“Attachments”—A Book Review

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Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is another hit! This writer is officially on my favorites shelf. The witty dialogue and snarky characters are amusing as hell.

The year is 1999, and The Courier newspaper is just getting the internet in the office. Paranoid about employees goofing off on the web and misusing the company email, they hired an IT guy to filter any “red flagged” emails.

Lincoln is the man hired for this particular job. If an email gets flagged with one of the trigger terms, he’s supposed to send the sender a warning email, letting them know that if they continue to abuse the company email account, they will be reprimanded.

Beth and Jennifer are work friends that became best friends. They continuously throw caution to the wind and use their work emails to chitchat during working hours about their personal lives and dilemmas as well as discussing their work lives. The snark and bitterness that flies between these two gals naturally triggers a red flag.

The first time Lincoln reads one of their emails, he is immediately pulled in by their cleverness and zeal. Lincoln has no idea what he wants from life: he has a million degrees that he does nothing with, lives with his mother at the age of 28, and his only social activity includes playing Dungeons & Dragons every Saturday night with his buddies. Talk about a panty dropper of a guy, right?

As Lincoln continues to receive and read Beth and Jennifer’s personal emails, he becomes captivated by them, Beth in particular. He never sends them a warning email, even though he should have sent about a hundred or so by now. So he continues to creep on the sidelines, reading their messages to each other.

When he discovers that the girl he has been electronically crushing on has seen him around and refers to him as “My Cute Guy”, even though she has a live-in boyfriend, Lincoln doesn’t know what to do. But something in the girls’ emails encourages him to try harder at life, and make more of a social effort.

Sounds incredibly creepy right? It kind of is, but in a fantastically hilarious sort of way. You never really consider what your life looks like to an outsider because usually all they see is the outer shell of what we project ourselves to be. But what if a stranger could somehow know the real you?

 I’m telling you, Rainbow Rowell has a gift for words. You will be entertained to the extreme with this witty novel. Read it, and read it now. That is all.

Five out of five stars.   

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“Nantucket Blue”—A Book Review

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Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland is the most absolute perfect beach read if you are looking for something a little thought provoking. Fans of Jenny Han’s The Summer I turned Pretty trilogy are sure to love this title.

Cricket Thompson is ready to have the summer of her life in Nantucket, staying with her best friend in the world, Jules. But right before the trip, Jules’ family suffers a tragedy and Cricket finds herself uninvited to stay with them.

But Cricket is determined—determined that Jules needs her this summer more than ever, and determined that this is the summer she will make her long-time crush, Jay, hers. Thus, Cricket gets a job as a maid at an inn on the island…not quite what she had in mind, but better than stuck at home all summer babysitting a snotty kid.

The thing is, life doesn’t always go how you planned it. Jules is dealing with her own sadness and decides not to be Cricket’s friend and is pissed that Cricket showed up in Nantucket.

“It didn’t matter how good my grades were or that I’d made varsity as a freshman; it didn’t matter how carefully, how perfectly, I’d managed my popularity; it didn’t matter that I’d measured an doled out my flirtations like teaspoons of sugar—never too much to be a tease, always enough to be sweet. Jules was able to take my happiness away from me with one swift betrayal. My social life had slid from good to bad like a hockey puck across a rink. It wasn’t fair. I wanted to take her to friend court.”

Now Cricket finds herself stuck on this island for the summer, scrubbing toilets and making beds, and without a best friend. While surrounded by rich hoity-toity islanders, Cricket must learn to lead her own life and stop wishing for things that are outside of her current grasp.

 “I was wishing I were that kind of rich, the kind where people have to respect you, because that’s what money does. It makes people shut up. It means you live in the big house, throw the cool birthday parties, belong to the country club that has its own jokes, its own dances; take awesome vacations, go skiing enough to get really good at it, own the best clothes, get the green dress.”

Ultimately, this is a summer for Cricket to find herself and to find love in the most unexpected place.

“The only opinion that should matter to me was that of the girl in the mirror. For the first time it felt true. It didn’t matter what other people thought of me; it mattered what I thought of me. I’m not sure why it was at that moment that it finally sank in, except that maybe this is how wisdom works sometimes. You hear it, and some extra-smart part of your brain that you don’t even realize you have grabs it. It stays there, hidden away, until it’s needed.”

This novel kept me turning pages from the very start. I simply couldn’t put it down. Five out of five stars for this brilliant debut!