“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-mails. 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…?
“I was born in February, but I come alive in October.”
I’m on a Rainbow Rowell binge, I’ve only got Landline left to read – and I’m already upset with myself for staying up until nearly one o’clock this morning to finish Attachments in one sitting. Arg! Now what am I going to do? Turn around and devour Landline and then what? Be stuck waiting until OCTOBER for Carry On? Shit –
Such is the life of a fangirl.
Attachments is a story that’s told in both first person narration (Lincoln) and email messages between Jennifer & Beth. Ohhh Jennifer & Beth who basically remind me of Layci and myself – this girl, I’ve known her since I was seven years old and the banter between Jennifer & Beth was like reading our text messages. And this is why I love the Rowell. She is the queen of banter – the humor, good gawd! Sometimes even pushing the envelope – something you might not admit you’d laugh at, but you totally did when you read it in her book.
Lincoln O’Neill is unsatisfied with his life at the moment. He’s 29 and living at home with his mother (though, it doesn’t really seem to bother him as much as it does his sister Eve). He’s working in IT at a newspaper where his main duty is sifting through employee’s emails that have been red flagged for inappropriate things – jokes, personal messages etc.
“Everything has been a disaster since I decided my life as it was wasn’t good enough.” – Lincoln
“It wasn’t good enough,” she said. – Eve
“It was good enough for me.” – Lincoln
This is where he’s introduced to Jennifer & Beth…. And the conversations these two have will leave your stomach sore from laughing and wanting to pick up your phone to call your BFF (accept when she’s a killjoy and acts like she doesn’t think they’re as funny as you do – just to be a bitch):
“Jennifer to Beth: It’s nice of you to say I’m your best friend.
Beth to Jennifer: You are my best friend, dummy.
Jennifer to Beth: Really? You are my best friend. But I always assumed that somebody else was your best friend, and I was totally okay with that. You don’t have to say I’m your best friend just to make me feel good.
Beth to Jennifer: You’re so lame.
Jennifer to Beth: That’s why I figured somebody else was your best friend.”
Lincoln feels weird going through their emails, getting to know such personal things about them – as Jennifer divulges all aspects of her marriage and the ups and downs. Beth, her questioning if she’s EVER going to get married to Chris, her live in, wanna-be rock star boyfriend who doesn’t seem to be in the slightest hurry to put a ring on it. Lincoln can’t help himself though – every night their messages are the only thing that keep him coming to work, night after night. His sister is pressuring him to make a change, move out of their moms house or find a job that will make him not hate his life – it’s not that the job is bad, it’s just BORING. But with the Y2K bug around the corner, he sticks around – changing toners, replacing computer towers and day dreaming about Beth.
“He tried not to love that she could recite scenes from Ghostbusters, that she liked kung fu movies and could name all of the original X-Men – because those seemed like a reason a guy would fall for a girl in a Kevin Smith movie.”
This book was very different from any other book I’ve ever read – the email exchange between Jennifer and Beth were some of my absolute favorite parts – and the midlife-midlife crisis that Lincoln is experiencing was all too familiar. Not satisfied with his life in its current stand still – and just plain bored. This is what happens when you’re twenty-nine and not married yet – all your friends are married, or getting married, popping out kids left and right and you’re stuck feeling sorry for yourself – or trying to prove to them you don’t want or need any of that crap (yes, I’m speaking from personal experience.)
Five of my closest friends got married in 2008 (when I was 30) – I was single, living at home with my parents. The one lucky thing was I actually loved (and still do) my job. I wanted to pull every single hair out of my head every time I got: “Oh you’re still single?” or “Oh, you’re still living at home with your parents?” Or “I’m sure you’ll meet someone, someday.” Fuck that – and fuck you.
I’ve never been a girl to fantasize about her wedding day, the white picket fence or 2.5 kids. None.Of.It. But they were all right – because that summer I did meet the guy I’d end up marrying – (sucker).
So I definitely had a connection to Lincolns personal angst – it was depressing and real. Very.Very.Real. And something I’m sure everyone in that predicament goes through – when everyone else seems to be “growing up” and “starting” their lives – and you’re stuck walking up the same hill. But he’s unapologetic about it – when Lincoln starts to make a change it’s for himself – not his mother, not his sister, not even his friends who want fix him up with someone. He does it for himself.
When his connection to Beth & Jennifer starts to blur outside of the flagged emails Lincoln realizes Beth means more to him than she should – and he doesn’t even know what she looks like. Her sense of humor, intelligence capture him – how she’s such an honest and great friend to Jennifer – the one major thing that’s stopping him from pursuing anything is Chris – the boyfriend, and how would he ever explain to her how he knows so much about her?
Attachments is hilariously real – sometimes too real, like a kick to the gut. But that’s Rainbow Rowell’s expertise.
About the Author, Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS & LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK & FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
Her newest book – Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller, Fangirl is out October 6th 2015! (via the author’s website)