Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Orion (2 Feb 2012)
"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 realises he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
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Since discovering the magic that is Rainbow Rowell’s characters and writing, in her debut Eleanor and Park (the review for which can be found here as of next week) I was on the prowl for more of her books. My search turned up Attachments - and what follows is what you will be familiar with if you’ve read her writing. On to the review we go!
After ordering the pink hardback edition through Abe books, I played the waiting game for this book to come through. When it did, I wasted no time in getting stuck into it. Rowell’s writing is such that you just find yourself drifting along on a cloud as she stands next to you with a harp, plucking out a story for your ears (so have we all got that image in our head? Great).
I found myself wholly immersed as I followed Lincoln’s story - one which everyone at some point was probably familiar with. In the lead up to Y2K (good old Y2K, who remembers that?) (and by remember I mean cringe?) living with a doting mother, and at 28, having just completed his latest degree - he’s on the prowl for a job that will add meaning to his life. His life at that point consisted of eating everything his mother put in front of him and playing D&G with his friends on Saturday nights. Having no social life to speak of, and a nonexistent love life since having his heart shattered by what he thought was the Love Of His Life 8 years ago, by which point our hearts already go out to this puppy.
Yet Rowell takes this extremely likeable character, who has all the makings of a great guy - and puts him in a job in Nebraska’s newspaper’s IT sector - where he spends his days reading employees emails and flags inappropriate content. Sure, it’s not the cyber-virus-programme-building-job he had envisioned for himself yet as he reads these tedious emails (or some days where he doesn’t - rebel on our hands) we see Lincoln slowly develop a fondness for Beth and Jennifer; two employees who use their work email to exchange the on goings of their life, and before you know it, he’s fallen for one of them.
From flagging inappropriate content in emails to falling inappropriately in love - Lincoln has a situation on his hands - should he continue to be the creeper that reads their personnel conversations which makes him feel closer to her, or should he take the moral ground and stop and instead do the acceptable and less creepy thing, of introducing himself to her?
I won’t tell you what path Lincoln takes but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, cute and easy to read book Rowell has placed in our hands. The hype for her writing is well deserved as it’s one that doesn’t take you long to become addicted to - simplicity wrapped with poetry - it’s a perfect style that I’ll be looking forward to reading more of. I have her next book, Fangirl, on standby for me to read and review.
In the meantime, here’s some quotes to get you hooked - and if hooked you are, then do the sensible thing and go buy all of her books, right this very second. You have my blessing. Go forth son, go.
“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.”
“I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”
“I want someone whose heart is big enough to hold me.”
“He knew why he wanted to kiss her. Because she was beautiful. And before that, because she was kind. And before that, because she was smart and funny. Because she was exactly the right kind of smart and funny. Because he could imagine taking a long trip with her without ever getting bored. Because whenever he saw something new and interesting, or new and ridiculous, he always wondered what she'd have to say about it--how many stars she'd give it and why.”