My third Rainbow Rowell book, this one is aimed more at adults, but is of similarly high quality to her YA offerings.
Rowell, it seems, can do no wrong – she won Best Fiction at the GoodReads choice awards this year for Landline (which is still on my to-read list) and is a generally beloved doyenne of YA realism – on tumblr I regularly see posts which say that Rowell just ‘gets’ what being a teenager is like.
I wasn’t worried, then, when reading Attachments, that I was going to get something trite or untrue to life. I maybe should’ve been, though.
“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ”
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
I am, generally, a huge fan of epistolary novels. I loved Jaclyn Moriarty’s Ashbury/Brookfield books with a passion (still do), and Where Rainbows End remains my favourite of Cecelia Aherne’s books (meaning that I’ll probably end up going to see Love, Rosie at some point soon). Attachments is a sort of semi-epistolary novel, with Jennifer and Beth’s emails interspersed with traditional prose narration, which made for an unusual (although still entertaining) reading experience. I’m sure there are other semi-epistolary novels out there, but none are coming to mind as I think right now, so I’m giving points for originality to Rowell there.
However, the premise of the novel, that Linc is reading Beth and Jennifer’s emails, and falling in love with Beth in the premise, is sadly the most original part of the book, with the rest of it being decidedly lacklustre.
It’s several months since I read this book, and honestly, I’m struggling with details. I recall Lincoln being desperately awkward, and a mildly amusing case of Beth’s emails about Lincoln being read by him, but it certainly wasn’t a book to set ablaze any burning passions for Rowell’s writing.
Nothing wrong with this book, not at all. I quite enjoyed reading it. However, there wasn’t anything really brilliant about it either – it remains one of many women’s lit novels I read this year, and doesn’t do anything to push itself ahead of the pack.