Monday, 21 July 2014
landline by rainbow rowell - spoiler free!
hi guys! today i have a review of 'landline' by rainbow rowell (goodreads) for you! i'd just like to take a quick moment to thank michelle and the lovely people at st. martin's press for sending me this beautiful review copy - thanks so much guys, it was so lovely of you to send me this, you made my whole week! now, let's get to the review:
first things first, rainbow rowell writes the most perfect characters ever. oh man, did i love these characters! i loved georgie, i understood her straight away, and i was so in love with neal it was ridiculous. i absolutely loved heather as well - i'd really like to read a book from heather's point of view, maybe this whole incident from her perspective? or anything really, she was just great, and i can totally see her being a protagonist.
i couldn't even believe how well-formed these characters were, though. particularly georgie's mum; i knew exactly how she would say something without ever being told about her accent, and i could picture what she would be wearing without needing a description. it's not like they were stock characters that everyone knows either (such as, the all-american high-school cheerleader, or the bored housewife, and so on), they were SO UNIQUE. it didn't take me any time at all to get into the book, it was instantaneous, and i made a note in my book journal when i was on page 20 saying how i felt like i'd known these people for years.
because of how in-depth her characters were, rainbow managed to do something which i think a lot of authors can't, which is create real emotion between characters that the reader can feel. she did this a lot in 'eleanor & park' (remember the really steamy hand-holding scene on the school bus? when i read that i was 100% back to my 15-y/o self, holding hands with a guy for the first time) and she did it again in 'landline' - just the suggestion of phone sex in a conversation sparked up so much passion in the scene; one sentence and she changed the whole tone of the chapter. rainbow is a truly phenomenal writer, she has such great control over the story and the reader.
other than characters she's also excellent at dialogue - you know those chapters in books where it's just back-and-forth conversation in speech marks but with no indication of who's talking and you get so confused? there's a lot of that in 'landline' but it totally worked. this might be because i knew the characters so well (i could tell who was speaking) but i was never confused, and i loved those chapters. the conversation flowed really well and it always felt really natural and organic, and so REAL. i don't know how she managed to make a story about a magic phone seem so real but she pulled it off.
speaking of knowing the characters really well, i found myself reading something neal said and thinking, "that is so neal!" or "that's totally something neal would say!" how did i know this guy so well?! he wasn't even present through most of the book! and that's the crazy thing - i only knew neal through georgie's perspective and yet i knew him so completely and so honestly that i could probably point out his dialogue even if you removed all the names.
another thing is that i was so amazed by how the whole time-travel thing was handled as well. it was so crazy to be totally in love with 1998 neal and to be so convinced that he and georgie were perfect for each other, and then to simultaneously be hating 2013 neal and thinking he was being a total idiot. like, this is how you tackle relationships and time travel, people!! i also thought georgie's little internal monologue and her discussing whether or not she thought she was crazy was completely spot-on; again it felt so realistic, so natural.
i absolutely loved the plot and i think it was really well-balanced, but i did think that the ending was quite rushed. well, perhaps 'rushed' is the wrong word - it had a steady build-up, but it just ended too soon! i was crying happy tears but then i turned the page and that was it! i wanted MORE. that's not really much of a criticism though - in my eyes, the book is still perfect.
my absolute favourite thing about this book though, was that it was just such a pleasure to read. from the very first page i was so involved in the story and the writing was so smooth and lovely. it's one of those books were i was just sub-consciously savouring it - i would be full-up on this book after 30 pages and could live off those 30 pages for a whole day, which i love. i love being able to mix my life with a book, and looking forward to getting back into a world when you next get the chance to read, and this book really lends itself to that. i adore rainbow's writing style and i made a bunch of notes of really great sentences and phrases that i loved, so i'm gonna just leave a few here:
"he kissed like he was drawing a perfect straight line. he kissed in indian ink."
"seth never talked about the saturday-morning girls now, but georgie assumed the parade marched on."
plus little things like saying that neal fed the pugs "table food."
it was just so wonderful to read. the only real thing that determines my enjoyment of a book is simply that - how much i enjoy the experience of reading a book - that's really the only thing i ever want and in that sense, this book had it all.
obviously i give this book 5 STARS - it was so perfect and i just enjoyed it so much. i'm actually kind of sad now that i only have 'attachments' left to read and then i've exhausted the rainbow rowell back catalogue - i hope she writes more soon! haha, so that is it! thank you guys for reading, let me know what you think of 'landline' in the comments! have a nice day! xx