Last Summer, I spent a good portion of the time reading everything Rainbow Rowell has ever published ; which I have determined are nostalgic novels you will love. Or if you don’t, you might be a hard-hearted cynic and love-hater. 🙂
I even waxed a bit poetic about it over on Twitter. Here is how that conversation went:
Isn’t that cool? The amazingly talented Rainbow tweeted me back. 🙂
Over last weekend, I read Landline again and it was even better than I remembered it to be. I would describe Rainbow’s style as feel-good realism with a romantic twist. So far, her stories have included some heart wrenching content, but nothing terrifying, gross, or so heartbreaking that you wish you hadn’t read about it. Her writing is clear, precise, and yet descriptive and poetic at the same time. Her works are also quite quotable, which is fun. As you all know by now, I am kind of a quote fiend.
Each of her books have a slightly different feel and would suit a different mood. I’ve broken it all down for you here:
If you want to feel like love conquers all: Choose Landline
Landline is my personal favorite Rainbow Rowell book. I have a harder time believing in the lasting power of Eleanor and Park’s love. Landline is a somewhat silly premise: a career-focused woman is worried that her stay-at-home husband is leaving her when he leaves for Christmas without her because she has to work. But when she calls him on the landline, she realizes that she is talking to her husband in the past- just before he proposed to her. Now she must decide, should she try to convince him to go ahead with the proposal or abandon it?
A magic time-traveling phone connection seems like it would ruin the story, but it really doesn’t. Aside from my slight stress over how the connection actually worked (it is never explained), the book gives an interesting look at what marriage really does look like 15 years or so down the line.
In addition to reading this as just a fun romantic story, I may suggest it to the newly engaged as a warning for what the future will more than likely hold. 🙂
If you want to read a feel-good buddy story: Choose Attachments
Attachments has a strong romantic angle (all Rainbow Rowell books do so-far), but to me, it read more like a buddy story. I loved watching the relationship of the two good friends and co-workers as they navigated life together. One is married and trying for a baby and the other is still single but about the same age.
In Attachments, a man is given the task of monitoring company e-mails to prevent time theft. While he is filtering through the flagged e-mails, he discovers the chain of e-mails sent by the friends. After spending several months reading them, he finds himself falling in love with one of the women.
Attachments felt a little rougher to me than the other Rainbow Rowell stories (and a lot older, but maybe it was meant to?), but it was still an enjoyable read.
If you want to recapture the feelings of first love: Choose Eleanor and Park
Nothing defies logic and reason like an intense high school romance. Eleanor & Park are two social outcasts who find each other accidentally and become friends- and then the inevitable lovers. Their feelings are very hot, very intense, and reminded me of what it felt like to be in love as a teen. Nothing seems too difficult to overcome with love.
If Rainbow Rowell does choose to keep writing in this universe, I hope she chooses to write something about Eleanor’s siblings. I felt really bad for them.
If you want to re-live the somewhat awkward days of college: Choose Fangirl
Fangirl is the story of a young woman attending college for the first time with her twin sister. When the girls were younger, they started writing fanfiction for the Simon Snow series (obviously meant to be Harry Potter). Cath, the lead in the story, uses the fanfiction as an escape and is quite popular online. Her sister stopped writing the story some time ago and has embraced college life. Now Cath must decide if she wants to continue hiding behind her Simon stories or strike out on her own.
I like Fangirl because it reminded me a little of myself. I never wrote fanfiction, but I did read a lot of it. I could see how someone who was a fanfiction writer in the past would have trouble moving on to their own unique stuff. The romance isn’t as big in Fangirl, which is something that I can’t decide how I feel about. On the one hand, I don’t want all stories that I read to be full of romance, but on the other hand, I kind of missed it.
Apparently, you can’t make me happy for anything.
What do you think of the Rainbow Rowell books? Tell me your favorite quote!