Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: a hardcover provided by the publisher for an honest review
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?
It's official, folks. Rainbow Rowell is amazing. If you don't remember, I fangirled over her Fangirl. While I still haven't read Eleanor & Park, I was lucky enough to receive this beautiful finished copy from the publisher. Boy, I'm grateful.
I used to read mostly all adult books (because I didn't know how great YA could be), but ever since blogging, I've barely read any adult novels. If I have, I'm sure it's been only rereads. Landline made me want to go scour for uncovered treasures again. Because this rocked.
After doing another fingerling session over Rowell, the main question now is how did it rock?
- Georgie. She is a completely flawed human being. She's a workaholic, has a reputation of siding with her coworker (and male and ONLY best friend) over her poor husband, and just makes poor choices. She's not portrayed as a young, perfectly put together writer and middle aged mother. She "lost" herself and as a result, her hair isn't too great and she's put on weight. Yet, while she's way older and in a completely different situation than I am, she's absolutely relatable. I had to remind myself that she was older (but in a good way, it wasn't like Rowell sounded too young). There was sympathy and I felt like we became friends, just like I did with Cath from Fangirl.
- Neal. I knew it. All fictional Neals are good. Exhibit A: Neal from Once Upon a Time. Exhibit B: Rowell's Neal. He may have a barrier around him (at least in flashbacks, oh glorious flashbacks), but he's adorable. I wanted to marry him. He's a geeky artist-turned-father. He's frustrated with Georgie and especially with Seth, but he's supportive.
- Flashbacks. Remember those flashbacks I talked about? Well, along with the time machine phone, we're also treated to Georgie's flashbacks. To me, they were crucial to the story. They helped us understand everyone's backgrounds and the evolving feelings, assisting in where our sympathies lie.
- MAGICAL PHONE. I'm a sucker for time machine books. They're not always good, but I give props to an author for making a somewhat-trope into their own plot. Yes, I may screamed at Georgie once
or twiceto do a sensible thing she wasn't thinking about, but I enjoyed her journey in discovering it, using it, and deciding what to do.
- Rainbow Rowell. I can't help it, I'm a total fangirl of her writing. She's one of the best third person narrative writers, in my opinion.
I think Rowell's books are one of those love 'em or hate 'em books. Not everyone will be crazy for them, but she can definitely create a cult following. She manages to give the main characters—Georgie, Neal, and Seth—such LIFE, but still create so much personality for the supporting characters—like her sister and mother.
Verdict: St. Martin's Press and Rainbow Rowell need all the celebratory food NOW.