Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publishing Information: July 8, 2014 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series Information: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 308 pages
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher at BEA 2014
Recommended For: Those of you who sometimes feel the pressures of a long time relationship, the good and the bad.
Related Reviews: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Wow, friends, have I been struggling with this review. As you know, for our On the Same Page feature we usually do something a little out of the ordinary to showcase the unique things that we loved about the novel we just read together. The bottom line is, I don’t know how to do that for this book. So I decided I would write a quick and open letter to Rainbow Rowell trying to convey what I felt when I read her novels…
Dear Ms. Rowell,
You may or may not remember a while back when I thanked you for writing Eleanor. I told you how reminiscent her story was of my own, and how her happy ending reminded me when I used to think back and wonder if it does indeed get better. The relationship in that novel was beautiful, and I loved it. However, I loved Eleanor the most. I loved her strength and endurance and I like to think she is out there in literary land, kicking ass as a stable and intelligent adult.
I have yet to review Fangirl, but once again it feels as if you crawled into my brain and put my life onto paper. No, I wasn’t a writer of fan-fiction, but I did read a particular series growing up that surely saved my life. I know what it feels like when that series is ending, and you wonder if that means you’re suddenly supposed to start existing without the crutch. I know what it’s like to have a dance party because there is no mom to call when things start to unravel. I know what it’s like to grow. Thank you, for Cath’s growth…and Levi too, thanks for Levi.
Soon after finishing Fangirl, I read Attachments, how I managed to read them in the order that would coincide with my life choices, I will never know. You might think that the one to relate to would be Lincoln, I mean, who doesn’t relate to the character who is living at home, working a job they don’t love, and obsessing over their last break up. Sure, I related to Lincoln, but I also related to Beth, and Jennifer. That was the beauty, I think, seeing myself in each of the characters. Dating that guy who kind of cares but maybe is too cool for this sort relationship thing – major points if he marries the next woman he dates, though: CHECK! Coming to terms with the fact that you don’t really want children and realizing all too late that your life partner has been on this train for an entirely different reason: CHECK! Having someone to talk to who would dissect and listen and give you the reactions you needed throughout your mini breakdowns: CHECK! Not to mention that two of my best friends live in different states, meaning emails and text messages are how we communicate. Attachments was fun and true and wonderful, and I needed it.
Finally, Landline, I loved this book, but again I loved it for deeply personal reasons. Sure, it was well written and resounding, but it resounded because once again you managed to look deep into my soul and ask “What do you need right now?” To be honest, I needed a story about a relationship that was struggling a bit due to one partner being invested in her career. I needed a story about the strong partnership built between these two people. I needed to see why it wasn’t working, but I also needed to see it work.
I generally read books to escape, and it is a rare experience when one can pick up a book and have it slap you in the face with a mirror. I needed that, I needed these characters. Thank you for showing me that mirror.
Make sure to check out Brittany’s post on relationships in Rainbow’s novels, and Amy’s thoughts on the “back to the future” aspects of Landline!
On the Same Page is a feature here on Books Take You Places that I am hosting along with two of my very dear friends, Amy (Tripping Over Books) and Brittany (The Book Addict’s Guide). Essentially, we will be reading one book a month together and then doing a non-traditional review such as a playlist, character analysis, and so on…To find out more about this new feature, head on over to its dedication page!