Rainbow Rowell is my new obsession. Her books are filled with flawed characters who live in the world I do and want the things I want. Her plots may be slightly unlikely, but they err on the “OMG I wish that happened to me,” side. Oddly enough, they make me long for that time when I was 20 and uncertain of everything except how much I loved Brian. And how easy it was to love him in detail back then without the cares of the world to intercede. I don’t get nostalgic for my 20s often, so the fact that Rowell can do that is a form of magic. At this point, I’ll be reading everything she’s ever written. The only one I haven’t dived into so far is Eleanor and Park.
My conclusion in a nutshell: READ THEM! READ THEM ALL! NOW!
I picked up this book because the premise sounded fun. Man hired to read and screen company e-mails gets sucked in by the quippy correspondence between two girls in the office and falls in love with one. I mean, it was written by a woman named Rainbow. It had to be fun, right? I expected a cute, light read. What I didn’t expect was the depth of character.
Lincoln (the e-mail reader) is this sad guy deeply in need of, well, something. He lives with his mother and pines for the high school girlfriend who cheated on him once they got to college. He’s pathetic, but there’s something so attractive about him just the same. You feel sorry for him, but at the same time you can see how a girl would fall head over heels for him. I don’t know how Rowell does that, but it’s brilliant. One of the many reasons to love her.
There is depth in the story of the two girls, also. One pregnant with a baby she isn’t sure she wants even though she’s happily married. And another who is trapped in a relationship with a man who has been very clear that he will never marry her, despite her desire to get married. They go beyond being funny (which they are – hilarious), and become genuine people.
I won’t say too much, but the ending is way more satisfying than I ever thought it could be. A+
This book is strange, from the standpoint that everything else in Georgie’s life is totally normal, except that she finds a telephone in her bedroom that calls the past. When she has to stay at home over the holidays to work on a script, her husband takes the kids to his mom’s house without her. And then is strangely unreachable. Also enter complicated relationship with male best friend. So she calls on the telephone and talks to her husband Neal just before he proposed to her, in another time and place 20 years earlier when they were also on the rocks.
This book felt really familiar, in that I think all people who are married build up baggage and decide that the other person is judging them for things when they might not be. And that there is a past that was blissful without responsibility involved. This is the book that made me really nostalgic for those college days when I used to drop by Brian’s house between classes, when he took me out for hot fudge sundaes after work at 2 am.
If this book has any flaws, it is the unlikeliness of that phone existing, and the fact that there doesn’t seem to be an unsolvable problem between Georgie and Neal. It’s all in her head. But the flaws might be all in my head. It was a pretty great read.
Just as I’m about to say that this one is my favorite of the three, I remember how great the other two were. But seriously, this one is SO GREAT. Cath and Wren (twins) go off to college, and socially challenged Cath is dismayed to find out that her sister doesn’t want to hang out once there. Cath much prefers the online community she’s built as a fan fiction writing mogul to meeting any new people at all.
But it’s about living with social anxiety, living with a mentally-ill father, dealing with the tragedies in your past, learning to write, and letting yourself fall in love. Cath’s roommate, Regan, is so negative that she’s hilarious. Levi’s aerie in the house he lives in is my favorite thing ever. I would never leave. And there are super-hot, reading aloud to each other leads to heavy petting, scenes. Basically every fantasy I’ve ever had. Another amazing read.
I hear there’s going to be an actual Simon Snow novel next. I’m a little thrilled about that.
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