My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Landline was perfectly heartwarming, eye-opening, and tense, with just the right amount of fantasy involving a time-traveling phone.
It was the perfect book for dragging me out of my book slump, and I found I enjoyed RR’s writing much more when I was reading something in which I was the target audience (see my review of Eleanor & Park). A few things RR nails every time: her characters, her dialogue, her love stories.
She creates a love story you want to mimic and characters you want to be, fall in love with, or be friends with. Her dialogue is so on point I sometimes wonder if she just records her daily life and then inserts it into a book she’s working on at the end of each day. Her love stories have details that make me sure they are her details or someone she must know very well…minute things like Georgie and Neal’s first kiss. The moment was so personal and vivid, I assume it must have happened.
Then there was the list she made when trying to cope with the reality/fantasy of possibly having a magic phone, and she referenced one of my favorite TV shows (Lost) and all-time favorite movies (It’s a Wonderful Life). Georgie’s train of thought followed what I’m sure I would have been thinking in her situation, which only tells me what I already knew: RR really gets her audience. The reason her books sell is because of their honesty to real life. Regardless of how or where she gets her inspiration, she works it. She molds it and makes a living, breathing story with it.
Sometimes writers pour themselves out in a way that is exhausting for the reader, leaving them begging for the end of the chapter so they can rest. Rowell’s style is so captivating, I found myself doing just the opposite. I would think, “Okay, last chapter. You’ve got other things to do.” Then I would find myself immersed in another chapter far further in than I’d promised myself. Her writing style is captivating. Rather than leaving me tired, it woke me up and kept me guessing at the end of each chapter with just enough mystery to intrigue me.
I love that Rowell can write to multiple audiences, both young adult and actual adult. She writes in a way that I perceive must be genuine. She has the ability to create relationships worth fighting for with characters who are relatable. I can’t wait to read more of her work, and I hope she continues to have success. I’ll be rooting for her.
My only complaint with this book was it really made me long for Christmas break.
Goodreads Rating: 3.55
Recommended for: Rainbow Rowell Fangirls, Time Travelers, All in Favor of a Happy Ending