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Books & Chocolate

I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.


Oh, and I love chocolate.


Landline: A Novel - Rainbow Rowell

This is the second book I've read by Rainbow Rowell. I absolutely adored Eleanor & Park and couldn't wait to read another of Rowell's books. I was struggling with rating this one - it was between a 3.5 and a 4. Ultimately I settled on the 3.5, but it was a close call.


There are some things about Landline that I really loved. Maybe it's because I've been with my husband for 20 years (married 16 of those), so I can see how easy it is to become so entwined with each other and work that it's hard to remember who you are as an individual. I also understand that it can be easy to forget what made you fall in love with your spouse to begin with after so many years together.


I liked the concept of the magic telephone, and I was able to easily suspend belief for the sake of the book. I could relate to Georgie's internal struggle at whether or not she should try to change what happened with her and Neal.


I've read some reviews of those that didn't like Neal's character. I personally liked him a lot. I liked that he wasn't some too-beautiful-to-be-true character. I liked that he was short and brooding. I don't think he was a jerk (quite the opposite in fact), but I can see how he might have come across that way to some. To me, he was someone who didn't really know what he wanted out of life so he fell willingly into Georgie's shadow. But he was the glue at home, and I think he ended up finding himself as a stay-at-home dad and husband. He just wasn't the type to express it well. 


I liked the contrast that Seth provided. I felt the nature of the relationship Georgie had with him was real. Most of us spend more waking hours at work (and therefore with coworkers) than we do with our families. It's sometimes difficult to see the line between loyalties. Although, I do believe that Seth tried to maintain too much priority in Georgie's life, and I think that he knew the damage it was doing to her relationship with Neal. I don't blame him because it seemed like that was the kind of guy he was. But Georgie should have realised it long before she did. I personally think she hid behind 'it's work' when really it was Seth that she was giving priority. 


What I struggled with in this book was that ultimately I didn't feel it went anywhere. Nothing felt resolved. I don't need a nice little package at the end of every book, but some resolution would have been nice. Otherwise, what was the point? We did learn that Georgie would try harder, but not what that meant. Would she try to spend more time with her family than Seth? Or would she just try harder to understand Neal's feelings? 


Also, much of the book was simply Georgie freaking out about her husband leaving her behind for Christmas. Two things bothered me on this. (1) I started to get bored with Georgie constantly wondering if Neal was going to call and crying when he didn't. (2) Georgie was entirely too dependent on Neal. She seriously could not function (to the point of wearing the same clothes most days) just because she couldn't talk to him. She did talk to her children and his mother, so she knew they were safe. She just wasn't talking to Neal (or at least not the Neal in her present time). I can see how this unhealthy behavior might exist for some, but she never really acknowledged it by the end of the book.


Overall, it was a fun read and I'm glad I picked this book up. I still plan to read more of Rowell's books.