Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors. I’ve been putting off reading Attachments for a long time because I didn’t want to run out of Rainbow Rowell books. I shouldn’t have put it off because it felt good to be back in one of Rowell’s stories. I’ve read almost all of her books. Her characters and dialogue are always amazing. I get so absorbed in her novels that I forget everything that’s going on in my life. That’s a sign of a talented writer.
“‘It's nice of you to say I'm your best friend.’
‘You are my best friend, dummy.’
‘Really? I always assumed that somebody else was your best friend, and I was totally okay with that. You don't have to say that I'm your best friend just to make me feel good.’
‘You're so lame.’
‘That's why I figured somebody else was your best friend.’” - Attachments
In Attachments, Lincoln O’Neill gets a job as an Internet security officer at a newspaper. He hates his job because he wants to meet new people, but he works at night when the office is empty. He spends most of his time reading strangers’ e-mails and writing up warnings about the inappropriate ones. Two people whose e-mails often get flagged as inappropriate are Beth and Jennifer. Lincoln doesn’t want to report them because reading their entertaining e-mails is the only fun part of his job. As the months pass and he continues reading their mail, he finds himself falling in love with Beth. But, he’s never met her. He doesn’t even know what she looks like.
Even though I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing, I didn’t think Attachments would be my type of book. It sounded too fluffy, romantic, and predictable for my tastes. My instincts turned out to be correct. I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as I enjoyed Rowell’s young adult books. Like her other novels, this one has hilarious dialogue (and e-mails), but Attachments is too romance-heavy for me. It explores the fantasy that many girls have about guys falling in love with their personalities rather than their bodies. That part of the story is sweet, but other than the romance, there isn’t much going on in this book.
I didn’t love the romance, but I did love the themes. Attachments is about how one person’s “Average” can be another person’s “Extraordinary.” It actually took me a long time to figure out what Lincoln sees in Beth. Yes, she’s funny and opinionated, but so what? She seems pretty average to me. Then I realized that her e-mails are exactly what Lincoln needs to pull himself out of his unhappy rut. She unknowingly gives him the courage to try things that he wouldn’t normally do. To me, Beth is average, but to Lincoln, she’s extraordinary.
The theme works the other way, too. Lincoln sees himself as an average guy, but when his presence becomes known to Beth and Jennifer, the way they describe him is anything but average. This book shows that the way you see yourself could be very different from the way that others see you.
“He knew why he wanted to kiss her. Because she was beautiful. And before that, because she was kind. And before that, because she was smart and funny. Because she was exactly the right kind of smart and funny. Because he could imagine taking a long trip with her without ever getting bored. Because whenever he saw something new and interesting, or new and ridiculous, he always wondered what she'd have to say about it—how many stars she'd give it and why.” - Attachments
So, for me, this book is fairly average, but I can completely understand how someone else could see it as extraordinary.