Genre: Romance

Friday, July 04, 2014

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Landline by Rainbow RowellLandline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 8th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
Source: St. Martin's Press
Buy on Amazon

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?

Landline is different from what I expected: first of all it’s an adult book which I only realized when I started it, but this is totally my fault and also not a bad thing. I was due for an adult book. And, unlike her usual contemporary reads, this one has a bit of a paranormal vibe to it. I’m not sure how I felt about this at first, I loved the mind-f*ck nature of it, but it has an element that very rarely impresses me [time-travel], so I was afraid of the direction it was going in. In the end, though, I can say I quite enjoyed the story. It has a bit of a fairy-tale quality to it, so have to go into it with an open mind, but it’s a wonderfully romantic journey that makes you stop and remember why you chose this life for yourself in the first place. May it be a marriage, a career, a hometown, you chose it for a reason. You were happy, maybe even passionate about these decisions once, but when things are hard it’s sometimes difficult to remember why.

What I know from Rainbow Rowell is that she knows how to craft realistic and wonderfully flawed characters, who are so easy to connect and relate to. Georgie’s marriage is crumbling, and she feels as if she’s losing it all – even her mind. Through flashbacks along with Georgie’s independent and determined personality, we get to see her fall in love. Not just with her now husband, but also with her best friend and career. We got to see what led her to choose this life for herself. How happy she was back then, and how life got in the way since. Even though she’s not always especially likeable, she has this effortless narrative voice, peppered with humour, that makes it easy to fly through the pages.

Aside from Georgie, every single secondary character is painted with such memorable qualities. Her sister, Heather, and her best friend Seth, quickly became my favorites. The latter for his sarcasm and liveliness, the former for her fun-loving personality and sisterly devotion. Even the smallest of roles – like the pizza delivery person and Neal’s mother – felt authentic and added to the overall charm of the story.

This is a romance through and through. It’s about a woman who needs to make a though decision to save her marriage. It’s a story that so many will be able to relate to. Juggling between a career and home life is never easy and, often, sacrifices need to be made, and dreams are not achieved. In the end, despite the “perfect” ending, I was left feeling uncertain towards the lasting quality of their relationship. I’m not even 100% sure I was rooting for them all along, to be honest. I definitely don’t agree with every decision Georgie did – she can be selfish, especially when it comes to her relationship with Seth, but Rowell does make us understand why it’s hard for her to let go.

This book touches on love and family, but also on guilt and self-worth. It’s a novel that paints realistic relationships, not idealistic ones. Because in reality, romance is rarely idealistic, and with many things in life, it’s only worth as much as the effort you put in.


4 Hot Espressos

Review: The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Review: The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Posted by on 06/24/2014 • 24 Comments

In a sea of YA that is constantly flooded with absent parents it’s nice to find a novel that is the complete antithesis of this. The Things You Kiss Goodbye has an interesting family dynamic for this genre in that the parents are very present and we see the repercussions a life of strict rules can have on a teenager. It also is much more than just being about a family, it has romance, unhealthy relationships and even forbidden ones. Though I didn’t fall head over heels for this one as I had hoped I would, there was so much that I enjoyed about it and that will have me thinking about this story for a long time to come.

Bettina Vasilis has grown up under strict rules from…

Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted by on 06/19/2014 • 24 Comments

It has been a while since I read the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, so I was a bit worried that remembering next to no details about it would make reading this a flop, but it was not a problem at all. If you want to refresh your memory there’s a convenient Wikipedia page that reminds you who’s who. But everything you need to know is recapped (albeit briefly) as we go along.

Sinner is narrated by our beloved Cole and Isabel, a couple of characters who you won’t soon forget. Cole is somewhat of an arrogant ass, yet charming and hilarious, and Isabel is a bit psychotic with quick wit and, to be honest, she scares me a little >.< I love her, though. She's sarcastic and may...

Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Posted by on 06/16/2014 • 25 Comments

Adorable and very light; a perfect book for reading while I was on the road to BEA. While I had minor problems with this one, it was overall a real heartwarming love story that left me with a smile on my face.

Jamie is gay, and it seems like everyone knows it except his crush, Mason – who also happens to be his best friend. From the beginning, I could tell this was going to be a fun-frustrating kind of read with a lot of longing and a lot of heart. Although it’s not exactly the most unique book out there – it’s a simple angst-filled LGBT story I’ve seen a few times, now – it has a lot to offer with its charismatic characters and the adoption of…

Review: Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Review: Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Posted by on 05/05/2014 • 21 Comments

Well so freaking adorable! While perusing reviews it seems like more than a few of my friends disliked this one, and I admit that it’s not perfect by any means so I get it, but it’s exactly the kind of fluffy fairy-tale-esque read I was in the mood for on a rainy weekend. It’s the type of romantic adventure that is both idealistic and exotic; perfect for fans of Jennifer E. Smith.

What I didn’t like: -Insta-love ruined some of its charm for me. It was unnecessary and did more harm than good on how I felt about the book. There was not even a built-up to it, suddenly they were just declaring their love. Well okay then!

-These kids are both 18 years old – legal adults –…

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Posted by on 02/04/2014 • 35 Comments

Alienated brings us a good mix of humor and romance. It’s easy to read, and touches on serious themes including discrimination and tolerance. What I enjoyed the most was how Landers describes the aliens; from the physical to the emotional, they differ very much from humans. The L’eihr culture is described as emotionally cold for the sake of survival. They’re cloned from the best, born and raised without parents, affection, or even touch. Their government system would make many of us fear their ways. Aelyx’s perspective allows us to experience our own culture through his foreign, often overwhelmed, eyes. We get to see his reactions to certain stimuli like our apparently overpowering flavors and colors. Then their difference in thought process for things like affection and modesty – the latter…

Review: Tragic by J.A. Huss

Review: Tragic by J.A. Huss

Posted by on 12/30/2013 • 16 Comments

-This novel was listened to via audiobook-

What a refreshing story. Even though it may have a lot of the same general elements as many New Adult novels – a protagonist with a rough upbringing who’s inexperienced in romance and meets this drop dead gorgeous guy that sweeps her off her feet – I found this one still had a lot of originality to offer. The whole erotic photography scene is new and pretty fascinating if you ask me. As a web designer, I admit to never thinking about the people on the stock images that I’ve worked with. Even those used on book covers; do you ever consider the kind of people they are and the kind of life they lead? They’re just book character personas to most of…

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Posted by on 11/25/2013 • 36 Comments

Is insta-love ever a good idea? One where with only a handful of pages two people have already felt that they are experiencing the beginning of something “real”? Something that would change their lives? Pffft! Well ok even if this stuff can – or so I’m told – happen in real life, I need a lot more substance to convince me in fiction. I have very rarely seen cases of insta-love – or instant somethings – where I could actually feel a genuine connection forming between two characters, The Promise of Amazing was not one of them. This insta-love was in its purest eyeroll-inducing form. This was the first sign that I should have listened to.

I’m sure my dislike for Grayson played into my complete disinterest in the…