Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: So sweet
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It's hard for me to admit this, but Landline was actually the first Rainbow Rowell book I've ever read.
Basically, I'm a hardcore slacker and I need to get on that. Fortunately, I have Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, so hopefully I'll get to read those soon!
Anyway, back to Landline. While both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl follow teenagers finding love, Landline is an entirely different story, following Georgie and her husband Neal as their marriage seems to be falling apart. However, the way I see it, this story is about so much more than that. Yes, it's about how their marriage is falling apart, but it's also about how they met, how they fell in love, how they had children, and everything in between. It's about building relationships of all kinds and knowing when to give and take. It's about Georgie figuring out what's worth fighting for.
Another aspect of the book, as many of you may have heard by now, is that there is a magic phone that allows Georgie to call Neal in the past in Landline. Let me tell you something about this magic phone. As Rainbow Rowell herself said at the launch event, just go with it. I'm serious. If you try to read too much into it, asking questions like, "But how does it work?" or, "Where did it come from?", or nitpick with tiny details, you're going to drive yourself crazy. It's such an effortless and unimportant part of the story, to be completely honest. While it adds to Georgie's sort of self discovery, there's so much more to this book than the magic phone (as stated above).
I really loved Georgie throughout the whole book - even though I've never been in Georgie's situation, I felt that she was a very relatable character. Georgie is such a determined, stubborn, and sensitive person - while her determination to achieve her dreams sometimes blinds her from seeing what truly matters, she goes through everything and evaluates all the times she was wrong and asked too much of Neal, especially this time. Georgie's journey of discovery isn't exactly self discovery since she knows who she is, but rather a discovery of which faults she needs to change in order to be happy. I felt Georgie's sorrow, confusion, and regret so deeply throughout Landline and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Georgie's growth throughout.
As for Neal (oh, sweet Neal), he (in the present) isn't around for most of the book. In fact, I'd say he's almost completely absent, allowing for Georgie to have to figure everything out on her own. Even without Neal being around in the story, his absolute sweetness and romanticism bleeds through. Stories of Neal and Georgie in their early relationship were so sweet! Since the story sort of takes place in the past and the present, you really see the evolution of Neal as well despite his absence.
The other big character in this story is Georgie's friend and writing partner Seth. The friendship between Georgie and Seth was an interesting one. Since they'd met, they'd been bouncing comedy ideas and jokes off of each other. After knowing each other almost 20 years, you'd expect them to be extremely close, but they're not really. Sure, Seth can read Georgie well but they have "rules", as Georgie would say, and they don't talk about the important stuff. While Landline is primarily about Georgie's relationship with Neal, I'd say her relationship with Seth was also a interesting journey to follow.
All in all, I really did enjoy Landline. Rainbow Rowell's writing style was so compelling, drawing me into Georgie's head. I found that even as an unmarried and childless 19-year-old girl I could still find ways to relate to this story and the characters in it. There are so many layers to Landline - the deep parts, the sweet parts, and the absolutely comical parts. While I am certainly unqualified to speak on whether this is a truthful portrayal of a marriage in trouble, it felt truthful to me while I read. I highly recommend this book to people who like contemporary and are intrigued by a sort-of-time-travel aspect (BUT REMEMBER TO ROLL WITH IT). I'm happy to have enjoyed my first Rainbow Rowell read so much and I can't wait to read more of her work!
As I mentioned briefly in my review, I was lucky enough to attend the Landline launch event in New York earlier this month. It was so much fun to hear Rainbow Rowell speak - she has so much personality and I can see how her humor plays out in the books. And she's so sweet! I hope that I'll be able to go to more of her events in the future because I seriously could not get enough of her talking!
Also, David Levithan was there to introduce Rainbow Rowell and I got to take a selfie with him, which was cool.
AND, if you haven't figured it out yet, I picked up a signed copy of Landline to giveaway!
To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open US only, unless you are willing to pay the shipping, and is open through August 9th. The winner will be selected shortly after and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Best of luck! :)
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