Jul 8, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell Review

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: St. Martins Press; 308 pages
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?

Christmas. Magic phones. A marriage in trouble. A comedic writer. I know what you're thinking, one of these things just doesn't belong. But actually it does. It's the plot for Rainbow Rowell's latest adult novel. Now I've only read Rainbow's young adult books. Which I happen to really love. Rainbow really knows how to write realistic fiction. When I read her books, I actually could imagine her character's situations occurring in real life. So of course when I got to the "magic phone" aspect of Landline, I literally said out loud, "What the hell is going on?" If I actually read the synopsis of the book, I probably wouldn't have been so shocked. But as I've mentioned in other reviews, if I am a fan of an author. I don't bother reading the book description.

When I realized that this magic phone business was indeed real, and not just me misreading. I went on Goodreads to see if this was a paranormal book. It's not. But I must say this phone business is really cool, and it really got me thinking. But before that I want to talk about the characters. Landline centers around Georgie McCool. Georgie is a sitcom writer. She's married with two kids. She's guilty of doing what many people do. She puts her job first. She loves her husbands and her kids dearly, as the novel progresses you can really see how much she loves them. But her job just pulls her in. And her husband Neal is sick of it. Especially after Georgie cancels Christmas with her family for work. As I mentioned before Rainbow is really good at realistic fiction, you don't get a plot more realistic than this. We're all guilty of letting something dictate our lives. Whether it be school, work, or something else.

After Georgie is unable to get in contact with Neal on his cellphone, and her cellphone is malfunctioning. She decides to use her parent's old landline phone. And after a series of events, realizes that she has been communicating with Neal, but Neal from 1998! Now here's a quick story. I am younger than Georgie, so my 1998 self was pretty much boyband obsessed. Particularly the Backstreet Boys. Go ahead and laugh. But this book got me thinking of my older self, and how carefree I was back then. I love how this book makes me think. It makes you think about your past, and it makes you think about things that you may have taken for granted. The lessons that Georgie learns, are things that everyone who reads this book can benefit from.

I think I enjoyed the storytelling the most in this story. Even without the phone calls, Georgie provides the readers with numerous flashbacks into her and Neal's life. And I admit, I have a huge crush on Neal. And he's not your stereotypical love interest either. He's not described as the best looking guy. He's quiet and he rarely laughs. He's just so real. I feel like I could meet both Georgie and Neal walking down the street. I know I have said numerous times that Rainbow is great at realism, but that's because it's true. I can gush all day about how she develops her characters. This is a book that has you rooting for romance. And hoping that it's not too late to change things. That it's okay to ask for forgiveness, but you have to work for it. You have to take a chance, and fix things.

Thinking of Landline brought me great memories. I remember the rotary phone that my grandparents had in the early 90s. It baffles me that kids today will never use one of these. I don't know if this was Rainbow's intent to make her readers reminisce. But this book definitely brought good feelings for me.

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review (this book was received at ALAMW).


  1. Gah! I can't WAIT to start this! I preordered the audiobook, so I downloaded it this morning and I just need to finish my current read so I can start this puppy. So excited! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. I know this might very well be a tough book for me to read but I'm also very sure that I'm gonna love it, cause Rainbow Rowell wrote it, and everything she's written and I've read, I've loved!
    Great review!


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