Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rainbow Rowell: An Author as Awesome as Her Name

Back in August of 2013 I wrote a review of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. All said and done, it is still one of my favorite books of 2013. Rowell was new to the YA scene and still fairly new to the literary realm as a novelist. Her debut novel, Attachments, is an adult novel that was released in 2011. After finally reading Attachments, I can easily say that I will devour anything Rainbow Rowell writes.

Rowell was slightly ahead of the curve with Attachments, a book that combines emails into the storyline. Mixed media/format books are somewhat of a current trend. The chapters alternate between the narrative and email correspondence between two friends who work at a newspaper. Lincoln, a gentle giant hired for internet security, is required to screen emails that get trapped in the internet filter and send out warnings to email policy violators. The problem is, he feels it is slightly unethical and it only manages to fill a fraction of his time. Even though Lincoln knows it is wrong, he manages to get overly involved in the email correspondence of Beth and Jennifer. Their emails continue to get flagged by the filtering software, but Lincoln is in too deep before he realizes it is too late to send a warning.

What can you do when you start to fall in love with the person writing the offending emails that you are secretly reading? That is a tough question, but Rowell lets Lincoln lead us through that sticky situation. The character development of Attachments is great. The reader is given Lincoln’s back story of heartache and personal growth, but just enough is omitted to make it feel very real—like you are living Lincoln’s memories, imperfect but significant. The other character, such as Jennifer and Beth, take shape through Lincoln’s eyes until the moment they step out of the emails and onto the page.

Overall, a fun and easy read. This would be a great book for relaxing, a trip, or the beach—just fun and engaging. Landline, Rainbow Rowell’s fourth book, is due on shelves in July.

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