Thursday, September 19, 2013

Confession - Guest Review of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Amber Johnson Reviews:

On Goodreads:  Attachments
On Amazon:  Attachments: A Novel
(Goodreads Blurb)
"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 . . . ?

True story with my IT guy:

Me: “Hey. Can you do me a favor and download a torrent of this movie, and then burn me five

ITG: “Okaaaaaaaaay. What kind of movie is it?”

Me: “It’s just… it’s a movie.”

ITG: “Is it a chick flick?”

Me: “Kinda. Look, I don’t really wanna talk about. Can you please just…”

Two days later…

ITG: (standing over my cube with DVDs in hand) “This movie was a bitch to copy. The first download

was messed up. So I had to find a better one and it took eight hours. So hopefully it works.”

Me: “…Messed up?”

ITG: “Yeah. All of the characters had red eyes or something.”

Me: *headdesk* “Their eyes are supposed to be red. They’re VAMPIRES.”

ITG: “What the hell? Did you have me downloading a teen vampire love story?”

Me: (head still on desk with arm raised) “Can I have my movies now?”

Attachments is an interesting book concept. Set in 1999 on the cusp of the new Millennium, we’reintroduced to a guy named Lincoln whose job it is to read his coworker’s email that has been caught in the Webfence filter. He doesn’t like his job, but at the beginning of the book, he doesn’t really feel like there’s anything else out there for him to do. At 27, with only one real girlfriend under his belt, he still lives at home with his mom and works the night shift – all things that, once put together, make it next to impossible for him to have a social life. Instead, he lives vicariously through the emails of two women in his office that are consistently being tagged for their inappropriate email exchanges during work hours.

What’s so intriguing about this book is that Lincoln has no idea who Jennifer and Beth are in his office. He doesn’t know if they’ve ever met before or what they look like, where they sit, or anything. Yet, every day he gets to read about their lives… which inevitably ends up making him fall in love with Beth.
Sight unseen, he begins to construct a mental image of who this woman must be. This woman who writes movie reviews for the newspaper, and who dates a guy in a band. Who is unbearably funny and unsure of herself, even when she’s trying to be the very best friend she possibly can be to Jennifer. (Jennifer deals with the most real life plots in the entire book, so be prepared. It’s good that she’s secondary, honestly.)

With the looming possibilities of the world ending, and before 9/11, it’s a great glimpse back to a time before the world went to hell in a hand basket, people were scared of computer viruses, and the economy wasn’t actually in the shitter.

Attachments is an incredible character study, as well. Lincoln, as he reads these email exchanges, finds that Beth has actually seen him in real life. And she gets just the biggest, most stalker-like crush on him. Based solely on appearance. Lincoln, on the other hand, has a crush based on the exact opposite reasons. He falls for her personality. He knows her innermost secrets and thoughts without even knowing what her face looks like. And his newfound affections change him from the introverted night desk IT guy to someone that Beth may possibly be interested in knowing someday.

It takes almost 300 pages to even get a fully realized vision of what Lincoln looks like. At first I thought he was a skinny nerd boy who probably lacks an abundance of melanin. But by page 300 we’re treated to the nice thought that he’s incredibly tall and very, very big – built and wide shouldered. The kind of
man that a curvy girl like Beth would quite enjoy rolling around in the sheets with.

This book was hard for me to tackle, because it’s almost 350 pages and we spend 98% percent of thebook being in Lincoln’s head full of unrequited thoughts. But, Rainbow Rowell has a way of keeping you interested and rooting for her characters.  I know I’m a little late to the Rainbow party, but I’m glad I started with this book instead of Eleanor and Park. What Attachments does, is make you realize what a masterful story teller this woman is. How much attention she gives her characters. And how she can
make you fall for someone you’re living your life vicariously through, as well.

(4 out of 5 stars)

Review by Amber Johnson

Amber is a wife and mother, a reader and a writer, a lover and a fighter... sorry I got carried away.  After writing for many years in the Twilight Fandom, Amber has been recently taking steps to publish her own original work.  She is someone I love and respect and whose opinion I trust completely.  She is my lobster and I thank her for taking the time to read a book that I suggested and to share her thoughts here with me.


  1. I seriously need to get my hands on a Rainbow Rowell book, aaah. I've been dying to read Eleanor and Park, Fangirl and I cannot wait for her newest book Landline-- I've just heard so much buzz about the author, and this hyped me up even more for her books. Awesome review :)

    1. She's very talented, but she also just seems like a really good person. I'm a bit of a Rainbow online stalker.