Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Landline

The reading world fell in love with Rainbow Rowell in 2013 after she published two fabulous YA novels (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl - links lead to my reviews). She's gone back to writing for adults (her first book, Attachments, is an adult book) with her latest novel, Landline. The novel, released on July 8, has a fantastical element to it and it is sweet, real, and hilarious. I loved it.

Here's the synopsis:
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 almost seems 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 to 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. It’s 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?
First things first. If you're an actual YA fan of Rowell, as in you are a real teenager and not an adult reading YA, you may not like this book. You're not necessarily going to get this book. Even I, at 27, didn't get some of the pop culture references in this book (thought I did get, and love, the Amy Sherman-Palladino reference...can she please write a Gilmore Girls reunion episode or movie? Pretty please?) because I'm, I think, over a decade younger than Georgie. I recognized almost all of the references but I didn't know specifics. This wasn't a dealbreaker for me but teen readers, and their parents, need to realize that this isn't a Rowell book targeted to the teenage set. Personally, I'm thrilled that Rowell has gone back to writing for adults...even though (major confession), I haven't yet read Attachments (soon, I promise).

The writing was, hands down, my favourite part of this book. Rowell is hilarious. I think we got glimpses of that in her previous works but because Georgie is a comedy television show writer, Rowell was really able to let her awesome humour shine. Speaking of Amy Sherman-Palladino...I feel like Rowell wrote in a similar way. So, if you know and love Gilmore Girls, you can appreciate the type of writing and humour you find in Landline.

I've already heard from a few bloggers/early readers that they didn't exactly love Georgie. I can see that, I think. Some people may not get why she let her marriage limp along for so long before doing something about it. They may not get why she's with Neal instead of Seth. And they just may not like her personality (I believe I've heard "whiny" used as a descriptor). I'm not saying I totally get her or even love her but I found her interesting. She is real. And that is why I love Rainbow Rowell and her novels. We don't get picture perfect heroines (or heroes) in her novels and their story isn't always wrapped up in a typical Happily Ever After way. I admit that I like when the main characters are totally likeable but I really liked reading Georgie's story.

I quite liked the fantastical element of this novel. It was a neat concept...a sort of time travelling phone. How interesting! It sounds so far fetched but Rowell totally made it work. I also liked that we weren't exactly sure how the phone was working or when the conversations were taking place. Well, we knew when Georgie was calling but was it Present Day Neal she was talking to or Past Neal? It was a fun idea and I really liked how it ended up. Funny and sweet and not totally crazy.

I really loved Landline. I read Rainbow Rowell's latest from start to finish in one sitting. I didn't want to put it down! I was lucky enough to snag an eARC but I'm seriously considering buying the book when it's released tomorrow. It's so pretty and so good and would fit in well on my bookshelf with my other Rowell novels! Landline is a must read for those who enjoy a real and relatable heroine and for those who love a good story with a lot of humour and heart.

*An eARC of this novel was received from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.*

1 comment:

  1. I loved Landline, too, and YES! Totally loved the Amy Sherman-Palladino and Harry Potter references.


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