Having read and immensely enjoyed both Fangirl and Eleanor and park by Rainbow Rowell, expectations were at a peak when I picked up this book. The debut novel of the oh-so-famous contemporary author, what less could I expect? This book, however, doesn’t live up to the standards set by the titles I mentioned previously. I was expecting something cherishable like Eleanor and Park or maybe something cuddly like Fangirl. But nah. Not in this book.
Lincoln is the ‘computer guy’ – whose job is to read flagged emails of his company and send those email-ers a warning to stop breaking the company rules. Socially awkward, weird, shy, Lincoln is trying hard to live the life he wants and just be happy, anyhow, but somehow his life is a never-ending chain between emails, sleeping at the wrong time and living his mother’s life. That is, until he stumbles upon Beth and Jennifer’s emails. Though the emails are very evidently against the company’s rules, Lincoln doesn’t send them any warning and starts reading all their emails sent to each other. He slowly starts to develop feelings for Beth, who reciprocates by showing a major attraction towards him. However, neither of them are aware of the other’s attraction or for that matter, have even met. So what happens to Lincoln? Does he get a chance to be happy in his life? Read Attachments to find out.
Rainbow Rowell’s writing is something readers admire. Be it the simplicity, the brevity, and somehow a mixture of light-heartedness as well as poignancy, all of them blended together make up a Rainbow Rowell masterpiece. This book, in some areas (the emails) felt pretty disjointed and bland and to be completely honest, I wasn’t much of a fan of the writing. It was hardly provoking, and for the most parts, the book lacked sentiments and freshness.
Realistic Approach (Or the lack of it)
Now. An issue. Falling in love over letters/emails/chats/internet. Basically, falling in love without seeing or meeting or most importantly, having a proper conversation with the person. Some say it is possible, some disagree. I would say it is probable, but books based on this theme sometimes tend to be a bit far-fetched. I’m not saying the book is unrealistic, but there is a definite lack of relatibility and that was my issue with the whole story.
[Vague spoilers ahead.] Throughout the book, Beth is shown to have a major crush on Lincoln, in spite of having a boyfriend (of nine years) of her own, which I feel is an unacceptable trait in any main character. But we can over-look this flaw, because even though it is unacceptable, it is very much possible. So, Beth has this huge crush on Lincoln and keeps referring to him as ‘My Cute Guy’ in her emails to Jennifer. What irked me was that this apparent attraction was later on portrayed as love. I fail to understand how someone can move from just attraction to love that fast without even a proper conversation.
Assuming that the characters ended up happily ever after (which most readers assume at the end of their books), I think the entire portrayal of love has been flawed in the book. I could still empathize with Lincoln, because he having read their emails, still had a picture of what kind of a girl Beth was. But somehow I couldn’t convince myself about Beth and her love.
Lincoln was so relatable, at least for me. I could litearlly picture myself in his shoes, and that doesn;t happen very regularly for me. He’s a lovely, special character, with his own turmoils and his own light. Soft and gentle and confused yet attractive – that’s Lincoln. Beth, on the other hand, I couldn’t understand or get much of. She was just there, in the picture, but never really felt like a main character.
I would say…you could give this a miss. There’s nothing special in here, but then again, if you’re (like me) in love with Rainbow Rowell’s other books and thinking of trying this one out, you might as well give it a try and see how it goes for you :) It’s not a bad book, it’s just that it’s not that much of a good book either. All the stars I give this book are SOLELY for Lincoln :D
My Rating : 3/5 stars