Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Format/Source: ARC/From Publisher, via BEA
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? (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
A Fantastic Read For, Well, Anyone…
I have thoroughly enjoyed each of Rainbow Rowell’s books that I’ve read (which is all except Attachments). Eleanor & Park is still my favorite of hers, but Landline is a close second. And while Eleanor & Park is all about that newness of first love, Rowell took one of my favorite parts of that book, that first long phone conversation, and turned it into the main focus of Landline. That first phone call in a new relationship is one of my favorite things about relationships. You talk about everything, finding out all these little things that make up this person you’re so enamored with. You spend hours on the phone, only hanging up when one of you must, or when you fall asleep… And I love that Rowell took this aspect of relationships and centered Landline around it.
Of course, there is a lot more to Landline than just the many phone conversations. But I just loved that part and think it’s a really clever plot line for the story, even without the whole magical phone aspect. But of course I love that aspect, too.
I just think this is a great story for anyone who has been in a relationship that didn’t quite work out (basically anyone who has been in a relationship ever), and it’s especially great for those who have been in a relationship for a long time, and the chemistry isn’t exactly what it used to be.
And Rowell’s characters are just so exquisitely complex, to the point that you dislike each of them at least for a small part of the book, even if you end up loving them. And that’s how we all are, right? We can love someone so much, but there will always be those times when we don’t like them or are angry with them. I think Rowell must have a magical telephone that tells her the truth about people and relationships, because she just gets it.
I also laughed out loud (literally) several times while I was reading Landline. I was on a plane while I was reading most of it, so I’m sure some of my fellow passengers were wondering what the heck I was laughing at. But if I had extra copies of Landline I would have just handed them over, saying “Here. Read this. It’s GOOD.”
My only complaints are minor ones. The narration jumped around a lot in time, and sometimes that was confusing. And there were some phrases that didn’t really make sense, but perhaps that was just because I read the ARC. Either way, these complaints were so minuscule that they had no affect on my love for Landline.
The Bonus Point Queen Continues Her Reign…
For my second blogoversary this year, I held my First Annual Bonus Points Awards, and Rainbow Rowell was crowned the Bonus Point Queen. Well, with Landline, I think she may continue her reign in the next Bonus Points Awards. Here are the Bonus Points she earned with Landline:
- Multiple Star Wars references = 50,000 points
- A Willy Wonka reference = 50,000 points
- Multiple Harry Potter references = 50,000 points
- Multiple references to The Hobbit = 25,000 points
- Multiple references to The Wizard of Oz = 50,000 points
- Multiple Back to the Future references = 15,000 points
- A Quantum Leap reference = 15,000 points
- A Doctor Who reference = 50,000 points
- Reference to Amy Sherman-Palladino/Gilmore Girls = 50,000 points
- A Freaky Friday reference = 25,000 points
Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher, via Book Expo America, in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.