Attachments, Rainbow Rowell’s first novel, is both a love story and a study of female friendship. Set in the late nineties, which seems much longer ago than it actually was, the novel follows Lincoln at his new IT job, where his sole responsibility is to monitor office emails for inappropriate discussions. Before he realizes exactly what he’s doing, he begins reading almost every conversation between best friends Jennifer and Beth. He falls in love with Beth, but how can he tell her that he only knows her because he routinely invades her privacy? The novel is funny and sweet, but often overlooked because it was published before the YA frenzy around her next two novels.
Eleanor and Park is the most critically-acclaimed of Rowell’s novels, for very good reason. It’s a first-love story, set in the 1980s, full of comic books, mix tapes, phone calls, and school buses. Beyond that, it’s a powerful tale of poverty and class, of body image and identity, of what it means to be marginalized, to be young, but, most importantly, to be completely in love.
Fangirl follows Cath as she starts college, nervously navigating cafeterias, roommates, and the exhausting prospect of so many new experiences. Her twin sister, Wren, decided to seek independence by declining to room with her and by distancing herself from their once-shared love, Simon Snow fanfiction. Simon Snow is the world’s biggest fantasy series and Cath is one of its fanfiction’s biggest stars. This novel is not only about the anxious experience of starting school, but also the excitement of falling in love, the strength and fragility of family bonds, and the importance of finding your own voice.
Landline will be published on July 8, 2014.