I’ve read several Rainbow Rowell books, Fangirl, Simon Snow, but I had never ventured past the ultra popular YA stuff. I heard Landline was #rough but people really seemed to love Attachments so it was my next library read. And I can see why some people loved it. Although I’m not sure I feel the same way.
It was fine. Not bad? Pretty good? Honestly, I’m not sure.
I think my confusion comes from the way Attachment’s genre was framed verses how it actually read. I was lead to believe it was a contemporary romance but the plot wasn’t focused on romance like at all.
The book blurb tells us that Lincoln is an IT dude for a newspaper and part of his job is reading flagged emails. Two employees in particular, Beth and her BFF Jennifer, send very personal, often inappropriate, and totally non work related emails. After reading a ton of these exchanges Lincoln feels like he knows them both really well. Which is rough because he basically falls in love with Beth. But they’ve never met.
(Get it? Attachments like a file in an email but also like, he becomes Attachments to her?)
Eventually he reaches a cross roads and wonders, oh no, how do approach her? Hi, I’m Lincoln, I know really detailed and personal things about you that weren’t meant for me to know and I went to your boyfriend (soon to be ex’s) show at the bar and I love you. I LOVE YOU.
And it was about love and all that, sure. But mostly Rowell wrote about Lincoln growing up and coming into himself; deciding what he wants in life and then going after it. He moves out of his Mom’s place, becomes more social, starts working out. Then he quits his job to get a better one. All good things! All things you should do for yourself if it’s healthy and will improve your quality of life!
But that meant Attachments read more like a coming of age novel for people going through a midlife crisis and not at all like a romance. In fact, the romance elements we did get felt so much like an afterthought, they were weird to read when we did get them.
** SPOILERS *** Near the very end, Lincoln writes a letter explaining how he might have invaded Beth’s privacy and he’s really sorry. And then he doesn’t see her for eons. Which again, for me really minimized the romance part of the book. Except then he hangs out at a theater he knows she likes. Naturally she comes in and they’re the only two people in the whole audience. Once she puts the pieces together that this is the IT guy, they spend the whole movie making out.
Then they get together and he’s like my bad for the email thing. And she’s like it’s weird, but it’s also fine. And then they live happily ever after.
I put the book down and thought to myself, what? What is Rowell trying to tell us? Like, get your act together and you’ll get the girl? Invading privacy isn’t cool but it ends up being fine? You can only get your act together when you like a girl? It was odd.
Also, Beth seems like such an interesting character. I liked her personality and she went through some serious stuff while Lincoln was spying on her. I felt cheated out of the character development I really wanted from her.
So again, Attachments wasn’t bad, I didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for a romance. Stick with something like Eleanor and Park if you want a Rowell romance.
Ok, side note, I’m absolutely one of those people who can’t have any notifications on their phone. Emails, text messages, social media, messaging apps, none of them can have that dreaded red bubble on them. Which is wild because pretty much everyone in my family is the opposite. My sister has like, more than 2000 emails unread in her inbox. It gives me hives just to see it. So if you’re ever trying to get a hold of me, send me a bunch of messages across platforms.