With the hustle and bustle of the past two weeks, I haven’t been able to tend to my blog like I should have, so the reviews have been scarce (a.k.a. none). But I have been reading books, so that’s a good thing, right? 😀 It means I have something to write about.
By far the most interesting and funny and cute and entertaining read of the past month has been Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell. This is R.R.’s debut novel, first published in 2011, which I found out only after reading it, and I was so surprised. It just doesn’t feel like a debut novel! It’s very well-written, the characters are very much alive, the story is smooth and entertaining, even though there are no earth-shattering twists and turns, and overall I had a blast going through its 350-something pages.
So far R.R. has written 4 novels, 2 for teens and 2 for adults. Attachments is one of those 2 grown-up novels. Actually, I thought it was chick-lit, but written at a much superior level. Of course there’s love in it, and feelings (LOTS of feelings!), and heartbreak, and self-discovery, and what-not, but unlike other chick-lit novels I’ve read up to this moment, Attachments grew on me and the story actually stuck with me! I loved every single word, every single moment spent with Lincoln, and Beth, and Jennifer, they became my friends and I suffered, laughed and sighed with them. So, very good character-building! Memorable, in fact.
Short summary à la moi:
The year is 1999 and Lincoln works for a newspaper, The Courier. This is the moment when computers start taking over typewriters and, why not, people. Lincoln’s job is to oversee a computer program that flags people’s e-mails depending on their content: sexual, pornographic, unrelated to work, etc. To do this, he has to read those e-mails and decide if they pose a threat to company security. Afterwards, he has to give a warning to those flagged. As fate would have it, he stumbles upon an e-mail exchange between two young women, Beth and Jennifer. He’s taken in by their funny lines, their friendship, the way they support each other both professionally and privately. Slowly, but surely, he starts falling in love with one of them. Now, I’m not going to tell you which one, because it would simply ruin your enjoyment of the book. Of course, you could easily find it out by going online, but I wouldn’t advise you to do that. Just have patience and you’ll see that it will be rewarded ten-fold! 😀
What happens next is that Lincoln continues reading their e-mails, even after falling in love with one of them, and even though he knows it’s wrong, he can’t seem to stop himself from doing it. His friends try setting him up with a girl or two, but Lincoln’s mind is already swimming only in thoughts of that girl. He’s smitten. ❤ A series of coincidental encounters start taking place between Lincoln and that girl, and Lincoln finds out from reading her e-mail that she kind of likes him, that she calls him her Cute Guy and that she wouldn’t mind being with him instead of her guy, who’s too wrapped up in his own world that he doesn’t give her the time of day. The girl is lonely and even though she refuses to see it herself, she starts being interested in Lincoln. At first, her crush is innocent, but as time passes by, her crush turns into a real crush, and Lincoln starts wanting to introduce himself to her. But he doesn’t know how without telling her the truth. It’s tricky. What happens next, you’ll just have to find that out for yourselves! But I’m telling you, you’ll be awed! And amazed! And K.O.-ed!
On to the characters:
My favourite character from this book, by far, is Lincoln (Harrison Ford because, well, THE girl says he looks a bit like him 😀 ). He’s amazing! He’s perfect! He’d make an ideal book boyfriend (oh, wait… he already is! XD ). What I loved about him more than anything else is the fact that he is an honest guy, who believes in love – true love, even! – and who is so very polite and calm and loving. He’s 28, but he hasn’t had a girlfriend in years. That’s why his friends and family think that there must be something wrong with him. Although he learns their true opinion of him only later on in the book… The truth is that he had a girlfriend, Sam, whom he met in high school and whom he loved crazily, desperately, wholly. After going with her to college (mainly because she wanted him to, and he would have done anything for her), she starts branching out and meets a new guy, Marlon, and Lincoln experiences his first true heartbreak.
“The crying was embarrassing enough. Crying down eight flights through the girls’ dormitory. Crying alone at the bus station. Crying through Nevada and Utah and Wyoming. Crying into the sleeves of his plaid flannel shirt like the world’s saddest lumberjack. Trying to think of all the times he’d promised Sam that he could never love anyone else. Did that change now? Did she get to turn them both into liars? If he believed in true love, didn’t that trump everything? Didn’t that trump Marlon? Lincoln was going to let her explain. When he got home. No, he wouldn’t even ask her to explain.”
‘“How did you think our relationship was going to end?” Sam asked when they stopped. She seemed angry now. “And don’t say that you didn’t think it was going to end. You’re not that naïve.”
“These things end”, she said. “They always end. Nobody marries their first love. First love is just that. First. It’s implied that something else will follow.”’
In the years that follow, Lincoln’s shyness and desire to meet something real, something deep and something “forever” clashes with the world surrounding him. It’s no wonder he can’t seem to make a girlfriend. But then he meets Beth and Jennifer, and his whole world changes. What I liked about this is that Lincoln saw it as his own blooming, like he was waiting to meet that girl who was meant for him and only him. Needless to say, the moments between Lincoln and THE girl are my favourite moments in the book! So much sweetness, honesty, love, cuteness and warmth, that I can’t even!
‘“Oh my God, look at him”, said someone at Lincoln’s elbow. “He’s so hot.”
Lincoln looked at Chris. Shimmering. Slithering at the edge of the stage. This wasn’t a good idea. Coming here. Look at him, Lincoln thought. She’s his. That beautiful girl. That girl I think about when I’m not thinking about anything else. When I can’t think about anything else. Look at him. That magical girl. That light. His.’
Beth and Jennifer (I’ll throw them both in) are two lovely young women, who have wit, courage, a powerful sense of friendship and justice, and a weakness for discussing their professional AND private matters at work, in the company e-mails.
Beth has been with Chris for seven years and she’s going to be proposed to any moment now. Needless to say, she’s totally looking forward to it!
Jennifer is married to Mitch, a guy who really loves and respects her, and they are debating whether to have a child or not. Jennifer is not interested, Mitch is for it. What ensues is a situation with lots of ups and downs, tears and kisses.
‘She kissed his cheek, and he let his head tip forward into her hands. She kissed his other cheek. And his chin. The groove below his bottom lip. “Stupid girl”, she said near the corner of his mouth, sounding incredulous, “what could you possibly be thinking?”
Lincoln found his mouth. “Perfect girl”, he said so quietly that only someone with her hands in his hair and her lips all but touching his could possibly hear. “Pretty girl.” He found her mouth. “Perfect.” Kiss. “Magic.” Kiss. “Only girl.”’
What I found a bit distressing is the fact that, in their e-mails, Jennifer and Beth could have easily passed for one another. Their conversations seemed to be a long monologue of only one person. I reiterate, the book is well-written, very funny, very witty, a delight, really! It’s just this little thing that bothered me a bit… Anyhoo, I liked Lincoln, so I guess it all balanced out quite beautifully in the end! 😀
- Very entertaining book, best quality chick-lit!
- Memorable characters, purrfect book boyfriend!
- Two or three twists in the story, that’ll leave you breathless. Yes, it’s not all roses and sunshine. 🙂
- Didn’t feel like a debut AT ALL! Almost as good as Eleanor & Park. By the way, I am SO going to buy all her books on paper, to shelve them nicely in my library. ⭐
Where you can find the book: