“Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”
This was the only Rainbow Rowell book I had left to read, so far. I’m hoping she writes a lot more in the future. I’ve loved Rainbow Rowell for many years. Her books are charming, even when I don’t completely love them. This was one of those books where I wasn’t blown away, but I also enjoyed my time with it.
Landline follows Georgie McCool as she tries to balance her career as a TV writer and her married life with Neal. Due to her sudden workload during Christmastime, Georgie has to stay in California while Neal takes their children to Omaha. During the course of the book, Georgie reminisces on the days when she’d gotten to know Neal. This all happens when she discovers that the landline phone at her mother’s house is a direct line to the twenty-something version of her husband, before they were married. Somehow, Georgie gets to talk to him in the past.
I was really into the premise of the story. The characters felt solid and so real. I understood the message as well. Sometimes marriages are really hard. People drift apart even when they love each other. People in love can have unhappy marriages. And it took this bit of magic for Georgie to realize just how much she loved her husband, and how she wanted to drop everything to be with him. The flashbacks to the earlier years between them were nice, though this is where my problems with the story begin.
I knew I was supposed to be rooting for Neal, obviously. He’s Georgie’s husband, and he’s the only love interest in the book. I get that, I do. However, Seth was the most amazing character to me. Maybe it was the way he was described, but the man sounded incredible. First of all, he was a TV writer, he was very loyal, focused, trustworthy, hard-working, and he loved Georgie a lot. Yeah, I understood that he was just her friend, but between him and Neal, I would have chosen Seth. Also, the way the story set it up, it sounded like Georgie’s first choice had been Seth, but she’d settled for Neal. Maybe I misread that, but I could see why it would be that way. Seth was the whole package. And Seth didn’t growl.
One of my many problems with the book was Neal. I couldn’t find the charm in Neal–at all. He was very bland and dull. I usually love awkward artsy characters, but Neal bored me. So much. And his growls? Why the hell did he growl so much? It was so unnecessary. He scared me sometimes. Sue me, but if I’m having a normal conversation with someone and they growl at me? I will never want to talk to them again. I mean, was he secretly a dog? Ridiculous. Anyway, since I didn’t love Neal, I didn’t love the romance.
I thought that Georgie blamed herself for everything, when she really shouldn’t have. Prioritizing her career wasn’t a bad thing. Working during the holidays on her dream TV show wasn’t a bad thing. Neal threw a fuss about it, made her feel like she was doing something so wrong. Maybe I’m a selfish person, but being a TV writer is my dream job. I was so upset when Georgie slacked off on her show because she couldn’t stop thinking about Neal. I loved Seth even more for trying to talk some sense into her, but she treated Seth like crap.
I realize this is starting to sound like a rant rather than a review, but I have a lot of thoughts about this book. It’s a good thing. I love books that make me rant. Despite all of my issues, I really liked the book. It was worth reading. I loved the magic of it all. I loved that there was a phone that could connect you to the past. That was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to more Rainbow Rowell books!