Our May book was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. The club and I voted on a light and fluffy read for May since we knew we were coming into warmer days and less time curled up inside – and that’s exactly what this book was.
Basically a romantic-comedy in written form, this book was an easy read and entertaining
for most of our members. Similar to Where’d You Go Bernadette, the book features a large amount of e-mail correspondence.
The novel focuses on main character Lincoln O’Neill, a newly hired “Internet Security Officer” who’s main function at work is to read through other people’s e-mail. The interesting twist on this cyber-fuelled love-story is that it is set in 1999, when people were nowhere near as conscious of their online presence as they are now. A lot of the members enjoyed this aspect, as we do not often read pre-millennium books.
Lincoln, behind his screen, stumbles upon the e-mail conversations of two best friends, Beth and Jennifer. Lincoln enjoys reading their conversations so much that he never flags them as inappropriate or sends them warnings, even though that’s the main purpose of his job. The UBC felt that the exchanges between Beth and Jennifer were the highlights of the novel. The dialogue (albeit typed) felt effortless and hilarious. It felt like we were reading text-conversations that we have with our best friends.
As the novel unfolds Lincoln falls for Beth, just by reading her e-mails…but the problem that plagues him: how can he tell someone he’s never met that he loves them? Keeping in line with the rom-com formula, hijinks ensue (including some somewhat strange stalker moments) and
shockingly predictably, Beth eventually reciprocates. I swear I’m not giving away spoilers; if you’ve ever seen a romantic comedy, you knew how this was going to go down. Our main critique was the ending, which we felt was a bit strange and unrealistic. But aside from that, the book received a solid rating of 3.75 stars (out of 5).
Like I said at the beginning of the review, this book is what it is… a light, easy read that is full of romantic clichés. That being said, it was still enjoyable! Our president, Julia, credited it for pulling her out of her reading slump, so despite it not having a ton of substance, it was definitely an enjoyable 300+ pages. Plus, it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a quick read to boost your numbers for your annual Reading Challange! From what I’ve researched, the author’s other works have received higher praise than this novel and I will definitely consider them for when I float around in my pool this summer! Happy summer reading, everyone!
Discussion questions for Attachments:
- Did you enjoy the e-mail correspondence between Beth and Jennifer? How did this element impact your reading of the novel?
- How did the timeframe of the novel (pre-millennium) impact the story? Did you enjoy this element?
- Lincoln’s job issues reflect on the sacrifices many twenty-somethings face now; taking jobs they may not be interested in for the money/experience. Do you feel he handled his unhappiness at work well?
- Can someone fall in love with another person, having never seen them or met them in person?
- Was the ending too predictable or contrived? Did you enjoy how the two “got together” in the end? What would you have liked to see happen with the two characters instead, if anything?