"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 . . . ?
Five stars: An adorable feel good romance!
Lincoln doesn't like his new job serving as computer systems security at the local newspaper. It is 1999 and companies are beginning to implement email and internet as tools for their employees, albeit with hesitation. Thus, Lincoln's job is to monitor the inter office emails to make sure nothing appropriate is going on. Lincoln helps install a program that flags words in emails and throws the emails into a folder, which he must read. Somehow it feels wrong for Link to be reading other people's emails, but when messages between Jennifer and Beth continually end up in the folder, Lincoln can't help but liking the girls, so much so that he doesn't send a warning. After months of reading repeated emails flying back and forth between the women, Link realizes that he might just be a little bit in love with Beth, but how on earth would he ever tell her even if he did find the courage to talk to her?
What I Loved:
- Attachments is a lovely, light, fluffy feel good romance with well developed, likable characters. This is the type of book that will leave you feeling giddy and smiling. I couldn't get enough of the characters and the interactions. I liked that Jennifer's and Beth's portion of the story were told primarily via email exchanges. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and recommend it to anyone who wants a feel good pick me up read.
- I liked that this took place at the end of 1999 heading into 2000. There were so many fun nods to the end of the decade and of course, the impending Y2K crisis, which is laughable when we look back at it now. I loved being immersed in all things nineties, and I thought Ms. Rowell did a terrific job of bringing me back to the past.
- Ms. Rowell excels at writing character driven stories. She always crafts characters with such attention to detail that by the time you are done, you feel like they are friends. This is my third book by Ms. Rowell, and I once again fell in love with her characters because there is a great deal of time getting into their heads and learning who they are, especially when it comes to Lincoln. Lincoln at twenty nine has graduated from college and is still trying to figure out what he wants for a career. He still lives at home with is mother and has never gotten over his first love, his high school girlfriend. Jennifer and Beth are two girls who work at the newspaper. Jennifer is married, but struggling with the idea of truly settling down and having kids. Beth, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to finally be married and settle down. Her live in, musician boyfriend, Chris, has no desire to marry, and he does little to help with living expenses, but sometimes he can be a really good boyfriend. Jennifer and Beth exchange emails daily discussing everything in their lives, from things trivial to the big stuff, all of which is read by Link. This is a book about relationships, friendships, growing up and moving on, and finding love. In all honesty, there isn't much as far as the plot goes, a lot of the dialogue is fun and goofy, but it is a character driven story. I couldn't help but to care about Jennifer, Beth and Link, and by the end I felt like they were friends. Ms. Rowell excels at creating likable characters, and I not only liked the main characters, but I found myself enjoying the secondary characters from Doris the vending machine lady, Link's mother who is a bit overbearing but means well, to Chris the bad boyfriend and even Greg, Link's boss, who is a bit crass and hilarious. If you are a person who loves character driven books, you need to read something by Ms. Rowell. I would recommend Fangirl or Attachments.
- I liked that this book is told partially through email exchange and then the other half is a normal third person narrative. All the interaction between Jennifer and Beth is strictly via emails, and though it takes a tiny bit to get used to in the beginning, it totally works. I thought this was a clever and fun way to deliver the story.
- The romance... this is the perfect kind of romance for all of you who like simple, sweet, and slow burning romances. Though this is a bit different because one of the people falls in love via the emails. It is hard to explain without giving away too much information, so I will just say that it was adorable. There were so many times when I was holding my breath wondering if this would be the moment when it all came together, and when it finally does come it is worth the wait. This book reads just like one of those nineties movie romances we all loved like Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail. I loved it, and I was completely satisfied and smiling at the end.
- I listened to the audiobook version of this and in all honesty I wonder if I would have loved it as much if I had read it. The narrator, Laura Hamilton, does a phenomenal job with the narration. Her voices are wonderful and I thought her pacing and emotional inflection was great. It was a tiny bit confusing in the beginning keeping track of the to and from as far as the emails go, but once I knew Jennifer and Beth's voices it was easier. I highly recommend this on audio.
And The Not So Much:
- While I was satisfied with the ending, I felt like I needed more closure as far as Jennifer's part of the story. Once the emails stop, Jennifer's part in the story ends and there are only a couple of quick mentions of her. I grew to care about her and I wanted to know how everything came out for her.
- As I discussed earlier, Jennifer and Beth's portion of the book is told entirely through email exchanges. It is a bit confusing in the beginning as you are getting used to the characters, and there are a bunch of rapid emails back and forth, so it was easy to get lost while listening, I am sure if I had read this it wouldn't have been an issue. I would be curious to see who the printed version looked, but in the audio the narrator would just say from Jennifer to Beth or vice versa when in the middle of a rapid email chapter. It takes a bit to adjust, but once you are used to the emails, it works.
- One niggling issue I had was that it was made clear that Link never went in and read emails that went back and forth between Jennifer and Beth unless they ended up in the folder. Early on in the story, it is explained that the program flags emails if they used words that triggered the email to be flagged. I couldn't figure out why so many of the emails were supposedly in the file as there wasn't anything inappropriate in them which would cause them to end up in the folder. Of course, the story wouldn't have worked otherwise, but it was one of those things that didn't make sense.
Attachments is a bright, happy, fun read perfect for readers who like anything light and fluffy. This is a character driven story, without a lot of drama or angst. It is the perfect chick lit type of read that will leave you smiling and happy. If you are in the mood for something sweet and satisfying, I highly recommend Attachments. It was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I borrowed a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.