Book Review

Landline

I didn’t know anything about the plot of Landline before I started reading it. I almost think it was better that way—picking a book up based on the strength of the author’s other work. So if you don’t want to know anything about the plot, and you already love Rainbow Rowell (I mean, who doesn’t, at this point, right?), then go read it! I’m glad I did.

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And now for those of you who want to hear about the plot before you decide whether or not to read it, here’s your portion. Georgie McCool is a middle-ish-aged protagonist who is struggling to balance her career, marriage, and motherhood. She is going through a rough time in her career and her marriage when she discovers that a magical landline telephone can call people from her past.

Time-traveling telephones are cool. Georgie is a pretty cool character, very realistically stuck in her head, stuck in her past, with very human failings and desires. Her family members are drawn really well, just interesting enough to give them a third dimension but not so interesting that you care more about them than the protagonist.

I struggle sometimes with books where the protagonist just screws things up a lot. I really had a hard time with Sara Levine’s Treasure Island!!! for that reason, and I was worried that Landline would be similar (though, I absolutely *loved* The Magicians, so, maybe I’m not super consistent). Turns out Rowell is able to walk that line, depicting honest, flawed characters that I can still actually care about. Her YA is still going to be my favorite of her work, just because YA is where my heart is, but fans of adult contemporary, with a tiny bit of magical realism thrown in for spice, would enjoy this story.

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