ebookclassics

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

landline

I always wonder whether it’s a good idea to start with a new-to-me author’s latest novel or go with one of their popular, older novels. I’ve been curious about Rainbow Rowell and Eleanor and Park, in particular, but new releases are always in my face and ready to go at the library. So here we go with Landline!

* CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE STORY
Georgie McCool has always wanted to be TV sitcom writer and she’s living that dream in Los Angeles alongside her long-time best friend, Seth. She works long hours and sometimes has to break her promises. Unfortunately, this does not sit well with her husband, Neal, who is a stay-at-home dad to their two daughters. When an opportunity arises for Seth and Georgie to create their own TV show, Georgie decides not to travel with her family to Omaha for Christmas with Neal’s parents. As a result, an emotional rift that had been threatening her and Neal for some time rips wide open. In a huff, Neal takes the kids and leaves Georgie behind. Devastated, Georgie starts to unravel emotionally. Has Neal left her? Is her marriage over? She desperately tries to reach him by phone but can’t get through. Georgie flees to her mother’s home and hides in her former bedroom to obsess over her marriage. Here she find her old, yellow phone and soon discovers that when she dials his number, the phone magically connects her with Neal. But not her forty-something husband, the much younger Neal she dated in college!

THE GOOD
The first half of Landline is quite funny, as Seth, Georgie and their sidekick, Scotty, work frantically on scripts for their secret TV show presentation. Georgie and Seth’s friendship is the highlight of the book for me. Seth would immediately raise any sensible girl’s red flag, as he is attention hungry, vain and snarky, and yet I still adored him and loved his banter with Georgie. The book subtly suggests that Seth has always had romantic feelings for Georgie and at one stage, I thought he actually might be a better match for her than Neal.

THE BAD
The novelty of a magical telephone was underwhelming for me. Georgie could have easily reminisced about her relationship with Neal without it. But thanks to that phone, young Neal and Georgie speak quite frequently resulting in pages and pages of what I call “young love conversation”, as in when couples have nothing left to talk about, but don’t want to hang up and just speak drivel. Bored me to tears!

CONCLUSION
Landline was a good story and there were many things I liked about it, such as the humour and pop culture references to 80s and 90s TV shows, and Georgie’s friendship with Seth as mentioned above. Georgie is a hopelessly overwhelmed working mom who wanted to do better by her family, and for this reason I found her character likeable in the beginning. However, I quickly grew tired of her floundering and inability to get her act together. And while I appreciated her comedic last-ditch attempt to save her marriage, save Christmas, etc., even getting a bit choked up reading the ending, I had emotionally checked out of Landline many many chapters ago.

3/5 Stars

Did you like Landline? What Rainbow Rowell books have you read?

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14 comments on “Landline by Rainbow Rowell

  1. janceewright
    September 10, 2014

    I liked this one, but not as much as Fangirl or Eleanor and Park. I thought Seth was immature, to the point that I just didn’t like him. But I enjoyed the book overall.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 11, 2014

      You’re right, Seth was really immature, but he made me laugh. I guess that’s why I liked him so much.

      Like

      • janceewright
        September 11, 2014

        I just got really frustrated with him. It was like he couldn’t see that he was standing in Georgie’s way at all. Like he wanted to screw up her marriage. It was really hard for me to find anything amusing about him.

        Like

  2. Naomi
    September 10, 2014

    Some people seem to love this book, and others not so much. The reviews don’t seem to be as consistent as her earlier books. I would be curious to see what you think of one of those, if you ever read one. I haven’t read any of hers yet, but have been curious about all the Rainbow hype. Not so sure what I would think about the magic yellow phone.

    Like

    • Naomi
      September 11, 2014

      Just noticing that you are reading Boundless. I cannot wait to hear what you think of it! Get readin’ Girl!

      Like

  3. kmn04books
    September 11, 2014

    This is actually my favourite of the Rowell books that I have read (Fangirl and half of Eleanor and Park – I couldn’t get through it :/). I think it might have been because I listened to it on audiobook; maybe the dialogue worked better when read aloud? I will admit that Georgie’s inability to pull herself together/mild selfishness did annoy me at parts though.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 11, 2014

      Interesting … do you think you will give Eleanor and Park another go in print?

      Like

  4. Brian Joseph
    September 11, 2014

    The magical telephone idea actually sounds like it has a lot of potential. However, handled in the wrong way I can see how it can be boing and cliched.

    I too wonder at what books to begin with when it comes to authors. I usually try to go with the ones that seem to have the best reputations.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 11, 2014

      The magic phone seemed like a cool idea … I think I need to go with this strategy too. I seem to be reading a lot of new releases and not understanding why some authors are so hot.

      Like

  5. DoingDewey
    September 14, 2014

    I’ve been debating which Rowell book to start with too. For a long time, all the hype hadn’t convinced me that Rowell was an author who would appeal to me and Landline is one of the first to really catch my attention, so I think I may also start with this one.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 17, 2014

      I liked Landline because it was funny and had a strong start. It grew a little flat for me towards the end, but I will definitely read another book by Rainbow Rowell. I still have to satisfy my curiousity about Eleanor and Park.

      Like

  6. Amber O (AmberBug)
    September 17, 2014

    I’ve read “Eleanor and Park” but it didn’t blow me away like it did for others. I was hoping this one would be less teen angsty and lovey.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 18, 2014

      I think that’s what I’m hoping to find in Eleanor and Park, but maybe it’s all just hype?

      Like

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