Attachments – Book Review

I am an unabashed and die-hard fan of Rainbow Rowell. She is fantastic. I recently read Attachments, her first novel, published in 2011. The first book I read of hers was Eleanor & Park – one of my favorite books of all time. The love story she created in E&P was so real and so bittersweet that I was reluctant to close the book once I’d finished. I intend on reading it again, which I rarely do, despite my love of watching movies over and over.

After I read E&P, some time passed before I read Fangirl, which I didn’t like as much (only because Eleanor & Park was so amazing, not that Fangirl wasn’t good.) Fangirl reminded me of myself when I was younger, so reading it as an older and more mature version of myself, I wasn’t as enveloped in the story, but it was still a great read for a former Harry Potter fanfiction writer.

Attachments was a different story. The minute I started reading it, I was transported into a small, dark cubicle at a newspaper office in 1999. The book is written in two ways – through Lincoln, a bachelor still living at home with his mom who took a night job – as an IT guy who checks the internet security – and has a problem moving on with his life, and through the emails he monitors (and reads against his better conscious). Beth and Jennifer both work at the newspaper and use email to communicate during all those boring hours at work. At first, Lincoln is ashamed for reading their personal emails, but he soon grows fond of the two friends and can’t help himself. Beth also starts mentioning a Cute Guy she keeps seeing around the office but can never manage to track him down.

At first, I honestly didn’t know how I would feel about reading email conversations rather than description and real dialogue, but it soon became second nature. I really fell in love with all of the characters and could see myself in all of them. Rainbow Rowell writes such beautiful people and always manages to grip on to me and really make me feel for her characters and their lives.

Since this was the third book of hers I have read, I was unsure of what kind of ending was coming. I was so wrapped up in everything that I hardly wanted the book to end, and I felt myself getting nervous when things weren’t going as well as I expected. So many books struggle to get the rising and falling action right, but Rowell always seems to be on point, and I am finding myself unwilling to read on, in fear of what might happen to my beloved characters.

After reading the book, I knew it would sit right along with Eleanor & Park as one of my favorites. However, I saw reviews of the book afterward and some felt that reading it was predictable and somewhat disappointing. They said they would have preferred a twist ending. I, on the other hand, was happy for the way things turned out for my characters and I got a lot of joy from reading the entire book. I didn’t feel the book was predictable, just because I read two other books by Rowell before this one and one was a twist ending and the other was somewhat more satisfying. I was really expecting to feel deflated if everything didn’t wrap up how I wanted it to.

I think it really depends on your own life and whether or not you can relate to Rowell’s characters and situations, but honestly I believe there is something for everyone. Love, grief, growing, struggling to be yourself or figure out who that is, all of these things are fully explored in all of her writing. She has a great sense of humor and I laughed my way through most of the book. If you haven’t read anything by Rainbow Rowell yet, what are you waiting for? She is one of the better authors I’ve seen these past few years, and she has something for everyone. I plan on reading her most recent novel, Landline, later on this year.

Let me know if you’ve ever read anything by Rainbow Rowell and what you think of her! Be sure to check out my other book reviews and stay tuned for more. I plan on reading at least 40 books this year, and I am already ahead of schedule. My goal is to write a review for each of them. Reading and writing are two of my biggest passions, so give me suggestions for what to read and let me know if you write as well!