Monday, February 3, 2014
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Punslished: April 14, 2011
Paperback, 336 pages
5 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
"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 . . . ?
When you work at a newspaper office, there's only so much you can do to entertain yourself. Go on Facebook, take a lot of breaks or send out emails to your co-workers. And if you're friends with someone you work with, why not chat through emails even though you aren't supposed to be sending out personal ones? Ya, someone is monitoring it, but you really need to talk to someone about your day or your love life. Jennifer and Beth love to email each other and they get as personal as it comes. Lincoln, the new email security officer has been reading their emails for a while. He should have flagged them the first time one popped up, instead he just read it, and read the next, and now there is mention of him in the emails but it's too late to introduce himself to Beth, whom he's falling for. The more he reads, the more he wants to say something and as their lives drift slowly together, maybe there's a chance of finding a love that they didn't even know could exist.
Rowell has a fantastic way with words. I fell in love with her teen novels, Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, and I'm happy to say I loved this one just as much. It started off different than most books I've read. Jennifer and Beth conversations are solely through their emails so what we know of them is the same as what Lincoln knows. Lincoln's story is written in narrative and we quickly learn about his past and how he ended up working overnights at the newspaper. We see exactly how Lincoln thinks about these girls, knowing more about their love lives than most others might. He knows that Jennifer doesn't want kids and that Beth isn't as happy as she could be. But the more he reads them, the more invasive he feels, especially once he decides he wants to meet Beth. I was waiting and hoping for the moment that they would finally meet. There are few parts where they see each other but don't know it, and the dramatic tension is perfectly written. The events that transpired made me think they may never meet and I was worried about how it would all play out. There were funny moments and sad moments and moments that made me want to re-read the sentences because they were beauitful. This is a book that proves that not all relationships are created equal. We all meet people different ways, there is no right or wrong way to fall in love. And though this one was a little out of the ordinary, it felt real and gave me butterflies.
Rowell writes uncommon romances, the kind that stick with us long after we've closed the book. They feel real because they happen in normal situation to normal people. Lincoln is not gorgeous and has been dumped. Beth is in an unhealthy relationship and doesn't feel as loved as she could be. Jennifer is happily married but that does not mean all is well. Real people with real problems just trying to get through life. And when love comes along, there is no side pointing you in the right direction, there are no guidelines or rules as to how it will all play out, it just happens, maybe in an instant, maybe over a few years, but when it does, you will never forget the moments leading up to it. And trust me, it's always worth it. Rowell has easily become one of my favourite authors and I can't wait to read her next book, Landline, which is due out in July 2014.
“There are moments when you can't believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with knowing absolutely that something wonderful is happening.”
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