In this weeks Review I am writing about four books from the same writer. Rainbow Rowell is an American writer who has written four books. She is currently working on her fifth book. As you might have guessed, I have read all four of her books and will definitely be reading the fifth when it comes out. She writes romance novels, both young adult and adult.
Eleanor & Park
The first book I read by Rainbow Rowell. It is written from the perspective of a boy (Park) who falls in love with a girl (Eleanor). They are both two misfit teenagers living in Omaha, Nebraska in 1986. Although the book is mostly about them falling in love, it also deals with issues such as domestic abuse, child abuse, racism, bullying, body image and poverty. I liked this book because of the great way it entwined both serious issues and a tragic, but very cute love story.
The second book I read was Fangirl. Both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl came out in 2013. Fangirl is about a girl (Cath) at university who is the half of a twin. She writes fan fiction about a book series similar to Harry Potter. Her twin sister is very open and makes friends easily and sort of ditches Cath when they get to university. The book focuses on Cath learning to come out of her shell to meet new people and becoming her own person, now that her twin sister left her to fend for herself. I liked this book a little less than Eleanor & Park, I think because the ending was very anticlimactic. However the main character was very relatable and the pieces of fan fiction were also a fun read.
This was actually the first novel of Rainbow Rowell. It is also my favorite I think, with Eleanor & Park a close second. It is about an IT guy (Lincoln) in 1999/2000 whose job it is to read other people’s emails (to make sure they don’t talk about non-workrelated subjects). While reading the conversations between Jennifer and Beth he starts to fall in love with Beth. I liked this book the most, because of the way you are introduced to Jennifer and Beth. The book is written from the perspective of Lincoln and you get to know Jennifer and Beth by reading the emails Lincoln reads. Because not all their emails are ‘flagged’ to be checked for non-workrelatedness, it leaves you guessing what is going on besides what they share in their emails.
The last book and also the last book I read is Landline. I only just finished this book, but it is not my favorite. I think it is because this had the most unrealistic setting. It is about Georgie, a comedy writer married to Neal and who has two daughters. A week before Christmas she and her best friend and co-writer Seth get the big break they always wanted, but it means she has to miss Christmas with Neal’s family. Neal decides to take the kids to his parents anyway, leaving Georgie alone in LA. When Georgie visits her mother, she finds out she can call Neal with the landline from her mom’s house. But it is not Neal in 2013, but Neal in 1998. The time-traveling phone is the unrealistic part. But what I did like about the book was that it was a love story, but more of a falling in love again, after 10+ years of marriage.
If I had to recommend one book by Rainbow Rowell to introduce you to her writing style I think I would go for Attachments. However if I would introduce someone to all her books, I might recommend starting with Eleanor & Park and reading it in the order I read them. Because this way you get the four times in a lifetime you could fall in love in chronological order: your first love in high school (Eleanor & Park), falling in love at university (Fangirl), finding love at work/after graduating (Attachments) and falling in love again after you’ve been married for a while (Landline).
Have you read any books by Rainbow Rowell? And if so, what was your favorite?