My rating: 3/5 Stars
Publisher: Dutton Adult (2011)
Length: 323 pgs
Genre: Adult Fiction
Format: Hardcover, checked out from my local library
Goodreads 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 . . . ?
Attachments is the first adult novel by Rowell that I’ve read, and the second I’ve read by her (I adored Fangirl) and I’ve found that Rowell has a way of writing a great contemporary with layers of feeling and emotion subtly laced throughout. She doesn’t have to hit you over the head with the depth to her characters, rather she lets you in bit by bit, letting readers find empathy with ordinary characters, relating to the struggles, emotions, and desires of the average person that most of us go through (I felt this way with Cath in Fangirl, and with Lincoln in Attachments).
This book reminded me a lot of some earlier 2000s adult contemporary reads by Meg Cabot, such as Every Boy’s Got One and The Boy Next Door. Set at the turn of Y2K, it was a lot of fun reading and reminiscing on how things were at the end of the 90s and how new everyone was to the concept of email and the internet (and thus many were paranoid about internet security). The email format between Beth and Jennifer stayed consistent throughout the book, intermixed with narrative passage’s from Lincoln’s perspective. I loved this format for this story because it really felt like you as a reader were monitoring the emails as Lincoln, and were able to get to know both women’s characters solely through their online communication, as does Lincoln. It was a fun way to structure the narrative and gave me some nostalgia for when email was this shiny new concept and authors were super trendy for using the format in their contemporary novels.
What I really liked about Attachments is that each of the three main characters is struggling with a different stage of life at the onset of their thirties, and is still trying to establish themselves as an “adult.” From Lincoln, who lives with his feminist, anti-establishment, yet Betty Corocker-esque constantly cooking mother to Beth who has moved out on her own yet is still supporting her college sweetheart’s band aspirations to Jennifer who is married but still as terrified of pregnancy and motherhood as any sixteen year old, each of the characters acknowledges that just because they have “big-kid” jobs and are in their late twenties and considered more or less “adults” does not mean they have their lives figured out yet. And I have to tell you, this is refreshing to read as a twenty-something and continued some of the coming-of-age themes in YA and NA, which is fantastic, because who really has their entire lives figured out by the time that they’re thirty? I also loved Rowell’s knack for writing colorful secondary characters who may be in the background but add so much fun to the story, such as Doris the vending machine lady who is the first to befriend Lincoln to his D&D group members to the insufferable yet smoldering Chris.
Overall: While I enjoyed Attachments as a quick and fun read, it’s didn’t irrevocably change me as a reader or have me yearning for more (hence the 3 star rating- I enjoyed it and it was pleasant but it’s not a new all-time-favorite). It was a cute, insightful contemporary and a nice break from YA fiction, and supports my belief that I’ll enjoy anything that Rowell writes.
If you enjoyed Attachments you may also like:
To read my review of Fangirl, click here: