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Ratings & Reviews for

Landline

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5 stars
33,153 (19%)
4 stars
56,795 (33%)
3 stars
52,865 (31%)
2 stars
18,121 (10%)
1 star
6,961 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 20,278 reviews
Profile Image for Nikki.
312 reviews40 followers
July 30, 2019
I've loved all Rainbow Rowell's other books, but this one just didn't do it for me. The premise was ridiculous and I hated pretty much every character except Heather. Especially Neal, GOD I hated Neal, what an awful, miserable person. I'm really confused as to how he's supposed to be an appealing character since he's not even described with any redeeming qualities really - an unattractive guy who never laughs, smiles or expresses his feelings in any way, apart from just silently projecting misery and resentment at his wife without ever actually bringing up the fact that anything is wrong. Every woman's dream! I couldn't understand why Georgie would have even wanted to marry him in the first place, let alone save their marriage which sounds horrible and depressing.
Profile Image for Ashley.
3,073 reviews2,109 followers
April 25, 2019
Re-Read Review March 16, 2019: Still good, but not my fave of hers. Like, 4.5 stars. If I had to rate all her books, this one would be nearer to the bottom, just above Eleanor & Park, and that's purely personal preference speaking. All of the Rowells are Quality. (I have no idea what to expect for the forthcoming Pumpkinheads, but I am nevertheless excited in my ignorance.)

This is definitely the most adult of her books, not a true romance, but a story of marriage and the hard work and heartbreak that goes into it. Not being married, I can't relate specifically, but this book feels personal in that "I opened up a vein to write this" sort of way, and that gets to you as a reader.

Georgie and Neil are both Pieces of Work (in different ways), and I'm not sure I really *like* them, but I do feel for them and I want them to be happy. I still love the main conceit of this book, that inexplicable magical telephone that's never explained, but just descends into Georgie's life like judgment from on high: Talk to your husband. They stopped really talking to each long before we enter their lives, and it seems very fitting and circular (story-wise) that the main thrust of this book is Georgie talking herself back into her relationship by talking to Neil from the past, simultaneously convincing him in the past to do something she never knew she'd convinced him to do in the first place. TIME TRAVEL!

Seth is gross and I don't like him.

The little romance subplot in this (f/f) is one of my favorite things Rainbow has ever written, and how they finally get together is the most adorable and sort of gross (puppies!). I know she can write m/m romance and m/f, so I would like her please to maybe try to write a full novel of f/f. I bet she would be great at it.

This concludes my review that I should have written a month and a half ago.

[4.5 stars]
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,867 reviews34.2k followers
July 10, 2014
DNF about halfway through. As always, I like the author's narrative voice, but as a character sketch of a marriage, this wasn't quite sharp enough or funny enough or emotional enough for my taste. I also find Georgie's profession rather jarring, in that it was rather unrealistically portrayed in both the details and in Georgie's character. Had I never read Liane Moriarty, who writes excellent books that humorously dissect marriages and relationships, and had I never worked in entertainment, I might've liked this one better.

Oh! And the only thing more tedious than being forced into phone conversations with young kids you don't have a relationship with is having to read about them.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,259 reviews22.1k followers
December 27, 2021
Rereading this book again was so fulfilling. It made me content. I forgot how incredibly imaginative and unique Rainbow Rowell’s writing style was. How wholesome her characters are, flaws and all, and how inviting and warm reading this story felt.

It’s a love story. It’s about a marriage that is on the brink of divorce and the characters are holding on to the remaining scraps of their relationship. It poses questions about how one can even begin to save it. Not in its literal sense. These questions aren’t necessarily on page. But they revisit their past through this magical phone and retrace their steps to figure out where it went wrong.

Everything about it felt so incredibly emotional and raw. It felt too real. But with Rowell’s humour and plenty of heartwarming moments sprinkled throughout the story, it was easy enough to get through without feeling bogged down by the potential loss.

It was so magical to read. Especially since it takes place around the Christmas season.

I didn’t want it to ever end.

_________________________________


Initial review:
Rowell, never stop writing. Please? Thank you.

Bloody perfection!
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,345 followers
April 14, 2017
"You don't know when you're twenty-three.

You don't know what it really means to crawl into someone else's life and stay there. You can't see all the ways you're going to get tangled, how you're going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten -- in fifteen...

She didn't know it at twenty-three."

This book guys. THIS BOOK. I finished this book in a handful amount of hours in one sitting. Now I know why everybody seems to praise Rainbow Rowell so much. She's absolutely amazing. Her writing is just so simple and easy to read. The story was fast-paced, cute, and bittersweet. I loved everything about it. I was already hooked after the first page. I honestly wonder how in the world the ratings for Landline aren't much higher!

I always wondered what I would do when put in a similar situation as Georgie where I had to choose between my career or my family. Each time my answer is always the same: Why can't I have both? Every book, every movie, or every show that models the same predicament debating which is of more importance (career or family), always seems to propose an either-or solution. Where's the compromise? There has to be a solution in which both sides can win. But then again, if Georgie and Neal thought of a compromising solution at that time, this book wouldn't have came into existence so I won't complain much further. :D

This book made me cry. YES. CRY. It was just so darn cute and adorable and sad and just ugh. I was crying because I seriously couldn't handle all the feels that Landline gave me. How in the world does that even happen? Guys, seriously though. I was bawling. And depressed. Because it was so bittersweet and cute.

I didn't even expect this to be a Christmas-y type of story but I'm so glad I just spontaneously decided to read it because it brought so much holiday cheer and tears to my heart.

Landline is the cutest thing I've ever read and if you didn't think so, then we can't be friends. Sorry. That is all.

Now I'm going back to crying away my swooning heart. <3
Profile Image for Natalie.
593 reviews3,848 followers
September 29, 2020

or Fate, Time, Television and True Love

The funny thing with Landline is that I didn’t even fully mean to reread it, I just started the first few pages and then bang I was flying through it in true Rainbow Rowell fashion (see: Why I Fangirl over Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (Spoilers: Levi)). I felt like I was at an all-you-can-eat buffet, filling myself with one more page, one more...


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As far as time machines go, a magic telephone is pretty useless.

TV writer Georgie McCool can’t actually visit the past; all she can do is call it, and hope it picks up. And hope he picks up -- because once Georgie realizes she has a magic phone that calls into the past, all she wants is make things right with her husband, Neal.

Maybe she can fix the things in their past that seem unfixable in the present. Maybe this stupid phone is giving her a chance to start over. . . . Does Georgie want to start over?

A heart-wrenching—and hilarious—take on fate, time, television and true love, Landline asks if two people are ever really on the same path, or whether love just means finding someone who will keep meeting you halfway.

Also funny is the fact when I first read Landline , back in 2015, I came out of it thinking it was my least favorite Rowell book, simply because at that time in my life I couldn't have cared less about married people. But with this reread now, coming after three years, I can't get enough of family-based stories. So I was delighted to discover how with time my perspective had changed and matured to the point of gobbling up every little detail concerning the marriage chronicled in here.

It's so hard to capture all that I loved (because there's so many specifics) but I tried my best by including it all below:

• Rainbow Rowell's signature humor is ever-present and on-point.

“It was so rare to make Neal laugh. . . .
Georgie used to tease him about being a waste of dimples. “Your face is like an O. Henry story. The world’s sweetest dimples and the boy who never laughs.”
“I laugh.”
“When? When you’re alone?”
“Yeah,” he said. “Every night when I’m sure everyone is asleep, I sit on my bed and laugh maniacally.”



I was trying to find the best way to describe the humor, when I stumbled upon this interview between Rainbow Rowell and her audio narrator Rebecca Lowman, discussing the book:

Rowell: "...You know what, I don’t like punchline, sort of zingy humor. So I’m not drawn to comedians who are very big. I like people who are just sort of talking and they’re funny when they’re talking. ..."

This. This is exactly it.

As well as this quote from the book on savoring what we hold precious:

“I put it in my Save Box,” she said.
“What’s that?”
“It’s actually just a box. I, uh . . . I hate that feeling, you know, when you’re thinking about something you’ve read or heard, and you thought it was so smart at the time, but now you can’t remember it. I save things I don’t want to lose track of.”

This right here hits the core on why I write such extensive notes during my reading.

• Georgie's office scenes with Seth (and Scotty) reminded me then why I had such a hard reading this book the first time. They weren't my favorite scenes since no one was shining or bringing anything new to the table. In particular, Seth threw me off my game at the end because I feel like he was flexing, what Reagan in Fangirl so lovingly calls, his best friend muscles just to remind everyone that he came first. I'm not a fan. Also: He can't write anything decent down without Georgie around, which makes him a true Nick.

“They were supposed to end up together, Seth and Georgie.
Well, technically, they had ended up together. They’d talked every day since that first day they met.
But they were supposed to end up together-together. Everyone thought it would happen—Georgie had thought it would happen.
Just as soon as Seth exhausted his other possibilities, as soon as he worked through his queue of admirers. He hadn’t been in any hurry, and Georgie didn’t have a say in the matter. She’d taken a number. She was waiting patiently.
And then, one day, she wasn’t.”



• And since we're on the topic of my favorite Rowell book, I was so keen on reading about Neal and Georgie together because it felt like we were seeing Cath and Levi chronicled from Levi's perspective. Georgie is the one initiating all contact with Neal, making sure she can get a laugh out him (at least one), whereas "solid, stolid" Neal is a tough nut to crack, similar to Cath with their difficulty establishing eye contact and needing a barrier between them, such as drawing cartoons (in Cath's case, reading fanfiction out loud) to distract. And lucky for him, Georgie doesn’t want the easy thing. To paraphrase Attachments, she likes to work a little harder to get the thing she really wants.

“He’s the guy in the Life cereal commercial who hates everything. If Mikey likes you, you know you’re good. If Mikey likes you, it means something.”

• The concept behind 'once we notice something, we see it everywhere' is beyond fascinating to me, so I liked how subtly Rainbow Rowell incorporated that shift between the two:

“How had she missed Neal until junior year? He’d started working at The Spoon as a freshman, same as her. Georgie must have seen him, without really seeing him, dozens of times. Was she that sucked in by Seth? Seth was extra sucky—pushy and loud, always demanding Georgie’s attention. . . .
But once Georgie noticed Neal, she saw him around the office constantly. She’d try not to stare when he walked past her desk on his way to the production room. Sometimes, if she was lucky, he’d look her way and nod.”

Rowell excels at procuring real authentic moments.

“Can we go back and start over?”
“How far back?” Georgie tried to fold her arms, but she was still holding that stupid Zima.
“Back to the wall,” he said. “Back to you walking across the living room toward me. To you saying, ‘I’m surprised to see you here.’”
“Are you saying you want to go back to the living room?”
“No. Just go ahead, say it again now.”
Georgie rolled her eyes, but she said it: “I’m surprised to see you here.”
“You shouldn’t be,” Neal said. He lifted his chin and looked directly in her eyes. For the second time in five minutes. For the second time ever. “I’m here because I knew you’d be here. Because I hoped you would be.”

That moment when people stop playing games (*Gemma Collins echo*) with one another and just present their real selves... Showing someone you're keen on them and having it reciprocated is a grand gesture.

I equally loved those tiny, intimate moments sprinkled throughout their married life:

“Stop. You’re blowing my mind.”
“Oh, I’ll blow your mind. Girlie.”
“Are you flirting with me?”
He’d turned to her then, pen cap in mouth, and cocked his head. “Yeah. I think so.”
Georgie looked down at her old sweatshirt. At her threadbare yoga pants. “This is what does it for you?”
Neal smiled most of a smile, and the cap fell out of his mouth. “So far.”
Neal . . .”

As well as featuring really beautiful metaphors with flowers, like: “Pizza girl’s name was Alison, and Heather’s face followed her around the room like a sunflower chasing daylight.”

And: “(Neal’s face was like a flower blooming—you’d need time-lapse photography to really see it in action. But Georgie’d become such a student of his face, she could read most of the twitches.)”

• Regarding the major plot line of the magic telephone, I could only think of this vine.
To give some background, this quote led me to it: “Georgie exhaled when she heard Neal’s voice, then resisted the urge to ask him who the president was.”

• I've been holding off, but I really have to end on the most epic cameo to appear in this book, featuring my all-time favorite couple: Cath & Levi. I really thought before starting that it wouldn't hit me as hard because I've already read it before. But it's been so long and LEVI'S STILL SO GOOD.

“Can we help you find something?” someone said.
Georgie turned. It was the ecstatic young couple. Still hanging on each other, as if neither of them could quite believe the other was finally here.
“Taxi stand?” Georgie said.
“You’re looking for a taxi?” the boy asked. The man. She should probably call him a man. He must be twenty-two, twenty-three; his hair was already thinning.”

My boy is all grown up. 
bookspoils
“Wait a minute.” The boy got out of the truck, then hopped back inside thirty seconds later with his duffel bag. He unzipped it, and clothes spilled out. He started heaping them in the girl’s lap. “Here,” he said, pulling out a thick, gray wool sweater. “Take this.”
“I can’t take your sweater,” Georgie said.
“Take it. You can mail it back to me—my mom sews my address inside everything. Take it, it’s no big deal.”

LEVI GOES OUT OF HIS WAY TO MAKE SURE GEORGIE GETS SAFELY TO HER DESTINATION (on top of the snowy hill).

And Cath caught up with Levi's good habits along the way because when they notice Georgie's shoes not having foolproof cover from the Omaha snow, this happens:

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” the girl said. “You can wear my boots.” She reached for the floor. Georgie noticed she was wearing a small engagement ring. “You can have them. I don’t even like them.”
“Absolutely not,” Georgie said. “What if you get stuck in the snow?”
“I’ll be fine,” she said. “He’d carry me across the city before he let me get my feet wet.”

Levi would do it in a heartbeat!! Cue my tears

I really thought that time would pass and one day I would be ready to move on. But these characters are my home, and I’m never going to stop missing them.

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I'll close off by sharing this beautiful alternate cover for Landline , which has the best details from the book; the Polaroid!!


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Profile Image for jessica.
2,577 reviews44.2k followers
September 28, 2018
i have to hand it to rainbow rowell. even though her books tend to be a hit or near miss for me, i think its very neat how, across four books, she has managed to effortlessly capture what it means to live during four different stages of life - high school, college, working/dating young adult, and working/married adult. really kinda cool if you think about it. and even though this was one of those near misses for me, it still was a really cute story.

the writing in this is classic rainbow rowell. theres a very light quality to the way she tells her stories, which makes it so easy to breeze through her books. so whilst her writing was really refreshing to read again, i think the story fell a little short with its protagonist. she just wasnt likable? like, at all. i get that sometimes you have to have an unlikable character because not everyone can be happy and lovely all the time, but it was quite difficult to read about a character so selfish. also, there were quite a few loose ends towards the end of this which is a little of of character for rowells books.

overall, i did think this had a good message. but its hard to appreciate that message when it happening to a character you dont really care for. im glad i read it, but definitely not her best work, in my opinion.

3 stars
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews11.4k followers
March 7, 2017
I saw a friend reading this book just now - and remembered I read it early last year. Since it won "BEST FICTION" on Goodreads in 2014.....I figured then it must be worth a $1.99. ...( the sale price at the time).
It was sooooo 'fair' that when I saw that my overdrive library had it available, too, - I thought it might be better as an audio -- afterall - the name of the book is called "Landline".

Well- reading it - or listening to it - I enjoyed this conversation ( the story), for about as long as I do many phone conversations: Enjoyable for awhile - nice connecting with my friends - even up to two hours is 'great'.... not bad ... but any longer than 2 hours, I'm ready to set the landline down!

Can anyone tell me WHY .......THIS book won BEST FICTION? It's a mystery to me!
Even if .....'if'.......( and that won't be me ), a reader gave it 5 stars -- did they really believe this was the best fiction of the year? It's almost as shocking as this years Presidential election.

One thing I 'did' enjoy about this story - right off the bat....'was' the line of communication choice.
Evening conversations-OVER THE TELEPHONE- not skype - not texting- took place
between Neal and Georgie. I liked the pure symbolism of what the landline phone with the twirly cord represents to me. I liked enjoying my own memories.

I use to speak on my princess landline phone for hours a night during 8th grade. Ron and I talked on the phone. We did our homework over the landline - ate our snacks - talked about music -school gossip - our families - and strengthen our relationship. I wore his ring around my neck all year long. We're still friends today.

When I would see Ron at school during the day back in 8th grade- we barely talked to one another. He sat with the 'boys'. Me with the 'girls'. One day I got tired of the segregation---( He was the greatest on the telephone each night) -- but stepping over the line to the boys side during lunch was off limits to girls. Enough was enough. One day - I got so mad -- walked across the invisible
WALL OF DO NOT ENTER..... and threw my ring at him. [years later- we laugh about it... I said I was sorry - but he said he deserved it] ....

The only problem was --- BACK in 8th grade - I lost too, by getting mad -- I lost my wonderful evening landline phone chats.... with my best friend.

The LANDLINE with the wiggly long cord had many memories for many of us old farts.

But now with texting, email, and Facebook - most of us don't even own a landline anymore. Different memories!

There were parts of this story that went - FLAT - but I like what Rainbow was trying to do. Her overall message was sincere and valuable. Take time to really connect with the person we love most - The Landline was a magical tool in supporting a married couple find their hearts back to each other.

Resentments were stacking up.... (their jobs, kids, required demands).....
So..... a little 'fairy tale' type story takes over.... Georgie begins to connect - by landline- when Neal is away on business - not just with her old raga muffin husband, instead she gets the 'younger' Neal.... the guy she first fell in love with.
It's a cute idea ... enjoyable 'enough'... but Best fiction? Now that's funny!

3 stars for a solid. "I liked enough". A few great ideas that went flat.

Profile Image for Canadian Jen.
552 reviews1,818 followers
August 3, 2016
Landline = Lame. Seriously, this won goodreads best fiction book in 2014? I beg to differ. This was predictable and boring. A landline to the past Georgie uses to contact her current husband who has decided to spend Christmas with his 2 daughters at his family's home in Omaha. Why? Because Georgie is a comedy writer and has to work on a show. I don't get the hype around this one - wasn't worth the read and I'm glad I didn't purchase it.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,091 reviews1,156 followers
August 5, 2016
Not quite three stars but almost there.^^

Oh wow! I never thought I’d say this of a Rainbow Rowell novel but my reading experience with this one bordered between a little “meh” and sort of “like”. It’s interesting because it’s a story about an old yellow landline that magically lets 2013 Georgie talk to her husband, Neal, in his 1998 version. It’s a little “meh” because after more than 310 pages, nothing big really happened.

Georgie and Neal’s marriage is at the brink of falling off the cliff. Georgie clearly knows the cause but she still lets Neal and her two wonderful little girls go off to Omaha for their supposedly family Christmas break without her because of her job. As a consequence, she couldn’t work well which kind of defeats the purpose of her sacrificial stay. Depressed and worried, Georgie stays at her mom’s house while her family is away. In her old room is the old yellow phone that lets her talk to her 1998 Neal that basically sums up the majority of the plot.

It’s appealing because the author has this inherent writing ability to make any story easy to read but a little disappointing because for a story that is supposed to be magical, there wasn’t any real spark about the characters and their relationships. The supposedly magical object wasn’t really substantial to the story. To me, it only felt like an accessory to add something surreal. I was waiting for a huge epiphanic moment for Georgie but in the end, she simply does what she knows she was supposed to do a long time ago. With or without magic time travel phone, she easily would have still reached such a realization.

I know I’ve been sounding like a really annoying pessimist lately, it’s probably this reading slump that has settled deep in my muscles which I just refuse to acknowledge because I still couldn’t let go of this delusion that I’m immune to this terrible disease. :(

On the bright side, it’s still an easy, light read for the approaching Holidays. Also, I have always been a fan of Rowell’s writing and that’ll always be a plus!^^

Lookin' for reviews with more positive vibes? Check out Mac's and Gi's.
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,248 followers
June 6, 2015
IMPORTANT NOTE: if you don't want to be spoiled for the TV show lost, hold off on reading this book until you are done watching it. ~*~PSA OVER~*~

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It may be more of a 4.5...I'll have to sit on it. It's heartbreaking and wonderful and full of feels, but still not my favorite Rowell book I don't think. Pretty great nonetheless!
Profile Image for Cat.
968 reviews145 followers
December 14, 2014
I always find it quite a shame when the concept of a book is thwarted by its development. Like the author came up with a great idea for a book but wasn't able to write down a story up to the standards of that idea.

That's what I feel that happened with 'Landline'. The idea that somebody in the present could talk with someone from the past over a landline phone sounds really interesting. The way Rowell spun her story around this idea was not so.

A thirty seven year-old woman named Georgie McCool chooses her work as a sitcom writer (or whatever Georgie does for a living) over spending Christmas in Omaha with her husband Neal and their two daughters Alice and Noomi (whose real name is actually Naomi). As a matter of fact, Georgie always chooses her work over everything else. And Neal just drags along, without saying anything. He is the stay-at-home dad and Georgie spends her life working. But it's Christmas, they are supposed to go to Omaha and Neal boards the plane with his daughters, leaving Georgie in sunny California with her work. Then, as Georgia starts realising Neal is not even calling her and that might mean he's upset with her, she decides to make a move and calls him. Only to discover that getting in touch with her husband via mobile phone is quite impossible. So she moves to her old yellow rotary phone, the one she used to use as a young woman, in her mother's house. Back when she was dating Neal. And Georgie is able to get in touch with her husband, only that the Neal on the other side on the line isn't the actual Neal. He is the Neal from 1998, the Neal Georgie dated back then. Her boyfriend Neal. And so it follows a series of over-the-phone between actual Georgie and 1998 Neal, while Georgie tries to understand what is the meaning of all that and what is she supposed to do to fix the present situation.

Boring. This book is boring. And I liked the idea. But I didn't like Georgie, I couldn't feel sorry for her, and what's with those over-the-phone conversations?! I couldn't care for them, especially because they didn't bring any insight to the story. In the end, Georgie understands what she has to do. But, duh!, was there any need for those conversations with Neal from the past? I found them completely useless and confusing. Especially given the rushed-up end.

And Neal... Is he supposed to be a likeable character? A man that seldom smiles? A man who has this weird laugh? A huff? Is that supposed to be cute? And all that talk about his dimples. Gosh! Neal has dimples but doesn't smile. Great. Every woman dream guy.

Another this that irked me what the way Rainbow Rowell got her characters, especially Georgie, to talk. Great for a YA story, but not so great for a thirty seven year old woman to talk. Because Georgie talked like that. She even used "like" in the middle of her sentences. It's kind of creepy. It's something I can tolerate in YA, but not in a story with adult characters, who are older than me.

And is 'Landline' supposed to be a book about the management of a crumbling-to-pieces marriage? Because nothing really happens in that direction. Georgie spends the time whining about the situation of her marriage and talking on the phone with her boyfriend from 1998. And Neal, truthful to himself, just stays in Omaha. He does nothing. There is virtually no talk between Georgie and Neal about what they are going through. And when I say "Georgie and Neal", I mean "Georgie and Neal" from the present. That doesn't happen and it made me feel like this book was a waste of words.

Which is a shame. I like Rowell's writing and this could've been such a great book.
Profile Image for Laura F-W.
219 reviews144 followers
August 31, 2015
*This review contains language that some people would consider impolite. If you don’t like swears, don’t read it*

Well this wasn't completely awful... (EDIT: oh, actually, it turns out it was... See final para). I'm naturally wary of these types of books, expecting them to be populated by drippy women who seriously need to get their shit together but instead spend their entire time fretting over some total d-bag (EDIT: after writing this review I realised that this book was exactly like that after all, it's just the woman was a comedy writer rather than a PR exec or florist or dolphin trainer or whatever. Don't be fooled by her seemingly progressive career, it's a trap!). But this had good reviews and I needed a brain holiday from some amazing but seriously dark books.

Georgie is a 30-something comedy screenwriter and mother of two and her marriage is on the rocks. Her husband Neal is a stay-at-home-dad and he's annoyed that she can't go to visit his widowed mother in Omaha over Christmas because she and her writing partner are on the cusp of achieving their all-time dream of having their own sitcom made. So she needs to stay in California over Christmas and write four episodes (I really don't think that's how this stuff works but whatever). So her dick of a husband throws a massive strop and leaves for Omaha without her and refuses to answer her calls for like DAYS ('Neal never answered his phone, it was just his thing'. Yeah, whatever. Dick). In the meantime, she goes to stay at her mother's house, where she discovers a landline phone in her old bedroom that has the power to call Neal 15 years in the past just before he proposed to her. Ugh. I know.

Right, here are the things which were sort of OK/fine:

-- Georgie wasn’t a total pathetic wreck. She had at least some cojones. Sometimes.
-- It was easy to read, fast-paced and the writing style wasn’t bad.

But this was counteracted by some really annoying and downright offensive stuff:

1) Neal was a COMPLETE ARSEHOLE. He was surly, tedious, jealous, and had the emotional fluency of a thirteen-year-old boy.It’s unclear why Georgie fell in love with him in the first place. He was unattractive, consistently rude to her and acted totally disinterested. At one point she explains how she 'always went for guys who were unavailable', OH HAHA! WHAT A HOPELESS DITZ! SHE HAS SUCH LOW SELF ESTEEM THAT SHE FEELS THE NEED TO CHASE MEN WHO DON'T LIKE HER AND WON'T EVEN SHOW HER BASIC COURTESIES! LOL NOTHING TO ADDRESS HERE, CARRY ON!

2) So anyway, this Neal wazzock, this emotional Lilliputian, eventually capitulates and allows Georgie (intelligent, funny [supposedly anyway, see point 5]) to be his girlfriend, with the small proviso that she puts up with his emotional retardation, awful temper and crippling, crippling jealousy.I'd like to address this last point - Georgie's best friend and comedy writing partner is called Seth. He's good looking, straight, bit of a player, and clearly really cares about Georgie's emotional wellbeing. They are friends and writing partners way before Georgie even meets Neal. And even fifteen years later, Neal hates Seth and is openly angry and jealous that Georgie puts 'him' (read ‘her career’) first. And the payoff of the book seems to be that that jealousy is justified?! I hate this attitude! Adults in happy and trusting relationships don't get mad if their partners are friends with people of the opposite sex. The fact that this was never properly addressed really pissed me off.

3) I felt like Neal's only redeeming feature was that he was a good dad who put his career on hold to look after his daughters. In other words, the same thing that 99.9 percent of mothers do as standard.So based on this, and this alone, we're meant to get on board with Georgie's desperation to make up with (placate) him? Being a good dad is a minimum standard. You can’t take credit for shit you’re supposed to do. Also, he was such a mean-spirited and unpleasant person in every other way that I think she would've been better off without him, despite the fact, as is often mentioned, that he would get custody of the children (see what I mean about the emotional blackmail? Again, CARRY ON, NOTHING TO SEE HERE)

4) My major, major issue was this: Georgie stays at home in California for Christmas because her arsehole husband doesn't want to support her in achieving her life goals (because it would be such an inconvenience for him to just stay home for Christmas and fly his mother in from Omaha instead fs), so for a large part of the book I was willing her to get her show written and for it to be a success, You never even find out what happens with the show. I mean, wtf? This is basically saying to women, don't even try and have it all like most men do, forget about those career aspirations and make sure you keep your man, no matter how horrible he is. ARGH!

5) Final annoying point - the woman is a comedy writer for God's sake, there are tonnes of scenes of her writing her show BUT THERE ISN'T A SINGLE GAG! At one point it even said 'she told a funny “yo momma” joke' - really? Couldn't the author even be bothered to Google a yo momma joke? Writing 101 - show don't tell. Don't tell me she was a funny woman, actually make her funny, and if you can't do that DON'T MAKE YOUR MAIN CHARACTER A COMEDY WRITER, GAH!

Ok, since I started writing this review I've revised my rating from 3 stars to 2 stars and then down to 1 because I've realised that it actually really pissed me off. Women need to aspire to more: kinder, more supportive partners who are willing to share the burden of running a home; well-paid, fulfilling careers; and the ability to form strong friendships with whoever they choose. Call me when someone writes a chick lit book which doesn't single handedly undermine decades of progress towards gender equality. OKLUVYOUBYEEEE
Profile Image for Theresa.
242 reviews164 followers
November 17, 2015
Meow! Ah, Rainbow Rowell, you have stolen my heart yet again. Another beautiful, heartfelt, emotionally rewarding, and insanely hilarious novel from start to finish. This book made me smile. Rowell's novels are like comfort food. They always make you feel warm and happy inside. Georgie McCool, you're one crazy nut, and Neal, you're the coolest little hobbit I ever did know. lol I enjoyed reading about Georgie and Neal's backstory as a couple. Rowell's various characters are relatable, quirky, sincere, and always a joy to read. Enjoy, fellow goodreaders! P.S. Now where can I get myself a magic telephone??? lol
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,648 followers
July 2, 2014
Landline is different from what I expected: first of all it's an adult book which I only realized when I started it, but this is totally my fault and also not a bad thing. I was due for an adult book. And, unlike her usual contemporary reads, this one has a bit of a paranormal vibe to it. I'm not sure how I felt about this at first, I loved the mind-f*ck nature of it, but it has an element that very rarely impresses me , so I was afraid of the direction it was going in. In the end, though, I can say I quite enjoyed the story. It has a bit of a fairy-tale quality to it, so have to go into it with an open mind, but it's a wonderfully romantic journey that makes you stop and remember why you chose this life for yourself in the first place. May it be a marriage, a career, a hometown, you chose it for a reason. You were happy, maybe even passionate about these decisions once, but when things are hard it's sometimes difficult to remember why.

What I know from Rainbow Rowell is that she knows how to craft realistic and wonderfully flawed characters, who are so easy to connect and relate to. Georgie's marriage is crumbling, and she feels as if she's losing it all - even her mind. Through flashbacks along with Georgie's independent and determined personality, we get to see her fall in love. Not just with her now husband, but also with her best friend and career. We got to see what led her to choose this life for herself. How happy she was back then, and how life got in the way since. Even though she's not always especially likeable, she has this effortless narrative voice, peppered with humour, that makes it easy to fly through the pages.

Aside from Georgie, every single secondary character is painted with such memorable qualities. Her sister, Heather, and her best friend Seth, quickly became my favorites. The latter for his sarcasm and liveliness, the former for her fun-loving personality and sisterly devotion. Even the smallest of roles - like the pizza delivery person and Neal's mother - felt authentic and added to the overall charm of the story.

This is a romance through and through. It's about a woman who needs to make a though decision to save her marriage. It's a story that so many will be able to relate to. Juggling between a career and home life is never easy and, often, sacrifices need to be made, and dreams are not achieved. In the end, despite the "perfect" ending, I was left feeling uncertain towards the lasting quality of their relationship. I'm not even 100% sure I was rooting for them all along, to be honest. I definitely don't agree with every decision Georgie did - she can be selfish, especially when it comes to her relationship with Seth, but Rowell does make us understand why it's hard for her to let go.

This book touches on love and family, but also on guilt and self-worth. It's a novel that paints realistic relationships, not idealistic ones. Because in reality, romance is rarely idealistic, and with many things in life, it's only worth as much as the effort you put in.

--
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Victor.
324 reviews5,156 followers
December 29, 2018
MEU. DEUS. DO CÉU. Só isso mesmo. Meu Deus do céu. A única opinião que consigo formar.

Esse livro foi incrível e apaixonante do começo ao fim. Me senti preso desde a primeira página, me apeguei aos personagens com uma velocidade surpreendente e meu coração simplesmente se entregou à leitura. Mais uma vez, Rainbow conseguiu acertar em cheio em escrever uma história 100% relacionável. À medida que eu lia, parece que tirava conselhos e aprendizados pra minha própria vida, sabe? Eu simplesmente amo quando isso acontece. Me vi muito na protagonista, e isso foi bacana... me fez pegar uma empatia muito forte por ela. É bem possível que Georgie tenha se tornado uma das minhas personagens favoritas.

A escrita é fantástica e deliciosa. Me repreendo por ter lido tão rápido, porque agora acabou... e eu quero muito mais (como sempre, quando se trata dessa mulé). Eu AMEI o elemento de realismo mágico inserido na trama e acho que foi abordado da melhor forma possível. Ligações é muito bem humorado e me fez rir alto (e em público) várias vezes. Sério, apesar de ter ouvido todos os tipos de comentários, esse livro me surpreendeu.

Não tenho muito o que dizer além de que estou morrendo de amores. Um romance muito delicado, apaixonante, engraçado, e que vai fazer o seu coração se encher de coisas boas. Quem não gosta de se sentir assim?
Profile Image for megs_bookrack ((is on holiday hiatus)).
1,839 reviews12.4k followers
November 28, 2023
**3.5-stars rounded up**

I enjoyed my time reading Landline. It was a case of picking up the right book at exactly the right time.



I have been reading a lot of heavy SFF and Horror and my mind felt like it had too many worlds being built in it.

This was the perfect 'this world/this time' tale that I could listen to without too many mental acrobatics!



I went into this without knowing too much about it and I am so glad. It was such a fun and unique concept. I would classify it as a very modern retelling of A Christmas Carol.



The writing was very smart. I loved the main character and I really enjoyed going along with her as she comes to some pretty serious realizations about herself, her relationships and life in general.

The side characters were very well drawn. Her best friend, Seth, her sister, Heather and her Mom were my favorites.

They were a quirky bunch that definitely added a lot of humor to the story. I listened to the audiobook and felt the narrator was perfect the perfect voice for Georgie.



I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, witty contemporary read!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,563 reviews249 followers
October 5, 2021
Landline, Rainbow Rowell

Landline is a romance through and through. It's about a woman who needs to make a though decision to save her marriage. Landline tells the story of 37-year-old Georgie McCool (a successful L.A. comedy writer), who discovers that she is able to call her husband's 22-year-old self through his landline.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز چهارم ماه اکتبر سال 2017میلادی

عنوان: تلفن ثابت؛ نویسنده رینبو راول؛ مترجم مهرزاد جعفری؛ تهران، آذرباد، 1396؛ در 380ص؛ شابک9786008537359؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م

جُرجی مک‌ کول می‌داند، که زندگی مشترکش مشکل دارد؛ زمان بسیاری هم هست که این رابطه همانند پیش نیست؛ اما او هنوز عاشق همسرش «نیل» است، «نیل» هم هنوز «جُرجی» را دوست میدارد؛ اما این مورد اکنون خیلی مورد توجه آن‌ها نیست؛ شاید هیچ‌گاه آن‌چنان که باید به این موضوع توجه نکرده باشند؛ دو روز به سفرشان به «اُماها» برای دیدار خانواده‌‌ ی «نیل» برای کریسمس، مانده است، که «جُرجی» به «نیل» می‌گوید نمی‌‌تواند به آن سفر برود؛ او نویسنده‌‌ ی سریال‌‌های کمدی است، و مشکلی پیش‌‌بینی‌ نشده در کار برایش رخ داده؛ او مجبور است در «لس‌ آنجلس» بماند؛ می‌‌داند که «نیل» از او به‌ شدت ناراحت خواهد شد، در واقع «نیل» مدت‌هاست که از او ناراحت است؛ اما توقع ندارد که او به‌ همراه بچه‌‌هایشان و بدونِ «جُرجی» به آن سفر برود؛ آنگاه که «نیل» و بچه‌‌ها به فرودگاه می‌روند، «جُرجی» به این نتیجه می‌رسد که دیگر آن زندگی به پایان خط رسیده است؛ همانشب، «جُرجی» به‌ صورت بسیار معجزه‌‌آسا، راهی پیدا می‌کند که بتواند با «نیل» بیست سال پیش ارتباط برقرار کند

نقل از متن: (چهارشنبه؛ هجدهم دسامبر، سال 2013میلادی؛ فصل دوم: گوشی «جُرجی» خاموش شده بود؛ همیشه خاموش بود، تا وقتی که آن را به برق بزند؛ احتمالاً باید یک باتری جدید برایش میخرید؛ اما فراموش میکرد که باید دائم آن را به برق بزند؛ قهوه اش را روی میزش گذاشت و گوشی اش را به لپ تاپش وصل کرد؛ مثل یک عکس پولاروید که تکان میدهند تا ظاهر شود، گوشی اش را تکان داد تا روشن شود؛ ناگهان یک حبه انگور به نوک بینی اش برخورد کرد و روی صفحه ی گوشی اش افتاد؛ «سث» پرسید: خب، چی شد؟؛ «جُرجی» سرش را بلند و برای اولین بار در تمام مدتی که اینجا کار میکرد، دقیق او را برانداز کرد؛ یک جفت کفش صورتی حصیری به پا، و جلیقه ی کشباف سبزرنگی هم به تن داشت، موهایش را امروز به طرز خاصی آراسته بود؛ «سث» شبیه یکی از عموزاده های باکلاس خانواده ی «کندی» بود؛ البته با این تفاوت که فقط دندانهای آنها را به ارث نبرده است؛ «جُرجی» پرسید: چی، چی شد؟ - دیشب رو میگم، چی شد؟ منظورش «نیل» بود؛ اما نگفت وقتی با «نیل» حرف زدی چی شد؛ چون همیشه باهم همین طور حرف میزدند؛ همیشه قوانین خودشان را داشتند؛ «جُرجی» دوباره به موبایلش نگاه کرد؛ هیچ تماس بی پاسخی نداشت؛ گفت: خوب بود؛ - بهت گفتم که مشکلی پیش نمیآد؛ - آره، حق با تو بود؛ «سث» گفت: همیشه حق با منه؛ «جُرجی» بدون اینکه حتی او را نگاه کند، میدانست چه شکلی روی صندلی اش نشسته است؛ او به راحتی میتوانست «سث» را تصور کند؛ پاهای بلندش را دراز کرده و روی لبه ی میز گذاشته بود؛ «جُرجی»، همانطور که با گوشی اش ور میرفت، گفت: تو بعضی وقتا، حرفات درست از آب درمیآد، تازه اونم نصفه نیمه؛ «نیل» و دخترهایش احتمالاً تا الان، به پرواز دوم رسیده اند؛ آنها توقف کوتاهی در «دِنور» خواهند داشت؛ «جُرجی» فکر کرد شاید بهتر است برای آنها یک پیغام بفرستد، مثلاً: دوسِتون دارم خوشگلای من؛ فکر کرد این پیغام قبل از اینکه در «اُماها» به زمین بنشینند، به دستشان خواهد رسید؛ ولی «نیل» هیچوقت پیغام نمیفرستاد یا پیغام هایش را چک نمیکرد؛ پس یعنی پیغام فرستادن برای آنها کار بیهوده ای بود؛ موبایلش را روی میز گذاشت؛ عینکش را بالا برد و روی موهایش گذاشت و سعی کرد روی کامپیوترش تمرکز کند؛ نزدیک به دوازده ایمیل جدید از طرف «جف جرمن»، بازیگر کمدی سریالشان دریافت کرده بود.)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 12/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,984 reviews6,177 followers
September 1, 2016


*4.5 stars*

WAY better than I was expecting. I sort of fell in love with this one.

When it comes to audiobooks, it is nearly impossible to sort out what is good simply because the writing was good and what was good because the narrator was good. In this case, it was both. This is the second audiobook that I've listened to from Rainbow Rowell, the first being Attachments, and both narrators were amazing. Rebecca Lowman was a total pro, nailing each character. Her male voices were sexy, something that I often struggle with with female narrators, and her voice for Georgie was spot on. I adored every second of listening to this book and did extra chores all day so I would have an excuse to listen for hours.

The writing was also exceptional. I think Rainbow Rowell really gets my demographic. The two books that I've read from her so far have both been adult books and they were both written with my generation in mind. I get all the pop culture references, I get the sources of stress and angst, I get it all.

I honestly didn't read the blurb before starting this book, only adding it to my to-read list based on the strength of "Attachments". I was surprised as hell when this book became magical realism on me. It is very low fantasy, but it's there and I loved the light fantasy of this story.

This book is mostly kind of depressing, to be honest. It is about discovering when and how a relationship can go wrong. It is a journey of reflection, of the ways we can unravel and be forced to reanalyze our lives. It was pretty touching for me, and I gave my husband extra kisses after finishing.

Though this book is dealing with a fairly serious topic, it is also, at the same time, really light. It is often funny and clever, mixing humor and ridiculous situations with the more angsty moments. I found the balance to be really well executed.

My only wish is that we find out if Georgie and Neal ever talked about that time with the magical phone. I also kind of was mad at Neal for not trying to get in touch more, but he is kind of like that (I feel like I know him personally) so I guess I understand. The ending was a touch anticlimactic, but still pretty epic in a romantic holiday movie kind of way.

If you want a really special audio experience, you must give this a shot. It really exceeded my expectations.



Profile Image for Nicole.
806 reviews2,335 followers
December 20, 2020
A small advice: listen to the audiobook. I'm pretty sure if I have read the book, it would have bored me to death. You see, almost nothing is happening at the present time, and with lots of phone calls and dialogues, the audiobook was great.

Story:

As a TV show writer, Georgie McCool couldn't decline the greatest opportunity in her career even if it meant spending Christmas without her family. You see, she can't go to Omaha with her husband Neil and her two girls, she have to stay in Los Angeles working on the new project with her best friend, Seth. Even though he's pissed and he doesn't like it, Neil as understanding as ever, leaves with the girls to spend the holidays with his family.
Georgie thought she has lost him. When she accidentally discovers a way to connect to the past through the landline, she starts to doubt her choice, was she really meant to marry Neil? Can she change the past?

My thoughts:

Rainbow Rowell writing style is so good and flawless that it made me finish this book. And of course, since it's Rainbow Rowell, we'll have some 80s and 90s themes which was nice. Nonetheless, the story was still boring. Nothing was happening most of the time. We see Georgie remembering how she met him, their memories together... it was interesting at times. Neil isn't ur everyday character. He's not handsome nor has the perfect body. Yet, in Georgie's eyes, he was perfect. I think it's really true. Sometimes we love the personality of some people so much that we start seeing them more beautiful.


“I love you more than I hate everything else.”


However, I couldn't connect with the characters, especially Neil. I understand he was needed to this story specifically but still, I didn't like him (nor hated him), just meh. I know that he has to be like this, so cold and humorless, but at least, I'm sure that he needed someone like Georgie. They made a great couple. I also liked her relationship with Seth. He is pretty cool and made the perfect work partner. Just that, nothing more. Other than that, Georgie doubting her choice to marry Neil while she has 2 cute young girls, annoyed me at the first. Luckily, it didn't last. I know parents (most of them at least) would make again their "mistake" to have their same kids, no matter what. But the ending made up for it since it was well handled. In addition, I would have liked to know more details about this landline line, but unfortunately, we were given nothing.


I have only read Eleanor and Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and now Landline. If she releases something in later years, I would definitely consider it. Other than that, I'm pretty sure I won't be reading her other published books anytime soon.
Profile Image for Mayra Sigwalt.
Author 2 books2,261 followers
June 24, 2016
4.5
Esse livro falou muito comigo e me emocionei muitas vezes durante a leitura. Ele toca num dos medos que sempre tive e que no momento em q estou vivendo agora, isso é ainda mais evidente.
Sabe quando está tudo lindo no seu relacionamento e parece que se melhorar estraga? Quando as coisas em volta de vc podem não dar certo, mas aquilo sempre dá? Só que depois de anos num relacionamento estável, morando juntos, chegando perto dos 30, vem aquelas questões: casamento? Filhos?
E esse livro trata muito dessas mudanças e desses medos. Do medo de se perder ao construir uma família, se acomodar, esquecer dos sonhos, ou focar tanto neles que vc abandona o resto. É uma angústia minha, e eu me vi mto na Georgie por causa disso. Eu ouvi na voz dela os meus medos. Ou um futuro do qual eu tenho medo. Enfim, gostei demais, mas acredito que são dramas mais adultos (ou malucos no meu caso) talvez e nem todo mundo vai se identificar. Eu amei!!
Profile Image for Blaine.
863 reviews996 followers
April 12, 2023
Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen - because you love each other.

Neal didn’t take Georgie’s breath away. Maybe the opposite. But that was okay—that was really good, actually, to be near someone who filled your lungs with air.

There are some parts of Landline that are quite good. Georgie and Neal are certainly well-drawn characters. But the reality is that not much happens in this story. A couple fights, they spend a week apart, and then she realizes that she still wants to be with him so she joins him at his mom’s house. The end. But it is left unexplained how Georgie will reconcile her family and her career—the very problem that seemed to be breaking her and Neal apart. And the time travel conceit is under-explored. Why didn’t Georgie try calling herself in the past? Why didn’t she find out from current Neal what happened to him during the pivotal week she’s calling in the past? Why did she stop trying to call current Neal as the week went on? I assume the answer to all of these questions is to build the narrative tension, but it strains the plot because they would have been normal, obvious things to do in that situation.

Landline is not a bad book at all, and I read it quickly because I wanted to know how the story ended. But in the end I was underwhelmed.
Profile Image for Ally  Cakes.
254 reviews41 followers
July 10, 2014
I need this book now. Everything Rowell touches turns to gold. Love all her books. How can you not? Lincoln, Park and Levi. Need I say more??!
Profile Image for Maria Angelica.
365 reviews347 followers
October 6, 2016
4.5
Antes de falar o que eu achei desse livro, quero deixar BEM CLARO que ele é um livro adulto. Se você ainda não teve um relacionamento sério com alguém, talvez essa não seja uma estória que irá apreciar. Vai depender mesmo de quais são as suas expectativas em relação a um relacionamento sério, na verdade. Eu tinha uma ideia completamente enganada do que era antes de iniciar um com o meu marido e agora sei que é um esforço diário para mantê-lo. Que não é só amar alguém como mágica.
Esse livro me inspirou em ser ser melhor no meu próprio casamento e apreciar 100x mais o meu marido. Ele foi uma ótima análise sobre quanto nos dedicamos de verdade para os nossos relacionamentos. Por isso amei tanto esse livro. Por causa de seu realismo.
Na real, a Rainbow Rowell é especialista em retratar a realidade de relacionamentos em seus livros. Landline é um livro dedicado exclusivamente a isso e foi perfeito na sua missão. Eu senti o amor que a Georgie e o Neal tinham um pelo outro desde a primeira cena em que estão juntos, por mais tensa que fosse. Senti também as dificuldades de manter um casamento durante anos, quando já caímos na complacência e comodidade.
Eu amei que o livro é contado dentro do presente e passado, à medida que a Georgie ia se tocando de suas falhas no seu casamento. Dessa forma eu fui me identificando com todos os momentos de seu relacionamento. Desde que se conheceram até o presente estado. Adorei que eles obviamente não era perfeitos um para o outro (afinal tinha o Seth para exemplificar que teria um outro par "melhor" para ela), mas que quando nos apaixonamos por alguém e sentimos o potencial de uma vida juntos, o esforço para que dê certo é meramente uma consequência natural desse amor que brota.
Vale a pena mencionar a aproximação da Georgie e da sua irmã Heather durante o livro. Não é nem de perto um dos elementos mais importante, mas foi tão gostoso de ler. Elas não têm um relacionamento mais próximo por causa da diferença de idade, mas conseguiram ao final do livro estabelecer um que seja melhor que o que tinham anteriormente. Se conheceram um pouco mais.
Minha única reclamação é que o Neal por vezes me pareceu perfeito demais e eu sei, por experiência própria, que um casamento precisa de duas pessoas comprometidas para dar certo. Ele era mais comprometido que ela? Sim, definitivamente! Mas gostaria que a Rainbow tivesse mencionado no final do livro que ele também deixou a peteca cair quando fez todas as vontades da Georgie durante anos. Sim, ela tinha mais culpa no cartório que ele, mas se tivesse falado antes a sua insatisfação com a dedicação eterna dela ao trabalho, talvez as coisas não tivessem chegado ao ponto que chegaram.
Eu consumi esse livro em menos de três dias. Comecei pelo audiobook e terminei com o livro físico, porque não aguentaria esperar o tempo que demora para ouvir a estória. A escrita da Rainbow Rowell tem algum tipo de droga que faz com que não queiramos parar de ler seus livros. É impressionante. Foi assim para mim com Fangirl e Carry On. É simples e gostosa de ler. Fora que eu AMO as figuras de linguagem que ela usa. Sempre são mais reais que floreadas. Enfim, mais um sucesso dela embaixo do meu braço.
PS: Estou pouco me lixando para a quantidade de vezes que eu usei a palavra realidade e suas variações. É o maior descritivo da escrita de RR e não tem forma melhor de falar sobre ela sem usar essas palavras. Hehehehheheheheh.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,283 followers
December 4, 2014
2.5 stars

I really thought I was going to like this novel, but in truth had to force myself to finish it. The storyline is interesting.....Dad plays Mr. Mom with two cute kids and breadwinner Mom chooses work over family during the holidays that puts further strain on the marriage (no spoiler here).......but the dialogue (on and off the magic time-traveling phone) was just a bit too contrived, and at times, even pointless and corny.....but hey, do not listen to me. This novel won the 2014 GR Best Fiction Award after all and by more than 14,000 votes over second place! I'm sorry to say though, it just didn't quite gel for me.

Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,751 reviews1,572 followers
March 31, 2015
“Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen—because you love each other.

There are reasons that this book resonates with me. It hits home on so many of my own fears and hopes and dreams. Not so much the magic telephone part of it because I came from a time when rotary phones weren’t just a novelty item but the I’ve been with the same person for so long that sometimes I forget we are two individual people instead of just one entity.
You don't know what it really means to crawl into someone else's life and stay there. You can't see all the ways you're going to get tangled, how you're going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten - in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems.

Okay my husband and I are not Neal and Georgie but we could have been and we could be still. It’s been ten years since he and I had our meet-cute when he lied about his name when my friend hit on him at a bar and eight years since he gave me a ring in a DVD box for the movie ‘The Ring’, which incidentally I did not find funny or endearing at the time and threw across the room at him. But as time goes by sometimes we forget and take for granted that the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with should be your first priority. When they are always there it is easy to forget everything they do for you, every way they fill your life and how much better you are with them.
“It wasn't just that she let him down, and put him off, and continually left him waiting--It was that she'd tied him to her so tight. Because she wanted him. Because he was perfect for Georgie, even if she wasn't perfect for him. Because she wanted him more than she wanted him to be happy.

Overview:
When we meet Georgie and Neal they are at a crucial point in their relationship. Georgie has decided to work through the Christmas break in hopes of getting a show she has been working on for years on TV. Neal has decided that he and their children will still go away to his mother’s for Christmas. Even though he never officially claims that he is leaving her, Georgie’s family just assumes that Neal has taken the kids and left her. This is when Georgie gets a wake-up call that is maybe very overdue. She tries to get a hold of Neal on his cell phone but due to all kinds of complications they just keep missing each other and eventually she is sure that maybe he is avoiding her. Georgie is frantic to get a hold of Neal and using a rotary phone dials his number of his mother’s house in Nebraska, but what she gets is not the man that is her husband but an earlier version of him who is still in college before they were married.
“I take for granted that you’ll be there when I’m done doing whatever it is I’m doing. I take for granted that you’ll love me no matter what.”

What Worked for Me:
I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing there is no part of the words that she puts on page that I don’t think is amazing. I got so drawn into the references to the 80s and 90s that were thrown in seamlessly and the conversations that all of her characters have. Every character that she incorporated into her story seemed to belong there and have a solid place in Georgie’s life.

Besides Neal who was almost a saint like husband to Georgie, some of my favorite characters were her family. Her mom in particular was a trip and like most mothers when they think you are in a crisis how she wanted to jump in and help.
“Georgie's mother had spectacular cleavage. Tan, freckled, ten miles deep.
"Genetics," her mom said when she caught Georgie looking.
Heather shoved a bowl of green beans into Georgie's arm. "Were you just staring at Mom's breasts?"
"I think so," Georgie said. "I'm really tired--and she's kinda begging for it in that shirt."
"Oh, sure," Heather said. "Blame the victim.”

I also loved Georgie’s little girls. They were seven and four and acted seven and four. I loved that her 4 year old was in love with cats and sometimes just said ‘meow’. I totally appreciated that when she was on the phone with them you could sense the frustration of trying to talk to a seven year old on the phone when they are distracted by T.V.

Rainbow writes some of the best dialogue and characters in contemporary fiction. I fall in love with them and I replay conversations in my head days and weeks later. I was rooting for Georgie and Neal the entire time and with every new flashback to their beginnings I hoped they found a way back to one another in the present even more. That is why I enjoyed most of this book. I Loved the writing even if I only liked the story.

I always want a little more at the end of RR books but that is kind of her signature leave off point. Actually she gave us more in the ending of this one than in E&P and Fangirl. It seemed very fitting to leave off right where she did and it was enough closure for me that I will put it in the plus column.

What Didn’t Work for Me:
The magic phone, I’m not sure it was needed. Okay I’ll take it and she did a decent job of throwing it in there and had some funny inner dialogue about the magic phone…but I didn’t love it. I almost thought that the same thing could have been done with love letters she found in the attic or maybe reading through some of her old college works from The Spoon and remembering her time there. But there is a magic phone I accept it and it led to some interesting conversations it just was a little eh for me.

Final thoughts:
While this isn’t as good as Eleanor and Park or Fangirl, in my humble opinion, I still very much liked it. I must have liked it I highlighted almost 15% of the book. My advice read it, it is a great story and if you have been in a relationship for a long time I think a lot of the points will hit home. I give this a 5 star for the writing and a 3 star for the plot, 4 star total.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 20,278 reviews

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