Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: April 14th 2011

4 OUT OF 5 STARS

“Every woman wants a man who’ll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.”

It’s 1999, the internet is new and Lincoln has been hired to read people’s e-mails to ensure they’re using it properly. At first, Lincoln is a little uncomfortable but he quickly learns to look forward to the emails between Beth and Jennifer. He finds himself falling in love, but can he really introduce himself after weeks of reading her personal information?

Rainbow Rowell’s writing is always easy to love. She knows how to write a heart-stopping romance and Attachments definitely falls under that umbrella. Lincoln is awkward, lovable and good. Which is fortunate because otherwise this story could have been a bit creepy.

Beth and Jennifer are phenomenal. Friendship is too rare in romance novels and a well-written friendship is even rarer. The exchanges between the girls are funny, heartfelt and real. The book is as much about the relationship between Beth and Jennifer as it is about Lincoln’s unrequited crush.

The point of view and narrative style swapping works very well. Lincoln’s third person perspective leading into chapters of emails between Jennifer and Beth keep the story moving fast. It gives all the characters plenty of room to grow and to be full between Lincoln’s, Beth’s and Jennifer’s views of them.

The correspondence between the two women is definitely the star of this novel. They both have issues in their life, which are sometimes absolutely heartbreaking, but their emails manage to keep a light tone while showing how much they support each other. I would read a book about just the correspondence between Jennifer and Beth without Lincoln’s intervention.

Sadly the ending is a disappointment. It’s bizarre, rushed and just uncomfortable feeling. It’s the sort of story where you see where it should have ended (page 341) but then it somehow keeps going.

This should not have been a novel about getting the girl. It should have been a novel about learning to be happy on your own. About finding your path in life and leaving old things behind. Until the last twenty or so pages it feels exactly like that is what it’s intended to be, and then very abruptly it’s not. Lincoln was beginning to grow as a person and that is (somewhat) robbed by the ending. He takes a step back from where he could have been. Jennifer is the only character who comes out like she learned something which is frustrating when the others came so close.

I cannot dock the book more than a star for only 20 pages of frustration, up until that I thought it might be my favourite book by Rowell. Don’t get me wrong, I love a happy ending, but this book could have had one that didn’t stunt the characters and rush a weird romance.

And let’s be honest if Lincoln wasn’t constantly confirmed as cute in the novel everyone would think his obsession was very concerning.

BUY THE BOOK

Read this if you’re a fan of: Anna and the French Kiss

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