Published by Plume on March 27th 2012
Genres: Adult fiction, Contemporary, Romance
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"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "
From the award-winning author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Landline comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about love in the workplace.
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. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
I’ll start off with this: This book felt long. It felt like tons of buildup, but nothing much actually happening. If it had been told from either Jennifer’s or Beth’s perspective, it would have been action-packed. Because the bottom line is this: Lincoln wasn’t all that interesting.
So why did I enjoy the book? It’s important to have a great main character, right? Or at least a likable one?
Wrong. Sometimes books are purely plot-driven. Or you’re just a huge fan of happily-ever-afters.
Well, in this case, I can admit that Lincoln was likable. Shy, cute…I guess all the things that Beth saw in him were true. And he was definitely nice. But I didn’t get the general feeling that there was a lot of depth to him. Even when he was with his old girlfriend Sam, who lit up his entire life. The thing, was, she was his life. He didn’t have much going for him outside of her. He had no goals, no plans, no ambition. He couldn’t even decide on a major in college, a starting place. And there is certainly something interesting about someone with ambition.
You know what they say, about life being something that happens when you’re busy making other plans? I feel like that’s kind of how it works with love. You should try to get yourself on a good track first, in a secure place, one that you want to be in, and the rest will come. And at first it seemed like Lincoln was in that place. He had a job that gave him lots of free time and money. Seems perfect, right? Well, Lincoln wasn’t happy, and his job made him restless. So he never really felt put-together. And that’s most of the reason he never really seemed attractive to me.
Back to the point about this book seeming long- it was. It was over 300 pages of Lincoln floundering about, snooping, arguing with his mom who couldn’t seem to let him go, and trying to get out more. And when the ending finally happened, it felt sudden. Like after 300 pages we decided, enough of this, I want some closure. And then it happened. It was partly a romantic comedy, partly a fairy tale. Still a bit unbelievable. Realistic in some aspects though. But at the same time, it was a relief to finally get there. And it took place over an appropriate amount of time, so I can’t say it was too sudden, but it still felt a little unexpected. Needed, but unexpected.
So why did I end up giving this 4 stars? The answer is simple. I’m a sucker for happy endings.
And it very nearly seemed like we wouldn’t be getting one. After 300 pages, I was ready to throw the book at the wall if there wasn’t one. I could see how there would be a good message there about moving on and not expecting creepy stalkers and innocent girls to end up together and all that, but…being honest here, I just wanted to see a romantic happily ever after. Don’t we all. And I felt like since I’d put in the time and effort reading this book, I deserved at least that much.
I’m sorry if that’s a spoiler. But a little tiny part deep inside you knew that it would end well. Most books do.
And truthfully? This book was very realistic. All of the conversations were things I could easily see people emailing about. Lincoln’s feelings were completely natural and expected, as were his mom’s.
Not to mention, this book was very funny. Not all the time, but it had some fantastically unexpected laugh-out-loud moments. Seriously, it could go from dead serious to hilarious in no time, and then back again. And it was mostly my humor, the kind a bookworm would be more likely to get.
“I’m here. Find me. Follow me. Make this inevitable.”-p. 191
- plot (mostly)
- other characters
- some plot
All in all, while this book felt very long, it was worth it in the end. It was realistic and funny and could pass for a mix between a romantic comedy and a fairy tale. I wasn’t too big a fan of the main character, but I liked everything else. Would I read more by this author? I intend to. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes.