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Rainbow Rowell – Attachments

March 3, 2015

100. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (2011)

Length: 323 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Romance

Started/Finished: 31 December 2014

Where did it come from? Downloaded from Amazon.
Why do I have it? I really liked Eleanor & Park and wanted to read more of Rowell’s books.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 July 2014.

Having your IT
guy creep on you is only
romantic in books.

Summary: Lincoln is by nature pretty solitary and quiet, so a nighttime cyber security officer at a newspaper sounded like it would be a great job for him. Little did he realize that in addition to preparing for the upcoming Y2K computer rollover, his primary job responsibility would be to read other employees’ e-mail, looking for violations of company e-mail policy. Two people’s e-mails, Jennifer and Beth, consistently wind up flagged for his review, since they’re mostly discussing their personal lives: Beth’s ongoing relationship with her hot but emotionally distant boyfriend, Jennifer’s struggles to get pregnant. Lincoln hates feeling like a creep or a stalker by reading their e-mails, but he finds himself becoming invested in their lives… and falling for Beth, who he’s never actually met. But even if they do meet, how can Lincoln possibly introduce himself, let alone form an equal relationship, when he already knows so many of her personal secrets, and she doesn’t know he exists?

Review: I was really worried going in that this book was going to romanticize stalking. I mean, it’s basic premise – guy falls in love with girl via monitoring her e-mail – has the potential to be super-creepy. But Rowell somehow manages to make it all perfectly reasonable and not stalker-y at all – or, at least, Lincoln is perfectly aware of how creepy he’s being, and hates it, and Beth, when she finds out, doesn’t brush it off but calls him out on it, so it does have some consequences and is not presented as “this is an awesome way to meet you True Love!”.

That said, this book is actually really, really sweet. It’s light, easy reading, perfect for grabbing my attention and reading straight through during one leg of my holiday travel. I had a little trouble for a large part of the book keeping Jennifer and Beth straight – I think my eyes/brain tends to gloss over contextual information (like e-mail headers) in epistolary books like this – but I got it sorted out eventually, and I don’t think it affected my enjoyment of the book at all. I think the main reason I liked it so much was that I absolutely recognized little (large) chunks of myself in all of the main characters. I’m roughly about their age (maybe a little older?), but I totally get them – Lincoln and Beth in particular. I get wanting to be in a relationship, in the “comfortable place, the hand-at-the-small-of-the-back place”, without having to go through all of the bother of *finding* that relationship. I get the feeling of feeling like your life has gone astray somewhere, and all of your plans of what your future was going to be like have just failed to materialize. (Boy howdy, do I get that. I drew up a “Life Plan” when I was 14 or 15, detailing when I would meet my future husband, finish school, get married, have kids, etc. Calling it laughably wrong would be generous.) I get it. So it’s hard not to like a book when you can see yourself in the main characters, and hey, they get their happy ending eventually, even if it wasn’t according to their (life) plan. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If you like contemporary romance (even occasionally, like me), this book was touching and funny and a solidly enjoyable read.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Book’D Out, The Readventurer, Rhapsody in Books and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: From: Jennifer Scribner-Snyder
To: Beth Fremont
Sent: Wed, 08/18/1999 9:06AM
Subject: Where are you?

Would it kill you to get here before noon?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2015 1:24 pm

    I thought this book was terrific too.

  2. March 3, 2015 6:55 pm

    This wasn’t my favourite by her but I agree that it made something that could be creepy-ish, good!

  3. March 9, 2015 9:02 pm

    Well, okay, I should probably give Attachments another try. I didn’t love it because I couldn’t get past the premise, but I’ve since come to love Rainbow Rowell as an author. I think she deserves a reread before I write off Attachments.

  4. March 28, 2015 5:28 pm

    I always find epistolary novels so difficult to put down, especially if they are organized in short chunks like Attachments is. I keep thinking, “Well okay just one more section” and the next thing I know it’s 2am and I’ve finished the book.

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