Rainbow Rowell is the author of Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, both of which I still have yet to read. Attachments is the first book of hers that I have read and I must say that I truly enjoyed it. It’s a light hearted story about friendship and love and office emails. Yep, you read it right, OFFICE EMAILS. That is actually the reason why this book piqued my interest.
I have read a couple of books where the stories were told through mails (Daddy Long Legs) and emails/IMs (Love, Rosie). Both I enjoyed tremendously so as soon as I read the story summary, I bought Attachments. I didn’t notice that it was written by Rainbow Rowell until my cousin told me so.
The story timeline was 1999, when all were frantic about the Y2K bug that was supposed to happen at the turn of the new century. It was also the time when internet and emails were fairly new to the newspaper publishers and traditional journalists.
The hero is Lincoln O’Neill, a studious bachelor who got his heart broken by his first great love during college. He really didn’t know what career to do coz he is pretty much good at everything. He is a jack of all trades. To cope up with his first heart break, he moved back to their state to finish his college degree and studied some more after. When he accepted the IT job from The Courier (a local broadsheet), he thought he was going to do technical and IT related programs. However, the job was more of being a watchdog for employees who use the office email for non-office related matters. Lincoln felt that his job was so menial and that he didn’t deserve the salary he was receiving. He thought of quitting several times but he stayed – not just because he was not sure of his career path yet but also because of the two employees always getting flagged for inappropriate email exchanges.
Beth Fremont is the story’s heroine. She is the typical career girl who fell in love with a rock artist that most girls swoon for but a forever immature type of guy. She frequently defended her beau from her colleague/friend cum email buddy – Jennifer Scribner-Snyder. Her emails to Jennifer ranged from funny to serious tones about love, friendship and work. Their conversations were particularly fun to read when they taunted the watchdog whom they didn’t know who but just knew that there was someone who monitored improper use of emails.
There were also other people in the story that made it all the more realistic and entertaining. For one, Jennifer who is like the second lead female character. She used to be a plus size girl who had complexes about her weight and her marriage with a hottie named Mitch. Her email exchanges with Beth were hilarious especially (1) when she thought she was pregnant, (2) when she became really pregnant but didn’t know what to do and how to feel, and (3) when they talked about Beth’s McG (my cute guy).
Then there is Lincoln’s mother who is very possessive of her children. Lincoln’s older sister, a rebellious daughter and a mother of two little boys. Doris, the office help who became Lincoln’s break time mate and friend. Chris, Beth’s rocker artist boyfriend and an all-time douche bag. Justin, Lincoln’s friend who became an instant fan of Chris and his rock band.
Almost a quarter of the story had been told already before Lincoln and Beth’s love story started. Well, it was not really a love story yet rather a cute crush-stalker-ish thing first.
Reading Beth and Jennifer’s emails even when not flagged by the watchguard program became Lincoln’s hobby just to pass time and his growing boredom in his work. Through reading their exchanges, Lincoln got to know the two girls and how real, sensitive and funny they were. He felt that their conversations were not really serious to warrant a memo from him and the management so he just let it go even when the two intentionally typed words that would flagged the system. He was getting attached with them especially with Beth when he read emails about her boyfriend Chris and the latter’s lack of commitment to her and their relationship. Lincoln even went to her workstation to see how she looks like but since he worked graveyard, he didn’t get to see her.
It was just curiosity and an innocent crush to some girl he couldn’t even see. It just became something more when he surprisingly found himself the topic of their email exchanges. Both girls didn’t know who he was and Beth just called him her “My Cute Guy or McG”. From there the story spun from crush to confusion to ultimately love. Of course, I don’t want to give too much detail. You have to find out yourself what made Attachments a must-read novel.
In summary the story is a feel-good one that would leave you satisfied and happy. No real heart tugging moment or tear jerking episode. Though at times I felt like there’s no one like Lincoln in the world, Rainbow would simply just make you want to believe that there is one – a guy who would fall in love with you even before he sees you.