Monday, July 7, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
So, I don’t ever really review adult books on the blog. I’m an obsessive YA reader. I do make rare exceptions for books with extreme crossover appeal that I know will have a large YA readership. I do like to read the occasional adult novel, but I don’t always review them here. This book is one of my exceptions. I know there will be a lot of teens and avid YA readers picking this up the day it comes out.
Rainbow Rowell has a special place in my heart. Both of her YA books made it to my top ten list of 2013 (with Fangirl being my #1 favorite book of 2013). I also liked Rowell’s other adult novel, though not as much as her YA. When I happened upon a little tidbit of knowledge about a special Macmillan shindig going on at BEA, I rushed over, and was ecstatic to see a table full of these ARCs. This was one of my most anticipated books at the conference.
That being said, I had high hopes for this one. I’m not the biggest fan of books that deal with motherhood and marriage problems, if anything because I don’t know much about these topics and can’t really relate. So, I knew going in, that the book wouldn’t be my normal cup of coffee. That’s okay; sometimes I like to try a different caffeinated beverage and mix it up a bit. I also felt like if any author could get me to understand these topics, it would be Rowell with her excellent character writing.
Unfortunately, I did still have a lot of those “out of place” feeling moments where I did feel a little disconnected from the main character and her problems that I just don’t know much about (yet). Do a lot of marriages work this way? Was Georgie totally overreacting and dramatizing everything? Do parents always feel this much guilt? I just wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel.
I did still fall for all of her characters. Georgie was a bit of a mess, but in a good –willing to change kind of way. I loved her modern family –her home away from home. And I super loved her work family. I loved getting to read another book about a writer. Georgie was a tv writer, and I found all aspects of her job to be fascinating. I also was so in love with her husband, someone who seriously needs a best dad coffee mug like no one else.
What really kept the book interesting for me though, besides the excellent characters, was the little piece of magical realism. The idea of Georgie speaking to her husband (at an earlier time –pre-wedding) was kind of unbelievably genius. I liked that Georgie didn’t know if she was supposed to prevent the marriage from happening or if anything she was saying would alter history.
I found the story to be rather predictable. I called the ending at least half way through, and I certainly figured a lot of things out before Georgie did, which at times was a little annoying. Why did it take her so long to catch on? She seemed too smart to bet that slow
I read this one in a day. The magical realism was awesome. The characters were of the best Rainbow Rowell quality. Georgie’s job was fun to read about (past and present). I do wish it was a little easier for me to connect to the main character, but I’m not sure if this is any fault of the author’s. I just couldn’t relate. I also wish it wasn’t quite as predictable. Overall, I definitely like the author’s YA stuff better, but this was still a lot of fun to read. I give it an 8/10.

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