Attachments – Rainbow Rowell

Attachments – Rainbow RowellTitle: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Publishing Info: April 14, 2011 by Penguin
Source: Audible
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: June 27, 2014
Related Posts: Eleanor & Park Playlist, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, Landline, Kindred Spirits

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 . . . ?

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ATTACHMENTS is actually a re-read for me and I’ve been meaning to re-read it for a while. Back when I first heard about the book in 2011 (I think I found it through Goodreads, actually!), I went to Borders (yes, Borders) to hunt it down and then finally found a copy right before they went out of business! I thought the book sounded adorable and since I was working in an office then, I really felt I’d relate. Somehow I ended up not enjoying it as much as I had hoped and after reading all of Rainbow’s other books as they’ve come out over the past few years and loving every one of them, I came to the conclusion that it was finally time for me to go back and re-read because Three-Years-Ago Brittany must have been crazy to not enjoy it that much!

Re-reading ATTACHMENTS was so much fun. I had remembered the basic plot but forgotten so many of the little details that makes this book so enjoyable. I had forgotten that the book is really told from Lincoln’s point of view — with Beth and Jennifer’s emails being a big part of the story, I had forgotten that they really weren’t telling the story so much as we were being told their story from what Lincoln had read about them and the reader doesn’t even get to see them in action until they show up physically in Lincoln’s life.

I really connected to the characters a lot more this time around. I remember feeling like Lincoln was a little too goofy during my first read and I have no idea why because he was utterly realistic for me during my second read. Lincoln is just a normal guy and I could easily pick things from his character that reminded me of a friend or my fiancé or that I could even see in myself. Beth and Jennifer often reminded me of conversation I’ve had with my friends — not only in topic but also sending emails back and forth throughout the day, no matter the topic.

What did feel the same was the overall feel compared to Rainbow Rowell’s other books. I feel like from ELEANOR & PARK on, there has definitely been a bit more of a serious tone throughout whereas ATTACHMENTS felt a little lighter and a bit more “just plain fun”. I saw sneak peeks of Rainbow Rowell’s now-signature writing full of all the things she doesn’t say that appear in the characters and in between the lines. I feel like ATTACHMENTS was just starting to play with that sort of writing but it didn’t quite play with my feelings as much as her others books had.

If you’re a Rainbow Rowell fan (and really, how can you not be), ATTACHMENTS is not one to miss! I feel like it gets a bit forgotten since she didn’t gain as much notoriety until after ELEANOR & PARK (or maybe that’s just from my perspective since I’m more involved in the young adult community), but it’s a really great read and has a lot of the same themes as the rest of her books. I really enjoyed it and I’m so glad I gave it another read because I would have truly been missing out on the optimal experience for this book!

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

The audio was great! Laura Hamilton narrated this one and she did a great job! I loved the enthusiasm of Beth and Jennifer and her tone for Lincoln was great as well. I always hesitate a little when books are from split POVs with only one narrator because I wonder if they will do the opposite sex justice, but Lincoln’s voice felt totally genuine and I thought her voices for all of the characters were wonderfully done! This was also a great audiobook to listen to because I ended up listening for a long time over short bursts and it was easy to stop and start both with plot and short chapters for easy breaks.

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I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Beth Fremont // Character Obsessions: Movies, friends, Chris.
I LOVED Beth. We don’t live parallel lives but I saw so much of my own personality reflected in hers, especially when talking to Jennifer. It’s so weird to read books about people in the mid to late 20s because sometimes I STILL don’t feel like that’s my age… But it is… so it was really great to go back and read this book again following more along the same paths that Beth has and seeing us go through similar experiences.
Lincoln O’Neill // Character Obsessions: Sam, school, reading emails, possibly stalking.
I actually saw a lot of myself in Lincoln too. I really didn’t expect to identify with him so much but I really felt like I’ve gone through similar things recently… Losing touch with friends and then all of a sudden starting that relationship again, going through career crises, wondering if it would have been better to go back to school, feeling good at things but not GOOD anything. I’m so glad I got to re-read ATTACHMENTS at this point in my life because there were so many things about Lincoln before that I just didn’t understand.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Re-reads. Usually the level of enjoyment doesn’t change that much when I re-read… I’m usually picking up a book because I already loved it and want to experience it again (Mockingjay really being the one exception) so I surprised myself with how differently I felt about ATTACHMENTS after reading it again a few years later!
Left Me Wanting More: Rainbow-signature writing. I’ve gotten spoiled over the years reading Rainbow’s latest books and her writing has only grown since ATTACHMENTS! It was still wonderfully written but I missed those little sentences that just totally bowled you over.

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

ATTACHMENTS is a different sort of read than Rainbow’s other books but it’s still so wonderful and I feel like she can do no wrong! It’s definitely fun and also perfect for those who are used to her young adult novels and want to foray into adult.

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8 thoughts on “Attachments – Rainbow Rowell

  1. Karen @ One More Page...

    I’m so glad to hear that you liked this the second time around! I just finished reading Landline (on audiobook too!) and I loved it! I wonder if Rowell’s adult books are more to my taste. (I liked Fangirl but wasn’t quite sold on Levi.) I actually have a copy of Attachments already; I think I should read it soon! Great review 🙂

  2. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    Rainbow Rowell is just so great!!! I adore all her books. I thought Attachments was just so adorable. Not all books told primarily (or partly in this case) in emails work, but Attachments sure does. If you were going to re-read a book, Attachments was definitely a good choice. 🙂

  3. Stormy

    Aw, yay! I was surprised by how much I loved this one, but I don’t think I would have liked it at all a few years ago when I was in college. I just remembered thinking I could relate to Lincoln SO MUCH and it really got into the headspace of “What am I doing with my life??” kind of thing. And I loved the back-and-forth emails, of course. I do agree that Rowell’s writing has definitely improved since this one–it’s still GREAT but it definitely feels like her debut when you compare it to her other books.

  4. Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    I’m so glad you liked it more after a re-read! I just adored this book when I read it a few months ago. I definitely think I loved it so much because I could instantly relate to the characters in the book. What I have always loved about Rainbow’s writing is that she takes funny and lighthearted moments and balances them with more challenging moments. I think I loved this one in particular because they were dealing with the same situations and challenges that I am currently dealing with. I could see a lot of myself and my friends in Jennifer, Beth, and Lincoln. I’m also really glad that you like Lincoln more now. I may have had a little bit of a book boyfriend crush on him while reading Attachments.

    I was curious about the audio for this one. It’s a very interesting format with the only interaction with Beth and Jennifer being through their emails. I’m glad it did the book justice. Do you think that maybe the fact that it was audio affected your enjoyment? Like I listened to the audiobook version of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray and I think I enjoyed it more in that format than I would have in a written format because the book just so perfect for that media.

    Either way I’m so glad you liked it. It’s one of my favorite books of the year so far.

  5. Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon

    Yay! So glad you liked this book better the second time. This was the second Rowell book I read, and I loved every page. I found it interesting that you had such a different experience between your first and second readings. I feel like this is a book that adults will have a much easier time relating to. Youth, even mature youth, will probably not be able to relate to their best friend being in a serious, long-term relationship with someone they don’t think is good enough for them, for example. I don’t think I would have been able to connect to this book as well if I had read it ten – or even five – years ago. But a few months ago – when I read it for the first time – it blew me away. Speaking of Rainbow Rowell, I’ve got Landline sitting on my nightstand right now… best start reading!

  6. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    I purchased an ebook copy of this when it went on sale and I’m eager to give it a try! I’m one of the few people in the world who didn’t fall head-over-heels in love with Fangirl, but I’ve heard that her adult novels have a slightly different tone, so I guess I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy that tone more.
    And while I don’t read much in the way of adult fiction nowadays, sometimes it is definitely nice to read about situations that I can relate to more in my daily life.
    Glad you were able to enjoy this one so much more on your re-read!

  7. Alexa S.

    Attachments was an utterly delightful read! I liked Lincoln right away, and I also loved Beth and Jennifer’s emails back and forth. It was such a fun, feel-good story from Rowell, and I really liked that. So glad you enjoyed it more your second time around!

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