Attachments is the third book I’ve read from author Rainbow Rowell and it just might be my favourite so far. While Fangirl and Eleanor & Park were written for a YA audience, this book is aimed more at adults. I loved the premise for this story. It was quirky, original and read like a chick lit book from a male perspective.
Attachments is set in a newspaper office in 1999, a time when the millennium was fast approaching and hysteria about the y2k bug was everywhere. Lincoln is a twenty-something IT guy who works the evening shift at the newspaper and his job is mostly monitoring staff emails and issuing warnings if there’s any inappropriate content. It’s in this capacity that he starts reading email exchanges between two female colleagues (Beth and Jennifer) who work at the newspaper during the day, as their emails keep being flagged by the security system due to inappropriate content.
But Lincoln is bored. His job takes him about ten minutes per shift to do. So rather than warning Beth and Jennifer, he reads their emails as a welcome diversion. In their emails they discuss everything from work to partners to possible pregnancies. Like Lincoln, the reader gets to read their hilarious email exchanges back and forth. Over time Lincoln begins to fall for one of the women. But the problem is how can he introduce himself when he works at a completely different time and is shy, not to mention he has violated her privacy in a stalker-like fashion. He doesn’t even know what his crush looks like.
Interspersed with these exchanges, Lincoln goes about his unexciting life. He still lives at home with his mum who cooks and does everything for him. He has been single for a long time following a bad break-up with his high school sweetheart. His idea of fun is playing dungeons and dragons with a group of friends on a Saturday night. Something has to change in his life. He has to change.
Attachments was entertaining and full of witty banter and great one-liners like all of Rainbow Rowell’s books I’ve read so far. Unlike her other books, this book actually has a proper conclusion and all the loose ends are tied up. Hurray for that!
There are some fun side characters and it’s great to read about a slightly awkward protagonist finally getting a life. Lincoln was a likeable character, though some of his behaviour (such as reading private emails) was morally questionable. At first he seemed like the stereotypical IT worker character (lives at home with mum, D&D, can’t talk to girls) and then the author started describing him as looking like Harrison Ford and being hot. So that took my brain a bit of an adjustment.
I really liked the throw back to 1999 when everyone thought that computers wouldn’t be able to cope with the change over to the year 2000. And a time when offices were just starting to get into websites and work emails. There’s probably some of you reading this who weren’t even alive back then!
I think this book would make a fantastic movie one day. It has all the great elements that make a good romantic comedy.
Verdict: A funny, entertaining read. I highly recommend it!