Attachments is Rainbow Rowell’s first book and only adult book until Landline is published this summer. She’s probably better known for her two YA novels for Eleanor & Park (reviewed by Nox last year) and Fangirl. I’ve actually read and enjoyed all three, but this is the first one I’m reviewing here.
The year is 1999. Y2K is approaching. Email is just catching on, and it has some employers running scared. Enter Lincoln–late 20s, serial student and degree earner, D&D player, and living with his mother until he can save up for his own place. Lincoln is hired as the Internet security officer for the local newspaper, which means he is responsible for reading employees’ emails to make sure no one is using it inappropriately.
Jennifer and Beth are both co-workers and best friends at the newspaper. Despite the fact that they know someone is reading their emails, they are definitely not following company policy. At first, Lincoln is highly entertained by their witty conversations, but eventually he finds himself interested in their lives.
When Lincoln falls for Beth, it gets very tricky, very quickly. He’s never met Beth. He doesn’t even know what she looks like. Despite this, he knows very personal details about her life, because he’s been reading her emails.
Attachments is unique for several reasons. First, it’s a romance told from the point-of-view of the guy. Second, guy and girl don’t even meet until very late in the book.
I really enjoyed Attachments. Lincoln is a great character. Yes, he’s a little nerdy and geeky, but he’s much more adorable than my description above makes him sound. He’s conscientious, smart, sweet, and funny. He reminds me of Clay from Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I definitely had a bit of a crush on him.
While the main part of the book is told from Lincoln’s point-of-view, the chapters are interspersed with emails between Jennifer and Beth. These emails were wonderful! I wanted to be friends with Jennifer and Beth. Rainbow really captured the camaraderie and spirit of female friendship. She has posted a deleted scene from her book with Star Trek themed emails and another section that made the cut where Beth waxes poetic about the month of October (which also happens to perfectly capture my feelings about the most glorious month of the year).
I only had two minor complaints about the book. There was ongoing tension between Lincoln’s sister and mother that was weird. I never quite figured out what was going on. Also, the book wrapped up really quickly, at a pace that didn’t quite match the book. It was a bit jarring.
I got to briefly meet Rainbow Rowell when she came to speak about her books and censorship last year, after a school in Minnesota challenged Eleanor & Park. (I have LOTS of passionate, library school student thoughts about that situation, so let’s not go into that). You guys, she’s such a genuinely wonderful person. My younger sister once woke me up in the middle of the night with ecstatic texts when Rainbow Rowell responded to her tweets. And now I’ve read her backlist. Do yourself a favor and follow her on Twitter/Tumblr, or even better, read one of her books.