Friday, August 7, 2015

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date:  July 8, 2014
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Series:  Stand Alone
Pages:  308
Genre:  Contemporary
Synopsis:  Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has 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 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?

Review:  For my first adult novel by Rainbow Rowell, Landline did not disappoint.  It is funny, entertaining, and has all the charm that Rainbow Rowell manages to infuse all of her books with.

Rainbow Rowell just has this way of writing that drags you into a story and pulls you along happily throughout the entire book.  You never get tired of reading the story, no matter what happens.  Oh, and I have to mention that Rainbow Rowell is the Queen of Dialogue.  I can't imagine being so engrossed with pages and pages of phone conversations through time if it wasn't written by her.

Just to let you guys know, I am not, in fact, a forty year woman with a crazy job and a strained marriage. No, I'm a high schooler who likes eating candy and crying over fictional people.  Yet, somehow, I found this book easy to relate to.  Don't ask me how, because I have no idea.

Okay, so if you found a magical phone that could defy logical thought and call someone through the timeline, who would you call?  Georgie calls Neal, her husband--only she is talking to the Neal from two decades earlier.  The magic realism is quirky and fun, although it takes Georgie a while to sort out the way the timeline worked with the phone.  Maybe I just watch too much Doctor Who, but I had the reason pegged from the very first phone call.

Georgie McCool (what a name, right?) is an energetic, work obsessed mess of a woman.  She spends so much time working on her shows that she neglects almost every other aspect of her life, from her marriage to shopping.  But sometimes I just wanted to shake her and go, "What are you doing with your life?!"  

In a way, there are two Neal's.  Past Neal and Present Neal.  You spend significantly more time getting to know Past Neal.  Neal has always been a not-so-friendly but always sincere kind of guy.  He isn't my favorite character in the known world, no, but I do see why he's Georgie's favorite.

Their relationship needed some serious work.  With Georgie taking him for granted and his tendency to judge harshly, they made a complete mess of things.  Their marriage is realistic and difficult, but utterly loving.  It is very clear that, even when they can't make it work, the two of them love each other deeply.  It is nice to see Georgie realize that there has to be a push and pull to her marriage, not just all push or all pull.  There needs to be a balance, and sometimes love simply isn't enough.

Rainbow Rowell has this tendency to end things a little suddenly. She just drops everything and goes, "That's it.  That's the end."  I just wish she had explained more at the end of it all this time.  How did the phone work, exactly?  What is going to happen with her and Neal?  What about her show?  

I would always suggest a Rainbow Rowell book, and this one is no exception.  Landline is fun, realistic, and a roller coaster ride of a novel, one I would very much suggest you get one.

4 Keys


  1. A magical phone that can call people from the past?!? Woah. Why didn't I invent that? :-D Cool review! I'm still waiting to read Fangirl... and now I'm going to have to add Landline to the list. I need to know how this phone works!!!

    1. I want one! But who would you call??? Fangirl is great, although Eleanor and Park remains my favorite. Add Landline! Do it!

  2. I a glad you liked this. I really enjoyed it and thought the phone was fun. I love Rainbow Rowell and can't wait for Carry On. Great review!

    1. It doesn't beat Eleanor and Park, but I really do love this book! I am SO EXCITED for Carry On to come out! Thanks for commenting!

  3. So happy to hear you really loved this one Erin! :) I like the idea of Landline, and I have to agree that Rowell has this writing style that's really gripping and engrossing. I read two of her books (Fangirl and Eleanor & Park), and I really enjoyed both of them! I'm not so sure if I'll be wanting to read this one, but if I do get a copy someday, I'll give this a try! Thank you so much for the review Erin :)

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

    1. Rainbow Rowell is definitely one of my favorite contemporary writers. Her words just flow so well. Eleanor and Park is my FAVORITE! I would definitely recommend this one--I flew through it. Thanks for commenting, Jillian!