September 8, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
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 beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside 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 you think most people bet everything, their whole lives, on hope. Just hoping that what they're feeling is real."

Landline was a book that gave me several different conflicting emotions. I love Rainbow Rowell, because she can give me all of these emotions in such a simple way, but with this book it just seemed like they didn't fit together very well. Since this is the very beginning of my review, let me start with the ending of the book. It seems fitting, don't you think? To start with the ending?

Whether or not it makes sense, that's the way I'm starting. (Minor Spoiler, so skip over it to the next paragraph, if you'd like.) I liked the fact that Georgie and Neal get back together in the end, but it didn't really seem right. I kind of felt like it shouldn't have happened, like maybe they really would have been happier without each other. It seemed just a tad bit forced, and I don't like the idea of forcing romance where there isn't any. It just didn't fit for me.

But aside from that itty bitty problem, I actually enjoyed Landline while I was reading it. I liked the main character, Georgie. She was really sweet, and very depressed. Her prose just dripped with sadness and nostalgia, which I really loved. It seems amazing when you can feel the character's emotions just by the words that were used to describe them, so A+ for Rowell's writing skills.

I also liked the seamless way that the past and the present just blended together... like everything was happening side by side, in some kind of time loop. Which, in theory, I guess it was. The concept of the magical phone was really interesting - I didn't know how to react to it at first. But as I read on, I realized that it's not made out to be some sort of fantasy or anything, and Georgie thinks that she's totally crazy at first.

She's actually a bit afraid of the phone, and that was interesting. I liked her conversations with past Neal, but they really made me wonder about her current relationship with Neal, and at some times it just seemed really odd. It definitely raised a lot of fascinating moral questions; like was she pushing him to marry her in the past? Did she call him in the past as well, but this version of herself is just getting around to it? Is it inappropriate for her to talk sexually with the 25 year old version of her husband when she's forty now? Should she have told him about the time-traveling phone?

All in all, Landline was a pretty interesting read. I liked it, and it made me feel kind of nostalgic for the things I've never had. It was a good book.

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