Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Evil Eva Reviews... Attachments

EvilEva Reviews ...... Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

Dissecting The Cover:

I'm totally digging this cover!
I like that it's simple. I like the double meaning of the title. I like that it's cute without being cutesy.
To me, this cover says "Why, yes, I am a serious reader but with a touch of whimsy. Now hop on my unicorn as I adjust my monocle and straighten my cardigan sweater and we'll be off to Narnia tout suite!"

Let's Review:

Lincoln O' Neill has a pretty boss job title at The Courier: Internet security officer. It sounds fairly bad ass, like he'll be in charge of thwarting hackers and building impenetrable firewalls. Like James Bond on desk duty!
That's pretty far off from what his job actually entails, which is reading other people's emails. He's basically a glorified eavesdropper.
Which isn't exactly what he signed up for.
But there is one bright side to his moral dilemma. Lincoln becomes thoroughly entertained by the correspondence of two of his coworkers.
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder spend endless amounts of company time spilling the intimate details of their lives and loves; from weddings and weight gain, to boyfriend and baby trouble.
Lincoln knows it's his duty to turn them in. But he just can't bring himself to do it. He also can't bring himself to stop reading their emails.
Which could be a problem. Because Lincoln is fairly certain that he's falling for Beth.
So the big question is this: How do you formally introduce yourself to someone whom you've been technically kinda, sorta semi-spying on for months? 
And the bigger question? How do you declare your love to someone that doesn't technically kinda, sorta semi-know who you are?

Here's What I Think:

Attachments came along at the perfect time for me in by book-reading schedule. I had just finished Matched and was super psyched to start Requiem which would be out... in TWO WEEKS!
I don't know about y'all, but I can't go two whole weeks without reading SOMETHING.
I was in quite the quandary. I didn't want to start Crossed (the next book in Ally Condie's trilogy) just yet. I needed something light and fun to break up the dystopia of it all.
And along came Attachments. It was the perfect chick-lit book with just the right mix of wit, drama, swoon, and fun! 
The story is told two different ways, alternating chapter by chapter between Lincoln's more traditional third person telling and Beth and Jennifer's emails. 
Lincoln is the primary protagonist though. We get to know more about him because we're basically in his head. And what we learn is that Lincoln is pretty much the quintessential nice guy.
He's kind and caring and a little shy. He lives with his mom. Befriends Doris the vending machine lady. Plays Dungeons and Dragons with his friends on the weekends. Takes his nephews to the movies. Goes to his sister for advice. 
But it also means his last girlfriend totally broke his heart. He's not skilled in the art of flirting. He can't hold his liquor. And he's slightly awkward socially. 
But you still root for him. You want him to succeed. You want him to get the girl. You hope that phrase "nice guys finish last" doesn't apply to him. He's just a lovable character.
As are Beth and Jennifer! Their emails are hilarious, revealing, sad, inappropriate, honest, random, and sweet. And even though, because of this format, we only get a few pages of their interactions at a time, they never feel like secondary characters. We learn all about their lives: the good, the bad and the ugly and it's all done with a sense of humor that can only exist between two best friends.
And while I loved the book as a whole, their conversations were my favorite parts. Maybe because they reminded me of myself and Bestie J!
I guess what I'm trying to say is, their friendship actually felt real.
Not like Jennifer merely existed for Beth to have someone to squeal with over her Cute Guy. (Not to say they don't squeal over cute guys. They do!)
I just hate it when the best friend role isn't fleshed out and it seems like homegirl's sole purpose is to drift into scenes, wholeheartedly agree with our heroine, and fade right back out. I like my besties with some personality!
So I really appreciated that Rainbow Rowell gave Jennifer her own story separate from the story she shared with Beth.
Ok, so I've told you about my love for Lincoln, Beth, and Jennifer, but, truth be told, Attachments is a veritable cornucopia of great characters!
There's Lincoln's well-meaning mother who can't let him grow up. His frazzled sister that desperately wants him to.
The saucy and sage Doris.
Christine, Dave, and the rest of the ragtag band of misfits that make up Lincoln's D and D group.
The hard-partying, smooth-talking, occasionally douchey but ultimately redeemable, Justin.
Beth's irritatingly cool rocker boyfriend, Chris. And Jennifer's sweet if often times oblivious husband, Mitch.
Basically, Rainbow Rowell is a genius when it comes to creating characters that are both lovable and flawed. She's also fairly masterful when it comes to building a hilarious story out of a seemingly simple concept.
I mean, sure, Attachments is a zippy, light, little read about office romance.
But we NEED zippy, light, little reads! They give us a much needed break from all the heavy, intense seriousness provided by our various dystopian, murder mystery, psychological thriller, vampire/werewolf love triangles.
So, if your book-reading schedule has recently been slammed with heavy-duty reads, might I suggest you take a walk on the zippy, light side with an awkwardly awesome guy and his love for a girl he's only read about!

Swoony Times:

You may be wondering how a book can have such a high swoon-quotient when the two main characters don't even meet until the very end.
Well the answer is simple. I have no idea.
But Rainbow Rowell does! In fact, she's kinda mastered the shizz.
You can practically FEEL the tension between these characters! From Lincoln's unrequited lust to Beth's experimental longing. It's a sweet, will-they-won't-they, intense tummy-knotter that keeps you desperately turning the pages til the very end.

Bonus Shizz:

Reading Emails!
TRUTH SERUM TIME: I think I might be a bit of a voyeur, y'all. I totally look in people's windows when I'm driving at night if their blinds are open and their lights are on. And I wonder what they're doing and if they're watching something on TV that I like. Or I think "Hmm. A burgundy living room wall? That's pretty bold. I don't know if I could live with that. It's a little distracting."
I mean, I'm not so bad that I snoop in people's medicine cabinets. I mean, we all have some kind of diarrhea medicine in our bathrooms. After all, everyone poops. So what do I care what brand you use? Answer: I don't.
I will however ALWAYS that a gander at your bookshelves. And I'll totally silently judge you if you don't even have a bookshelf. (I mean, what is that about!?!?)
Anyhoozle, the point of that tangent wasn't to frighten you into never inviting me over to your home, I was just trying to explain why I find it so fun reading other people's emails. Because I'm evidently a really fucked up individual.
I mean, it's not like I read other people's emails in real life. That's an invasion of privacy. But I do like when books are written in this format. I feel like we get to know the characters in a different, maybe more authentic way. Plus it makes for a quick read!

Author Stalker Status!
I realize that I'm kinda just gushing at this point in the review but I can't help it, you guys. I LOVED this book! I LOVED the characters! I LOVED the idea! And I LOVED Rainbow Rowell's writing style! So much so that I immediately went out and purchased Eleanor & Park. And then made a note to remind myself that Rainbow's next book (titled Fangirl!) (sqeeeeeee!) will be coming to bookstores September 10th!

Noteworthy:

From page 137:
"There's never been a moment," he barely said, "when I didn't recognize you."
She wiped her eyes. Her mascara smeared. He nudged the merry-go-round into motion. He could kiss her now. If he wanted.
"I'd know you in the dark," he said. "From a thousand miles away. There's nothing you could become that I haven't already fallen in love with.
Hear that? That's the sound of me swooning! This is why nerd boys are the absolute best!

From page 318:
She laughed. It was better than he could have imagined. Like a giggle falling off its chair.
I just love that line!

Mix Tape:

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen!




If You Liked That, Try This:

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot.

The Scale Of Judgment Says:

...... 4.

This book will make you 1.) literally laugh out loud 2.) want to call up your best friend and 3.)  hope that an adorably awkward guy is reading your emails and dreaming of the day he'll get up the courage to talk to you.   


******


Music from Grooveshark.

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