Release Date: April 2011
Publisher: Penguin | Plume
Pages: 323 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Kindle e-book
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Amazon)
"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...?
Thoughts on Attachments
I first heard about Attachments when two smart ladies, Estelle from Rather Be Reading and Elena from Novel Sounds, recommended it to me. When they BOTH told me to read it, I knew that I had to listen up and put this one on my TBR.
As soon as I started reading it, I absolutely couldn't put it down. I was flying through, flipping pages frantically, and alternating between smiling and sighing over it. I cannot begin to tell you how refreshing this book was for me!
So, here is a list of five reasons you should drop everything and read this book:
1. The Format.
Attachments has a really unique format that alternates from chapter-to-chapter. About half of the chapters are email exchanges between friends, Beth and Jennifer, while they are at work. The other chapters focus on Lincoln, whose job as an "internet security monitor" requires him to read all emails that are flagged due to certain criteria.
I'm going to be honest and say that I typically hate when books have emails or text message conversations included. I think it's because I often feel that it breaks up the flow while I'm reading and they feel like they're just thrown in with no purpose. What I loved about Attachments, however, is that the email concept was central to the story and made sense. I legitimately looked forward to reading Beth and Jennifer's conversations - but I also couldn't wait to spend more time with Lincoln! It wasn't like I preferred one over the other, which was so nice.
2. The Friendship
As I mentioned in the previous bullet point, Jennifer and Beth's emails to each other are a huge part of this story. Because of that, we really get to know them. I was so invested in their friendship! And I absolutely loved the way they joked with each other but were there for each other in the serious moments, too.
So many books that involve female friendship make me sad because they show the bad side - cattiness, gossip, etc. I just adored how you could just see how much they cared for one another just by reading what they typed back and forth.
Even Lincoln recognized the depth of their friendship:
He may as well admit that, to himself. He was never going to send them a warning. Because he liked them. Because he thought they were nice and smart and funny. Really funny— sometimes they made him laugh out loud at his desk. He liked how they teased each other and looked out for each other. He wished that he had a friend at work he could talk to like that.
Don't we all want to have at least one friend like that? I just loved this aspect of Rowell's book!
3. The Fella.
Here's the thing - Lincoln is a nerd. He's still living at home, and he lets his mom make his lunch. When he's not reading comics or wasting time, he plays Dungeons & Dragons. He had his heart broken by the only girl he ever loved, and it's like he never quite recovered after that. He's stuck in a state of limbo, and just needs that extra push. Lincoln is the heart and soul of Attachments - and it's one I found myself cheering for over and over again!
When he finally starts making progress, he admits to his sister that he's overwhelmed by how far he has left to go. I just loved her advice:
“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”
And that's exactly what he does. His pile of good things starts growing, and he absolutely steals your heart in the process. As he starts caring about these girls he's never met, you can't help but sit on the edge of your seat just waiting for what comes next. He may not be your typical swoony romantic lead, but he's the kind that feels things deeply and quietly wins your heart. Just trust me. You want to get to know him.
4. The Funnies.
There were so many moments in this book that had me laughing out loud. While it's certainly a book with heart, it's also got a great sense of humor. To support my case, here is one of my favorite email exchanges from the very beginning of the book.
< < Jennifer to Beth > > It’s here. Return to your usual programming.
< < Beth to Jennifer > > It?< < Jennifer to Beth > > You know … it, the thing that tells you you’re not pregnant.< < Beth to Jennifer > > It? Do you mean your period? Your monthly? Did your aunt Ruby arrive for a five-to seven-day visit? Is it … that time? Why are you talking like you’re in a feminine napkin commercial?< < Jennifer to Beth > > I’m trying to be more careful. I don’t want to trigger one of those red flags and send some company watchdog computer into a frenzy, just because I sent an e-mail about it.< < Beth to Jennifer > > I can’t imagine that any of the company’s red-flag words involve menstruation.< < Jennifer to Beth > > So you’re not worried about it?< < Beth to Jennifer > > About your period?< < Jennifer to Beth > > No, about that note we got. The one that warned us not to send personal e-mails. The one that said we could be fired for improper use of our computers.< < Beth to Jennifer > > Am I worried that the bad guys from Tron are reading our e-mail? Uh, no. All this security stuff isn’t aimed at people like us. They’re trying to catch the pervs. The online porn addicts, the Internet blackjack players, the corporate spies …< < Jennifer to Beth > > Those are probably all red-flag words. Pervs. Porn. Spies. I bet red flag is a red flag.< < Beth to Jennifer > > I don’t care if they are reading our mail. Bring it on, Tron! I dare you. Try to take away my freedom of expression. I’m a journalist. A free-speech warrior. I serve in the Army of the First Amendment. I didn’t take this job for the bad money and the regressive health care coverage. I’m here for the truth, the sunshine, the casting open of closed doors!
I know, right? You better be dying to read it now!
5. The Feelings.
Finally, this book has some serious feelings. I don't even want to tell you too much, but I want you to know they exist. Honestly, I was hardcore gripping the edge of my Kindle while reading at one point. I had legit bookish anxiety about the ending - I didn't even know how my nerves were going to take it if certain things didn't happen in the end. I'll say no more. Just read this book!
"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. Lincoln felt like he’d dunked his head into a sink full of Pop Rocks and turned on the water."