Attachments: A Novel by Rainbow RowellAttachments: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments: A Novel

byRainbow Rowell

Paperback | March 27, 2012

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From the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fangirl, Carry On, and Landline comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about an office romance that blossoms one email at a time...

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now—reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers—not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. He can't help being entertained, and captivated, by their stories. But by the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself. What would he even say...?
Rainbow Rowell is the award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, Carry On, Attachments, and Landline. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
Title:Attachments: A NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.7 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.3 × 0.7 inPublished:March 27, 2012Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0452297540

ISBN - 13:9780452297548


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Terrifying??? This book was purchased for me as a gift and I have mixed feelings about it. Though it was well written and entertaining the "romance" was more like a horror. Both characters participate in stalking each other, to the point where the girl follows the guy in her car (without knowing his name or anything else about him) and the guy rifles through her desk to find information and then starts attending the girl's boyfriend's concerts in an attempt to run into her and see what he's competing with. Overall I would not want my teenager reading this. This is not what romance should look like. As long as the reader has a good concept of what is healthy and is not an impressionable teenager it is a fine read.
Date published: 2019-07-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cute and Unique A very cute romance novel, but it is more mature, clearly not YA. However, it isn't inappropriate or anything, it just deals with more adult themes like work, finding a house, and creating a family. The format is unique and memorable, as half of the book is presented through emails. At first the formatting was disorienting, but I quickly grew comfortable and started to enjoy the story. Another thing I wasn't expecting was the point of view; the story is from Lincoln, the man's, perspective. Again, I kind of learned to roll with it, though I think equal points of view would have been better. It has its boring parts and is less eventful than a standard young adult novel. But there is also good-old Rainbow Rowell humor and interesting pop culture references. A lot of them.
Date published: 2019-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cleverly Written but Loses Its Thrill After A Few Reads It is after reading ''Fangirl'' and ''Eleanor and Park'' that I became a admirer of Rainbow Rowell's writing style. And so, when I stumbled upon ''Attachments'' on Open Library in 2017, I was completely enthralled by the cleverness of this novel, that is a love and coming of age story between three main characters that is told through both text and e-mail, all made possible by Rowell's page-turning and genuine prose. Having enjoyed ''Attachments'' so much, I decided to purchase it in paperback in July of 2018. Although I, once again, enjoyed the dual element that is, the e-mail and text descriptions, the engaging prose and Lincoln, Jennifer and Beth's major characters developments, I noticed that the reading pleasure I felt was not as strong as the first. That being said, the fact that this work of fiction loses a bit of thrill with each read is my only disappointment. Other than that, I will always view Rainbow Rowell as a writing model and will continue to support her previous and upcoming books.
Date published: 2018-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book! I could not put this book down. This is the first Rainbow Rowell book I have read and I was not disappointed. I even recommended it to two friends to read. It was so good. I got so excited that I almost tore the book apart because I was that excited! Don’t worry it was fine. I loved the way it was written and the character development throughout the book.
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Light Fluffy Read I was so excited to read something by Rainbow Rowell that wasn't a YA book. Suspension of disbelief was well-executed and the overall pacing was pleasant. Rowell creates rounded characters that can do wrong, will do wrong but still have your heart... and OH Lincoln was apparently inspired by Andrew Garfield so there's that too.
Date published: 2018-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AHHH I'm dying!! I loved this SO much!! Everything about it is perfect!!
Date published: 2018-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hilarious I read this book in one evening! I laughed out loud at the email exchanges between the 2 main characters. I did not like the ending (too unrealistic for a novel set in the real world) but disregarding that it was very funny! Take into consideration that it is set in 1999 - 2000.
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this! I loved Fangirl and was excited to try another one of her books. I was glad to find that I enjoyed this book too. It was a really good read.
Date published: 2018-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Super Fun Read! Rainbow Rowell is an incredible writer. The flow of this book was impeccable. It was so easy to read and understand the email correspondences. Beth and Jenn have such a great friendship, and it was really nice to see how they supported each other and were there for each other. This book was a little awkward and creepy, but not necessarily bad creepy – and Lincoln acknowledged he was being a little creep… so, in the end, it was very cute. Lincoln was at times, so pathetic, but his development and growth made him into a super lovable character. I’d play Dungeons & Dragons with him anytime. Beth was awesome. Oh, and Chris was awesome too- I love me some brooding, bad boy (but actually nice) musician types. All these characters, despite the one-off, pretty short novel – we’re so memorable. I loved all the pop culture and era references as well. I think this was such a cute, quirky and unconventional romance. I really liked it.
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't love it I didn't understand how Lincoln fell for Beth through her emails, which is pretty creepy btw, and I especially didn't understand how Beth fell for Lincoln either. Their romance didn't seem realistic to me.
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Light & Lovely This book is in my top 5 reads. I felt attached to this book once I started it haha! It was very nice to read and very pleasant.
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from L-O-L Funny! I loved this book! I read it a few years ago and just read it again recently, it is still laugh out loud funny, would recommend to anyone in need of a fun read!
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun read Love this author, her novels are very lighthearted and enjoyable!! Very well written also.
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Light read This book was ok, i had higher expectations, but a cute little story!
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pleasant read! This book was interesting as the dialogue was through emails. It was a fun and quirky read.
Date published: 2017-12-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good for mindless reading, not much merit otherwise It's not very structured, plot wise, neither are the characters developed well enough to be complex, I think a theme in Rainbow's writings have always been a lack of any other true want or fear outside of the main relationship and that doesn't really give much to the story other than this paper thin backrgound to hold Boy A and Girl B together. The Relationship doesn't really feel developed in any mature and believable way, the resolution sort of comes as the apex of mutual pinning. I'm not really sure who to recommend this to, but if you're not up to any heavy reading for the moment, this may be somewhat enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cute story I really enjoyed this book. I do wish it wasn't ALL through back and forth e-mails because I like more substance to a book but otherwise enjoyable, easy read.
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, But... This was a cute book but it relies heavily on the back and forth of the emails to move the plot forward. It gets kind of tedious to read through sometimes. I still recommend it though!
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just Okay This was not one of her best, but it was cute. I found some parts a bit long and hard to get through. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-10-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok I usually love Rainbow Rowell books but this one didn't quite do it for me. The story was cute but I couldn't bring myself to love any of the characters. I found Lincoln and Beth quite pathetic and had a hard time identifying to or empathizing with any of them. The writing style flows well and makes this book a very easy read despite the mediocre story. It was somewhat entertaining, but I would not read it again.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from could not get through this book only made it half way through before I gave up. I wanted to like it, but this is not the book for me
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute Story This is a cute story - overall I enjoyed it!
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Liked but slow ***Minor Spoilers*** I really enjoyed this book, I really empathized with the main character and his moral dilemma. It is so typical to not want to do something because of moral reasons or because it's not good for you but then end up doing it anyway because it's so easy to do. I am also an introvert and married to a D&D lover so I could totally relate to his nerdy-ness. The book did slow down significantly in the second half and a lot of it could easily have been skipped. I was just waiting for them to meet.
Date published: 2017-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but slow ***Minor Spoilers*** I really enjoyed this book, I really empathized with the main character and his moral dilemma. It is so typical to not want to do something because of moral reasons or because it's not good for you but then end up doing it anyway because it's so easy to do. I am also an introvert and married to a D&D lover so I could totally relate to his nerdy-ness. The book did slow down significantly in the second half and a lot of it could easily have been skipped. I was just waiting for them to meet.
Date published: 2017-06-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Cute Such a cute and sweet story
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cute and happy predictable and cute, just like i like 'em!
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Craving more! I don't read a lot of contemporaries but this book really makes me wants to pick up more! I thought it was fun, cute, fast paced and i got really into it! I love how it took no effort to just get so attached (hahah get it?) to the story! I really didn't see how Lincoln reading their emails is creepy since that was his job.. maybe i'm weird. I only had 2 problems: 1. i could not remember which girl was which for the first 60 pages; i kept having to look at the back to see which girl he was supposed to have a crush on and i would get their partners mixed up which was a little frustrating and 2. something in the ending (no spoilers) was very unlike the character to me so it felt like a forced and rushed ending. Other than that i really enjoyed it!!
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Adorable Although the beginning was a little but slow, you just fall in love with the book as you gradually go on.The story is amazing and the characters are really really great.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute An easy read - predictable but cute
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Torn I really wanted to love this one because I so loved other novels by this author... but I found it very hard to get into. There were definitely moments where I laughed or felt connected to the characters' stories, but there were more moments when I didn't. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Sits wrong with me Not great. Being initially interested by the concept, I was hoping the author would be able to pull it off, but it's hard to root for a couple who has never met. I was never able to get past the creepiness of Lincoln reading Beth's emails and falling in love with her.
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing This was relatable and heartwarming and I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Adorable love story that's perfect for anyone who works in an office. Lovable characters with a lot of wit and edge. What a great story.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute Story, Endearing Characters This was an incredibly endearing read. Even for someone (like me) who doesn't really enjoy contemporary novels. However, Rowell crafted such an engaging story with such detailed, and again endearing characters that I couldn't help being drawn in. Also, as someone with a background in both IT and Journalism, I found a lot to relate to here. There is also something fascinating to be said about using email threads as the medium to tell a story. It smacks of realism because so much of our communication with those we devykge secrets to is now digital. There was some real creativity needed to craft a cohesive storyline that kept me wanting to learn more and more. The only drawback for me, was the ending. With only two chapters to go I was sure the author was going to surprised me with a unique conclusion that didn't fall victim to typical romance tropes. Alas, no such luck! If you enjoy quirky meet-cutes, really incredible characters, and embarrassingly accurate realism, this read is for you.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really fun! An interesting concept that was really well executed.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ugh, love it I like the concept Rowell did in this book. I always look forward reading Beth and Jennifer's email to each other. Cannot wait to get my hands on Rowell's other books!
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This was exactly what I expected, except it wasn't I have really enjoyed the previous books I have read by Rainbow Rowell, which is why I decided to pick up Attachments. This book follows three main characters; Lincon, Beth and Jennifer. Both Jennifer and Beth work in the Journalism field and write emails to each other, and Lincon has a night job which consists of reading flagged emails and giving out warnings. This book follows these three characters and the odd relationships which are brought to life by this plot. The premise of this book sounded extremely intriguing for the contemporary/romance lover that I am, however I was left with mixed feelings about the novel. Although I enjoyed the character building and believe both the plot and the characters are extremely relatable (and funny) I also felt the story was extremely SLOW. During the first 100 pages, I kept asking myself if it was going to get better (which it did) or if I should simply stop reading this book. I believe it may be the format of the book which for me made it feel as though the story was not "going anywhere". Overall this is a character driven story which includes relatable characters, some great humor but somewhat of a stagnant plot in my opinion. I would recommend this book, but do not consider it to be my favorite read by this author.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from worth the read An unlikely love story, where the outcome was expected yet riveting at the same time.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay I'm a teenager and didn't expect this book to be about characters in their late-20s so it was kind of hard for me to get through. But I did, and it was okay.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ Never been disappointed in any of Rainbow Rowell's books. This was no exception!
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This was such a fun light read I whipped right through it. I really enjoyed this book
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Such a fun light read, was able to whip right through it. Such a good book
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it A light read, but not cringe-worthy like many
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Light reading This is what I would consider a good beach read. Light and fun, not too serious or preachy.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cute, Fun Read I typically love Rainbow Rowell books, and this one was no exception! It was a sweet story of two people slowly falling in love in the workplace, not even aware of each other. It was easy to read and didn't take very long, but it makes you feel good when you read it. I would recommend to anyone who needs a light read, especially if you are a romantic at heart.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute A great romance read, light and happy. Not as intense and satisfying as he YA novels, but still incredible
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun and lovely I won this book years ago in an online contest and I remember that I read it all in one sitting. I loved it. The premise is fun (RR manages to avoid any creepiness) even for those who are not old enough to remember the beginning on the internet years. I loved the characters and they felt so real to me that I wanted to be friends with them. I laughed out loud often at their e-mail conversations. I've gone on to read all of RR's novels. She's great!
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rainbow Rowell does it again. I can't wait until her new release.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sweet Romance One of my favourite romance novel of all time! I love everyone and I can feel the connection between the 2 protagonists even though they don't meet until near the end of the book!
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious! Often laugh-out-loud funny, Attachments was a very pleasant surprise for me. I am a huge Rainbow Rowell fan but the plot didn't particularly appeal to me. I'm glad I gave this book a chance because I ended up loving it! It is a truly funny story with relatable characters who have relatable problems. I was sad to say good-bye to them at the end of the book.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I FELL IN LOVE The story is really slow but definitely worth reading. I instantly fell in love with the Lincoln, one of the main characters. I wished I'd meet a Lincoln of my own someday. Very funny and really really really good, totally recommend others to read it. I enjoyed it very much.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fun and quirky book! This book was fascinating because you only really ever get a glimpse of some of the characters from their e-mails and yet they are still really fleshed out. A different concept, but one Rowell pulls off seamlessly! I loved it!
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sounds great cant wait to read this book - rainbow rowell is fun!
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from cute! It's a quirky, lighthearted read that left me feeling satisfied. The emails were totally hilarious!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I bought this about a month ago and devoured it in one day! Couldn't focus on anything else. Such a lighthearted read, perfect for this gloomy time of year. Great writing!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely story! Such a lovely and sweet book! Very relatable characters and plot. Also Beth and Jennifer's friendship is so nice to read about and their emails are so fun!
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quirky, Cute Story Fantastic read! I actually preferred this book over Rainbow Rowell's other novel Eleanor and Park (but that one was also quite good). Rowell has an amazing ability of creating believable and likeable main characters. Such a great indie romance story that would translate well as a rom-com film. I could not put this book down!
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Totally Enjoyable! Great characters, a strong story line, subtly humorous, and altogether entertaining! Loved it!
Date published: 2015-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very cute love story! I picked this up on a whim and though I thought the book had a bit of a slow start, I got attached to the characters really quickly. It reminded me of "You've got mail!".
Date published: 2015-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Achingly adorable! Rainbow Rowell has this way of writing characters who are just such wonderful people that you want to give them big squeezy hugs and name your kids after them. Or maybe you just wish that they existed so that they could be your friends. But at the same time, they're such real, raw people that the cute is never overkill. Lincoln is such a sweet person-- a 28 year old living with his mother who's never quite known how to be with people but is genuinely trying to get his life together. He's helpful, kind, and never quite perfect, which makes his relationships with others either awkward, wonderful, or wonderfully awkward. Beth and Jennifer are both hilarious and honest and fantastically raw with their lives, and I loved how we only see their perspectives through their emails back and forth. The format of the book is so interesting, as we get two completely separate points of view in Lincoln and Beth and Jennifer's emails. I loved the whole idea of love in this book, as it was written in a way that lets the characters grow as individuals before they ever help each other to grow, which can be so important. Also, the ideas of love at first sight and without sight are so sweet. Attachments is a light and satisfying read that is funny and sweet, but also contains some deeper themes of love, growth, and independence. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a de-stressing book, or just a good story.
Date published: 2015-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute! Cute on top of cute! Couldn't stop smiling the entire time, it made me feel like I had butterflies in my stomach. Lincoln is definitely my new book boyfriend :)
Date published: 2015-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Too cute I loved this story. It helped a lonely night of mine fill up with laughter and hope. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I still want more! I have read all of her books and this is by far my favorite one!
Date published: 2015-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! Amazing story. Kind of slow but great if you don't mind that. Told in a very creative and fun way. I got very attached t0 the characters. Would reccomend this to teens and young adults.
Date published: 2015-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A solid RomCom A workplace romantic comedy for the 21st century told in a really fresh, clever way. I grinned from the first page to the last.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching and sweet I can't say I expected much when I started reading this, but it quickly pulled me in. While I wouldn't describe ur as Literature, it us very wrll-written, with believable, well-written characters, an interesting plit that takes sone unexpected turns, and great dialogue. I wish more e-mails were as interesting as the ones in this book, and more men were as awkwardly charming and gentle as Lincoln.
Date published: 2014-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Feel a little cheated It was funny and quirky and everything I love in a book and love story but it seemed to build up so much to "that moment" and it seemed to end so quickly. Still worthy of 4 stars :)
Date published: 2014-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! Started this book in the afternoon at couldn't put it down! Great from start to finish!
Date published: 2014-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just an awesome read This book was amazing, deep, and didn't slow down. I absolutely loved it and enjoyed it.
Date published: 2014-07-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sweet little romance The characters in this book were very likeable and I enjoyed the writing style. I liked how the story was written with regular chapters and then email exchanges. However, the writing was very PG13 and young adult. I would have really enjoyed reading the premise of this book written for a more mature audience. All told, a sweet little romance that I enjoyed.
Date published: 2014-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Attachments I can't remember laughing out loud reading a book before! So witty and bright.
Date published: 2014-05-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Attachments I can't remember laughing out loud reading a book before! So witty and bright.
Date published: 2014-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic What an interesting twist... Kind of makes me want to make my emails much more interesting!
Date published: 2014-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'm attached to this novel! Amazing! Beautifully written, I felt connected with the characters. I can understand why Lincoln couldn't stop reading the e-mails because I couldn't either!
Date published: 2014-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ridiculously Attached to Attachments Rowell's characters are just the best. Seriously. I want her to write my life.
Date published: 2014-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute Love Story My first book for 2014. I really loved the story. I think the Author did a great job with the love story. I was almost picturing this as a Rom-Com movie. There were lots of references to movies and movie characters to draw parallels and normally I wouldn't like that so much but in this case, it makes sense since the character of Beth is a movie reviewer. I just feel like the ending was a bit rushed. Would have wanted more details there. No further comment, I don't want to put spoilers. :)
Date published: 2014-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Feel good book Nothing beats a great romantic comedy fiction even if it's full of clichés. Well written that makes the characters and the story more real.
Date published: 2014-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rainbow Rowell does it again! Was already a fan of Rowell's after reading Eleanor and Park and Fangirl but this book was a lot of fun. Rowell does an excellent job of crafting interesting multidimensional characters that really draw you into the story.
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it! I'm so impressed with this novel. Its my second Rowell book, the first was Eleanor and Park, and i love this one just as much as i love E&P. Its engaging and intriguing and its so different! Its entertaining and loveable and touching and just so great! Lincoln, a 28-year-old living with his mother, lands a job at a newspaper reading other peoples mail and making sure they dont abuse the company's email policy. Its boring and dull, but when Beth and Jennifer, two best friends and co-workers, start to use the email for their personal use, Lincoln knows he should report them, or at least warn them. But soon hes in over his head with their entertaining and fun stories, and it isnt before long when Lincoln starts to fall for Beth. But even if she didnt have a boyfriend she loves, what would he say? Attachments is such a great read. Its easy to read and sweet and you cant help but fall in love with all of the unique characters. The story is engaging and it is believeable - Lincoln, like many other people in this world, isnt always selfless and he sometimes can make stupid decisions, like continuing to read Jennifer and Beth's emails. And he explains why its wrong but also why he still does it, which makes it even more real. Its written in Lincoln's POV (third person) and alternates with emails between Jennifer and Beth, and just from those emails readers get a feel for them and are so happy with their emails, its what captivates the most attention, i think. I honestly had no idea how Rowell was going to end it. At all. Because its not your typical romance, i didnt know what to expect. But when the ending did come, i loved it. Yes, Lincoln is a great lead but ill admit, his character and personality can be a little dull, a bit dry. There really isnt much to him. And it can be a bit sappy at times, but that was just like once, so not a big deal at all. Overall, i love this book. Sure, Lincoln's character could've been improved, and i didnt picture him as a big guy, meaning a guy who looks like a football player: broad shoulders and chest and a thick neck and you know, the works, but i got past it. Anyway, overall, Attachments is so fun and includes not deep topics but real and true to life topics, and the romance doesnt overpower the real stuff. Yes, its the ultimate topic and main idea and whatnot but its all balenced really well. 5/5 stars. Interesting and a quick read, heartwarming and fun and funny and just a great book!
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My new favorite book I loved it. It wad laugh out loud funny and made me want to read it all over again when I finished it. There is nothing cliche about this novel, like most chick-lit would have done in this situation. I just wanted to hug Lincoln. In my top ten of best books read this year.
Date published: 2013-08-21

Read from the Book

ATTACHMENTSATTACHMENTSATTACHMENTSCHAPTER 1CHAPTER 2CHAPTER 3CHAPTER 4CHAPTER 5CHAPTER 6CHAPTER 7CHAPTER 8CHAPTER 9CHAPTER 10CHAPTER 11CHAPTER 12CHAPTER 13CHAPTER 14CHAPTER 15CHAPTER 16CHAPTER 17CHAPTER 18CHAPTER 19CHAPTER 20CHAPTER 21CHAPTER 22CHAPTER 23CHAPTER 24CHAPTER 25CHAPTER 26CHAPTER 27CHAPTER 28CHAPTER 29CHAPTER 30CHAPTER 31CHAPTER 32CHAPTER 33CHAPTER 34CHAPTER 35CHAPTER 36CHAPTER 37CHAPTER 38CHAPTER 39CHAPTER 40CHAPTER 41CHAPTER 42CHAPTER 43CHAPTER 44CHAPTER 45CHAPTER 46CHAPTER 47CHAPTER 48CHAPTER 49CHAPTER 50CHAPTER 51CHAPTER 52CHAPTER 53CHAPTER 54CHAPTER 55CHAPTER 56CHAPTER 57CHAPTER 58CHAPTER 59CHAPTER 60CHAPTER 61CHAPTER 62CHAPTER 63CHAPTER 64CHAPTER 65CHAPTER 66CHAPTER 67CHAPTER 68CHAPTER 69CHAPTER 70CHAPTER 71CHAPTER 72CHAPTER 73CHAPTER 74CHAPTER 75CHAPTER 76CHAPTER 77CHAPTER 78CHAPTER 79CHAPTER 80CHAPTER 81CHAPTER 82CHAPTER 83CHAPTER 84CHAPTER 85CHAPTER 86CHAPTER 87CHAPTER 88CHAPTER 89ACKNOWLEDGMENTSABOUT THE AUTHORCHAPTER 1From: 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.> Okay, I’m putting you before the comics, but make it quick. I’ve got an ongoing argument with Derek about whether For Better or For Worse is set in Canada, and today might be the day they prove me right.> I think I’m pregnant.> What? Why do you think you’re pregnant?> I had three drinks last Saturday.> I think we need to have a little talk about the birds and the bees. That’s not exactly how it happens.> Whenever I have too much to drink, I start to feel pregnant. I think it’s because I never drink, and it would just figure that the one time I decide to loosen up, I get pregnant. Three hours of weakness, and now I’m going to spend the rest of my life wrestling with the special needs of a fetal alcoholic.> I don’t think they call them that.> Its little eyes will be too far apart, and everyone will look at me in the grocery store and whisper, “Look at that horrible lush. She couldn’t part with her Zima for nine months. It’s tragic.”> You drink Zima?> It’s really quite refreshing.> You’re not pregnant.> I am.Normally, two days before my period, my face is broken out, and I get pre-cramps cramping. But my skin is as clear as a baby’s bottom. And instead of cramps, I feel this strangeness in my womb region. Almost a presence.> I dare you to call Ask-A-Nurse and tell them that you’ve got a presence in your womb region.> Given: This is not my first pregnancy scare. I will acknowledge that thinking I’m pregnant is practically a part of my monthly premenstrual regimen. But I’m telling you, this is different. I feel different. It’s like my body is telling me, “It has Begun.”I can’t stop worrying about what happens next. First I get sick. And then I get fat. And then I die of an aneurysm in the delivery room.> OR …and then you give birth to a beautiful child. (See how you’ve tricked me into playing along with your pregnancy fiction?)> OR …and then I give birth to a beautiful child, whom I never see because he spends all his waking hours at the day-care center with some minimum-wage slave he thinks is his mother. Mitch and I try to eat dinner together after the baby’s in bed, but we’re both so tired all the time. I start to doze off while he tells me about his day; he’s relieved because he wasn’t up to talking anyway. He eats his sloppy joe in silence and thinks about the shapely new consumer-science teacher at the high school. She wears black pumps and nude panty hose and rayon skirts that shimmy up her thighs whenever she sits down.> What does Mitch think? (About the Presence in your womb. Not the new consumer-science teacher.)> He thinks I should take a pregnancy test.> Good man. Perhaps a common-sensical kind of guy like Mitch would have been better off with that home ec teacher. (She’d never make sloppy joes for dinner.) But I guess he’s stuck with you, especially now that there’s a special-needs child on the way.CHAPTER 2“LINCOLN, YOU LOOK terrible.”“Thanks, Mom.” He’d have to take her word for it. He hadn’t looked in a mirror today. Or yesterday. Lincoln rubbed his eyes and ran his fingers through his hair, trying to smooth it down …or maybe just over. Maybe he should have combed it when he got out of the shower last night.“Seriously, look at you. And look at the clock. It’s noon. Did you just wake up?”“Mom, I don’t get off work until one a.m.”She frowned, then handed him a spoon. “Here,” she said, “stir these beans.” She turned on the mixer and half shouted over it. “I still don’t understand what you do in that place that can’t be done in daylight…. No, honey, not like that, you’re just petting them. Really stir.”Lincoln stirred harder. The whole kitchen smelled like ham and onions and something else, something sweet. His stomach was growling. “I told you,” he said, trying to be heard, “somebody has to be there. In case there’s a computer problem, and …I don’t know …”“What don’t you know?” She turned off the mixer and looked at him.“I think maybe they want me to work at night so that I don’t get close to anyone else.”“What?”“Well, if I got to know people,” he said, “I might …”“Stir. Talk and stir.”“If I got to know people”—he stirred—“I might not feel so impartial when I’m enforcing the rules.”“I still don’t like that you read other people’s mail. Especially at night, in an empty building. That shouldn’t be someone’s job.” She tasted whatever she was mixing with her finger, then held the bowl out to him. “Here, taste this …What kind of world do we live in, where that’s a career?”He ran his finger around the edge of the bowl and tasted it. Icing.“Can you taste the maple syrup?”He nodded. “The building isn’t really empty,” he said. “There are people working up in the newsroom.”“Do you talk to them?”“No. But I read their e-mail.”“It’s not right. How can people express themselves in a place like that? Knowing someone’s lurking in their thoughts.”“I’m not in their thoughts. I’m in their computers, in the company’s computers. Everyone knows it’s happening …” It was hopeless trying to explain it to her. She’d never even seen e-mail.“Give me that spoon,” she sighed. “You’ll ruin the whole batch.” He gave her the spoon and sat down at the kitchen table, next to a plate of steaming corn bread. “We had a mailman once,” she said. “Remember? He’d read our postcards? And he’d always make these knowing comments. ‘Your friend is having a good time in South Carolina, I see.’ Or, ‘I’ve never been to Mount Rushmore myself.’ They must all read postcards, all those mailmen. Mail people. It’s a repetitive job. But this one was almost proud of it—gloaty. I think he told the neighbors that I subscribed to Ms.”“It’s not like that,” Lincoln said, rubbing his eyes again. “I only read enough to see if they’re breaking a rule. It’s not like I’m reading their diaries or something.”His mother wasn’t listening.“Are you hungry? You look hungry. You look deficient, if you want to know the truth. Here, honey, hand me that plate.” He got up and handed her a plate, and she caught him by the wrist. “Lincoln …What’s wrong with your hands?”“Nothing’s wrong.”“Look at your fingers—they’re gray.”“It’s ink.”“What?”“Ink.” WHEN LINCOLN WORKED at McDonald’s in high school, the cooking oil got into everything. When he came home at night, he felt all over the way your hands feel when you get done eating French fries. The oil would get into his skin and his hair. The next day, he would sweat it out into his school clothes.At The Courier, it was ink. A gray film over everything, no matter how much anyone cleaned. A gray stain on the textured walls and the acoustic ceiling tiles.The night copy editors actually handled the papers, every edition, hot off the presses. They left gray fingerprints on their keyboards and desks. They reminded Lincoln of moles. Serious people with thick glasses and gray skin. That might just be the lighting, he thought. Maybe he wouldn’t recognize them in the sunshine. In full color.They surely wouldn’t recognize him. Lincoln spent most of his time at work in the information technology office downstairs. It had been a darkroom about five years and two dozen fluorescent lights ago, and with all of the lights and the computer servers, it was like sitting inside a headache.Lincoln liked getting called up to the newsroom, to reboot a machine or sort out a printer. The newsroom was wide and open, with a long wall of windows, and it was never completely empty. The nightside editors worked as late as he did. They sat in a clump at one end of the room, under a bank of televisions. There were two, who sat together, right next to the printer, who were young and pretty. (Yes, Lincoln had decided, you could be both pretty and molelike.) He wondered if people who worked nights went on dates during the day.CHAPTER 3From: Beth Fremont To: Jennifer Scribner-Snyder Sent: Fri, 08/20/1999 10:38 AM Subject: I sort of hate to ask, but …Are we done pretending that you’re pregnant?> Not for 40 weeks. Maybe 38 by now …> Does that mean we can’t talk about other things?> No, it means we should talk about other things. I’m trying not to dwell on it.> Good plan.Okay. So. Last night, I got a call from my little sister. She’s getting married.> Doesn’t her husband mind?> My other little sister. Kiley. You met her boyfriend …fiancé, Brian, at my parents’ house on Memorial Day. Remember? We were making fun of the Sigma Chi tattoo on his ankle …> Right, Brian. I remember. We like him, right?> We love him. He’s great. He’s just the kind of guy you hope your daughter will meet someday at an upside-down-margarita party.> Is that a fetal-alcoholic joke?This wedding is your parents’ fault. They named her Kiley. She was doomed from birth to marry a hunky, fratty premed major.> Pre-law. But Kiley thinks he’ll end up running his dad’s plumbing supply company.> Could be worse.> It could hardly be better.> Oh. I’m sorry. I just now got that this wasn’t good news. What did Chris say?> The usual. That Brian’s a tool. That Kiley listens to too much Dave Matthews. Also, he said, “I’ve got practice tonight, so don’t wait up, hey, hand me those Zig-Zags, would you, are you in the wedding? Cool, at least I’ll get to see you in another one of those Scarlett O’Hara dresses. You’re a hot bridesmaid, come here. Did you listen to that tape I left for you? Danny says I’m playing all over his bass line, but Jesus, I’m doing him a favor.”And then he proposed. In Bizarro World.In the real world, Chris is never going to propose. And I can’t decide if that makes him a jerk—or if maybe I’m the jerk for wanting it so bad. And I can’t even talk to him about it, about marriage, because he would say that he does want it. Soon. When he’s got some momentum going. When the band is back on track. That he doesn’t want to be a drag on me, he doesn’t want me to have to support him …Please don’t point out that I already support him—because that’s only mostly true.> Mostly? You pay his rent.> I pay the rent. I would have to pay rent anyway …I would have to pay the gas bill and the cable bill and everything else if I lived alone. I wouldn’t save a nickel if he moved out.Besides, I don’t mind paying most of the bills now, and I won’t mind doing it after we’re married. (My dad has always paid my mom’s bills, and no one calls her a parasite.)It isn’t the who-pays-the-bills issue that’s a problem. It’s the acting-like-an-adult issue. It’s acceptable in Chris’s world for a guy to live with his girlfriend while he works on a demo. It’s not as cool to chase your guitar fantasy while your wife’s at work.If you have a wife, you’re an adult. That’s not who Chris wants to be. Maybe that’s not who I want him to be.> Who do you want him to be?> Most days? I think I want the wild-haired music man. The guy who wakes you up at 2 a.m. to read you the poem he just wrote on your stomach. I want the boy with kaleidoscope eyes.> There would very likely be no more 2 a.m. tummy poems if Chris got a real job.> That’s true.> So you’re okay?> No. I’m about to get fitted for another bridesmaid dress. Strapless. Kiley’s already picked it out. I’m dog years away being from okay. But I don’t think I can complain, can I? I want him. And he wants to wait. And I still want him. So I can’t complain.> Of course you can complain. That’s unalienable. On the bright side, at least you’re not pregnant.> Neither are you. Take a pregnancy test.CHAPTER 4JUST FOR THE record—his own internal record—Lincoln never would have applied for this job if the classified ad had said, “Wanted: someone to read other people’s e-mail. Swing shift.”The Courier ad had said, “Full-time opportunity for Internet security officer. $40K+ Health, dental.”Internet security officer. Lincoln had pictured himself building firewalls and protecting the newspaper from dangerous hackers—not sending out memos every time somebody in Accounting forwarded an off-color joke to the person in the next cubicle.The Courier was probably the last newspaper in America to give its reporters Internet access. At least that’s what Greg said. Greg was Lincoln’s boss, the head of the IT office. Greg could still remember when the reporters used electric typewriters. “And I can remember,” he said, “because it wasn’t that long ago—1992. We switched to computers because we couldn’t order the ribbon anymore, I shit you not.”This whole online thing was happening against management’s will, Greg said. As far as the publisher was concerned, giving employees Internet access was like giving them the option to work if they felt like it, look at porn if they didn’t.But not having the Internet was getting ridiculous.When the newspaper launched its Web site last year, the reporters couldn’t even go online to read their stories. And most readers wanted to e-mail in their letters to the editor these days, even third-graders and World War II veterans.By the time Lincoln started working at The Courier, the Internet experiment was in its third month. All employees had internal e-mail now. Key employees, and pretty much everyone in the news division, had some access to the World Wide Web.If you asked Greg, it was all going pretty well.If you asked anyone in upper management, it was chaos.People were shopping and gossiping; they were joining online forums and fantasy football leagues. There was some gambling going on. And some dirty stuff. “But that isn’t such a bad thing,” Greg argued. “It helps us weed out the sickos.”The worst thing about the Internet, as far as Greg’s bosses were concerned, was that it was now impossible to distinguish a roomful of people working diligently from a roomful of people taking the What-Kind-of-Dog-Am-I? online personality quiz.And thus …Lincoln.On his very first night, Lincoln helped Greg load a new program called WebFence on to the network. WebFence would monitor everything everyone was doing on the Internet and the Intranet. Every e-mail. Every Web site. Every word.And Lincoln would monitor WebFence.An especially filthy-minded person (maybe Greg) had defined the program’s mail filters. There was a whole list of red flags: nasty words, racial slurs, supervisors’ names, words like “secret” and “classified.”That last one, “classified,” beached the entire network during WebFence’s first hour by flagging and storing each and every e-mail sent to or from the Classified Advertising department.The software also flagged large attachments, suspiciously long messages, suspiciously frequent messages…. Every day, hundreds of possibly illicit e-mails were sent to a secure mailbox, and it was Lincoln’s job to follow up on every one. That meant reading them, so he read them. But he didn’t enjoy it.He couldn’t admit this to his mother, but it did feel wrong, what he was doing, like eavesdropping. Maybe if he were the sort of person who liked that sort of thing …His girlfriend Sam—his ex-girlfriend—always used to peek in other people’s medicine cabinets. “Robitussin,” she’d report in the car on the way home. “And generic Band-Aids. And something that looked like a garlic press.”Lincoln didn’t even like using other people’s bathrooms.There was a whole complicated process he was supposed to follow if he caught someone actually breaking The Courier’s rules. But most offenses called for just a written warning, and most offenders got the message after that.In fact, the first round of warnings worked so well, Lincoln started to run out of things to do. WebFence kept flagging e-mails, a few dozen a day, but they were almost all false alarms. Greg didn’t seem to care. “Don’t worry,” he said to Lincoln on the first day that WebFence didn’t snag a single legitimate violator. “You won’t get fired. The men upstairs love what you’re doing.”“I’m not doing anything,” Lincoln said.“Sure, you are. You’re the guy who reads their e-mail. They’re all scared of you.”“Who’s scared? Who’s they?”“Everybody. Are you kidding? This whole building is talking about you.”“They’re not scared of me. They’re scared of getting caught.”“Getting caught by you. Just knowing that you’re snooping around their Sent folders every night is enough to keep them following the rules.”“But I’m not snooping around.”“You could,” Greg said.“I could?”Greg went back to what he was doing, some sort of laptop autopsy. “Look, Lincoln, I’ve told you. Somebody has to be here at night anyway. Somebody has to answer the phone and say, ‘Help desk.’ You’re just sitting around, I know. You don’t have enough work, I know. I don’t care. Do the crossword. Learn a foreign language. We had a gal who used to crochet …”Lincoln didn’t crochet.He read the newspaper. He brought in comic books and magazines and paperback novels. He called his sister sometimes, if it wasn’t too late and if he felt lonely.Mostly, he surfed the Net.CHAPTER 5From: Jennifer Scribner-Snyder To: Beth Fremont Sent: Wed, 08/25/1999 10:33 AMSubject: This is only a test. In the case of an actual emergency …It’s here. Return to your usual programming.> It?> You know …it, the thing that tells you you’re not pregnant.> It? Do you mean your period? Your monthly? Did your aunt Ruby arrive for a five-to seven-day visit? Is it …that time?Why are you talking like you’re in a feminine napkin commercial?> I’m trying to be more careful. I don’t want to trigger one of those red flags and send some company watchdog computer into a frenzy, just because I sent an e-mail about it.> I can’t imagine that any of the company’s red-flag words involve menstruation.> So you’re not worried about it?> About your period?> No, about that note we got. The one that warned us not to send personal e-mails. The one that said we could be fired for improper use of our computers.> Am I worried that the bad guys from Tron are reading our e-mail? Uh, no. All this security stuff isn’t aimed at people like us. They’re trying to catch the pervs. The online porn addicts, the Internet blackjack players, the corporate spies …> Those are probably all red-flag words. Pervs. Porn. Spies. I bet red flag is a red flag.> I don’t care if they are reading our mail. Bring it on, Tron! I dare you. Try to take away my freedom of expression. I’m a journalist. A free-speech warrior. I serve in the Army of the First Amendment. I didn’t take this job for the bad money and the regressive health care coverage. I’m here for the truth, the sunshine, the casting open of closed doors!> Free-speech warrior. I see. What are you fighting for? The right to give Billy Madison five stars?> Hey now. I wasn’t always a spoiled movie reviewer. Don’t forget my two years covering North Havenbrook. Two years in the trenches. I bled ink all over that suburb. I went Bob Woodward on its ass.Furthermore, I would have given Billy Madison six stars if they were mine to give. You know how I feel about Adam Sandler—and that I give bonus stars for Styx songs. (Two stars if it’s “Renegade.”)> Fine. I surrender. Company Internet policy be d@mned: I started my period last night.> Say it loud, say it proud. Congratulations.> Yeah, that’s the thing …> What’s the thing?> When it started, I didn’t feel my usual hurricane of relief and Zima cravings.I mean, I was relieved—because, on top of the Zima drinking, I don’t think I’ve eaten anything with folic acid in the last six months. I may even be eating things that leach folic acid from your system, so I was definitely relieved—but I wasn’t ecstatic.I went downstairs to tell Mitch. He was working on marching band diagrams, which, normally, I wouldn’t interrupt, but this was important. “Just FYI,” I said, “I started my period.”And he set down his pencil and said, “Oh.” (Just like that. “Oh.”)When I asked him why he said it that way, he said he thought that maybe I really was pregnant this time—and that that would have been nice. “You know I want kids,” he said.“Right,” I said. “Someday.”“Someday soon,” he said.“Someday eventually. When we’re ready.”And then he turned back to his diagrams. Not mad or impatient. Just sorrowful, which is much, much worse. So I said, “When we’re ready, right?” And he said …“I’m ready now. I’m ready last year, Jenny, and I’m starting to think that maybe you never will be. You don’t even want to be ready. You act like getting pregnant is a disease you can catch from public toilets.”> What did you say?> What could I say? I’m not ready. And maybe I misled him every time I used the words “someday” and “eventually.” I can’t picture myself with kids …But I couldn’t picture myself married, either, until I met Mitch. I always thought the kid idea would grow on me, that all Mitch’s healthy desires would infect me, and one morning I’d wake up thinking, “What a beautiful world in which to bring a child.”What if that never happens?What if he decides to cut his losses and find some perfectly normal woman who—on top of being naturally thin and never having turned to prescription antidepressants—also wants to have his babies ASAP?> Like Barbie in a state of perpetual ovulation.> Yes.> Like the fictional new consumer-science teacher.> Yes!> It won’t happen.> Why not?> For the same reason Mitch tries to grow giant pumpkins every summer—even though your yard is too small, is infested with beetles and doesn’t get enough sun. Mitch doesn’t want the easy thing. He wants to work a little harder to get the thing he really wants.> So he’s a fool. A fool whose seeds find no purchase.> That’s not the point. The point is, he’s a fool who won’t give up on you.> I’m not sure that you’re right, but I think I might feel better now. So, good work.> Anytime.(You know that I mean anytime after 10:30 a.m. or so, right?)> (I do.)CHAPTER 6JENNIFER SCRIBNER-SNYDER, ACCORDING to the company directory, was a Features copy editor.Beth Fremont, Lincoln knew. He knew of, anyway. He’d read her movie reviews. She was funny, and he usually agreed with her. She was the reason he’d gone to see Dark City and Flirting With Disaster and Babe.By the time Lincoln realized that he hadn’t sent a warning to Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder—after who knew how many offenses, three? half a dozen?—he couldn’t remember why not. Maybe because he couldn’t always figure out what rule they were breaking. Maybe because they seemed completely harmless. And nice.And now he couldn’t send them a warning, not tonight. Not when they were actually worried about getting a warning. That would be weird, wouldn’t it? Knowing someone had read an e-mail you’d written about whether someone was reading your e-mail? If you were an excessively paranoid person, it could make you wonder whether all the other things you were worried about were also true. It might make you think, “Maybe they are all out to get me.”Lincoln didn’t want to be the bad guy from Tron.And also …Also, he kind of liked Beth and Jennifer, as much as you can like people from reading their e-mail, only some of their e-mail.He read through the exchange again. “Ass” was definitely a red-flagged word. So was “blackjack” and “porn.” He wasn’t sure about “perv” or “menstruation.”He trashed the files and went home. 

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONAfter moving back home to Nebraska following college, Lincoln isn’t exactly sure what he wants or who he is. He lives with his mother, he maintains an adequate social life among his role–playing friends, and he is amassing a decent income at his late night job vetting potentially unprofessional emails at The Courier. Apart from the occasional twinge of guilt reading others’ correspondence, Lincoln has achieved a somewhat contented stasis.However, Lincoln gets hooked on reading the email exchanges between Features copy editor Jennifer Scribner–Snyder andThe Courier’s resident movie critic Beth Fremont. He begins to look forward to their banter and, after awhile, he realizes that he’s falling for Beth, a woman he has never laid eyes on. How can he possibly be in love with someone he’s never actually met, and, maybe more importantly, what would she do if she ever found out he has been reading her email every night for months?Attachments is a story of two 20–somethings caught in the crisis of adulthood at the end of the millennium. It is tale about finding oneself and moving on. It is a novel about falling in love with the essence of a person rather than the surface. ABOUT RAINBOW ROWELLRainbow Rowell is a columnist for the Omaha World-Herald. She lives in Nebraska with her family. A CONVERSATION WITH RAINBOW ROWELLQ. Attachments includes many references to pop culture, specifically circa the mid to late 1990’s. What is your relationship with pop culture? How does it inform your writing? From which corners of pop culture do you draw the most inspiration?I’ve always been fascinated by pop culture . . . When I was a kid I would read books about the Beatles and the Monkees and pore over old Life magazines. Now I write a pop culture column for our city’s newspaper, The Omaha World–Herald.As a writer, I use pop culture references almost as shorthand. Pop culture is shared culture, so if I say that someone is more of a Star Wars geek than a Star Trek geek, you probably know what I mean. If I say that someone prefers John Lennon to Paul McCartney, or Jacob to Edward, or Batman to Superman . . . You get it.The trick in Attachments was finding nineties references that would still have meaning today. If I mentioned a song (“Who Let the Dogs Out?”) or an actor (Julia Roberts, John Wayne) or a movie (The Matrix), it had to be something that readers would probably still recognize and understand.Some writers don’t like to use pop culture references in books or movies because they date a story. But I’ve never minded that. I like to experience a story in context.A few of my favorite artists are really good at this - using pop culture references to help tell a story. I think of Nick Hornby (High Fidelity) and Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men.Q. So much of the book consists of the email repartee between Beth and Jennifer. How did you go about crafting these exchanges? What was most important to you in creating the specific voices of these characters?Well, it started as a cheat for me. This is my first novel, and I was really anxious about writing the third–person narrative. The descriptive parts. But I was much more confident about writing dialogue, and email is really just dialogue . . .So I wrote all of the Beth/Jennifer scenes in first. I wanted their friendship to be a major part of the book - and I wanted to write about how female friendships have moved from the telephone to the computer. In a way, email feels even more intimate than the telephone because you don’t even have to say anything out loud.I knew that it could get confusing, the switching back and forth between their two voices, so I tried to make them pretty distinct. Jennifer writes more formally than Beth does; she’s a copy editor, so she’s less likely to use sentence fragments or end a sentence with a preposition. She makes fewer pop culture references, and the ones she does make are less hip or current than Beth’s.Beth is more self confident, and - in part because of her job - more laid–back. If I thought of a silly joke, I’d give it to Beth. If the joke was sharp or bitter, I’d give it to Jennifer.Also, Beth is really amused by Jennifer, so I tried to make her sound fond and smiling.I would actually smile when I was typing Beth’s stuff, then furrow my brow a bit when I was typing Jennifer.Q. What role does this novel’s setting play in your writing of it? How much of Nebraska and the Midwest do you see in this book and how would a different setting have changed the story and characters?Well, I wanted to set the book in Omaha because people in Omaha almost never get to see our hometown in books or TV or movies - and we get so excited when it happens.But I didn’t want the location to be a distraction for other readers. (Almost all of the places I mention in Attachments are real Omaha places, but I never actually say “Omaha” anywhere in the book.)I do think of the characters as very Midwestern . . . The way that Doris talks to everybody who comes into the break room and learns their names. The way that everyone is always offering each other food. The car culture. The gorgeous cheap apartments. The Lutherans.Q. The characters in this book deal with significant loss and loneliness, but find powerful moments of love as well. What themes or topics do you want your readers to walk away with? For you, which character best speaks to the message of the novel and why?Attachments is about three people who are all at that age - late 20s, early 30s - where you realize you’re not a kid anymore. You’re an adult. And you can’t just let your life keep happening to you. You have to take the reins, now, or risk never having any of the things you really want in life, whether it’s love or a family or the right job .But you also realize at that age how little control you really have.Life isn’t like the movies. Things don’t just fall into place because your favorite song is on the soundtrack or because it’s New Year’s Eve.Lincoln is the heart of the book for me. He’s the character most in danger of sleeping through life. He has a lot to offer, but he’s been so passive for so long that you really think he might not ever stand up for himself.Secondarily . I knew when I started the book that I wanted Lincoln to be a truly good guy. I didn’t want him to be the guy in the romantic comedy who starts out rude and sexist and is then transformed by true love into a good guy. I reject that entire idea. Bad guys don’t turn into good guys. If you want a good guy, you need to find one who’s already good.I wanted Lincoln to be like the guys in my life - sensitive, kind, idealistic, feminist, smart. I wanted to show that a guy like that can be a dreamy romantic hero.Q. What are you working on next? Can we expect more from Lincoln and Beth?I don’t think I’ll write anymore about Lincoln and Beth (though I have been posting deleted scenes from the novel on my website, Those characters seem like they’re in a good place to me.My next book comes out in 2013. It’s called Eleanor & Park, and it’s about two misfit 16–year–olds who fall in love over the course of a school year in 1986.I wanted to write about how tragic every high school romance is. At 16, you’re old enough to fall in love - perhaps more powerfully than you ever will again - but you’re not old enough to do anything about it. Your life isn’t your own yet. In a way, every 16–year–old in love is Romeo or Juliet.My goal was to write a story about first love that would actually make you feel 16 again while you were reading it. I wanted it to be visceral . . .After Attachments, it was fun to write a book where the main characters actually meet and have scenes together. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSWho is Lincoln O’Neill? How would you describe his character when we first meet him? What is your opinion of the status of his life?Much of what we learn about Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner–Snyder comes from their email exchanges. What impression do you get of these two women? What draws you to Beth’s character? To Jennifer’s? What about their communication attracts Lincoln?Lincoln’s job, among other things, is to monitor company email. What is your opinion of Lincoln’s job? What ethical dilemmas, if any, did you see for Lincoln? How would you have acted given the same position and why?When we first meet Beth through her correspondence, we hear about her relationship with Chris. How would you describe their relationship? What draws Beth to Chris? How does her relationship with Chris affect Beth?How would you describe the fate of Lincoln’s college relationship with Sam? How does that relationship inform his actions throughout the book? How do you relate to Lincoln’s experience?What does Lincoln discover about the identity of Beth’s “My Cute Guy?” How does this revelation complicate the story? What is your opinion of how Beth goes about investigating her office crush?Beth’s longest email to Jennifer recounts the events of attending her sister’s wedding. What do we learn in that email? What does that email reveal about Beth and what she wants? What effect does this email have on Lincoln?What impact does his brief reunion with Sam have on Lincoln? What significance does the timing of this reunion carry within the story? How would you have handled the same situation and why?Jennifer is dealt a devastating blow late in the novel. How does this event change her? What is your opinion of Beth’s reaction to the news? How do you feel about Lincoln’s knowledge of this event?Lincoln learns through reading Beth and Jennifer’s email that he may have missed his chance with Beth. How would you describe his reaction to this news? How does his ensuing actions following the news differ from how you would have reacted?Describe your reaction to the moment between Lincoln and Beth in the movie theater. What strikes you about this moment? Knowing what Beth knows at that point, would you have acted as Beth did?Attachments brings up the interesting notion of “love before love at first sight.” Do you believe in this idea? Is it possible? What do you see in Beth and Lincoln’s future?

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Attachments“Perfectly mixing sweet romance with deliciously tart wit, Rowell's literary debut is a complete charmer.”—Chicago Tribune“Cracking, laugh-out-loud dialogue, characters that feel painfully real, and a sweet premise about finding love in the information age. If Attachments were an email, I'd be forwarding it to my entire list of contacts.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult“A charming, witty story about both office HR and real human relations.”—Entertainment Weekly“Fresh, fun, and charmingly quirky.”—Claire Cook, bestselling author of Seven Year Switch