Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "'Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . '
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?"
Review: Oh for cute. This book was just so stinking cute. I loved reading it.
I recently read an article that itemized each of the rom-com cliches (best friend becomes lover! opposites attract: haters become maters! wallflower suddenly blossoms into a total babe!) and detailed why we're sick of reading about them (overdone! unoriginal! read it a thousand times before!)
Here's the thing about those cliches, though: they're cliches for a reason. And that reason is because they're based in reality.
Here in real life, people fall in love. It's magical and miserable and all the things Taylor Swift sings about. And the people with whom humans fall in love are often friends who, somewhere down the road, became something more; or the total opposite personality who somehow perfectly balances you; or the stranger from the coffee shop with the devastating smile; or the blind date that just never ends. People write about these kinds of stories because they're relatable. They're understandable. They happen every day.
We get annoyed with the lack of originality in love stories (I've read that plot a million times before!) but really we should direct our annoyance at the characters. When love stories don't connect, it's usually a matter of characterization than plot. When a love story feels generic, it's probably because the characters aren't unique enough to make their story worth reading. However, if you care about the characters, then you will care about whether they end up happy. (Random people kissing for the first time is nice, but watching your dear friend fall in love is something else entirely.) Become emotionally invested yourself, and a love story can be completely captivating.
All this is to say that Rainbow Rowell writes a dang good love story.
Rowell's strength is her characterization, and this book was no exception. Each character was unique and conflicted and memorable. I cared about every single character. So this story, while not unique in the slightest, was absolutely unlike anything else I'd read because nothing else has Lincoln and Beth. It's rare that the same story can be both fresh and familiar, but this one is.
I'm coming to realize that all Rainbow Rowell novels are lovely and heart-warming reads featuring fully-realized characters, which may or may not be why I just placed her Printz award winning Eleanor & Park on hold at the library. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a real and really good love story!