This book just tried too freaking hard. It's like the author was like, "horror novel! But smarter than that! Colors! Languages! Footnotes! More footnoThis book just tried too freaking hard. It's like the author was like, "horror novel! But smarter than that! Colors! Languages! Footnotes! More footnotes! Wait, the printer said they can do upside down and circles?! Oh god, let's do this."
It was like Amityville Horror meets Blair Witch Project meets a textbook meets that pile of papers in the bottom drawer of your desk.
I don't know. I wanted to be scared and I was... For like 14 seconds. I thought the author just let himself go too far. It was distracting. I was not impressed....more
Rainbow Rowell, if you would kindly step out of my brain, that would be awesome.
This girl has my number, folks. So far, she's written a book about meRainbow Rowell, if you would kindly step out of my brain, that would be awesome.
This girl has my number, folks. So far, she's written a book about me at all of my stages: high school (Eleanor & Park), college (Fangirl), post-college dating and friends (Attachments).... and now, you guys... She just wrote about my actual current brain (Landline).
Landline is about Georgie, who fell in love with a nerd (check) that is far less emotive than her (check), got married at 23 (check), had a couple kids (check), and then got wildly busy/caught up in life and tended to forget why she fell for her husband (sadly, sometimes check).
Shaun and I have known each other our whole lives. He is this patient, quiet, devoted husband and father and we are in the trenches. We have a two year old and a four year old and when we are all together, it is work. It just is. We do the funnest stuff together and we love each other and we're so glad we had kids, but IT IS WORK. Sometimes when he comes home, I nod at him, go back to the bedroom and barricade myself until I know he's fed the kids ad put them in the bathtub. After they go to bed sometimes, I can' t engage. I just want to read or watch Parks & Rec until I fall asleep. I don't think that our relationship is in the place that Georgie & Neal's was, but I could see how a couple would get there. I get it.
We do do a weekly date night that keeps us connected and talking and it helps and is great, but a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled onto a picture of the two of us when we were in high school. We weren't dating then, but we were close friends and had so much fun together and in the picture... we just look buoyant. We are glowing. I stared at it for a long time. I was immediately reminded of how much FUN we had together, how he can make me wheezy laugh in point five seconds... and even though all that was in the past, the present me was touched to my core. I showed Shaun and told him that I'm so glad that we had known each other always and I'm sorry that sometimes he just seems like an accessory in my life and that I love him wildly and am so glad that we have to do the boring parts of life together. I wouldn't want to be in the trenches with anyone else, ever.
So when Georgie was stunned and overwhelmed and brought back to another time through Magic Phone, I was like "YES!" Sometimes we just need reminded about that spine of our relationship. When you're a handful of years and a couple of kids in, it's so, so easy to forget. That need to connect to who you were when you were actively choosing each other is strong. I, obviously, read parts of this with my mouth hung open and my eyes misty. (The "You don't know when you're twenty three" section was read at least 47 times.)
Here is what is amazing about Rainbow Rowell: So reading what I've written, I'm sure you're like, "Yeah, let me spend my precious quiet minutes reading a sob-inducing, serious novel. Sounds awesome." But it's not like that. It's light and airy and funny and witty and ALSO poignant and true and deep and sob-inducing. Georgie is a comedy writer. She's funny to her core- there is bra shopping, a young stepdad, a cheesy sitcom, that kind of thing.
I'll admit that I didn't connect to the Seth story line as much- I understand thinking about "What if I had chosen x instead of y" but I don't have any Ys that I'm still in contact with. But I did connect with the idea of wanting something bigger than "wake up, do kid stuff, make food, do house stuff, talk to my husband, go to bed" - she had deep friendships and a job she loved and was good at and these other things that made her feel like she had to choose. I have never met a parent in my life who doesn't have that pull.
I could go on forever, but mostly I read this book in shock that someone got exactly what my life is. I must have texted Tameka (who sent me this with a card that said "YOU NEEDED IT!!!" because she knows my life and, yeah, I needed it) a dozen times saying, "omg. she's in my head." and she'd just text back "RIGHT!?!?" because... yes.
So to wrap it up: Rainbow Rowell wrote about my marriage. I laughed, I cried, I underlined. If you don't read anything else this year, this is the one. READ THIS. ...more