Synopsis via Goodreads:
“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
Hmmmmm . . .
So . . . Rainbow Rowell.
I still love the woman.
This, I believe, was her first published novel, and no, before you start comparing it to Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, just don’t. Because let’s be honest – nothing can compare to those two, so let’s just not even go there.
So Lincoln (I love that name, btw) is your typical nerd. Still lives at home, has a bunch of degrees, and hasn’t dated anyone since his first (and only) high-school-one-true-love dumped him in a very douche fashion. You feel bad for him, but at the same time, you just want to yell at him to get up a do something. Sure, he has a very well paying job and isn’t sitting at home playing Dungeons & Dragons all day long, so there’s that. But he does play D & D on the weekends, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Lincoln is walking a very thin line between being a loser, homebody who never gets out and just a guy that doesn’t really know what he wants to do with his life yet, but he’s trying. He’s trying to make things work. And that’s something to admire.
We only know the things Lincoln knows about Beth and Jennifer, and that’s only the stuff they email to each other at work that gets flagged. We don’t even know what they look like. Lincoln doesn’t know either, and that’s something I found very interesting in this novel – the idea of physical attraction doesn’t exist.
I know, right?
When was the last time you read a novel that didn’t include large paragraphs with detailed descriptions about the hot/bad boys abs and his eyes? What his hair color was? How his shoes caught the light or some nonsense like that? Hmmm?
But we don’t even know what Lincoln looks like. For a good 3/4 of the novel, we don’t even get an inkling of an idea of what he looks like. So, when you start to read about a character that still lives at home, has multiple degrees, and plays D & D on the weekends with his few friends, you get a picture of this:
But by the end, you’re realizing that Lincoln actually looks like this:
I know, right?
It’s freakin’ amazing.
And Lincoln talks about the idea of loving Beth. He’s never seen her, has no idea what she looks like, but he doesn’t care. People ask him what if he meets her and he doesn’t find her attractive at all? What if he’s built this monument of Beth in his head, and she doesn’t live up to his expectations?
And he gets that. He does. He just doesn’t care. He falls in love with Beth based on her emails, and while I think this is crazy way to fall in love with someone, he does it. And it’s not just some light, fluffy feelings that he gets for her – it’s hardcore love happening.
As for the middle of this novel, I’ll just warn you, it can get a little slow. It’s still good, I promise, but it can get a little slow. All Lincoln’s really doing is reading Beth’s and Jennifer’s emails, and it can get a little boring. But it’s still a good book, nonetheless.