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Attachments: A Novel Paperback – March 27, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
In sweet, silly, and incredibly long digital missives, best newsroom pals Beth and Jennifer trade gossip over their romances—Beth with her marriage-phobic boyfriend, Chris, and Jennifer with her baby-mania-stricken husband, Mitch. What they don't know is that the newly hired computer guy, Lincoln, an Internet security officer charged with weeding out all things unnecessary or pornographic, is reading their messages. But lonely Lincoln lets the gals slide on their inappropriate office mail and gets hooked on their soapy dalliances, falling head over heels for the unlucky-in-love Beth. Debut novelist and real-life newspaper columnist Rowell has the smarts for this You've Got Mail–like tale of missed connections, but what doesn't work so well is the firewall between the traditional narrative reserved for Lincoln's emergence from shy guy to Beth's guy, and heroines who are confined to the e-epistolary format. Despite the structural problems, there's enough heart and humor to save these likable characters from the recycle bin. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of the “Outstanding Debuts of 2011”
— Kirkus Reviews
One of Entertainment Weekly’s 2011 Best Summer Reads
Top customer reviews
I was intrigued with this idea. Can you fall in love with a person you never met?
This book has a super slow burn. Very slow. But I realized about halfway thru that while you are rooting for Lincoln to find Beth .... the book is really about his attachments to his past, his mom, his stagnant life ... how he has let all the small things control him and not allow himself to move forward.
Beth is very much in the same boat, but for different reasons. In a relationship that is one sided in love and money.
I have to admit, at 70% I was a little mad. Why hadn't they met!?
But it still takes so much MORE to happen for them to finally connect. It plays out well ... real. It felt real. I even cried ....
The end was beyond lovely. Beyond sweet ...
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.
I knew going into this book that it would be nothing like Rowell’s other books, but I still needed to read it. Rainbow Rowell is a goddess, so all of her books must be read. However, I was expecting something a little bit cuter and fluffier than what I got. See, I was picturing something like Meg Cabot’s Boy series, where the entire book is told in email format. Instead, Lincoln, the main character, had very long chapters and only Beth and Jennifer’s conversations were in email form. This would have been okay, except for the uniqueness of Lincoln’s voice kind of wore off by the end of the book. I loved his inner monologues in the beginning, but they got a little whiny and repetitive as time wore on.
That being said, Lincoln is a VERY unique character. He’s a D&D player, a college student for life, and a gym member. He’s just such a well-rounded person. He doesn’t simply do one thing like other main characters in a book would. He does real-life things. He did make some stupid decisions, though. Again, real-life things.
I wasn’t too attached to Beth and Jennifer, either. They had their LOL moments, but sometimes I felt their emails didn’t really add anything to the main arc of the story. Additionally, I didn’t find myself connecting to either of them as much as I’d hoped I would.
I also want to talk about the end of the book, but I can’t really delve into specifics. Let’s just say it was too easy. I was hoping for a more realistic situation.
All in all, Attachments is probably my least favorite RR book, but it’s still a good one.