Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (5/5)

15 Jan

Have you ever been walking through a big box store and you accidentally-on-purpose pass by the bargain books section on your way to the bananas? Finding a copy of Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments for $6 proves to me that this is a good practice and I’m proud to admit to always looking for a steal on this table. Granted, it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I’ve had this copy sitting on my shelf for a while and my work book club was looking for something more upbeat, so I suggested it. So far, it’s gone over really well and we’ll be discussing it later this week.

Cover image via

Cover image via

 Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Summary from Goodreads:

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 realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

This was perfect for our group. We’ve read some depressing titles for the past few choices and this was a great pick-me-up where no one was orphaned or died. Rowell is a great spirit-lifter and I really enjoyed this story. Her characters seem so real. You could go have coffee with them because they have small little quirks that you or your friends have and you want to hang out with them. She’s the John Green of 20-somethings. The story was a little dated because of the Y2K scare, but it was still relatable and there was nothing that dated it too much that it seemed at all historical.

Beth and Jennifer seemed a bit flat to me, but only because we saw them through letters for most of the book. Lincoln leaped off the page. I have a few friends who are career students so I could picture him well. Once we got to know Beth in the flesh, I really liked her. When it was just her emails she seemed like the pretty girl with ‘problems,’ but in person, she was humanized and became a pretty girl with emotions and suffering and problems. She always had a witty remark or quip in her emails but in person, she was much more real.

Lincoln was a great character. He was very much a man-child for most of the book and really came into himself in the end. Maybe he didn’t handle it in the best way possible, but he still grew up and was finally able to move on from something that had been haunting him for years. I was sad that his ex’s name was Sam; I’m rather fond of that name. But his relationship with her was very unhealthy, which seemed obvious to me and apparently to everyone around him. So many years later, he was still that same boy. I liked how he grew up and I thought it was well paced.

Of all the characters, I related most to Lincoln. I remember how rough it was for me to tell my parents I wanted to move out and my husband moving out of his parent’s home. I could relate to that. I think that between Beth, Lincoln, and Jennifer, there was someone who most readers could sympathize with. They were all very different people with different background and problems and I think that gives Rowell such a wide appeal. She has very different people come together and the relationships between them don’t seem forced.

I liked the scenes where Lincoln interacted with his mother. That relationship was such a weird power dynamic that it fascinated me. I was curious how each scene would play out and if Lincoln would submit or rebel. I wish he was a bit stronger in a few scenes, but it was very in character for him to be weaker.

The emails where Beth thought Lincoln had a kid made me laugh out loud. It was so perfect because as women, we jump to conclusions like “He’s married with children!” when “It’s his nephew” is as plausible and even more likely. I enjoyed seeing a character freak out about something the way I would.

Rainbow Rowell Image via the author's website

Rainbow Rowell
Image via the author’s website

I didn’t like how Lincoln went to look at Beth’s desk when she wasn’t there. To me, that crossed a creepy line or at least towed it too closely. I really liked Lincoln despite that scene, but I wish it had been skipped because it made me wonder if he was one of those guys who seems really nice and sweet and then watches you a little bit too closely. I’m glad it didn’t come to that.

I wonder what would have happened to Lincoln if he’d been honest with Beth and Jennifer. What if he’d reprimanded them for their emails? What if he’d told Beth who he was and that he knew what she’d been saying? I don’t think it would have worked out for him. But I refuse to believe that the message of this book is that it’s okay to lie about who you are. I think it’s saying that we all grow up in our own ways and that there’s no one way that’s better than others. Maybe Lincoln had to know Beth thought he was cute and Jennifer thought he was nice to be able to resist Sam. And maybe he needed a boring job doing almost nothing to know he was capable of more. To each his own.

Writer’s Takeaway: Rowell’s dialogue is amazing. It’s so genuine and feels like a conversation you would overhear, not one someone would write. John Green captures the teenage mind and Rowell captures the 20-something conversation. I’m continually impressed with her and I’m really excited to see how she does with fantasy when her next novel comes out. I’m also going to try to squeeze Eleanor and Park onto my list ASAP!

Fun, quick read that I’d recommend to anyone who likes YA. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

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Related Posts:
Book Review: “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell | Scribbles & Wanderlust
Attachments – Rainbow Rowell | mrsmamfa
Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | prettybooks
Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | The Book Stop


5 Responses to “Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (5/5)”

  1. prettybooks January 15, 2015 at 2:52 PM #

    Your review has made me want to re-read Attachments! Thank you for linking to mine 🙂


    • Sam January 15, 2015 at 3:09 PM #

      Not a problem! What a cute and happy little book. I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. Well worth the re-read.


  2. Cynthia January 16, 2015 at 12:44 PM #

    I can’t wait to read this one. I read Fangirl and Eleanor & Park and loved them. Rowell is awesome.


    • Sam January 16, 2015 at 12:57 PM #

      Eleanor & Park is on my list to read. I’ve heard it’s really cute and I’ve been told I’ll like it.



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    […] Attachments (and Book Club Reflection) Carry On (Simon Snow #1) Eleanor & Park Fangirl Landline […]


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