Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quirky and Upbeat, Attachments Is Painfully (and Entertaining-ly) Authentic

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Lincoln O'Neil takes a job in security at an Omaha newspaper, he never dreams it will involve reading his co-workers' personal emails.  Everyone at the paper knows their messages are being monitored, but still—snooping around that way just feels too intrusive, too wrong.  And yet, Lincoln can't afford to quit.  He's making good money for doing relatively little.  So what if he works his voyeuristic job at night, all by himself ... if he can stick with it, the 28-year-old might be able to save up enough cash to move out of his mother's house once and for all.  

The one perk to Lincoln's otherwise deplorable job is the exchanges he reads between Beth Fremont, The Courier's movie reviewer, and her best friend, copy editor Jennifer Scribner-Snyder.  Lonely Lincoln envies the warm, supportive friendship the women share.  The more he eavesdrops on their conversations, sharing their triumphs and struggles, the closer he feels to them both.  In fact,  he's pretty sure he's in love with funny, kind-hearted Beth.  Even when he thinks their might be some interest on her end, Lincoln knows he can't introduce himself to her.  How can he?  What would he say?  "Hello, I know everything about you from stalking your emails and by the way, I love you?"  Not going to happen.  

The longer Lincoln works at the paper, the more uncomfortable he grows with his shady work duties.  What's an awkward, gun-shy IT guy to do?  Quit an easy, high-paying job?  Confess his love to a woman he's never even laid eyes on?  Break his mother's heart by moving out?  Does he dare risk it all for a journalist who'll probably be appalled by all he knows about her?  

As much as I enjoyed Fan Girl, Rainbow Rowell's third novel, I think I like her debut, Attachments, even better.  Like the former, the latter is filled to the brim with likable characters, crackling dialogue and lots of heart.  Even though it's a straight-up contemporary romance (it's set in 1999, but whatever), it feels different, more original than others I've read.  Maybe that's because it's so upbeat, clever and fun.  Whatever the reason, I love this quirky love story—it's just so painfully (and entertaining-ly) authentic!

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language and sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Attachments from the generous folks at Penguin.  Thank you!

5 comments:

  1. This one sounds good. I've been meaning to read one of Rowell's books for a while now. Sounds like Attachments might be a good place to start. Great review!

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  2. I loved Attachments so much. I have a thing for epistolary novels. :)

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  3. I just finished reading Attachments today, one of the last bloggers to review it, I think. I'm not really one for romances but this was lovely, so cosy, with characters I really enjoyed spending time with. Lincoln was a character I could really relate to.

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  4. Sounds delightful! And interesting that it's not YA, since both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl are (more or less.)

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  5. I liked this one when I read it a while ago but really it is Eleanor and Park that currently holds the favourite spot in my heart!

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