Review: Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“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 . . . ?

The first word that comes to my mind when I think of Attachments is – adorable. I mean, ethically speaking, the story has a lot of craziness but at it’s heart, it is an adorable story of cute crushes. Lincoln’s job is to monitor the e-mails at his office, where Beth is one of the movie reviewers and a lot of her mail gets flagged because of key words she uses. He tries not to read the mails but can’t help in being interested in the conversations between Beth and her best friend Jennifer, even though he feels guilty for eavesdropping on their personal conversations. Soon enough, he starts liking Beth and imagines her, all without ever having actually seen or met her. He learns about her sister’s wedding, her reaction to it, her support for her best friend, the doubts with regards to parenthood of said best friend – almost like he was a part of their lives even though he is only reading bits of conversations. During one such intercepted mail, he notices that she was checking him out and crushing on him. But things are complicated in each of their lives, with Lincoln trying to figure out his career and life and Beth trying to figure out what she wants. Each of them is weighed down by an intense relationship that ended on a bad note, and both aren’t really ready to move on. I loved how the story, though mainly a romance, is focused more on the individual characters rather than them together – each of them has to learn to let go and forge ahead. The writing was beautiful, and the story was mainly from Lincoln’s POV with only the emails between Beth and Jennifer the indication of her plotline. Even with that little chunk of their lives, it is ingenious how the author still manages to render the characters on such a deep level. You can feel Beth’s frustration, and Jennifer’s indecision and how they truly care about each other. Also, they are pretty entertaining as characters, and in Lincoln’s place, perhaps even I would not have been able to resist reading their scintillating conversations. Lincoln, well, he is a good guy with his heart in the right place and pretty sweet too. I was rooting for him from somewhere halfway through the book and groaning at each missed opportunity.

The climax, though, felt a little rushed and discordant from the flow of the remainder of the novel. As much as I loved the sweet ending, I felt it wrapped up too soon. There should have maybe been a little more angst about how they came to know each other and the craziness on each one’s part that led them together. But maybe that is me speaking from a YA perspective while this was more of a contemporary adult? Anyways, I loved the book and am looking forward to picking up more of this author (yes, Fangirl, I am looking at you). I am now officially her fan!

Received an ARC from Penguin Group Plume via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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2 thoughts on “Review: Attachments

  1. Your concerns with the ending are justified. After reading so much YA, I too felt the ending was rushed. But then I got back into reading contemporary adult, and the endings are quite similar. Time passes. Things die away. They’re thrust back into one another’s lives. And, like adult perspectives, there ISN’T a rush to let out all the emotions. It’s a sigh and a breath of “Great. Now we’re finally here. Let’s hop to it,” sort of feeling.

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