Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release date: April 14, 2011
Number of Pages: 336
Synopsis from Goodreads:
"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 . . . ?
After I graduated from college I read chick-lit almost exclusively. I was an English major, so by the time I graduated I was completely over Victorian fiction and writing 30 page papers and John Donne poetry. To this day I still hate William Faulkner with a passion usually reserved for pure evil. I was thrilled to find light, fun reads about girls my age written by authors I really connected with like Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Wiener, Meg Cabot, Sarah Mlynowski, etc, etc. While I'll still read books by my favorite chick-lit (I hate that term by the way) authors, like the ones I just listed, I rarely seek out new authors who are writing in this genre. Rainbow Rowell's Attachments reaffirmed my love of these fun books. Attachments was cute and fun and a bit melancholy and I adored it.
Attachments is the story of Lincoln O'Neill, a man who is stuck in life. After living as a perpetual student for the past decade, racking up degrees he doesn't use, Lincoln has moved back in to his childhood home with his mother, an overbearing, yet loving woman. Lincoln is somewhat ashamed to be living back home, but because he has no real friends and is far from being involved with anyone, he doesn't really see a reason to move out of the house when he mother is so obviously thrilled to have him there even though his much older half sister constantly tells him he needs to move out and live his life.
Lincoln gets a job at a newspaper who has finally given its employees internet assess. The year is 1999, just to be clear. Lincoln's job is to sort through the emails and searches that have been flagged by the company's system due to key words being used (like, you know, porn and foul language). He reads the emails and decides whether or not the person is abusing the system and if they need to be given a warning. Lincoln hates spying on people, but the job is easy (super easy, like, he has to work maybe an hour of an eight hour shift) and he doesn't really have anywhere else to go.
Two women who work for the newspaper, Jennifer and Beth, have emails that are consistently flagged and stored into the system and Lincoln finds himself getting more and more enthralled by their lives as he reads the emails the two send back and forth. He never writes them up and always clears the messages from the catch-all system. He knows he should give them a warning--or at least that he should stop reading their emails--but he just can't bring himself to stop. As he gets to know more and more about the friends, he finds himself starting to fall for one of them.
Jennifer is a married woman who's husband is desperate to start a family. Unsure of whether or not she wants to ever be a mother, she has been putting off having any discussions or making any decisions. She knows that she loves her husband and doesn't want to lose him, though.
Beth has been in a relationship with a musician for years. She knows that there is a possibility that he will never actually settle down with her, but they have been together for so long that she is comfortable with how things are. She starts to doubt her life a bit more when her younger sister announces her engagement.
This novel is simply wonderful. I loved and cared for all three characters. I loved that we saw Lincoln and his life and got to know the two friends through their email--the same way Lincoln was getting to know them. I loved reading the details of Lincoln's first relationship with a girl he dated in high school and how that relationship is still affecting him. I loved the friendship he strikes up with the older woman at the newspaper who runs the vending machines.
I'm so glad I picked this one up. I really struggled reading Eleanor and Park (I'm sorry I know it is much beloved) and actually ended up not finishing it even though I tried 3 different times to get into it, but I really enjoyed Fangirl and was so happy I gave it a try...which lead me to give this one a try. It held my attention the entire time I was reading it and I loved the style that combines emails and narrative. If you've enjoyed Rainbow Rowell's previous novels, you have to pick this one up. If you haven't, then this debut is the perfect place to start. Highly Recommend.