I finished Fan Girl, which I loved and grabbed up Attachments as soon as I was able. Lincoln works for a newspaper as an Internet Security Technician. Part of his job is reading personal emails flagged by the computer system. While working mostly alone at night, Lincoln begins reading a series of emails between best friends Jennifer and Beth who work for the paper. Jennifer’s emails are mostly filled with anxieties about her husband Mitch and his desire to have a baby, while Beth’s emails comment about her younger sister’s upcoming wedding and her commitment-phobic boyfriend Chris.
The story is set at the end of 1999 and the beginning of the year 2000, and has some older pop culture references and a very minor subplot about Y2K. I found this extremely odd because the book was only written in 2011. Does technology really change so fast that we have nostalgia for something that happened only 10 years ago? I think this book could have easily taken place at a company instead of a newspaper and could have been told through email, texts, or office instant messaging without losing any of the character development or story.
In terms of character development, I felt that Jennifer and Beth had too similar personalities. Unless they were talking about their significant others, it was difficult to tell them apart throughout much of the book. One major plot line involves Lincoln becoming infatuated with one of the women, but since the characters were so similar, it was hard to determine why he would fall for one and not the other. It didn’t help that the messages were labeled: << Beth to Jennifer >>......<< Jennifer to Beth >> instead of just having Beth: or From Jennifer: It sounds like a minor detail, but this small change could have made a huge impact.
Lincoln himself was a complex man who seemed very realistic as a late-twenty-something who is still lost and trying to find his path in life. But I believe this is because we get third person narration when describing Lincoln, and we learn a lot more about his past, his family, and his feelings than we ever find out about Jennifer or Beth.
Without giving too much away, while reading the book I thought, “Wow. They are really codependent. That does not seem like a good idea”
Even with these issues, I enjoyed the story as a mostly quick and light read that had a few touching moments, and hope to read a young adult book by the author Eleanor and Park soon. If you like this style of writing, I also recommend the Holly’s Inbox series by Holly Denham (another epistolary novel told through emails) or I’ve Got Your Number (a novel told primarily through text messages) by Sophie Kinsella.
Find it on Amazon HERE
And on Audible HERE