Thursday, 20 February 2014


The year is 1999. Lincoln’s job is to read the newspaper employee’s emails. Well, at least the ones that are flagged up by WebFence. He’s meant to send them warnings, but there’s something about Beth and Jennifer’s exchanges. With nothing better to do on the night shift, he feels like he’s getting to know them through their words. He knows he should stop, but he likes her…

I loved the emails between Jennifer and Beth; they were lovely and natural. Lots of laughter and random going off on tangents. If the whole book had been liked that, it might not have worked, even if it is entertaining, but their conversations are split up by a more normal third person narrative from the point of view of Lincoln. It might seem far-fetched to employ someone to read employee emails, but I’ve worked at a few places where I could imagine it. I had a good laugh about the Y2K stuff; remember the panic everyone had back then?

Lincoln’s story is a little slow in places. I got a bit bored of his history with Sam. I knew they weren’t together anymore and I don’t think I cared about the how. I much preferred his time spent chatting with Doris in the break room, his Dungeons and Dragons group and his awkwardness at knowing too much about Beth. The scene in the carpark is just wonderful.
His mother had a special disdain for margarine. Finding out that a family kept margarine in the butter dish was like finding out their pets weren't house-trained.
There’s just enough cynicism to stop it being saccharine and completely unbelievable. There is some caricature going on and I’m not quite sure I got Chris. His explanation to how he was just seemed woolly and I wanted Beth to smack him. I mean, she was a wonderful, understanding girlfriend and he just had an odd, and fairly selfish, attitude, that he liked to think of as love.

Lincoln could have been creepy. But he is such a nice guy and his decisions come out on the right side by the end. I think we’ve all had a work crush at one point in our lives, and I thought Beth’s side was spot on. You know, you give them a name, you make excuses to be places where they are but then, actually, don’t do anything about it. But it’s fun to have one.

The ending really resonated with me. I had a few sniffles, at a couple of points, but it was overall much more an uplifting story than Eleanor & Park turned out to be (I did some Twitter research before picking this one up, just to be on the safe side).

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive

Also reviewed @ Book Addicted Blonde | Booking in Heels

Shelve next to: e by Matt Beaumont

Book Source: Purchased


  1. I adored this book :) and I loved how the digital medium was used (I also loved the AOL messaging in You've Got Mail, but it's harder to make that work in a film, so Rainbow Rowell did a fantastic job). Beth's and Jennifer's voices really seemed to come alive, and they seemed to stay with me even after the book was over. And I too loved the ending :) I don't know if I'll give Eleanor & Park a chance, even though I do like Rowell's writing style.

    Great review! - Maggie @ An American in France

  2. Oooh, yay, you liked it! I loved the Y2K stuff, remembering the good old days when we all thought planes were going to fall out of the sky and it was going to CHANGE ZE WORRRRRRLD rather than just... y'know, resetting the clock like every other year. I totally thought of Lincoln as Chris Hemsworth and Beth as Jennifer Lawrence, AND NOBODY CAN PERSUADE ME OTHERWISE. It's not often I can fantasy cast a brilliant novel, but this one... yummy.

  3. This is a great review Ellie, this is the last book by Rowell, (not including her upcoming release) that I still have to read. I adored Fangirl, so have high hopes for this book too! It does sound like a lot of fun!

  4. I think I liked this book least of all of her books so far. I mean, I liked it just fine, but it felt like it was a warm up for her books to come. Which makes sense--writers tend to get better with experience.

  5. Oooh, I loved this book! So, so good! I really enjoyed the emails back and forth between Jennifer and Beth, and their own individual stories too. And I thought Lincoln was such a great guy! It was just awesome! Great review!


Everyone loves comments, right? I read them all and do my best to visit your blog if you leave a link (and you're not a spambot).