Monday, August 1, 2011

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Disclaimer: I may be more hyped about this book because I just finished The Children’s Hospital by Chris Adrian and it was GODAWFUL. Really, it was the sorriest-sack-of-shit book I’ve read since The Corrections. It’s on my list of Books I Hate A Lot (not a real thing, I just made that up). What the fuck, Chris Adrian? That was 600 pages of bullshit.

Anyway, in order to bleach my brain, I decided to read Attachments. It was exactly what I needed to stop hating the whole world. Romance, geeky boy, funny gal, movie jokes? Awesome. (Just FYI, I found this book through Dear Author.)

Encapsulate This

Best friends Beth and Jennifer work together at the Courier. Jennifer is terrified of starting a family with her husband Mitch and Beth is waiting for her long-time boyfriend to propose. They send each other long, extremely personal, funny emails even though it’s against company policy and they know that someone is watching. That someone is Lincoln, who hates that it’s his job to monitor the employees’ email. Even though he knows it’s wrong, he reads every email between Beth and Jennifer. And bit by bit, he finds himself falling in love with Beth.

Ruminate on That

First, allow me to say that reading someone’s email is totally creep-tastic. Lincoln was a genuinely nice guy and he struggled with the ethicality of what he was doing but in the end, he did the right thing by Beth. So, yay for that. Also, yay for him not actively trying to break up Beth and her tool of a boyfriend.

The whole story alternates between the Beth/Jennifer emails and Lincoln’s point-of-view. The emails between Beth and Jennifer are really endearing/funny/sad and I totally get why Lincoln fell in love with Beth. The fact the he fell in love with her before he ever saw her face made my stomach hurt (in a good this-is-so-romantic kind of way). And watching his transformation from a lonely, kind-of-lost, awkward, adorable geek to a hopeful, finding-his-way, slightly-less-awkward, adorable geek was wonderful. I especially enjoyed watching his perspective on himself change. I was less convinced of Beth’s feelings, but she wasn’t formally introduced until fairly late in the story so I didn’t feel like I understood her reaction to Lincoln.

Parts of the story are pretty damn sad, parts are pretty damn funny and as a whole, it just flowed well. It could have felt jerky and disjointed with the back and forth between Lincoln’s POV and the emails, but oddly, I found the switching to be less jarring than some novels with traditional POV changes.

Final Reckoning

I really, really enjoyed reading this. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I finished it in one sitting. It was just a lot of fun. Have I mentioned that this is a debut novel? It is. So it gets double points for being awesome. And it gets bonus points because the emails reminded me of the ones Danielle and I send each other. I love books that have genuine friendships between lady-characters and not just potential-rival-hate-fests. Read this? Definitely.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


  1. Now I'm like "Holy shit, is my IT guy reading our emails?" That would be awful! But kind of funny. And he is Alain's doppelganger in looks and mannerisms, so like there are worse people to be reading our emails (I GUESS?). I'm totally thinking too deeply into this. I want to read this book! I will once I finish torturing myself with Ayn fucking Rand again.

  2. Why are you reading Ayn Rand? That's what Google is for.

    Also, I love that there is a Alain doppelganger who is potentially reading our emails.

  3. Reading Ayn Rand is the literary equivalent of closing my eyes and thinking of England. I never finished it in high school and I feel like it's just something I need to do. I'm sure I'll be like "hey this is stupid" and stop halfway through, but for now I'm committed.

  4. Meh, I read Anthem and that was a crock of shit. I tried to read both Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead. It's probably why I hated everyone in high school. Not you, of course.

  5. Can I second how god-awful The Children's Hospital was? And for some reason every time it starts pouring outside the way it has been for the past week or so I am suddenly fearful that I am going to be stuck in my office building with everyone else I work with until the end of world? Anyway, Attachments sounds really cute and I'm probably going to pick this one up soon.