My best friend Sommer is so funny - I mean she has me literally laughing out loud all over the place when we talk. And thankfully, she loves to read.My best friend Sommer is so funny - I mean she has me literally laughing out loud all over the place when we talk. And thankfully, she loves to read. However, she's a bit more in to romance, and if you've been around for a while, you know my former issues and newfound love of an occasional romance. So when Sommer asked me this weekend for a really good book recommendation, I knew exactly what to tell her: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It is far from a romance novel; however, it is a great book with elements of romance:
The people in Lincoln's life think he is a bit of a dud. He's 28, plays Dungeons & Dragons, and lives at home with mom, a fact his sister Eve can't get over. But Lincoln is stuck. He had his heart broken young, and he just doesn't quite know how to date or when to find the time. He spends his nights working for the local newspaper as an Internet security guy in 1999, building up to Y2K. In 1999, Lincoln was the guy everyone feared. When email gets flagged for words like "naked" or "menstruation," Lincoln has to read the emails and send warnings to the offenders. It's a cush job, but Lincoln feels badly about it, especially when Beth (a movie reviewer) and Jennifer (a copyeditor) get flagged. The two friends are not doing anything harmful; they just talk about their lives, and slowly, Lincoln gets hooked - especially by Beth - and latches onto the friendship in a way only a lonely, D&D-playing guy can.
I cannot quite tell you how much I really loved this book. Perhaps it's because the romance is subtle and sweet. Or maybe it's because the epistolary style of the emails, which can be so difficult to pull off, grabbed me just like it did Lincoln. Or maybe, as Jo says in her review, it's because I liked Jennifer and Beth so much. Beth was a child of the 90s like I am, and there are some great pop culture references. Plus, the emails are funny and heartwarming, and the friends reminded me very much of my best friends, several of whom I met on the job.
All in all, Attachments was a purely enjoyable read; it's funny, quirky, and I loved it.
Read this: in a bubble bath or with a glass of wine at your side....more
The first novel in the All Souls Trilogy, A Discovery of Witches is Diana Bishop's story. Linked to witches before her, all the way to Salem, Diana s The first novel in the All Souls Trilogy, A Discovery of Witches is Diana Bishop's story. Linked to witches before her, all the way to Salem, Diana shuns magic...except for every once in a while when her washing machine overflows. She's stringent, always on guard against it, though her academic studies bely her interests. Diana studies alchemy, those intersections between magic and science. Much to her aunt's dismay, once Diana's parents died in Nigeria under mysterious circumstances, Diana has wanted nothing to do with her heritage. However, a strange book she calls for in the Bodleian Library at Oxford will change all that. The book, Ashmole 782, apparently interests all the magical world as its secrets pertain to them, and Diana's research will lead her much deeper into the world of witches, vampires (and one particular vampire), and daemons than she ever wanted to go.
I have this bad habit. It's kind of a secret, but when everyone and their mom is reading a particular book or talking about it, I am instantly turned off. Can't help it. My sister thinks I'm a book snob, but I swear I'm not. You guys see what I read. It's varied. I don't only read highbrow books. Anyway, somebody stop this incessant rambling!
So. Discovery of Witches was one of those books. My mom and sis both read it. Every blogger I could imagine read and loved it. It was too much. But the fuss died down, and Lindsay at Viking sent me the paperback. Oh. My. Gosh. I can only liken my response to my total annihilation of Hostess cupcakes, should they ever be near me. It looks a little something like this...
and please, oh please do not Google "animal eating quickly" - it's disturbing
But yeah - that's about right. I know those Hostess cupcakes aren't really the best thing for me, but they taste. so. damn. good. Similarly, A Discovery of Witches is not the best thing for me. Why? Because seriously, Diana's love interest, the vampire Matthew Clairmont, reminds me of one of my eternal loves - Jamie from Outlander, who turns my insides to mush. (Side note: if you haven't read it yet, shame on you.) I felt like I was making moony eyes every time he walked in the room - Matthew, that is.
Diana meets Matthew when she thinks she's unobserved in the library and uses just a little magic to pull a book from a high shelf. Instantly, she senses Matthew's presence. In Harkness's world, vampires, witches, and daemons don't associate with one another. However, after Diana has put back Ashmole 782, suddenly the Bodleian library is full of creatures, and Matthew is oddly protective of her. Think Twilight for adults but better written.
That said, I will say there were moments when my gagging from Twilight was brought forth. Similarly to Bella, Diana is often swept into Matthew's arms somewhat needlessly. Diana is a strong woman, a well-respected academic who has lived on her own and fended for herself. Her personality changes, though, as she and Matthew become involved. Granted, she is overwhelmed at her sudden re-entrance into the magical world and its secrets, but it grated. The story sucked me in nonetheless.
The other thing that bothered me were the sometimes blatant means of exposition. Diana uses the word chimera, but her witch aunt asks what it is, leading to the author's definition of the creature. First, I already knew what a chimera is, and I was pretty darn sure a witch would as well. To me, this type of explanation is a bit lazy.
BUT. If you're looking for a can'tputitdownnotgoingtosleepuntilIfinishthisbook, read this one and get ready for the second in the series this July. I assure you I will be....more