Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


“Is it possible to love someone you have not even met?”

“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 . . . ?

Personal Thoughts:

Coming from a serious reading slump for more than a month, I struggled with finishing any full length novel lately. All I can manage is do a re-read or pick-up long due novellas from my reading list. Then I remember that I got three of Rainbow Rowell‘s books waiting to be cracked so I decided to give her debut novel a try.

I actually have expectation from Rowell’s books since all I’ve heard about her and her works are all positive comments. Sometimes when my readers’ friends mentioned her, it feels like she is a celebrity that they are talking about and being the one who haven’t really read any of her works at that time, I feel lost. Then I got an eGalley of her upcoming book, Fangirl from the publisher which makes me more excited in discovering how talented Rowell is. But before I even get the chance to start reading Fangirl, I saw copies of her previously released books, Attachments, and Eleanor and Park in the book store, and it’s like they are tempting me to buy them and my weak self just can’t resist their charms. I mean those art covers are really cute – simple but really cute and charming. I end up telling myself that it is good to start first with the Rowell’s debut novel so I can explore her works in order. It’s like checking her progress as an author from start to present. I know it is a lame excuse but I’m just really not good in handling temptation when it comes to book buying.

So, anyway, I read Attachments yesterday. The story is told in two ways, first via email conversations between Beth and Jennifer, two best friends who works in a newspaper company, The Courier, and second via third person point of view using Lincoln perspective.

Lincoln works as an “internet security officer” of The Courier, where he monitors emails of every employees. It is not his ideal job but he is stuck to do it anyway. He read every emails flag by their system and then send warning to employees who violate company policy. Beth and Jennifer’s emails where almost always flagged, and Lincoln should have send them both warnings but for some reason he just can’t seem to do it. He ignore all the rules and continue reading Beth and Jennifer’s personal conversations even if he is not supposed to. And the more he reads the more he get attach to them like he knows them personally. And worst he fall in love with Beth, even without really meeting the girl behind those email conversations he read every night.

“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?”

The premise is highly original but I have to admit, I wasn’t really sold at first. It took almost half of the book before I finally settled to suspend my disbelief and just enjoy the story as it is. I get the idea of falling in love to someone just by reading his thoughts or in this case email conversations. After-all love letters exist! But in here, I wasn’t touch by Beth’s emails conversations with Jennifer. Yes, they are personal, realistic, and even entertaining at some point, but I did not fell in love with those letters. That’s why I don’t get how someone like Lincoln managed to fall in love to Beth just by reading those email conversations.

“Love. Purpose. Those are the things that you can’t plan for. Those are the things that just happen. And what if they don’t happen? Do you spend you whole life pinning for them? Waiting to be happy?”

Normally, I wouldn’t like Lincoln. He is under-employed, still lives with his mom at his age of twenty-nine, and seems that his only social life involves playing an RPG game Dungeons and Dragons with his college friends. But Lincoln is also a geeky type of character which something I like. When his back story with Sam emerged in the plot I finally connected to him. Showing his soft or vulnerable side makes him more easy to like. I get how he can’t move on after his first relationship. From there I finally get past with his not so productive life and start to see his good traits. Because in all honestly, Lincoln is really a good guy, it just so happen that I don’t want the stagnant life he is living. I saw so much potential in him from start and I don’t like that he can’t seem to see it or do something to put those skills into work. It almost took all my patience waiting for him to realized those things but I’m glad he did in the end. After-all I still root for him, I want him to see his potential.

Beth and Jennifer started as a distant characters for me, since I as a reader will only get to know them through their email conversations which Lincoln reads every night as part of his job. But these two ladies managed to crawl their way to stand out at some point. They both seems funny, loyal, and loving. In fact sometimes they stole the story and make it their own instead of Lincoln just reading their conversations. Suddenly they aren’t just a backdrop of Lincoln life anymore. They become excessively part of it that you can only anticipate how the author will finally collide their lives with Lincoln life, because at some point you know it will happen. And in my case, I anticipated it too much that when it happen near the end, it felt short and rush. I guess that’s why even I like Beth as a character I still don’t buy how Lincoln manage to fall in love with her just by reading her emails that isn’t even addressed to him.

Overall, Attachments is a unique story of a man’s journey to adulthood. Filled with humor, romance and quirks Attachments is an entertaining read. It is about growth, moving forward, and finding love in the most unexpected way.


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