Monday, February 25, 2013

Attachments Review

After reading Third Shift, I was looking for something lighter to read. I really want the new Sophie Kinsella book, but it isn't out until April. Anyway, I was searching through my kindle when I stumbled on this book. I don't remember when I bought it or why I bought it but it was pretty much what I was looking for: a girlie, breezy book. Sort of.

Attachments follows Lincoln, a 28 year old who is still reeling from a bad breakup with the love of his life, Sam, who he dated in high school through the start of college. Since then, he has been a bit lost. He still lives with his mother somewhere in the mid-west (I can't remember where) and has gone through school so many times to get multiple degrees (his student debt was never mentioned but he is also described as being really smart so maybe he got scholarships?). He starts working at a newspaper called the Courier, which only recently started using the internet. His job is to work the night shift in IT, doing computer security work and monitoring emails. It's a boring job and he feels like he never has enough to do.

Not long after he starts working, he starts noticing that emailed between two women, Beth and Jennifer frequently get flagged because of inappropriate language or content. Since their emails show up so much, Lincoln gets pulled into their lives and starts reading their emails whenever they show up, without sending a warning note to the two women.

Beth is a film critic who is in a long term relationship with Chris, an emotionally unavailable musician. She desperately wants to be engaged but it's clear to the reader that this will never happen. Jennifer is a copy editor who is married to Mitch, a high school band conductor who really wants a baby. Jennifer however is not ready.

Lincoln starts to fall for Beth while trying to navigate his own life. He plays Dungeons and Dragons with a group of long term friends, recounts his failed romance with Sam, starts going to bars with a guy named Justin and befriends Doris, a co-worker his mother's age who he begins sharing food with. He is really caught between his mother, who wants to do everything for him, and his sister, who wants him to break free and be independent. Lincoln starts evolving as a character, going to the gym and eventually confronting Sam and finding his own apartment. All the while, he keeps developing stronger feelings for Beth, who he has never actually met. Beth's own relationship is clearly falling apart at the same time. She starts emailing Jennifer about someone she refers to as "My Cute Guy". It's no surprise to the reader that her cute guy is actually Lincoln.

Eventually Lincoln pieces things together and also eventually sees Beth for the first time. His love continues to develop, but he doesn't think he can get anywhere with her because he's technically been stalking her email over several months. However, she's a bit of a stalker herself since she spotted him at the movies and followed him in. She is drawn to him physically, while he is drawn to her personality through the emails, although he is attracted to her when he finally sees her.

And of course there's a happy ending.

This wasn't a great book. It was cute, though. It also took me a chapter or two to figure out that this book took place in 1999, as Y2K is a big concern for the computer guys. The date was clearly listed at the top of Beth and Jennifer's first email but I sort of skimmed over that. I have to say that I was amused by all the pop culture references from 1999 since I was a senior in high school/freshman in college that year. It was a little ridiculous reading about the Y2K fears over ten years later. I found it funny that a book would be set in that year, but I guess it makes sense more or less given that the internet was still relatively new and people were very concerned with security. Lincoln was a bit wishy washy as a character. I was like, dude get over your high school love and move on. Most of the story was fairly predictable, but I got through it quickly and now I need to find something new to read!

Rainbow Rowell's website (the author)

Buy it at amazon and Barnes & Noble

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