2014 EVENTS:
Holly Bourne, Non Pratt and James Dawson - 30th October
Becca Fitzpatrick - 15th November

Sunday, 4 May 2014

REVIEW: Landline - Rainbow Rowell

Sunday, 4 May 2014
PAGES: 320
FORMAT: Hardback
BUY IT: Waterstones
RATING: 4 Stars

This review refers to an uncorrected advance copy, which is due to be published 03/07/14. Although this is one of Rainbow Rowell's adult novels, it is suitable for older teens.

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 he still loves her - but that almost seems besides the point now. Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells him 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 - he is always a little upset with her - 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?

Landline follows Georgie, an American sitcom writer with 2 kids and a husband, Neal. When Georgie lands the chance to write her dream series it means leaving Neal to take her children to his parents on his own. With their relationship already strained, the time without Neal makes Georgie start to look at their relationship and what he means to her.

One evening when Georgie stays with her mom she tries to call Neal from her old yellow landline - and when he answers it's not who she's expecting. Right guy, wrong time. She somehow manages to connect with him in a past state, just before he proposes to her. Georgie has to ask herself - should she try to put him off from proposing believing that she can't make him happy, or are they destined to be together no matter what?

Georgie is such an awesome character. She's not your typical skinny, pretty popular girl. She's kind of like Tina Fey (who happens to be my hero) and lounges around in Neal's old Metallica t-shirt, whilst forgetting to go to work. She has a really dry wit and sometimes is just plain hilarious. Although there is a technical love triangle between herself, Neal, and her best friend Seth, she never has eyes from anyone other than Neal. Nothing about their love is what you'd normally read in these books, it's so much more real. Rowell talks about how love is about compromise. It can never be perfect - no one is ever a perfect match - we're people, not jigsaw pieces. Rowell exposes love - she gives it room to grow without sugarcoating. 

It's a very dialogue-based book so you'll totally fly through it but it's so awesome. It's clever, witty and so truthful. Of course it has a heartwarming romance, but it feels so true to form. Georgie's soul searching allows us to watch them fall in love, question everything about their relationship and how love is supposed to feel, and in the end...? Well you're just going to have to wait and see for yourselves.

So what would you do or say if you could speak to a past version of your partner? Although it might not ring true for younger readers without much life experience, there's a lot of lessons to be learned and it's nice to see something that isn't a horribly overwrought Disney romance. 

Relationships aren't perfect. They're a compromise and something to be worked at all the time. But with love? Anything can work out.

You are all really going to love this.

- Bex.

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