Saturday, July 19, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

By Rainbow Rowell
Published: July 8, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 310
5 stars

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble.  That it's been in trouble for a long time.  She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply - but that seems almost besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go.  She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles.  She knows that Neal will be upset with her - Neal is always a little upset with Georgie - but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it.  If she's ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past.  Its not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she's supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Opening Thoughts

I honestly went into this book not expecting to enjoy it. Now most fans of Rainbow Rowell know, and I most certainly am one, all of Rainbow Rowell's books are wonderful. I was a believer of this until reading Rainbow Rowell's Attachments at the beginning of this year, which I did enjoy but it wasn't that great. It certainly didn't live up to the expectations that I had after reading both Eleanor and Park and Fangirl which I rated 4 and 5 stars respectively. So, no, I wasn't expecting anything super great, maybe a 3 star book. However, I absolutely loved this book. It has officially taken it's place as my favorite Rainbow Rowell book of all time(yes, it's even better than Fangirl, which we all know I loved). 

I think that because I read so many young adult books, I start thinking that I can't relate to adult characters, or at least, not near as well as I can relate to young adult characters. I don't think that this is an unrealistic assumption, because in case you guys didn't know, I am a teenager. I've never even been in a relationship, let alone been married. But I was able to relate to Georgie more than I've been able to relate to any character in a long time. Georgie's point of view on life is very cynical, which only made her more relatable to me. I myself am extremely cynical. A lot of people tell me that I have an incredibly negative outlook on life, but I just see it as being realistic. I could see how this trait could cause other people my age to have a more difficult time relating to Georgie, because I know a lot of people my age are very kind of, naive, I suppose, though that's probably not the best word for it. I find myself oftentimes getting annoyed with how optimistic characters in young adult fiction can be. Yes, optimistic is a better word. It seems to me like sometimes even though everything is going to shit, they still feel like everything is perfect, and they're so stuck in that bubble of optimism, and it drives me crazy. 

“How'd you know he was the one?"

"I didn't know. I don't think either of us knew."

Heather rolled her eyes. "Neal knew — he proposed to you."

"It's not like that," Georgie said. "You'll see. It's more like you meet someone, and you fall in love, and you hope that that person is the one — and then at some point, you have to put down your chips. You just have to make a commitment and hope that you're right.”

“Nobody's lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It's something you make happen - because you love each other.” 

“It's more like you meet someone, and you fall in love, and you hope that that person is the one--and then at some point, you have to put down your chips. You just have to make a commitment and hope that you're right.”

I loved Neal as a character, both him in 2013(when the book takes place), and the him that Georgie talks to from the past. He was so sweet and adorable. Both him and Georgie were so bad at flirting, and it was so awkward and adorable. The predicament that they are in in this book was both incredibly intense and sweet. There were moments where they were having intense discussions about their relationship, and Georgie was thinking about how maybe they never should have gotten married in the first place, and my heart hurt so badly for the both of them. Then there were also times where I was laughing out loud, like times when Georgie was talking to past Neal, and Heather or her mom would walk in and try to talk to him or something and it was hysterical. 

“She thought of ... the way he never made made her feel crazy, even when she was acting crazy, and never made her feel like a failure, even when she was failing.”

“I love you more than I hate everything else.”

“Georgie. You cannot be jealous of Dawn--that's like the sun being jealous of a lightbulb.”

Seth was a hilarious character. He's Georgie's best friend, and he kind of fell into that cliche of the best friend being in love with the main character, but it was brought up for like two pages, so I didn't really have an issue there. I really liked how he really supported Georgie and her relationship issues, because usually that's something that female main characters feel that they can't talk to their male best friends about. This could be because Georgie and Seth had been friends for almost twenty years, but regardless, it was something that I really enjoyed. 

“Well, all these white guys are just fantasy-yous.” Seth abused his hair some more. “Fantasy-me would never show up on this show. Fantasy-me was already on Gossip Girl.” 

“What happened to you?” Seth was out of his chair and circling her. “You look like Britney Spears, back when she was dating backup dancers and walking around gas stations barefoot.”

As always with contemporaries, I don't have too much to say about the plot of this book. This book has it's sweet and adorable moments that Rainbow Rowell easily balances with sadder and more intense moments. The plot moved along quickly, and kept me very engaged. Rainbow Rowell's writing was just as great as always. She always surprises me with how well she can write third person. 

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone. Even if you feel like you won't enjoy young adult books, still pick it up, I really do think that you'll like it. As always, Rainbow Rowell managed to deliver another fantastic contemporary, that has a great storyline, and is filled with everything you could ever want from a novel.

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