"I love you more than I hate everything else."

20 July 2014

Remember those all-nighters you pulled with your best friend, dissecting every word your crush told you at homeroom? Remember those times you used to call your crush's house and felt absolutely mortified when someone else answers? And when your crush finally comes on the line, remember how you wished those conversations would never stop?

Remember when prank calls were all the rage? Remember that satisfaction you get when you slam the phone down when you're upset? Priceless.

Let's not forget about how everyone's on time and how you can't cancel on a friend since they would've already been on their way and you have no means of reaching them.

God I forgot how good that felt. We should totally use landlines again.

Whew, that was a long prelude to the main point of this post, which is a review of the book Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

Georgie McCool (how cool is that name?) and Neal Grafton have been married for fourteen years. Georgie is a TV writer while Neal stays at home watching over their two young daughters. An opportunity to write her dream show with her writing partner/ best friend since college Seth comes up just before the holidays, forcing her to forego visiting Neal's mom in Omaha with their kids. With her iPhone conking out on her and being unable to contact Neal, she uses her old rotary landline phone in her childhood room instead. What follows are magical conversations with her husband from fifteen years ago. Magic. 13 Going on 30 and 17 Again kind of magic. At first she thinks she's going bonkers, but then she realizes this *magic* is happening because she has to change something. If she plays her cards right, her husband would come propose and they'd have the life they currently have now. But if he doesn't come, does that mean they'll never get together? Does that mean their kids will be erased from the timeline?

Riot Read said it best: "This is more than just a contemporary novel about life and work and everything in between. It's about the magic of fixing your future by examining your past." This reminds me of one of my favorite parts in {500} Days of Summer, when Tom's sassy younger sister played by Chloe Moretz said, "When you look back, look again." In the same way that it's true that you should always look forward, you should also look back every once in a while because maybe you're missing something. It's ironic how Georgie's past leads her to question the present and their future. Will Georgie and Neal be better off without each other? Can she live without him? Does she want to?

I loved Landline so much it hurts. Sad tears, happy tears, airport scenes, pop culture references, a dash of magical realism  it has everything I want in a novel and more! (Also, Rainbow loves parentheses, I love parentheses.) It seriously felt like Rainbow's gift to me. Pop culture references! For something that I expected to be a light read before I start with Gone Girl (Who am I kidding? Eleanor & Park wasn't a light read at all! Loved it, though.), Landline was quite a ride. She knows how to take the unspoken thoughts in my heart and put them down into tangible, readable words. "I want to be happy. Like, seventy to eighty percent of the time. I want to be actively, thoughtfully happy." Fangirl may still be my favorite book of hers but this is a close second. (I also enjoyed Attachments but didn't like the ending that much.)

To think I almost didn't read it! I was about to, when a friend unintentionally spoiled the Easter egg for me. I don't mind spoilers that much but it's the Easter egg we're talking about here, people! Good thing Bea asked me to continue. The reveal is indeed worth it! I get a different kind of buzz when fictional worlds collide (which is why the Pixar theory excited me so the first time I read it), and when it happened here, it was all kinds of amazing. Did I mention the many pop culture references? "Your face is like an O. Henry story. The world's sweetest dimples and the boy who never laughs." LOVED. IT.

Charming, fantastical, a whole lot of adorable... Rainbow Rowell is magic.

"The future was going to happen, even if he wasn't ready for it. Even if he was never ready for it. At least he could make sure he was with the right person. Wasn't that the point of life? To find someone to share it with? And if you got that part right, how far wrong could you go? If you were standing next to the person you loved more than everything else, wasn't everything else just scenery?"

Reading this really gave me a reality check on marriage. (Not that I've ever been married but you know what I mean.) I'm currently reading Gone Girl and, oh boy. I'll wait until I finish reading it before I form an opinion. Anyway. When I get married, I will never not have the energy for conversations, for asking how my spouse's day went, for touching base. I will never not have enthusiasm and patience for my kids. I will never be too consumed by work that I won't have time for anything else. I know it's a logical fallacy since I really can't pass judgment on something I haven't experienced yet, but I'm just saying being a good wife and mother would be nice, is all.

Have you read Landline? Did you like it? What is your favorite Rowell book? I'd like to know the books you're currently reading, too. 

1 comment

  1. IG: @jingserra


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