Book: Attachments

"Attachments"

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snider 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 realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say…?

Reading this, I knew I was supposed to root for Lincoln and Beth to get together. But I didn’t. Because their romance bordered on creepy. How can a girl fall in love with a guy who has been reading her e-mails? And if she does, Lincoln would never merit her if he never reveals what he’s been doing… What he’s done. And by doing so, he will ruin any chance he has with the girl. So imagine my surprise when, with just a few chapters left, Rainbow Rowell changes my mind completely.

What I like about Attachments is that Author Rowell doesn’t shy away from the moral questions. She doesn’t shy away from confrontations that other writers would avoid because they’re not ready to deal with it yet, or because they don’t know how to write around it. (I’m looking at you, Nicholas Sparks.) Rowell uses said confrontations to further complicate the plot–while developing the characters into becoming real, and believable. She doesn’t write around the problems, she sees them through–with her readers.

And that’s what makes Attachments such a good book. It draws you in, makes you care about the characters, sets you up for a twist you want to see coming, and then actually surprises you by making the apparent feel brand new.

The fact that readers will root for Lincoln and Beth by the end of the book isn’t the twist you’ll be watching out for. Spoiler alert–it’s that Lincoln and Beth will find other people to fall in love. And Rowell sets this up nicely. And up to a certain point, this is a possibility you will come to embrace, because it would be better for the characters–morally. You want Lincoln to end up with a nice girl who he has no idea about. A girl who likes him despite of who he can become around other people. And you want Beth to end up with the other two guys that the book is obviously ready to have her end up with.

But Rowell says ‘screw you’ to plot twists people will see coming. The twist is that there is no twist. Lincoln and Beth is end game. And I may have already spoiled that, but I will not spoil the journey that takes the readers (not just the characters) from the falling in love stage–to realizing that these characters were made for each other.

Rainbow Rowell is one of the few authors you can claim to be worth all the hype. And I can’t wait to read her new novel that’s coming out in a couple of months.

In the meantime, let’s relive Attachments again through these online reviews:
Nose Graze
The Lost Entwife
Lost in a Great Book

One thought on “Book: Attachments

  1. Pingback: Book: Landline | taking a break

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