Off My Bookshelf: Attachments

Oh but I wanted to love this book so badly you don't even know.

Eleanor and Park is one of my favourite love stories; Fangirl made me so happy; Landline is a freaking delight of a book; and let's not even get started on Carry On and Wayward Son. I had ridic high hopes for this. So high in fact, that I don't even know why it took me so long to read it and now I am sad that I did because my hopes have been dashed.

Here's the thing. Rainbow Rowell is a good writer, that is a fact that remains. This book is well written, it's set in 1999 which is fantastic because Rowell does this kind of setting so well and there's a certain kind of nostalgia about reading about that time that I am so here for - we're so fully immersed in the internet now that it's hard to remember life before it and this book is a lush little reminder. Also, her characterisation, as always is really really good. Jennifer and Beth, the two female leads in this book are glorious because they are funny and honest and emotional and they feel real. My best friend and I have exchanged emails that are so similar to the emails Jennifer and Beth have exchanged; these two characters felt relatable to, like people you recognise, could be friends with, could be, and that's always always a thing I've loved about Rowell's writing, the way she makes you feel that way about her characters.

Jennifer and Beth's story is funny and engaging and I liked it, but sadly that story alone is not enough to make this book onto the 5 star shelf with Rowell's other work.

Because Lincoln.

Lincoln is the 'romantic' lead, inverted commas required. The nerdy IT guy who's job it is to read any emails that are flagged up at the company the girls work for, and if need be, issue a warning. Basically it's to stop people using the company email for personal use, or like you know, sharing confidential information pertaining to the business (which is a newspaper but that is by the by). Jennifer and Beth's emails get flagged up a lot as you would expect in 1999 when people used work email instead of Whatsapp but he doesn't warn them that their emails are going to him and that they're breaking protocol and to stop, like he should, because they seem nice and their emails are interesting and he's becoming invested in their lives because he's reading their emails oh and also he thinks he's falling for one of them.

And therein lies my problem with him falling for this girl, he is reading her emails. 
And she doesn't know.
She assumes he isn't because she knows that if if hrrr emails raised any red flags then she'd be warned about it, and she hasn't been warned about it which can only mean her emails aren't being read and so these two chat to each other as though they're just chatting to each other sharing all kinds of things meant only for each other and all the while some dude is abusing his position and sitting there in the dead of night and reading their emails and it is not cool.

I have issues with invasion of privacy like that, you'll have to forgive me, but it's creepy.

At one point he goes into her cubicle and noses around, looking at photos and personal stuff and it's creepy.

He starts going to her boyfriend's concerts and at one point comments on how he's spending more time with her boyfriend than she is and it's creepy.

At another point he's reading these emails and getting angry because how can she have this life and find this other guy attractive because what about him he was standing right there . Well, Lincoln, she can, because she doesn't know you because you are reading her emails and she doesn't know and it is very very creepy.

It's a little bit Joe Goldberg from You but without the soundproof glass cage and the killing.

This is not a love story. This is weird obsessive creepy behaviour and if some guy told me he'd been reading my emails for months without me knowing and also following me around and bit and hey let'skiss I would not kiss him. I would run for the hills. Not up them, but for them. Beth does not run anyway away from Lincoln, she runs to him: Beth falls in love with Lincoln too (based might I add, entirely on his appearance, which makes her shallower than I wanted her to be. Sigh).

I just, I am saddened because I love Rainbow Rowell, and I love Jennifer and Beth, but this book, overall, despite being a really easy well-written read, is a nope. I just cannot see the romance in anything Lincoln did and I do not feel that this is the healthy beginning to any relationship and it just made me feel really weird.

Change your password and don't use your company email to chat about the intimate details of your life, yikes, although why would you want to nowadays: we have Whatsapp now, it's all encrypted.