Audio Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio Review: Landline by Rainbow RowellLandline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on 07/08/2014
Genres: Adult, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Rebecca Lowman
Source: BEA

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

I always find Rainbow Rowell’s books the most difficult to review because how can I adequately express my feelings for books that move me so much.  It’s the same with Rowell’s newest book, Landline, an adult (mostly) contemporary (with a magic phone!) about a married woman trying to work things out with her husband.  I’m going to do my best here, but I know I’m not going to be able to adequately explain why everyone should read Landline.

Landline is a bit different from Rowell’s previous three books (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, Attachments).  I personally don’t see a lot of crossover appeal for teens who’ve loved Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, unlike Attachments, which I think teens would like a lot.  That’s not a bad thing, at all, of course.  Just something to note.

Initially, I found Landline a bit melancholic.  It’s clear that Georgie and Neal’s (her husband) marriage isn’t perfect, and that they’re having issues right now.  As a big reader of romance, where the book ends on the marriage (or the “I Love You”), seeing Georgie’s and Neal’s Happily Every After being not so happy made me very sad.  Because as much as I love romances, I know that endings like that aren’t exactly realistic.  But, that said, even as sad as Landline started, I couldn’t stop listening.  I was immediately captivated in Georgie and Neal’s story.

I felt Georgie’s conflict between going to her husband’s mother’s place in Omaho for Christmas, and doing what’s best for her career, a career that’s very important to her.  I feel like women have that conflict much more than men, and I really enjoyed reading about the struggles going through Georgie’s mind.  Rowell did such a wonderful job showing how it isn’t really black and white.  Georgie isn’t a terrible parent and wife because she wants her career to succeed, but she’s not an awful work partner because she wants to spend Christmas with her family.

But my favorite part of Landline was definitely the time we get to see of Georgie and Neal in college.  I loved those flashes, seeing how Neal and Georgie met, seeing how they finally got together, and it let me get to know Neal so much more.  Neal, as a character, was fascinating.  He keeps so much to himself, and it’s obvious how much he cares for Georgie.  But it is also obvious how much Georgie cares for Neal.  I absolutely loved seeing how well Georgie knew Neal, even though Neal keeps his thoughts to himself so much.

The whole magic phone thing that lets 30-something adult Georige talk to barely out of college Neal was interesting, and I love their conversations over the phone, but more than anything I love how it led to the flashbacks to their college years.

Although Landline has a somewhat different feel from Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, it still felt very much a book by Rainbow Rowell.  Rowell made me feel so much for Georgie and her whole family.  Rowell has yet to disappointment me, and although Landline didn’t quite make Eleanor & Park Status, it is an amazing book, and you should all read it!  So there 🙂


10 Responses to “Audio Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell”

  1. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    I wasn’t a huge fan of Eleanor & Park or Fangirl, but I did enjoy both of them. 🙂 I’m so excited for this one! Neal sounds like a wonderful character and I can’t wait to meet him. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed this one!

  2. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I’m really curious about this one. I love that it’s not a YA and that it focuses on a marriage that is flawed without being disastrous. I’m glad you enjoyed this book. I’ll definitely being reading it soon. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Valerie

    I cannot wait until I get my hands on this book! And there’s actually a MAGIC PHONE. I thought the blurb only hinted at magic for metaphor purposes or something stupid, but there’s actually time-travel! (kind of). Either way I’m excited

  4. Ana @ Read Me Away

    Aw, this sounds really cute but also bittersweet. I used to love happy-ever-after endings SO MUCH, but I like the ones that feel more realistic. I’ve only read one Rowell book so far (Attachments), which was more New Adult/Contemporary compared to YA. I’ll keep an eye out for this one. 🙂

    Great review!

  5. Stormy

    I think Rowell might be the only author who can write about the marriage of a 30-year-old in a way that makes me interested. This one definitely hasn’t screamed “read me!” to me like some of her other books, but I’m still eager to give it a shot.

    What did you think of the audio narrator for this one, since you listened to the audiobook? I won an audiobook ARC(which I didn’t even know existed), but I tried to listen and only got about 20 minutes in before I couldn’t do it anymore because of the monotone–but I know that the narrator has done tons of books, so maybe it’s just me?

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I did like the audiobook, but I do admit that it took me a little bit to get into it. I don’t think it was the monotone, but the melancholic way she was reading the story. But after a little bit, I really did enjoy her narration.

  6. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I hope to read this book before the end of the month! I think this book might hit the closest to home for me since I’m so near the characters’ age range. So I’m really interested in seeing where Rainbow will take this story. I’m glad this was a great read for you!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I definitely, definitely liked Landline! It’s always interesting, ins’t it, when you read a book that hits really close to home. That’s how it was with Cath from Rowell’s Fangirl. I’m not that age anymore (I’m 31), but I could see myself in Cath in so many ways, that it was a little difficult to read. It was like looking at my life through a magnifying glass and seeing all the things I should have done differently.

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