Michelle’s Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell


Michelle’s Review: Landline by Rainbow RowellLandline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Macmillan on 2014-07-08
Genres: Contemporary Women, Family Life, Fiction, General, Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
three-stars
From New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell, comes a hilarious, heart-wrenching take on love, marriage, and magic phones. 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 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?

Everyone and their mother raves about Rainbow Rowell’s books. I have only ever read (or in this case, listened to) Landline, but even I can name more Rowell titles than I could for other authors (Attachments, Eleanor and Park, and Fangirl, right?).

Landline was perhaps both a scary and a relatable read for someone who has just gotten engaged in the past year. Marital boredom and disintegration is perhaps a theme most commonly seen on television, but Landline made it very real. The dialogue was very realistic and done well. Georgie decides not to go to Omaha for Christmas to work on a potential big break for her television idea. While separated from her family, she reflects on the beginning of her relationship with Neal and how they got to where they are today.

And then of course, there’s the magical phone.

That’s not a spoiler. The book is called Landline, there’s a picture of the phone, and the synopsis says that there is a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.

Was it an effective narrative tool? Perhaps. It was good that it made Georgie realize some things and remember some things. It definitely throws your mind through the time travel/continuum loop. But I think for me, it seemed just a little out of place. Everything else about the book was so realistic that something paranormal asked for a suspension of disbelief.

I appreciated its realism, despite the paranormal aspect. And while the end has bothered some, it didn’t bother me. It did just sort of end, but I was okay with that. By that point, I was glad that there was a conclusion. It was enjoyable and I understand both the negative and the positive reviews. My opinion is somewhere in the middle.

Edit: I was contacted by Macmillan Audio with the chance to give you a clip from the audiobook! This was how I read Landline, so it’s perfect for you to listen to! 

pj - michelle

What do you think?

  • I enjoyed this one but I agree — the phone thing just didn’t quite fit. I love the realism and heart-wrenching feels in her other books and the magic phone sadly just cheesed this one up a bit for me. I still love her characters and story telling but that prevented me from really falling in love with it.

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