (though I think it was mostly because it was an audiobook and I wasn't in the right mood for it) but if that is your least favorite, then maybe I'll give the others a try first 🙂

  • Reply Stevie Storck August 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I finished this book a couple of days ago! I have now read all of Rainbow Rowell's books and I agree, Eleanor and Park was my least favorite. I enjoyed reading E&P, but it just didn't measure up to the straight up awesomeness of Fangirl and Atttachments for me. The only think I didn't like about Landline was that I felt like I knew what some of the plot twists were going to be long before Georgie did. That being said, still a great read!

  • Reply Tracey August 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I am reading this now and having so much trouble getting through it. I can't get past the name Georgie McCool and the fact that she's not wearing underwear. They are both really bothering me. I flew through her others, though! Especially Fangirl!

  • Reply Erica August 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    picking this one up from the library tomorrow! i'm very excited! also, eleanor and park was possibly my favorite, and while i sped thru fangirl, it just didn't do it for me. 🙂

  • Reply ellen August 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I'm reading this right now and I like it. I LOVED Eleanor & Park (especially the cover since I have curly red hair). I hope Rainbow has many more books in her future.

  • Reply Alison August 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I just picked up Landline from the library. You are the first blogger I've read that loved the book. Most others are meh about it. I have never read any of Rainbow Rowell's books and now I'm curious if I'll be in the love them or hate them camp. 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca Lately August 2, 2014 at 12:13 am

    I recently bought Attachments. The premise seemed funny to me. I hope it's good. When I read the synopsis for Landlines, it seemed kind of boring. But, if the dialogue between the characters is enjoyable, I would probably like it. I'm glad you did this review!

  • Reply Mari Reads August 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I liked Eleanor and Park and can't wait to read this one. I am tempted to purchase it every time I see it.

  • Reply Rachel September 13, 2014 at 2:30 am

    I just finished this and really loved it (helped that I was at my parents' house away from Bryan for the week- I was tempted many times to call him on our landline just to see…) But when I tried reading Fangirl a few months ago I just couldn't get into it and never finished. So I guess I'm still trying to decide about Rainbow Rowell.

  • Leave a Reply