Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: A Fellowship of the Worms Experience

September 16, 2013 Book Club, Contemporary Fiction, Humor, Romance 34

Greetings, Bookworms! The Fellowship of the Worms is back in session. Our book club choice this month was Attachmentsby Rainbow Rowell. WARNING: We will be discussing the WHOLE book. This will no doubt include SPOILERS. If you did not read the book and would like to participate, pick up a copy of Attachments and give it a read. This post will be here waiting for you when you finish. Now that the particulars are out of the way, I’ll remind you of the premise here. I’ll pose questions in bold and answer them in regular type.  If you don’t want your opinions influenced by my rantings, stick to the bold first. Feel free to answer them in the comments, or if you’re so inclined, leave a comment linking to your review of Attachments on your own blog! :)

smarty-mcwordypants-199x3001. Attachments features an unconventional love story. In the late 1990s, Lincoln is hired to monitor the e-mail activity of a newspaper staff. He comes across regular exchanges between a woman named Beth and her best friend Jennifer. Lincoln begins to fall for Beth despite having never caught a glimpse of her. Do you think “love before first sight” is a romantic ideal, or do you believe it could happen in real life? 

I love the idea of falling in love with someone purely on the basis of their ideas. I really WANT to believe that seeing someone’s kicky digital exchanges could lead to unconditional love… Unfortunately, in the age of Catfishing, I don’t know how realistic this idea is. I mean, when Lincoln finally sees Beth, he’s attracted to her. Sure it helps a TON that he’s already got an idea of how great she is as a human being, but if there were absolutely zero physical attraction? I’m not sure how that would play out. Of course, stranger things have happened. I would love love love to be proven wrong on this one!

2. Rowell has a gift for creating characters that you feel astonishingly real. Was there anyone in Attachments that reminded you of someone in your real life? 

Rainbow Rowell writes some of the quirkiest and most fabulous characters I’ve ever read. While reading FangirlI was struck by how much Levi was like one of my friends. I didn’t have as intense a reaction to any of the characters in Attachments, but of COURSE I had a moment. I was sitting on the couch reading the very beginning of the novel when I busted out laughing. My husband was sitting next to be and wanted to know just what I was cackling at. Remember Beth’s sister Kiley? She of the awful wedding? When Beth was describing Kiley’s fiance to Jennifer, she mentioned that she always made fun of him for having an homage to his fraternity tattooed on his ankle. My brother-in-law (whom I love to pieces, he’s an awesome guy) was TOTALLY in the SAME fraternity as Kiley’s fiance. He ALSO has a frattoo on his ankle. I could have died. attachments-rainbow-rowell

3. After Lincoln has been monitoring Beth and Jennifer’s e-mails for a while, he begins to see himself referenced as “My Cute Guy.” Beth has a giant crush on him in spite of being in a long term relationship, and even resorts to very nearly following him home. Confess! What’s the “creepiest” thing you’ve ever done while pursuing a crush? 

I think “creepy stalker” has taken on a while new meaning since the advent of social media. It’s easy to learn a lot about a person based on what they’ve got up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like. At least with social media allows the creator of the account decides what is available to be seen (unlike someone reading your personal email… LINCOLN!) Of course, a little light stalking is a time honored tradition when it comes to courtship.  John stole Meg’s glove in Little Women, right? I spent an awful lot of time hanging around the audio-visual labs when I was trying to get Jim to notice me… I mean, it’s not like I looked up his name in the student directory, found out his middle initial, and daydreamed about what the P might stand for or anything… (It’s Patrick, just as I’d hoped.)

4. How did you feel about the Beth and Lincoln’s encounter in the movie theater? 

That was pretty intense, right? I mean, that crazy pent up sexual tension had to go somewhere. I was a little surprised it progressed so quickly, but you know. You find out someone loved you before he knew what you looked like, you meet him in a dark theater, you’ve had time to get over the shock of his enormous invasion of privacy… Make out sessions are bound to happen!

5. If you were Beth and Lincoln, would you publicly admit your “how we met” story to your friends and family?

I think Beth and Lincoln were pretty smart to keep the details of how they met to themselves… And Jennifer, naturally. Heck, people even now are sometimes embarrassed to admit they met online even though it’s pretty commonplace. I think that given the late 90s early 2000s era of this novel, it was best for Lincoln and Beth to keep their circumstances quiet. I really don’t think that Lincoln’s hippie chick mother or Beth’s troupe of sisters would understand their back story and find it as charming as I did.

So Bookworms, how did you feel about Attachments as a whole? I adored it, much like everything Rainbow Rowell has written. Now I shall wait in suspense for the 2014 release of Landline. Sigh. Seems so very far away! In the meantime though, let’s talk about our plans for October. In the spirit of Halloween I thought we should read a little something spooky. October’s book club selection will be The Passage by Justin Cronin.



34 Responses to “Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: A Fellowship of the Worms Experience”

  1. JoulesDellinger

    I didn’t read the book but (of course) loved your review. When I had just graduated from college and was living back at home for about a year, I got REALLY into going to the gym. I had nothing better to do, so I figured ‘why not’. I also kept watching/running into this guy there that I called “Hottie Boy” and it turns out we were mutually stalking each other. And we ended up dating for almost 4 years before his crazy exploded all over the place.

    Also, speaking of the whole stigma of online dating in the past — I did back about 10 years ago and it was still kind of nerdy to admit that to people back then. At the time I became VERY familiar with falling for someone’s online personality only to find that I couldn’t stand their speaking voice or deal with their crazy shark-teeth. Just saying.

    • sam

      Hi. I just wanna ask. How did the story end in ur book?. Mine ends wif Lincoln saying” there’s no air in space “and im left with two blank pages after that then end. Its so abrupt!! None of my friends has read this book. I can’t decide (or believe) for sure tht is how it ended. I ordered this book online. Pls help!! Im dying of suspense (or dissatisfaction)

  2. rhapsodyinbooks

    I adored it and especially loved (pertinent to your answer of question 1) that at the end Lincoln says he found her attractive BECAUSE of who she was. I think it is similar to how a partner becomes more attractive to one over time, as you get to know the person more. I believe in his analysis! :–)

  3. A.M.B.

    “Rainbow Rowell writes some of the quirkiest and most fabulous characters I’ve ever read.” I completely agree with you! I loved both Attachments and Fangirl (thanks again for recommending Fangirl!). I don’t know how I feel about the likelihood of falling in love without any idea of a person’s physical appearance, but the set up is believable. Employers spy on employees happens all the time (it’s not personal email; it’s work email), as I discussed on my blog when I reviewed Attachments earlier this year. I think it rarely results in a love story, though!

    • Words for Worms

      You are most welcome! 🙂 I don’t love the idea of employers spying on employees, but you know. It is what it is. It’s not your PERSONAL email so I suppose you should expect it. I resort to text messages to send the Hubs sweet nothings throughout the day!

  4. Ashley F

    I love the idea of falling in love with someone before actually meeting them. Do I find what Lincoln was doing creepy? Yes. But in a cute-creepy kinda way like a cute boy keeping something of yours that you dropped just because it was YOURS.

    I”m looking forward to reading The Passage!

  5. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    Lalalalala!!! OK, I skimmed for now since I still want to read Attachments. And I’m excited that y’all are reading The Passage! I adored it when I read it back in 2010, and I really need to hurry up and read The Twelve.

    • Words for Worms

      Oooooh will it give me nightmares? Of course it will. I’m a big chicken. But seriously, read Attachments. It takes no time at all. Sadly though, once you’re done you’ll have no more Rowell until Landline comes out, which is just sad.

  6. Megan M.

    I loved Attachments (I can’t wait to read Fangirl and Landline!) I think “love before first sight” is totally believable. It has to be rare though, because there aren’t very many circumstances where you would talk to someone or be able to get to know them for a long time without seeing them. Most people’s pictures can be found with a simple online search these days. And yes, the age of Catfishing should be making people a lot more cautious about who they’re talking to online.

    The friendship between Beth and Jennifer reminded me very much of me and my best friend. We live far apart now and talk to each other primarily through texts and online chats, and we absolutely talk to each other just like Beth and Jennifer did.

    When I was in high school, I noticed this really cute guy who worked at our local Books-A-Million. I didn’t have my driver’s license but my best friend at the time did, and I would make her take me to BAM every weekend just to stare at him! LOL Then after a few weeks she told me that she wasn’t going to do it anymore and I had to at least say something to him, so she handed me a CD she wanted to buy and sent me up to the register. I confessed that I had a huge crush on him, he gave me his number, and we ended up dating for more than a year!

    The movie theater scene was surprising to me – I didn’t really expect it to be so intense, as you said. But I love a good makeout sesh, so once I got over the surprise, I totally approved! I think I would probably not tell the whole story of how we’d met, except to very close friends. I would just leave it at “we met at work but didn’t start dating until after Lincoln quit.”

    Rainbow Rowell is fabulous. Love that woman.

    • Words for Worms

      Awww this is so sweet! All of it! Your online BFF chats, your mildly stalkerish teen love story, the whole thing! Rainbow Rowell is the most fabulous. I love her down to individual colors!

  7. Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

    I just recently read Attachments too… and loved it as well! It’s so funny but Jennifer totally reminded me of me. I loved both of those girls too, definitely two that I would love to be friends with. The encounter in the movie theatre didn’t really work for me because of how sudden it was… I mean I understand that their feelings were building up prior to that encounter but it didn’t fit logically in my brain I guess. lol
    I’m really looking forward to Landline.. may have to check out her YA books as well. I adored The Passage, hope you do too!

  8. Charleen

    BAH! I didn’t read it AGAIN! I’m on the library waiting list for this one, it just didn’t get to me fast enough. I’ll be back in a week… or two… or whenever…

  9. Laura

    This was my first Rainbow Rowell books (still waiting for the others from the library!) and I was a little underwhelmed. It was a cute book, and a fun twist on the typical chick lit book, but it was nothing amazing. I realize this is my fault from reading all the hype around Fangirls and Eleanor & Park, but it was still a fun read.

    Your track record for picking books that I really want to read is impeccable! Thanks for making me finally pick up something that I bought ages ago and haven’t read yet because I can’t stop borrowing books from the library 🙂

    • Words for Worms

      Awww I’m sorry this was a little disappointing, but don’t give up on Rowell. It’s always so hard to live up to hype, but I think you’ll be pleased with Eleanor & Park and Fangirl :).

  10. Monika

    Okay, I skimmed because I just wanted to say, YAY Rainbow Rowell!! I loved E&P and this is going on my TBR list! (I can’t remember if it’s already there haha)

  11. Ashley Z

    Oh I love Rainbow Rowell. I actually read this book after your review of Fangirl. I loved every relationship in this book! Especially Linclon and Doris! I mean who wouldn’t love a guy who shares his lunch with a lonely old woman?
    1-I’m not sure about Love at first sight but I do believe in people falling in love without physicaly meeting each other first.
    2-I loved Doris. She actually reminded me of an older woman that I work with. Kinda lonely,but appreciates good friendship, gives good advice and a little quirky!
    3-hmm…I’m not sure I wanna Answer this one! Lol. I think before there was google I looked up a crush in the phone book ( You know, the actual book) to see where he lived? Yeah, You know it was Middle school, I was strange!
    4- I loved Beth and Lincolns movie theatre encounter! I think they were both waiting to do that for a while! And they both needed it! I mean they really did have to see if there was any physical chemistry, right? !
    5-I would totally admit to the “how we met” story! I think I would like the shock value!

    I loved this book. I can’t wait to read Fangirl!
    Im going to go check out The Passage now!

    • Words for Worms

      I adored Lincoln with Doris. Dudes that can hang out with older ladies? That’s just adorable. Hahahahaha PHONE BOOK! I so did that. Along with calling and hanging up. Because caller ID was something you had to pay extra for and there was a good chance crushes wouldn’t have it!

  12. Sarah Says Read

    Yayyy I’m so happy you liked this! I love Attachments and all it’s nerdyness. I LOVED that Lincoln & his friends were gamers 🙂

    I would totally keep their story quiet, because back then it was so weird. And even these days, I get that it happens all the time, but meeting online is STILL such a weird idea to me. There are just so many dangers there, and yeah… not my style. It was however, the style, of my ex-boyfriend. After I ended our 5-year long relationship, he met a girl on SOCOM (cause they talked using those mics and stuff when they played) and he then to Chicago to meet her and BAM, got her pregnant. Christ, I can’t believe I actually dated such a person. Gross.

    • Words for Worms

      We have the same taste in romances, methinks! Also, I’m pretty sure it’s the law to have dated someone you’re later embarrassed to admit to. All roads eventually lead to the Honeyman, so it’s all good!

  13. Cindy W

    I finally read and finished this book. I almost came into work half an hour late this morning so that I could finish it in the parking lot. I decided to wait & finish at lunch, because otherwise how would I fund my book habit?

    I loved it so much! Now I must read all the things by Rainbow Rowell!

    I don’t think that they should ever admit to anyone else how they actually met.

    In junior high, I may have done some teenager stalkerish things. Like calling a boys house and hanging up. (Thank goodness for no caller ID back then!) Nowadays it is limited to stalking old crushes on facebook from time to time.

    • Words for Worms

      Hahahahahaha! I tell have the same argument with myself every night before I go to sleep. I’m like, “Katie, is it worth being super tired in the morning?” The answer is usually yes… Until I have to actually get out of bed… My middle school experience would have been so different if everybody had caller ID. Remember *69? The way to call the last number that called you? But it cost money every time you used it? Sigh. The old days…

  14. Charleen

    *deep breath*

    Okay, I just read this (in a DAY!), so here’s me, catching up on your questions:

    1. I think it’s definitely possible… but not to the point of it literally doesn’t matter what the other person looks like. Well, not that the looks are the thing, necessarily… but, like you said, there has to be some kind of physical attraction. Whatever form that takes. I think it’d be totally possible to fall in love with someone’s personality but then turn out to have no chemistry with them at all… and it would suck… but I do think it could go either way.

    2. I was noticing bits of myself in pretty much all three main characters, but perhaps surprisingly Lincoln most of all. I have a feeling that, if I hadn’t ended up marrying my high school sweetheart, my life would be very similar to his.

    3. I don’t remember doing anything particularly stalker-ish with any of my crushes, but it wouldn’t surprise me to (somehow, long-lost journal or something) learn that I did. When I crushed, I crushed HARD.

    4. That scene didn’t quite work for me, honestly. It was just so out of nowhere. But at the same time… I get sitting down next to him, to kind of say it’s okay and not let this opportunity to meet for real slip by… and even if they’d just sat there you know neither of them would have been able to concentrate on the movie, so… I don’t know. I guess I get it. But I can’t see myself doing that in a similar situation, and since I saw so much of myself in the characters, it was hard to accept that they would.

    5. I think their decision is good… keep it quiet for now, but not necessarily forever. Because at a certain point it just wouldn’t matter anymore.

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