Monday, September 30, 2013

Modern Romance, Email Style

Lately, my coworkers and I have been on a Rainbow Rowell kick. Mainly they hand me books and I read them. Well Attachments by Rainbow Rowell was a charming modern quirky romance. It’s the kind of book that is a perfect chick flick romance. You can picture the characters in your mind’s eye, and they kind of seem like your best friends that you've never actually met.

Lincoln is a 28 year old IT guy at a newspaper. Actually, his main job description is email security. He’s the guy who has to monitor company emails when certain words or phrases are detected. Think of him as big brother. Lincoln hates that he’s an email rat, spying on his coworkers, but it pays the bills. One night while he’s working, he runs across an email chain between Beth and Jennifer and everything changes. Instead of sending them a warning email, he continues reading their flagged emails. Beth and Jennifer are hilarious and help Lincoln feel a connection. Soon, however, he wants not just to spy on them, but to know them. One of them in particular.

I enjoyed this book. I felt for the characters, wanted them to meet and laughed at their exchanges. Lincoln, Beth, and Jennifer are all wondering about the next step in their lives. They’re all in their late 20s, college educated, missing something, and unsure of what to do next. Now maybe this is a theme that resonates with all age groups, but as a twenty something this story held water with me. After college, we all think life will be sweet, we’ll roll in the dough, our significant other will show up and marry us, and all those amazing plans we have will actually happen. Then things don’t go as planned or our plans aren't what we imagined. It feels like you have no idea what you’re doing. This is where Lincoln's life has ended up. Jennifer and Beth are questioning their lives and plans too. These characters are imperfect and lovely.

An interesting aspect of the book is the relationship Lincoln forms with Jennifer and Beth before ever meeting them. Isn't this the same relationship we form with characters in books? The major difference being that characters in books don’t actually exist whereas, Lincoln’s email delinquents do in his world. Just like Lincoln, we fall in love with overheard conversations, we want to meet and be a part of the lives of our favorite characters and yet there’s a barrier between our world and theirs.

I enjoyed the anticipation in this book. The audience waits for Lincoln to meet Beth and Jennifer. We look forward to him figuring out his social life, career choices, and living situation. It was an easy read. I looked forward to curling up with it and wishing that I had a guy as adorable as Lincoln to stalk my emails.

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