Oh, the Rainbow Rowell hype! It abounds. I'd hesitated to dive into one of her novels because I'd also heard they may not be for me (the potty mouth characters and the downer-ness of one title flying high on the reason list). But I kept reading the words of ravers everywhere! So I dipped my toes in. When Hachette was offering a review copy of her latest, Landline, I said "yes." And I was so, so disappointed. I didn't like the characters, and I didn't find it funny -- what were the ravers talking about?!
I decided Landline had not been a very good place to start, so I paid heed to the suggestion from the rest of that quotable song's line, and went for her first work. I am so glad I did;
- I am borderline obsessed with the characters in Attachments. I rooted for them! This was what was missing, when I'd last sampled Rowell. I actually felt like her other heroine deserved to eat rats. Not so, here. And not just the leads were adorable, all of the supporting characters are interesting, and often funny. Yeah, there's a sweary guy (I'm pretty sure you can paint a brute without speckling the F-bomb in every sentence they utter). So it's not perfect. It is otherwise tasteful (on the sensuality, violent and disturbing content fronts). The characters are still flawed and pretty "real," but they're not utter jerks! Well, unless they're meant to be...then they're jerks...but not the mains! Do not make the heroine a complete jerk, I will not like your book.
- The dialogue and internal monologue is hilarious. HILARIOUS. This was what I had been promised! Oh man, so much better! What had made Landline worse was that it is explicitly stated so often that the characters I was finding so un-funny were funny. Now, side note: for the first quarter I found the mechanics of the humour too transparent -- with obvious reincorporation being employed again and again. It wasn't painful, it was just calling attention to itself a li'l. By halfway, this was gone.
- I think the premise is fantastic. I've read nothing like it.
- I seriously dug the love story. I re-read things and swooned. I may have mouthed dialogue with a pout and then squealed.
- From halfway I was crazy-invested and did not want to sleep.
Biggest downer: the amount of f-words...
I am starting more Rowell now, instead of hitting the next book on my list.