Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

LandlineTitle: Landline

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publication date: July 8, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 308

Source: Review copy from publisher (Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fully Booked / National Book Store


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?

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Whenever it comes to Rainbow Rowell books, there’s a spark within me that catches fire every time. I couldn’t explain what it is but it feels like I’m set to acquaint with truths of a vulnerable world. Reading a Rainbow Rowell book is not just going through pages of words. It’s experiencing life and its inevitable reality in a fictional setting. It is also meeting people who reflect who you are or people who open your eyes to possibilities you never knew existed. With its attention-grabbing description, Landline became one of my most anticipated 2014 novels. Not only that, it’s by the phenomenal Rainbow Rowell! I know for certain that I wouldn’t go wrong with a book written by her.

Giving readers a glimpse into married life, Landline illustrates the harsh reality of when a couple’s marriage is on the rocks. I’m not married yet (or even in a relationship) but this book contains everything a person could expect in a complicated marital situation. I wouldn’t expound more on this matter to avoid spoilers but here’s what I can say about the story:

Landline is a stark reminder that people are susceptible to being blinded by their desire to fulfill their passions in life. Hence, forgetting about the things that matter most like family and even their self. Does your life revolve on work alone? Sometimes we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “What is my reason for living?” There are people who love and care for us that we have taken for granted. Just because our family understands our determination to succeed doesn’t mean that everything’s fine that way. They also need us in their life because that’s what living is all about—devoting our time and sharing our life with the people we love. At the end of the day, family always comes first.

Main character Georgie McCool is wonderful. Realistic and vulnerable, readers could identify with her easily. My favorite features in Landline are the flashback scenes of Georgie and her husband (then boyfriend) Neal in college. Those give the novel a fresh YA feel that makes Landline even more entertaining to read. I actually didn’t feel the shift from YA to adult fiction because of that aspect. It was a totally genius idea to take readers to memory lane and relive the youthful and fascinating start of Georgie and Neal’s relationship. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is a winner, as usual—truthful and dynamic in form and essence. She is so amazing particularly in evoking happy, swoony feelings! I look forward to reading her future books!

Beautifully uplifting and legitimately remarkable, Landline is a novel that brims with hope, love, and lasting magic.


4.5/5 stars


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