Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published Apil 14th 2011 by Dutton Adult
Since everyone has been raving lately about Ms Rowell’s work, I thought I would give it a shot. Her young-adult novels didn’t very much appeal to me, so I picked up Attachments in a Kindle sale. This review contains some mild spoilers towards the story.
Lincoln has to read through the emails of the paper he works at. Jennifer and Beth’s conversations tend to get flagged often, and he gets caught up in their lives, and eventually becomes infatuated.
Romance books and movies often walk this fine line between adorable and creepy. Attachments, sadly, fell into the creepy category. Lincoln is weird, awkward, and falls in love with a woman whose emails he has been reading for months. At night, when most of the newspaper peoples have gone home, he likes to go to her work station and sit behind her desk. Whee-ooo-whee-ooo, STALKER ALERT.
Beth isn’t much better. Even though she has a boyfriend, she follows Lincoln around only because she thinks he’s cute. She obsesses over him and tries to catch glimpses of him. For all she knows he could be a complete ass-hat, but for some reason she thinks he looks nice, and that’s reason enough to act like an idiot.
I had a hard time believing Lincoln and Beth were actual adults. If it wasn’t for the fact that Beth really wants to get married, you could easily replace them with teens, and turn the office into a school. At one point they actually come face to face, but instead of Beth talking to the guy she has been interested in for weeks, she just smiles and goes off. Really? You’re an adult, and that’s your reaction? On top of that, Lincoln still lives with his mom, only sits in a chair all day and eats a lot, yet somehow he’s not fat. Right.
The form of the novel is nice, a combination of Lincoln’s point of view and the email conversations of Beth and Jennifer. The writing is decent enough, but nothing to write home about. Throughout the book I was vaguely entertained and slightly repulsed at the same time. There was nothing very offensive in Attachments, but nothing profound either.
“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 . . . ?
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