#CBR7 Review #216: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

After my encounter with Eleanor and Park, I wasn’t sure that Rainbow Rowell was for me. Several Cannonballers recommended that I try Attachments, a more adult novel instead. I was glad to give it a go. And while I still believe that Rowell and I are not of the same tribe, I understand why she has such a huge following.

Attachments consists of a fairly simple concept with two major storylines. In 1999, Y2K is approaching and there are technological concerns about the rise of the internet. Therefore, a Lincoln, Nebraska newspaper has hired an internet security officer to monitor its employee internet usage, particularly the work emails. That’s where Lincoln, our hero comes in. As he works, he finds the email exchanges between work best friends Beth and Jennifer to be the most interesting and evocative. That’s where the second plotline comes in. Beth and Jennifer write personal messages that unfold their personal lives, addressing each other with affection and frankness. Lincoln is drawn into their lives, but realizes that he might be falling for Beth. And that’s where the conflict comes in.

If this book had consisted solely of Beth and Jennifer, I would have loved it. Rowell captures adult female friendships so well, and she draws Beth and Jennifer with fine detail. I enjoyed them individually very much. However, this book had WAY TOO MUCH LINCOLN for my taste. I don’t like passive beta-males, and I’ve been pursued by about ten Lincolns. I do not find it romantic. Also, I do not understand how a man can be hung up on his high school girlfriend for NINE YEARS.

Also also, I do not understand why Rowell keeps insisting that nerdy though Lincoln may be, it’s actually secretly okay, because HE IS LIKE, TOTALLY HOT. But for reals, there is nothing sexy about a drifting, aimless manchild who lives with his mother, coasts through life, and agonizes over a woman he has never met and doesn’t actually know.

In short: Beth and Jennifer get 5 stars, Lincoln gets 1 star, and that is an average of 3 stars. Sorry, friends. Rainbow Rowell is not for me, but I get why she’s loved.


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