A Reader Opines: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Expected Publication: July 8th 2014 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary | Fantasy
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I’ve been anxious to read something by Rainbow Rowell because people are raving about Fangirl and Eleanor & Park. I hope to read those books in the future.

Blurb taken 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?

At the heart of Landline is the universal theme of relationships and how difficult they are to maintain. Especially when only one half does all the heavy lifting. Rowell does a beautiful job of pulling the reader’s emotional strings by stripping away the masks we all wear and exposing what lies beneath.

I’ve known people in real life much like these characters. Georgie is completely clueless and watching her grow and change is satisfying. Neal has all of these defenses firmly in place and I wonder how in the world did he wind up with Georgie. He must be a gluten for punishment. By the end of the book, I understood him much better. Seth is completely annoying, a masterful saboteur, and engineer of his own failings.

I have a love-hate relationship with Rowell’s writing style. It’s engaging and even though it took a while for me to become sucked into the story, once it finally grabbed me, it did so completely. However, there were times when it exasperated me. For instance, there were a lot of thoughts like:

Neal.

Neal, Neal, Neal.

It was difficult to picture a 30-something doing this – even if it was in her mind.

I give Landline 4 out of 5 stars because it so thoroughly manipulates the emotions. It might disappoint readers who loved her young adult books, but those that have passed the YA and New Adult stages of life will appreciate it.

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Missy does not participate in any affiliate programs and receives no compensation from the sale of this book.