Review: Landline

By Rainbow Rowell
(St. Martin’s Press, Hardcover, 9781250049377, July 8, 2014, 320pp.)

The Short of It:

Fun and witty with just a little bit of silly.

The Rest of It:

Georgie McCool (seriously, that is her name!) decides to stay home and work through Christmas because the TV deal she is working on is just too good to pass up. Her husband Neal is flying back to Omaha to see his folks and he’s not happy with her decision. As he heads out-of-town with their two daughters in tow, Georgie is well aware of the decision she is making and yet, she can’t bring herself to do anything about it. Her marriage to Neal has been in trouble for a long time and she has no idea how to fix it.

The one thing you will read over and over again about this book is that it’s a fun, light read. It can be read in one sitting and it contains just enough humor to keep it interesting but I tell ya, as much as I loved Georgie’s neurotic tendencies and her poor clothing choices, I had such a hard time with the main part of the story which involves going back to the past via a landline telephone.

She doesn’t technically go back in time, but she gets to know her husband, before he’s her husband and attempts to make things right again. If you embrace the ridiculousness of it all, the book is quite enjoyable. Rowell is known for her ability to work teen angst into a thing of beauty but she is quite adept at handling her adult characters as well.

Besides the magical phone, the only other issue I had with the book was Georgie’s husband, Neal. He’s a real drip in the present AND even in the past. It’s hard to understand why she misses him so much when she has a much better, more interesting guy who happens to be working right next to her. But sure, for the sake of marriage and family you end up rooting for them even though Neal is such a bore.

Overall, I liked this one better than Fangirl but not as much as Eleanor & Park. It has its moments but like I said, it’s a quick, fun read and a perfect way to spend a pleasant afternoon. If you are anxious to get your hands on it, you’ll have to wait a little longer as it doesn’t come out until early July.

Source: Sent to me by a blogger friend.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

18 thoughts on “Review: Landline”

  1. Well it certainly was a quick read, and I thought her mother and sister were absolutely adorable. I wasn’t so much sold on her husband (can we say immature and manipulative?), that I didn’t even see the charm when she was talking to the younger Neal on the landline. And I wasn’t cracked up on the co-worker either. It was all about him too. I came away with the feeling that all the basic premises were there when she started to write, but didn’t have a firm grasp on exactly what she needed to do with them.

    1. Before I knew what was going on, I actually thought the main character was dead and somehow didn’t know it.  And I thought to myself, what a downer that would be so when the phone thing is explained, I was a little relieved.  I know the catch was noted in the write-up for the book but I read it without reading anything about it so it was all a surprise to me. 


    1. Rowell is a good storyteller and so far, Eleanor & Park is my fave. I have Attachments on my Kindle and will be starting that soon. 


    1. My first reaction was, is this going where I think it’s going? I was about to roll my eyes but it somehow works. 


    1. Eleanor & Park was the best one for me but that deal with high school angst. I don’t think you are all that into angst, are you? This one focuses on a marriage so the players are older, but a magical phone is going to be a hard sell for some readers. 


  2. I haven’t yet read any of her adult fiction but I’ve heard good things about The Attachments and this one sounds like a bit of fun, too. Um, ya…magical phone does sound a bit far fetched! LOL!

    1. It does, doesn’t it? I kind of like the inclusion of old “technology” like a rotary dial phone. It’s so foreign to us now.  It’s a little hard to swallow but it was much better than what I thought was going on. 


  3. Cool! I can live with “more than Fangirl but less than E&P.” I have a feeling I’m going to feel that way about all her books until she writes another E&P-caliber book. I really didn’t like Fangirl. lol

  4. Have you read Attavhments? It is her other adult book, which I actually liked loads better than E&P and Fangirl. Sure that was silly too at points, but the humor and lightness was worth it. Based on that, I may like this one, but we’ll see.

    1. Haven’t read Attachments yet but I own a copy. I picked it up after Eleanor & Park.  When it first came out it didn’t appeal to me all that much but I do enjoy her writing  and after E&P I felt as if I had to read more of her books. 


  5. I finally picked up Fangirl and I’m try to get that one read before I pick up this one. Rowell is always good for a fun read (although the thing that made Eleanor and Park so great was that it had so much depth and that edge to it).

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