Tag Archives: Rainbow Rowell

Review: Landline


Landline
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.

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Review: Fangirl

Fangirl
Fangirl
By Rainbow Rowell
(St. Martin’s Griffin, Hardcover, 9781250030955, September 2013, 448pp.)

The Short of It:

Oddly captivating and yet, slightly disappointing.

The Rest of It:

After loving Eleanor & Park, I HAD to get my hands on another Rowell book and this one just happened to be available from the library.

First off, it’s not Eleanor & Park. Sigh.

Cath and her twin sister Wren, head off to the University of Nebraska. It’s their first semester and they’ve chosen to live apart so they can meet new people and experience new things. This is more Wren’s idea, than Cath’s but Cath has little choice in the matter so she reluctantly goes along with it. The timing is not perfect. Their mother left them long ago, but Cath isn’t sure that they should both be leaving their father at the same time. What will their dad do? How will he get along without them? As it turns out, not all that well.

As Wren surrounds herself with the party scene, Cath has a hard time fitting in. She chooses to stay in when she can, eats more than her share of trail bars and spends nearly every waking moment thinking about the fan fiction she writes based on the Simon Snow novels that she loves. When she falls for her roommate’s ex-boyfriend Levi, her life gets complicated.

As captivating as these characters were, I did not love this one. Too much of the novel was dedicated to Simon Snow. I get that Cath is obsessed with Snow but these parts were my least favorite. I could not get into Snow’s world so every time he came up, I almost immediately tuned out.

Aside from the Snow stuff, I felt that Cath’s pain over losing her mother at such a young age was enough to carry me through. Cath and Wren are both so damaged by the event, but when Wren admits to being in contact with her mother, Cath just can’t believe what she’s hearing. The woman left them at the age of ten. How could Wren welcome her back with open arms? This is really the crux of everything that is wrong with Cath. Her lack of self-esteem, her inability to open up to anyone… all because of her mother’s rejection. It’s heartbreaking.

However, by the end of the story, the characters haven’t grown enough for me to feel that all is well. Perspective has changed and some maturity has taken place, but I never got the feeling that everything that could have been explored, was. This left me a little unsatisfied.

That said, Rowell accurately captures what a first semester away from home feels like and really, that is why I read her. She seems to have a real knack for conveying awkwardness and that is no exception here.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.