Finding a romance or love story was actually a bit of a challenge for me, as the majority of by bookshelves house the brain children of authors like Stephen King and Margaret Atwood; not much romance to be found. It turns out I bought this book back in January (January 19th, to be exact, at 5:09pm), and it has been sitting in my TBR pile ever since. Luckily it fit the bill quite nicely.
This little novel is set in the late 1990s–ah, youth– and is told from a very unique perspective. 28-year-old Lincoln O’Neil is hired by The Courier, a local newspaper, for an Internet Security job. Much to his surprise, he learns that his job is to read other people’s email, and write a report every time an email triggers the filter. But why does he not report Jennifer Scribner-Snyder and Beth Fremont for their flagged personal emails? Because their emails are smart and funny, and maybe Lincoln is falling for Beth . . .
Every second chapter or so is the newest flagged email correspondence between Jennifer Scribner-Snyder and Beth Fremont that Lincoln is reading “for work.” Typically, the following chapter is then Lincoln’s reaction to the emails, as well as insight into his personal life.
This novel is the first written by Rainbow Rowell, and it is so impressive how authentic her characters are, while also being extremely likable. Lincoln is the kind of guy that I think many girls would want to read about; he’s geeky and cute, but has a huge heart.
This book may be contemporary adult fiction and have countless cute elements, but elements of sadness are just as abundant. Lincoln happens to hate his job, has moved back home with his mother, and his Dungeons & Dragons campaign members and friends all have families and independent lives. He wants to escape it all, but how can he? And how can he tell Beth how he feels about her when he’s never even met her?
Now for some little tidbits about the book:
From: Jennifer Scribner-Snyder
To: Beth Fremont
Sent: Wed, 08/18/1999 9:06 AM
Subject: Where are you?
Would it kill you to get here before noon? I’m sitting here among the shards of my life as I know it, and you . . . if I know you, you just woke up. You’re probably eating oatmeal and watching Sally Jessy Raphael. E-mail me when you get in, before you do anything else. Don’t even read the comics.
What I Loved Most: This novel is a cute, modern twist on love at first sight. Love at first email is a wonderful, modern chronicle of how love can be found through many mediums. With Facebook and Omegle and dating sites galore, meeting true love through technology is becoming more and more common. But back in the 1990s, I’m sure it was almost unheard-of.
What I Loved Least: At first I was irked that the chapters kept alternating between email format and then normal paragraphs from Lincoln’s perspective, but as I continued reading, I came to really like it, and found that it enhanced the uniqueness of the story.
“I didn’t know love could leave the lights on all the time.”
Closing Paragraph: I’m actually not going to share this one because it kind of gives away what I think is the cutest element of the novel. So you’ll just have to read the book yourself to find out this one 🙂 🙂
Final Thoughts: This is just a cute little easy read: perfect for a day at the beach or to pass by the miles of a road trip. But now I want to read Eleanor and Park more than ever. Added to the TBR list.
Next up is The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes for A Booker Prize winner (or made the short list)!!!