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Attachments: A Novel Paperback – March 27, 2012
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“Perfectly mixing sweet romance with deliciously tart wit, Rowell's literary debut is a complete charmer.”—Chicago Tribune
“Cracking, laugh-out-loud dialogue, characters that feel painfully real, and a sweet premise about finding love in the information age. If Attachments were an email, I'd be forwarding it to my entire list of contacts.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult
“A charming, witty story about both office HR and real human relations.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fresh, fun, and charmingly quirky.”—Claire Cook, bestselling author of Seven Year Switch
About the Author
Rainbow Rowell is the award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, Carry On, Attachments, and Landline. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
- Publisher : Plume; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0452297540
- ISBN-13 : 978-0452297548
- Item Weight : 9.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.67 x 7.96 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #53,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I'd heard good things about this book for some time and when it was offered at a bargain price I snapped it up and am so glad I did. This is a charming, funny, entertaining, and romantic read. Even though hero Lincoln and heroine Beth don't even meet in person until the last 15-20% of the story, you can still feel the fall into love for these two very appealing protagonists.
Beth and her good friend Jennifer work for a newspaper in Nebraska. Beth reviews movies and Jennifer is a copy editor. At odd moments during the work day they e-mail each other, conversing the way you'd expect best buds to do, about their lives and their loves. Beth lives with her longtime boyfriend, a band musician, with whom she has a mostly satisfactory relationship, and Jennifer is married to high school teacher Mitch, a truly lovely man.
And then there's Lincoln. He's the IT guy who works the night shift at the paper and whose main duty is to monitor the e-mails of all employees to make sure there is no improper personal use during company time. Well, Lincoln gets caught up in and fascinated by the Beth-Jennifer communications, as we readers do also, and begins to become attracted to Beth without having ever seen her.
The story moves along through chapters with the women's e-mail interchanges alternating with 3rd-person-POV chapters about Lincoln's life. The e-mails are delightful and insightful into the women's personalities and thoughts, but the chapters about Lincoln are the ones where we can see a great deal of personal growth.
Lincoln is an introverted, techie, academic, beta type. Unhappy with his unfulfilling job at the newspaper, living at home with his mother, not very social, he needs to do something. And the reader will be delighted to go on the journey with him. There will be a new and improved Lincoln in the new millenium. Not that the old 1990s Lincoln wasn't a good guy. He was. But you'll enjoy seeing some of the tweaks and improvements to him as he opens himself up to living more and engaging more with others. And his relationships with his mother, sister, old friends and new ones are all beautifully done by the author.
This is a very good book. Very seldom do I reread contemporary romances, but I suspect that this is one I will.
That this book is as enjoyable as it is kind of amazing, given the premise. The protagonist, Lincoln, is about as beta as they come, and he could easily have come across as a Creeper rather than a Keeper. He's a 28 year old computer geek who lives with his mother and doesn't get out much, except for his weekly Dungeons and Dragons game. He's still mooning over the only serious relationship he ever had, a youthful infatuation that ended nine years ago. He works the graveyard shift at a local newspaper, monitoring employees email and internet use for violations of company policy, and preparing for Y2K. (Oh, yeah, this book is set in the fall of 1999, on the cusp of the predicted apocalypse of technology which, of course, turned out to be a lot of sound and fury.)
As part of his job, Lincoln reads the email conversations of two reporters, Beth and Jennifer, whose emails get flagged a lot because of their profanity and their frequency. (Employees are not supposed to use email for personal conversations.) LIncoln is charmed (as is the reader) by the women: the way they tease and support each other, the way they life each other up in touch times, the way they are sometimes brutally honest with each other. He begins to develop feelings for one of the women, Beth, before he ever sees her. -And almost as soon as he realizes he's in love, he understands how hopeless it is, because reading her email without her knowing it is so very wrong, even if it is his job.
The fact that Lincoln understands and is troubled by the creepy stalkerish aspects of his job is what saves him from coming across as creepy and stalkerish. (Also, the reader is as charmed by Beth's and Jennifer's emails as Lincoln is, and you don't want him to cut off access by revealing himself.)
Interspersed with chapters devoted to Beth's and Jennifer's emails are chapters devoted to Lincoln. Over the course of the novel, he makes a number of small changes, not really realizing the import of each, until he ultimately overcomes the inertia that has bogged down his life since college: he eats dinner in the break room instead of alone at his desk, he reconnects with old friends, he connects with new friends, he joins a gym, he finds an apartment, he gets a haircut. Individually, each of these changes is insignificant, but by the end of the book, Lincoln has made enormous personal growth. The beauty of it, though, is that his self-improvement doesn't come at the cost of anything or anyone else. He doesn't kick his Dungeons and Dragons friends to the curb in the pursuit of a cooler crowd. He leaves his mother's house, but does so in such a way that she still feels needed and loved. Lincoln becomes a better guy, but he remains true to himself and his roots.
He and Beth doesn't actually connect until 95% of the way through the book. The wait is excruciating, but it's the anticipation of something wonderful, like Christmas morning or a long-planned vacation, and when it comes, it's almost indescribably satisfying. (And yet, Rainbow Rowell does a pretty good job describing it:)
"There are moments when you can't believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with knowing absolutely that something wonderful is happening. Lincoln felt like he'd dunked his head into a sink full of Pop Rocks and turned on the water."
(p. 311 of 327)
Top reviews from other countries
I read the blurb of this when it came out and thought it sounded interesting.
What I personally found was that I struggled like hell to finish it. I admit I skimmed the last 2 chapters but I felt I had read enough.
I found this book to be creepy, the guy was really weird to do what he did. It’s out of the ‘norm’ anyway.
It’s based in 1999 internet was kinda new.
So in offices it was a boom to get work done but these two friends zjennifer and Beth would email each other back n forth. Some pretty personal emails too.
Lincoln is the IT guy who helps with the running of the computers. So he can basically access most things, and guess what, he access those emails. Based on the emails alone he falls in love.
It was funny in places, I became amused by the whole concept. So that’s why I’ve upped it to 3 stars.
The characters are so relatable and human, and with each turn of the page I fell in love with them a little more. We follow them through embarassing, heartbreaking, and incredibly funny moments in their lives; enchanced greatly by Rowell's distinctive stye.
This will forever be one of my favourite books, I would recommend it to any of you.
Lincoln was such a unique character. Soft and sensitive, deeply emotional and flawed. But in the end it all works out like it should. If you want a book to stop and start, or a chapter a night kind of book, then this is perfect, however after chapter 40 it starts to grip you and you suddenly realise how invested in the characters you are and you’re desperate to know more!
Rainbow Rowell has truly captured a unique love story designed to slowly and softly sweep you up and never let you go
Lincoln's life is far from perfect, the only girl he ever loved left him in college/uni, he lives at home with his mum and spends his nights sitting in an office reading other people's emails. It's not exactly hard work or challenging. Finding ways to pass the time is about as hard as it gets.
Then he finds an email conversation between Jennifer and Beth, it's been flagged up as they are discussing things that aren't to do with work, but for some reason Lincoln doesn't report them, instead he ends up reading their conversations and even looking forward to the next time he will see one. But by the time he realises that he is falling in love with Beth it's too late - he can't confess he has broken her privacy and trust before he even met her. It would make him look like a total creep.
I wasn't sure about this book to start, it seemed a bit slow and i wasn't sure where it was going, Lincoln seemed rather pathetic and whiny which irritated me a bit. I can't stand people that moan about their lives but do nothing to change it, but as the book progresses and you learn more about his past and see him adapt and become a new person I found myself reading more and more in the hope he would get a happy ending.
I also really enjoyed reading the girls email conversations - I can see why Lincoln was intrigued. They were witty and funny but also sometimes really meaningful and made you feel for the characters.
Rainbow tackled what is actually quite a sensitive subject here and presented it very well. I loved how well the storyline flows and develops and how the characters are so relateable.
It's not my favourite by her, but it is definitely a very good read and I would definitely call myself a fan. I look forward to seeing more from her, eagerly awaiting the next book!
There was something very realistic about the whole thing. These were people you could imagine knowing, or being. They weren't clichés, walking tragedies, or virginal beauties. It was lovely to see the bond of friendship between Beth and Jennifer. (I adored Jennifer!) And I adored Lincoln and his relationship with his Mom, and the way he was such a geek but was also self possessed and real and caring.
The whole thing was so touching, I'm truly going to miss these characters. It was so real I almost felt like as uncomfortable as Lincoln peering into their lives from the outside. The only thing I would say against this book was that I felt Beth's character struggled to stand out from Jennifer's. I needed to know and like Beth a little more I think. Jennifer just made me laugh so much, and want to hug her, that I wasn't always paying attention to the attractions of the love interest! Lincolns story was so almost tragic though I just wanted for him whatever he wanted. I was urging him along all the way as he made his own life, finding his own place in the world, so that when his chance came, he claimed it!
I can't say it enough, I love these characters like they were my best friends and I'm going to be thinking about them even after I've completed dozens more book reviews. Just like I still can't get Eleanor and Park out of my heart.