Wednesday, September 3, 2014

REVIEW: "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

For Ages 18+ (Language)
Contemporary Romance

Dutton Adult -- Published in 2011
Ebook, 327 pages
Read in August 2014
Purchased from Amazon

Beta Hero

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 . . . ?

"Would it kill you to get here before noon?"

Rainbow Rowell has become synonymous with subtle yet powerful stories that really make readers believe in love, no matter how unconventional it may appear at first.  Attachments is her debut novel and is an adult contemporary romance that is set in that intriguing time of the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century.  

Lincoln O'Neill, an IT worker at a newspaper whose main job duty is to reader workers' emails that have been flagged as inappropriate, is the protagonist.  He is years removed from college and still isn't sure what he wants from his life.  So, while he claims to be figuring it out, he works the graveyard shift at the newspaper and lives with his mother. While there is a small amount of romance, Lincoln's development from unassuming tech worker to confident man is the main focus of the book.  I loved his character and found him very relatable with his devotion to his family, his discomfort with normal social situations, and his joy in playing Dungeons and Dragons with his long-time friends.

Until the end, readers do not meet Beth and Jennifer outside of their email exchanges.  I thought this was a genius way to help us understand how Lincoln could fall for someone without ever seeing them or having a conversation with them.  I found myself fully invested in Jennifer's indecision regarding children, Beth's issues with her commitment-phobic boyfriend, and their genuine friendship.

Another plot point of Attachments is the end of the twentieth century and the phenomenon known as Y2K.  As someone who clearly remembers this time period, I couldn't help but laugh at the paranoia going around the technology department.  It was just interesting to read a book that deliberately takes place in a specific year that isn't too far from the present.  I thought the setting helped set the tone of the whole story with the email policing and the unknown associated with the impending new year.

Overall, I found this book to be an absolute joy to read!  The characters were richly detailed and so easy to relate to.  The plot moved along at a slow pace, but it never felt like it was dragging.  The romance (while it wasn't the focus) was very sweet and fit with what I knew of Rainbow Rowell's writing style.  I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to try a Rainbow Rowell novel or is just into an unconventional look at romance at the beginning of the Digital Age.


Blush -- Kisses with no/minor touching.

He tried not to love that she could recite scenes from Ghostbusters, that she liked kung fu movies and could name all of the original X-Men— because those seemed like reasons a guy would fall for a girl in a Kevin Smith movie.  


  1. I'm so glad you liked this, Jennifer. I really liked Attachments, too. I also remember clearly the Y2K scare, and found it fun to read about it in this book. Rainbow Rowell never fails to impress.

    1. Thanks for visiting! I still need to read Eleanor & Park and Landline, but they are high on my list now. Glad to know that Fangirl wasn't a fluke for me.


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