Books · reviews

Book review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell

Published by Dutton in 2011.

“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 . . . ? (Goodreads)

After reading Attachments, I am now a complete believer that Rainbow Rowell can write whatever she wants; I will read it all. This was her debut novel, and it was almost perfect. It was well-written and completely charming. At times it was laugh-out-loud funny. No, really, I read a conversation between characters Beth and Jennifer to my boyfriend and he laughed too. See?! It’s not just me! But really, how can a book that starts with a hilarious email exchange about a pregnancy scare not be?

What I found interesting about reading Attachments after Fangirl and Eleanor and Park is that you can really see how much Rowell has grown as a writer. You can look at this, and see what techniques she continues to play with, and which she doesn’t. All of her books have smart, snappy dialogue, and Attachments is no exception. It seems like Rowell has taken the words right out of conversations I’ve had with my closest friends (one of which is named Jenny, so does that make me Beth? I’m quite okay with that). You can also see her experiment with alternating perspectives, which she used again in Eleanor and Park, and again to an extent in Fangirl.

But really, Attachments is a cozy and familiar read. It can be somewhat predictable at times. Some of the “twists” (for lack of better word) are quite easy to guess, but then insane plot twists aren’t the point. This isn’t Gone Girl (which I still haven’t read, so shhh!). It’s a romantic comedy. And a joyful one at that. I really couldn’t put it down.

How do I know this was a great book?

I can’t pick a favorite character (I honestly loved them all), or a favorite part (so many – particularly the email conversations, but I also enjoyed reading Lincoln’s chapters), and I still have trouble even picking a least favorite part. If I had to nitpick, I would say the only part that left me rolling my eyes a little bit was the ending. It was a little unrealistic and cheesy, but at the same time, it was awesome. How often can you say that about a book?

Not often by my count. I’m now itching to get my hands on Landline, but have promised myself to read at least a couple of books from my pre-existing pile first.

Final thoughts:
A light-hearted, romantic-comedy of a book that still managed to be witty and intelligent. Highly recommended for anyone looking for that sort of book, or if you liked Fangirl  and Eleanor and Park. This isn’t a strictly a YA book, but will likely appeal to YA readers.

Books by Rainbow Rowell:



6 thoughts on “Book review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I enjoy a good romantic comedy every now and then, though I still haven’t read anything by Rainbow Rowell…and I’m a little hesitant to go against my gut. Sometimes it turns out brilliantly, like The Lunar Chronicles (I can’t believe I waited so long on that); but that seems to be the exception. Hmm…much thought this will require. Thanks for the great review!

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