Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Romance; Chick Lit; Humour
Synopsis: “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “
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.
What would he say . . . ? (Goodreads)
I’ve heard a lot about Rainbow Rowell and her writing and, after reading Attachments, I’m surprised it took me this long to read one of her books! This book was cute, funny, and sweet. The writing style alternates between the e-mail thread of Beth and Jennifer, and the life of the quiet computer nerd, Lincoln. I found the story to be a nice easy read that’s perfect when you just want to kick back and relax.
The conversation between Beth and Jennifer shows the fun dynamic between the two ladies, and it was a new way of getting to know a character. In this story, I was only able to read the things they said to each other and deduce their personalities from there. Just like Lincoln, I learned about them bit by bit. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the passages that focused on Lincoln were more in-depth and I could really get a feel for what goes on in his head. Two different ways of getting to know a character, both ways pulled off very well.
What I really loved about this book was watching the development of all the characters and how they dealt with things in their lives. Jennifer with her husband and having kids, Beth with her rocker boyfriend of so many years, and Lincoln with his mum and not-so-stellar social skills. This book may have been set in 1999, but these are problems that are realistic and still relevant and they struck a chord with me. Commitment to something (or someone), finding your own way, and going after what you really want even though it may be daunting.
It was a really good read but the ending bits did not connect with me as much as the rest of the book. I didn’t really know why but I felt a bit underwhelmed by how the love story played out in the end. It was like going on a journey with the promise of a really great destination, only to look back on the journey as the best part of the whole thing. Maybe that was the point of the book? Who knows.
Overall: This book gets four stars from me. If I did increments of point-five, I would give it a 4.5. It was a nice easy read. There’s funny and sweet moments, along with bits of sadness and loss. All good for character development.