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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Thoughts: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

"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 . . . ?

This book. This book, was special. I could probably end my thoughts on that right there. But really- I read this book exactly when I needed to read this book, and it will probably stay with me forever. It is not lost on me that I am here talking about a vintage (Attachments was released way back in 2011-before the Eleanor and Park phenomena) Rainbow Rowell, when all anyone is talking about is the greatness that is Carry On- which is vastly different from Attachments, but I digress.

Attachments, at it's core, is a fairly simple story. It's about a boy (Lincoln) who is hired by a newspaper to monitor the staff's internet use. He stumbles upon Beth and Jennifer's interactions when their emails to one another are flagged. But instead of sending the duo a warning, Lincoln is drawn to the two (Beth specifically) and continues to read their emails and starts to connect with them in a way he wasn't expecting. It's creepy and weird and Lincoln is very aware of this. But still, he can't really stop. The rest of the novel is spent reading Jennifer and Beth's emails to one another and living life with Lincoln.

I was really able to relate to Beth and Jennifer and their worries. There were a number of themes and ideas in Attachments that completely resonated with me. I'm the same age as both women, I work in an office setting and I am also trying to make sense of this adult living thing (#adulting). So, in that sense, this was THE book for me. And Rowell does it so perfectly. She captures the real life struggles of twenty somethings everywhere. Relationships, jobs, families, babies, and the pressure to have all these things. There were some times where I felt like this novel was talking about my life: it was frightening. Rowell doesn't address these things in a negative way- it's very matter of fact. Shit happens, and you have to deal with it. There is good and there is bad.

My favourite thing about Attachments was how the characters grew into themselves and their situations for themselves. There was no conforming or changing for the sake of someone else. I loved that message Rowell was able to share. Life is crazy and things change and everyone is going to experience and react to that change in their own way, and that is okay. I loved that.

Jennifer and Beth's emails are hilarious. There were so many times I would start giggling at what they were talking about and how they would talk about it. Their friendship was wonderful and they were so supportive of one another (even when they disagreed). Lincoln was a gem. He was the most confused of characters. He wasn't sure where he was heading. He made it in the end and he figured himself out.

Overall, I loved this book, and I was sad when it ended. While this story may be boring to some- you are all crazy. No, not true. However, Attachments was an honest representation of what it's like to grow up and all of a sudden discover that you are an adult.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

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