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REVIEW: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

“Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their e-mails, but like many, they don’t take it seriously. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.

Lincoln hates that his job is to monitor their e-mails, but he’s captivated by Beth and Jennifer’s stories. In fact, he’s falling for Beth.

But how can he ever tell her: “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mails, and also, I love you…”

Dear Ms. Rowell,

The description of your debut book in an email from your publicist caught my interest. After all, this is the Age of Information and to see as the basis of a story is timely. I would also say that most people who have work email accounts or access the Internet there can sympathize with the fact that we’re told Big Brother is watching. Also, the way that Lincoln and Beth’s romance starts isn’t one I’ve ever seen used which made me wonder – how is she going to work this out? Plus it’s set in Nebraska! How many romance books have I read set in Nebraska? Not too damn many, I’m telling you.

I never thought I’d be loving a book in which the hero and heroine don’t actually see each other for 1/2 the book and don’t meet for – well, a while from then but darned if I wasn’t.

Self: But they haven’t even said hello yet.

Self: I know, I know but we’re still enjoying it. Or at least I am.

Self: Well, I am too you know. We’re in this together.

Attachments by Rainbow RowellI fell for Beth for the same reasons that Lincoln does. She’s bright, funny, caring of her friends and family despite being forced into Bad Bridesmaid Dress number two. Or was it three? This part of the book has an almost chick lit feel to it as Jennifer and Beth gripe and moan and support each other through the ups and downs of their lives. Despite the fact that we don’t “see” Beth in person in the narrative until late in the book didn’t detract from my feeling that I knew her as well as Lincoln.

Lincoln heads towards geek territory a few times: D&D, lives with his mom, works in IT (at night). He could have turned into a scary loner type but didn’t. Instead he is revealed as a gentle soul who has loved and been loved before, who can blossom – now I feel strange using that word about him – with a little encouragement, who has friends and who is a friend. Thank God that he initially felt skeevy about reading peoples’ email – though all of us with company computers at work are aware it could happen and that in the end he deleted everything, and left the job before he and Beth even started a relationship. and that he came clean about it.

Beth did her own fair share of following Lincoln trying to discover who he was. But I’m glad that she also took care of the extraneous relationship before taking anything with Lincoln further. Both Beth and Lincoln still had some growing to do. Beth needed to accept that her long time boyfriend Chris wasn’t The One and get over him while the short but final meeting between Lincoln and his former girlfriend Sam proved to him that he was completely over her – had been for some time. And even then, the two of them got some more cooling off time before their relationship started. I LOVE the movie kiss and the former breakroom kiss.

The relationship between Lincoln’s mom and sister is odd. It remained unresolved to me why those two fight- just one of those relationships? The love is there but sometimes the like isn’t. But both obviously care for and about Lincoln and he cares for them back. Gotta love a man who loves and takes care of his mother. I needed more closure about Jennifer and her husband Mitch. Kudos to you for the chances you took with her and the baby. I can see that it might take Jennifer a while to forgive him – Lincoln.

I love the feel of the late night newspaper people plus the little details of working there. Night shifters are definitely a breed apart. The whole Y2K stuff is a blast from the past and trip down memory lane. A friend of mine has an acquaintance who went whole hog buying supplies for that including rifles, several boxes of ammo, a hazmat suit and even enough dog food for a year.

Another thing I truly enjoyed is the subtle humor and though I know tastes vary you had me literally laughing out loud several times. This even woke up my kitty once from his “draped over Mommy while she’s reading” snooze. The set up and style of this book plot took some guts but it works wonderfully and like your friend, I wanted to know what was going to come next too. In fact I wanted to know so much, I read the last 220 pages straight through in one gulp. “Attachments” is fresh and original and makes me want to see what you’ll write next. B+

~Jayne

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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

27 Comments

  1. library addict
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:32:47

    Sounds interesting, but at $12.99 for the e-version think I will wait to see if my library gets it.

    ETA: The library does have it. Yay! I am 2nd in the hold line.

  2. Linda Winfree
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:32:55

    Sounds like a fun read and a unique concept. May check my local library for it (the Kindle version is $12.99 — higher than the print copy AND my price point).

    ETA: @ library addict — Jinx!

  3. Carolyn
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:48:40

    Oh, that’s too bad, Sounds right up my alley. But the ebook price is still at the HB level and the PB doesn’t come out until March 2012. Maybe I’ll remember to check back …

  4. Jane
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:59:59

    Ha, you all had my same response. Jayne makes this book sound so compelling but at 12.99? Egads. I’m going to check in with my library too.

  5. Jayne
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 15:13:39

    Ouch! $12.99? As much as I enjoyed the book, I’d have to stop and think about that a few times myself. But whoo-hoo! for those of you who find it from the library and I hope you like it as much as I do.

  6. Sunita
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 15:20:16

    Add me to the chorus. I clicked the Kindle link as soon as I finished the review and when I saw the price and the price/ebook discrepancy I sighed.

    I still want it, though. Great review, Jayne!

    Someone wrote an HR with an email relationship; the h & h swapped homes and kept each other updated. It was sweet.

    ETA: It was Molly Cooper’s Dream Date, by Barbara Hannay.

  7. Linda Winfree
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:06:37

    There are eight copies in Georgia libraries (whoo-hoo, Georgia Pines system!). Four currently available. I may use inter-library loan.

    The $12.99 price boggles my mind. I purchased the hardback of Kim Harrison’s graphic novel for my husband for $13.52. But thirteen for an electronic version? Um, no thank you.

    Someone explain agency pricing to me again? I still don’t get how this helps the author (or the house for that matter). They can’t be selling as many as they would at a lower price.

  8. Scraps
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:10:19

    Oh, this sounds wonderful and I’ve put it on my wish list. I’d buy now but I’m not paying $12.99 for an ebook! I’ll be waiting for the price to drop. Thanks for the great review.

  9. Courtney
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 17:37:18

    It’s a real shame when a book gets a DA “Recommends,” and agency pricing sends would-be purchasers scurrying away (at least I’m assuming it’s Agency pricing at work), and thus, both the author and publisher have lost out on sales. I hope the author and someone in Penguin’s marketing department takes note of this (not that I think it will make any difference).

  10. Loosheesh
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 18:04:38

    Great review; my interest is peaked but the price is too ‘wow’ for me. Thankfully I can get it from the library … I’m next in line, woot!

  11. SonomaLass
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 18:26:45

    This is becoming a familiar chorus: great review, click buy link, gasp at ebook price, go to library catalog. Since our library hasn’t ventured into ebooks yet, I’ll have to pass on this. Of course there’s always used print, speaking of author and publisher making no money…

  12. Janine
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 18:59:40

    That’s too bad about the price. The book sounds wonderful and you don’t give B+ grades every day. I may look for it at the library too.

  13. Ridley
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 19:11:35

    It’s on my “might-buy-when-agency-dies” shelf at Goodreads. It has to happen some day, right?

  14. Jody W.
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 20:37:30

    This book sounds excellent. I keep a folder of samples on my Kindle called “Library.” Otherwise we’d go broke, and we already eat enough beans and rice!

  15. Lisa
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 20:39:16

    This is one I’ve been cautiously curious about since I learned Rainbow Rowell had a book coming out being familiar with her column(s) she’s had at the Omaha World Herald.

    This certainly made me more curious. Not 13 bucks worth of curious though.

  16. Kaetrin
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 00:07:30

    Well, I checked on the Australian Kobo site for laughs and it’s $16.99 here! Ouch!! That makes even less sense because the Aussie $ is fluctuating at about $1.06 USD.

    Maybe when it comes out in paperback….

  17. Ann G
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 01:02:08

    It does sound interesting, but I’ll have to wait for a price drop. IF it’s in print, I’ll try to get it from the library. I have a Kindle, but the Kindle books aren’t available from the library yet.

  18. Courtney Milan
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 01:40:31

    I downloaded a sample to see if the book would make me spring for the $12.99. It did. It was worth it.

    There.

    For the author’s sake, I wish the digital price were $7.99. I really enjoyed this one and wish I had more people to talk about it with. It was gutsy and beautiful and funny and utterly adorable.

  19. Renda
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 06:28:32

    @LindaWinfree, thanks for the Georgia Pines tip. I will have to check them out.
    There is already a waiting list at PBS of 12 people for a paperback that won’t come out for 9 months. And as much as I want to support good writers, I can’t justify that kind of money for just a few hours of reading.
    Maybe Free Library of Philadelphia will have it. Now that was $15 well spent for hundreds of hours of reading.

  20. Evelyn
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 06:58:15

    on bookdepository.com it’s cheaper – just 16 $, but it really sounds good, so I will give it a try

  21. LG
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 07:21:40

    Over 500 libraries own this one, so I think I’ll add this to my interlibrary loan requests. It sounds interesting, but since I don’t know the author I’m not buying the hardcover version and, as others have said, the e-book price is ridiculous.

  22. Liza Lester
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 01:31:39

    Jayne, thank you for sending me after this one (and thank you Seattle Public Library for the ebook!).

    The setup sounded suspiciously improbable–employed to read employee email?–but Lincoln’s absurd un-job turns out to be improbable on purpose, and a reflection of his general lostness in career and in life.

    And the email dialog was wryly funny, but not whiny or over-cute (common chick-lit traits that made me wary of the packaging here). Best of all, the newsroom jargon was REAL.

  23. Jayne
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 08:04:04

    @Liza Lester: Yeah! I’m so glad you liked it. Are you a newspaper person?

  24. jenreads
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 14:19:30

    I got this from my library and devoured it in a couple of days. I wanted to hold on it for the full three week period just to reread the good parts, but decided that wasn’t fair to the people who still haven’t read it. Lincoln is the best kind of hero; a truly nice guy. Maybe I will spring for the ebook after all.

  25. LJD
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 18:28:02

    I read this book recently and loved it. One of the most romantic things I’ve ever read.

    But, I was a little confused by one thing in your review: what does Jennifer have to forgive Mitch for?

    (yes, I know this review is several months old.)

  26. Jayne
    Feb 07, 2012 @ 15:39:25

    @LJD: Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond but I didn’t have time to pull the book out for a reskim until now to try and answer your question. It’s not Jennifer who has to forgive Mitch. It’s me who has to use pronouns better in my review. The “him” in that sentence should be Lincoln and not Mitch. Rereading it, I can see why you were confused. Hell, I was confused.

    ETA: I’ve redone that paragraph a touch to make what I meant to say more clear. Thanks for questioning that so I could realize it needed fixing.

  27. LJD
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 12:30:39

    @ Jayne, thanks for the response! Makes sense now.
    I signed the ebook out from the library and am thinking of buying a print copy because I loved it so much.

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