Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Length: 310 pages
Original Publishing Date: July 8th, 2014
Series: Standalone

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
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?

Rainbow Rowell and I have an interesting relationship. I feel like while everyone else was raving over Eleanor & Park, I was lukewarm. I enjoyed Fangirl more, but still feel like Rowell and I haven't connected as well as I'd like. 

Landline was like that too. Part of the problem was that this book is classified "Adult", and I feel like it was speaking to a generation that I'm not necessarily a part of. I remember landlines, obviously, and I have used a rotary phone before, but cell phones are still more prominent in my memory. For Georgie, the landline is this connection to her younger self, her college-aged self. And I just don't have that tangible memory. 

There was a lot to like in Landline, but enough about it that didn't resonate with me that it wouldn't stand out in a pack. 


  • The premise: Yeah, I think it's a cool idea to be able to communicate with your husband from the past. Rowell does an expert job of blending the fantastical element with the emotional complexities of marriage, and making it a book with real depth.
  • Georgie: I found a lot to connect with Georgie about and I thought she was a well-conceived and complex character.
  • The humor: The pug birth scene literally had me cracking up at work. My coworkers were staring at me. Thanks Rainbow Rowell! They all think I'm crazy now. 


  • The pacing: This was a slow novel. I definitely liked being able to get to know Georgie and Neal, and especially Georgie's crazy family, but I got bored in the middle! Honestly, not a whole lot happens in this book. 
  • Predictable: Nothing new happens here. As much as I like the concept, it has been done before. If that's the case, you need to throw something new in there. And nothing really caught my eye! Especially the ending. I mean, sure it was cute. But I could see it coming from a mile away. 

Rating: 3/5