I’d been seeing rave reviews of Rainbow Rowell’s books for like forever but I haven’t read any of her books yet. I had copies of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Attachments in my Kindle and I’ve been planning to read them since I put them there but you know how fickle I get in reading. Landline is my first RR read and I honestly don’t know if I liked it just fine or if she really is worth the hype.

Type HerLandline by Rainbow Rowell

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Adult Contemporary Romance

Read from July 25 to 26, 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 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?

Compared to her other works, Landline’s premise is something that I would usually go for. It gave me the final push to give Rowell a try. It’s not out of a whim or anything; the book is an adult contemporary—you know I eat up that genre. Also, the thought of love not enough to make a relationship work is an intriguing concept.

I don’t have much to say with Rowell’s writing style since I haven’t read her previous works. I don’t know what to expect so when I read this, I was clueless of what I’m getting myself into. I stopped reading YA contemporary for a while now, it’s the reason I still haven’t read E&P and we all heard how readers loved that book. I was afraid I would not like this one since some authors who started in YA can’t pull off a good adult novel. To my surprise, I enjoyed reading Landline. It has a dramatic achy feel that made me teary eyed at times. Her prose is so simple yet the emotions conveyed by her characters are so raw and the relationship felt so real. I’ve read countless of romance novels about falling marriage but Rowell knows how to pull the right strings to make you feel her characters without relying too much on the characters’ chemistry and sexual tension.

I have little a problem with the narration. I wasn’t a fan of interchanging past and present narratives. There were times that I have to check again if I’m reading the Past Georgie and Neal from the Present Georgie and Neal. I don’t know if it’s because I read the Kindle version. The printed copy might have been different and easier to read. I got the hang of it after a few chapters and it helped that Rowell was able to balance the sequence; it wasn’t too hard to follow. She also didn’t fail to stir up the right emotions for her lines and scenes. The only flaw I see in her characters is that, I never understood the Present Neal. Sometimes I wish I could get in his head to see what he is thinking because most of the story revolves the Past Neal. I get a better picture of who the Past Neal is but the Present Neal is a mystery.

I don’t care much about the magical phone because the story can stand without it. It makes the plot different and interesting but fantasy isn’t Rowell’s strongest point. Overall, Landline is a good read about the dynamics of a relationship that starts from infatuation and eventually ends to marriage, of love not being the driving force of a commitment, of realizations that is painful to think about, and of difficult decisions you have to bravely make.

Mediocre: I can tolerate it but I want more!

Mediocre: I can tolerate it but I want more!

It’s more like you meet someone, and you fall in love, and you hope that that person is the one—and then at some point, you have to put down your chips. You just have to make a commitment and hope that you’re right.
― Rainbow Rowell, Landline

Other Reviews:
Pretty Books
All the Books I Can Read
I Heart… Chick-Lit


Book # 86 of 2014


2 thoughts on “Landline

  1. hotchocolatedays says:

    I haven’t read this one but “if you got a second chance at love, would you make the same call?” really made me want to. Eleanor and Park is one of my favourites i really recommend it and if you need a little push just look at the quotes – it isnt difficult to fall in love with. As for Fangirl the title just makes me cringe and the girl is writing a simon and bas (harry potter) fanfiction. One of them books that shouldn’t be good but really is. It can be very cute and just generally nice to get to know all the characters. Do you recommend reading landline?

  2. Lynai says:

    I have read all of Rowell’s books and I say that this will be most favorite, so far. Maybe because I am married and I can’t help but agree with all that’s been depicted in this book when it comes to love, romance, and marriage, especially when you add kids to the formula. That last line you’ve quoted actually had me nodding vigorously with assent when I first read it. I’m glad you didn’t have a terrible first time with Rainbow. You might want to read Attachments next, because that’s her other adult book (which is my second favorite. Hihi.)

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