Ellen (more books, please)'s Reviews > Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
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Let me just cut to the chase, I loved this book. The blurb left me feeling there could be a creepy stalker vibe; but Ms. Rowell painted a beautful picture of a young man maturing, a young woman maturing and a lovely female friendship.
Relationships between all the characters were well drawn and believable. While this novel is easily called a romance, there are many types of love and respect portrayed. Just a lovely surprise of a story.
The last few pages of this book were among the most romantic I have ever read, so worthy of the setup.
One of my favorite "characters" of the book was the time it was set in, very central to the story. 1999/2000 wasn't so long ago that none of us remember it, but it was just long enough to give the reader an historical perspective that the characters didn't have. Yes, they really do read your e-mails in certain companies. No, the world didn't end at midnight of January 1, 2000. It seemed like a secret that the readers were in on that the characters weren't that, again, added another fun layer to the overall vibe.
Did I mention I loved this book?


Let me start by saying I loved, loved, loved this book in physical, readable form.

It is well written and beautifully edited. I have reread the book numerous times and often pick it up and just read random sections of it. So very, very well done.

The audio performance, well, let's just say I was not as enamored.

I read this book when it first came out, but it has taken me years (two or three) to buy the audio, and I only bought it because it was a daily deal. The thing that kept me from buying it was the format of the book. I knew it would be difficult to do well, and I was right.

So this book takes place in basically the last quarter of 1999. The year and the Y2K scare definitely play a role in the book. I would go so far as to say they could be a character in the book.

Our hero is Lincoln. I will tell you in reading reviews of the book, I was concerned that I would think Lincoln was a creepy stalker type. Yeah, well, I was wrong. I very much view Lincoln as a hero.

Lincoln lives with his mom and works on a paper. Remember, it is 1999 and papers were much more, hmmm, is relevant a good word? Well, maybe not.
Anyway, Lincoln is not a journalist or a typesetter. He is a troll. He is the one who reads the flagged e-mails of the employees. Some companies put a filter in with key words. The e-mails that trigger the filter get flagged and someone reads them. That someone is supposed to read, evaluate, and notify the employee not to do "that" (whatever the particular "that" is) anymore.

Lincoln does this, but he is a bit uncomfortable doing it. But it pays really well and he isn't doing much of anything else. It is through this job he is introduced to Beth and Jennifer, two journalist friends who let it all hang out in their e-mails. Needless to say, they get caught in the filter. But Lincoln doesn't do the final leg of his job, letting them know they are inappropriate and stop. He likes them. He is reading their e-mails. The e-mails are quite innocent and very funny. And somehow, he just can't bring himself to make them stop.

I was very wary with this aspect of the plot line. But Rainbow Rowell executed it beautifully. You understood why Linc did what he did (or didn't do what he didn't do). You, too, fell in love with Beth and Jennifer. You respected their friendship. You cheered them on.

Needless to say, Linc has much angst over his (in)actions. But those, too, play out well in the story. You are watching Linc grow. Sure, he is an adult when the story starts, but that is intellectually and physical maturity. You watch his social growth. You watch him grow to know himself. You root for him.

I really think if I say more about the specific story, it will be too spoilery. Watching how the story unfolds is the real beauty of it.

Now to the narration. I knew going in that it would be difficult. There are multiple e-mail threads read. It gets old hearing the back and forth, and the narrator does not do a good job of changing her voice such that you can keep up with who is who in the e-mail threads, even when she reads the to/from.

The narrator's change of voice throughout was pretty much nonexistent. It sounded like your sixth grade teacher reading you a book in class, but not really paying attention to what she was reading. There would be times inflection/tone/voice changed, but there really didn't seem to be a reason for it. Definitely not a fan of the narrator.

BUT here is where I sound like an equivocating ninny. I will relisten to this story again and again. I don't like the narrator, I don't know that I would have chosen her. But she is the narrator of one of my favorite books. I will listen to this book many, many times for that reason. The last few pages of this book are some of the most romantic pages I have ever read in my life (not sexy, but romantic). I will relisten to those portions often. I will fall asleep listening to this book because I find I sleep better listening to a favorite book. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I will use the Audible app and fall asleep to it again.

So am I happy I got the book in audio format? Yes. Am I happy I got it as a daily deal? Yes. Will I get my money's worth out of it? You betcha.
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