by Rainbow Rowell
Original publication date: April 14, 2011
Length: 324 pages
Obtained Via: NetGalley Read Now
View at the Traffic light:
Ah, 1999. A time of scary new-internet technology for many, including a certain Omaha newspaper. In fact, the company is so overwhelmed with technology that they hire to Lincoln, the mid-twenties, doesn’t-really-know-what-he-wants-his-life-to-be man as an internet security officer. . . aka, the person who mostly gets to monitor everyone’s emails. Of course Lincoln, being the awkward, kind soul that he is, doesn’t exactly enjoy the way this job makes him feel like a creeper(especially since he didn’t know exactly what he would be doing before he took the job), but it’s good money and his life’s a little aimless, so he does the best he can.
Thus begins the story of Attachments, or in some ways, Lincoln and Beth’s love story. At the same time, Attachments is so much more than that. I am younger than Lincoln is, but I still feel like I can relate to so many of his issues. He feels both stuck, still living at home, and yet lost, not knowing what to do now, at the same time. Lincoln is so kind, but awkward, and finds social interactions difficult. It’s hard for him to fit into the newspaper at first because so few people work the same shift as him. Over time, he begins to warm up to some of the people around him and realize that they may have more interest in common than they first thought.
And all along, while Lincoln’s sort of meandering through this time period in his life, he’s still reading the emails that Jennifer and Beth are sending each other. He knows he should report them, but he can’t bring himself to do it. Their conversations are endearing and humorous, and while still a violation of company policy, surely more innocuous than some of the other violations.
It was fascinating to see the world through Lincoln’s eyes, but then learn SO MUCH about Beth and Jennifer through the emails just like Lincoln. It gave me, as a reader, that same sort of almost-creeping feel: like I was looking into these two character’s personal lives in some really tender moments. I felt so much for some of the things Beth and Jennifer went through, while completing giggling at some of their more humorous exchanges. I felt like I became friends with both of them and I totally get why Lincoln found himself drawn to Beth.
Even though I loved Lincoln from the beginning, I can’t deny that sometimes I wanted him to DO something. I often found myself taking his sister’s side whenever she was on the page–telling him to change his life, do anything, one small thing. So when Lincoln started taking initiative and doing things I felt like a proud friend cheering someone on. Sometimes I find character growth development doesn’t happen as well in adult fiction titles–because people sometimes become so stuck in their ways–by Lincoln’s character arc wasn’t like that at all. By the end, he’s still the same Lincoln he was at the beginning of the book, just with a little more growth and initiative.
Attachments perfected the line between cute exchanges and real character growth. It’s a pretty fun book overall, but there’s some major character development and some more serious parts that really brought it up to the next level for me. I’ve loved Rainbow Rowell’s books in the past and Attachments was no exceptions. I do have to say, though, that Attachments was her debut novel and I think it shows a little. Rowell’s books are such character-driven novels, and they’re all good, but the characters in Attachments didn’t feel as life-like to me as the characters in Rowell’s YA novels. Which is not to say that they’re not well-rounded–because they are–but just that they lack a little of the definition, so to speak, that I’ve come to expect. All in all, though, a minor issue among a sea of greatness.
Attachments did not disappoint! I became sympathetic towards Lincoln from the beginning of the story and totally cheered when he started doing things in his life. I was totally rooting for him and Beth from the beginning! I totally loved these characters and the story. Overall, Attachments was a great read. 4/5 stars.