Published: April 2011
Time Read: 2 days
My first Rainbow Rowell book did not disappoint. I have seen her name pop up all over the last few months and was just now able to get around to reading one of her books. In this case, it happened to be her first book, “Attachments“.
Our main characters are Jennifer and Beth, co-workers that work in different departments at a newspaper, and Lincoln, an IT Security guy at the newspaper whose job is to read all company email that gets flagged for review. Jennifer and Beth’s emails get flagged so many times for their harmless back-and-forth banter that Lincoln decides to never warn them as their emails quickly become the highlight of his otherwise mundane night job.
The emails between Jennifer and Beth are the only “direct” contact the reader has with them until the end of the book. The emails maintain their own chapters and interactions with Lincoln take up their own as well. The email style reminded me of Lauren Myracle’s Internet Girls book series that was composed entirely of instant messages. What made me like “Attachments” more than Myracle’s series was that the latter contained too much instant messaging for me to read, even in multiple sittings; I was easily overwhelmed and quickly gave up reading the series. One of the things I liked best about Attachments was how the emails between Beth and Jennifer alternated with Lincoln’s point-of-view at work, home, etc. because it gave me time to absorb what was going on with each set of characters.
After reading some Goodreads comments and reviews on the novel, I realized I wasn’t the only one who, before finishing the novel, thought Lincoln was going to end up being this big weirdo who stalked Beth until she had him arrested or Jennifer punched him to the next planet for messing with her friend. (Not that it would have mattered, but it’s reassuring nonetheless). However, the more the book and conversations went on, the more it seemed like Lincoln was just this socially awkward cute nerd guy who lived at home with his mom and got to know Beth through his job (even though it was his job to read her emails, it’s not his fault that she discussed personal matters using a company email address) and eventually succeeded in meeting her in person.
The part that knocked it down a star for me was the ending with Lincoln and Beth. Even though they had both kind of been stalking each other, I felt like Lincoln getting them to talk at the end and trying to explain himself to her was a bit sloppy and the fact that they decided to hide how they met from everyone was a red flag for me. However, they are both consenting adults and as long as they are, more power to them, I guess. It didn’t ruin all the amazingness prior to it.
That being said, the best part of the book wasn’t Lincoln, but rather the back and forth girl friend conversations between Beth and Jennifer. I think the reason why Attachments was such a quick read was because reading their conversations reminded me of those I have with my own best friend: casual, goofy, honest, and in some cases, brave. If I worked where they did, they would be the most amazing people to hang out with.
They say time goes by fast when you’re having fun, and this book was definitely entertaining to read. It was the perfect book to get me back into the habit of reading books for fun again.
Would I suggest this book to a friend? Yes