Review #3: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Description: Stand-alone adult novel

Pages: 308

Rating: 4.5/5

Cover Review: There are a lot of beautiful covers for this book, but I really love this one. The spine is striped with a pretty pink color (see my Instagram) and the back is beautiful too. Not only that, but underneath the dustjacket it says “Landline” in a pretty, green-ish font, which is a nice touch.

“I love you,” he said, “I love you more than I hate everything else.”

Georgie McCool spends her time writing about the ideal, funny family situations that everyone knows and loves on TV with her best friend and fellow comedian Seth. All she wants for herself is to put together a TV show that she actually likes, and to have a happy family like the ones she creates. Instead – for now – she has half-written scripts put together by her and Seth, two daughters, Neal. Neal, who she loves, but she worries doesn’t return the feelings.

When Georgie and Seth get the chance to make their dreams of having their own show put together a reality, Georgie is willing to do anything to make it happen… even if that means ditching Neal’s planned trip to visit his mom with the girls in Omaha. She’s confident that everything will go back to normal when he gets back, but he stops answering all of her phone calls and she suddenly realizes that this might be the end of their marriage.

Just when Georgie is losing all hope, she finds away to communicate with Neal from the past… Neal a week before he proposed to her, in fact. Could this be the way for Georgie to find out where their marriage went wrong?

I absolutely adored this book, which isn’t a surprise. I was worried that the overall tone of Rainbow’s fantastic writing would be changed in this book because it’s targeted towards adults and contains some fantasy elements unlike her other books, but I was wrong, and I’m so glad I was! She once again created hilarious, wonderful, realistic characters who I grew very attached to throughout the book.

Every character in this book had a distinct personality – so distinct that even if they weren’t labeled with names you would probably be able to identify them from the things they say in their dialogue. There were hilarious parts, sad parts, but never boring parts. Like Fangirl, there were quite a few references to Harry Potter which I absolutely loved! Personally, I really like it when authors mention other books in their books, as it goes to make the story feel more real. Like, no way Neal! I read that book too!

Above all, I think my favorite part of this book was that you get to learn so much about Georgie and Neal’s relationship. I’ve never read a book that did a better job of showing all sides of the relationship. You get a feel for how their relationship works in the present-day parts, but also how they acted when they were young and falling in love through the back-in-time communication. Not only that, but Georgie also had a lot of flashbacks to when she was first meeting Neal that I loved! It was really cool (or should I say McCool?) to see how the characters changed as a person and changed how they interacted with each other throughout their lives.

There were only a few things I didn’t like about this book, and they’re really not that much of a big deal at all. The first was that there was a significant amount of more swearing in this book than there was in her other books, which I’m not a fan of, but it didn’t surprise me. Obviously this book is marketed towards adults while her other books are YA, but at times it did seem a little unnecessary and kind of distracting from the story when all of a sudden f-bombs are being dropped a lot. Still, it wasn’t that big of a deal and I don’t think it affected the story too much.

My second issue (and this is really nit-picky) is that every once and a while there would be two or three pages that were completely blank save for a date. These would appear in between chapters and I understand that they were there to make sure you weren’t confused as to when everything was taking place but to me it seemed completely unnecessary because the time between each date was never more than a couple days, like a normal book would progress. Unless I missed a big jump, they didn’t really seem to be needed. The only reason I really care is because it made the book go faster when there were a couple of pages you’d just skip every few chapters. 😦

Lastly, the ending was kind of confusing, and it didn’t feel super complete to me, like we were left to imagine what would happen next and the explanation ourselves.  I was worried that, like some time travel books, Rainbow’s explanation for all the weird things that happened throughout the book was that nothing would make sense by the end.  I think she wrapped everything up nicely (to the point where I was almost crying as I finished it at 2:00 this morning) but I could’ve done with a little more.  Maybe this is just because I love her writing so much and I wanted more of it, but maybe one more chapter at the end would’ve done it for me.

Overall, I’d really, really recommend this book if you’ve read or enjoyed any of Rainbow Rowell’s other books. It’s written for adults, but doesn’t really have any parts that are “adult content”, besides a lot of language. I loved reading some of Rainbow Rowell’s work with fantasy – she’s great at it! This only serves to make me even more excited for the release of Carry On. ❤

Buy this wonderful book here.  It looks like it’s on sale today, and I would highly recommend picking it up!

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16 thoughts on “Review #3: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

    • Thank you so much, I really think you’ll enjoy it! It really doesn’t read like a YA romance – although young adults probably could read it – and isn’t as fluffy as many other romances are nowadays. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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  1. Yaay! I’m glad you liked it! Incomplete endings are a little botherish to me when I love the author, but I don’t think it’ll bother me too much. After all, one of my favorite series of all time (The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong) leaves off pretty much COMPLETELY unanswered. Can’t wait to read this! It’ll be my first Rainbow book!

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    • I’m so excited for you! I think you’ll really like it. As for the ending, it’s not like it’s completely unsatisfying but because Rainbow is among my favorites authors I’d always rather read more of her writing over inferring my own completed ending. I think this is a great introduction in Rainbow Rowell’s style of writing, it has a little bit of everything. If you like this one, I would definitely recommend checking out Fangirl or Attachments next. 🙂

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  2. I am always leery of time travel books because things usually don’t add up. But this one sounds really interesting and heartwarming 🙂 I’m sorry that the ending didn’t quite work for you. Great review!

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    • Thanks! The ending wasn’t too bad, but slightly vague. If you’ve read Eleanor and Park, it kind of had a similar ending – it ended, but you were left wanting more. I would definitely recommend it if you’re interested! 🙂

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  3. To be honest, I don’t like swear words being dropped unnecessarily. It feels like it’s being used as a shock factor and seeing it used constantly just makes me feel bored. I want every word to have a purpose!!

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      • I’ve read Attachments and Eleanor and Park, too. I love them all for different reasons. Eleanor and Park had such depth of character and totally believable uncomfortable stuck-in-my-body teen thoughts. Plus, the 80s. 🙂 That one’s my second favorite. Attachments was strange at first, but as it unfolded, I liked it more and more. Again, the time-period immersion was fun, but the stalker thing was a little weird. Only the goddess Rowell could make it work, lol.

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      • Yeah, Attachments was a little weird but I loved the way it was told, with some of it being in emails and some of it in normal storytelling fashion. I loved Eleanor and Park (although I would’ve liked more of an ending from that one)! I absolutely cannot wait for Carry On. 🙂

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