Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Attachments: SURPRISE I LOVED IT (no one is surprised)

In case you were wondering, writing about a book that all my favorite book-type friends loved long before I did and that I ALSO loved when I finally got around to reading it is HARD. I’m tempted just to say YES IT IS FANTASTIC, pop in a Jennifer Lawrence GIF, and have an ice cream.

But here’s why you're not looking at J-Law making a saucy face right now: YES, everyone has read and loved this book, but did we all love it for the same reasons? Mostly, probably . . . yes. But the first note I scribbled down when I was reading was about the journalism aspect. Because the characters all work at a newspaper, and I was like I CAN IDENTIFY. And we were best friends from that day forward.

That first noteworthy thing for me was this:
Regardless, TV journalists don’t count; cute is their job. There’s no reason to look pretty in print journalism. Readers don’t care if you’re cute. (p. 77)
To which I exclaimed, “Oh HELLO, truthy statement about print vs. broadcast journalism. THE WAR WAGES ON.”

And we have HER on our side, so good LUCK to you.

When I was in journalism school, our classes were in the same building as the broadcast journalism classes, and sometimes we ended up in the hallway at the same time waiting for our classes to open . . . and the contrast was remarkable, let me tell you. Exhausted budding alcoholics with rings under their eyes on the right, freshly spackled smoothie-drinking folks on the left. I’m generalizing, but I'm probably drunk right now so what do I know.

Oh did you want to know what this book is about? WELL. Jennifer is a Features copy editor and Beth is a movie reviewer at The Courier, a small Midwestern paper. It’s 1999, and the paper has just entered the digital age, with Internet access for reporters and internal e-mail. Because Internet equals PORN, this advancement necessitates the presence of a person whose job it is to monitor Internet use and employee e-mails for abuses of the privilege. Enter Lincoln, a 28-year-old complacent sort who lives with his mother. The thing is, Beth and Jennifer misuse the HELL out of the internal e-mail, and their messages keep getting filtered into Lincoln’s folder of suspicious e-mails. So he reads them. And then he keeps reading them. And he can't bring himself to issue them a warning. Because he's starting to like them. And maybe even love one of them.

Like You've Got Mail...but only one person's got mail.

The format goes back and forth from Lincoln’s narrative to e-mails between Beth and Jennifer, and in this tidy way, the plot progresses. It’s charming and light but still makes you feel some real-life feels.

I identified so fully with Beth and Jennifer that I sometimes had to remind myself which was which when I was reading their back-and-forths (until Jennifer said she didn’t care about Batman; that was a rocky point in our relationship).

And Lincoln. He’s that quietly spectacular sort of man that we all HOPE we deserve. This was the precise moment when I loved him, talking to a girl at a noisy club:
“Well, you came here to meet somebody, right? To meet a guy?” 
“To maybe meet the guy, right?” 
She looked down at her drink. “Right.” 
“Well, when you think about that guy—who, by the way, we both know isn’t me—when you think about meeting him, do you think about meeting him in a place like this? In a place this ugly? This loud? Do you want him to smell like J├Ągermeister and cigarettes? Do you want your first dance to be to a song about strippers?” (p. 52)

Only if SHE'S there.


  1. "I’m generalizing, but I'm probably drunk right now so what do I know."

    I heart you like whoa.

    Also awww you touched on parts I'd forgotten about! And the caption for the You've Got Mail thing is my favorite since the Humpty Dumpty swing picture. REMEMBER THAT? Because it still makes me laugh.

  2. I'm glad this review still includes a JLaw gif. I hope you got ice cream as well.

  3. I'm pretty sure that moment right there was when I fell in love with Lincoln too. Ohhhhh, Lincoln. (Actually, I love everyone).

    This is the awesomest. And, like every post on it, makes me want to read Attachments again. Siiiiiiigh!

  4. YAY I'm glad you loved it! I knew you would!

    Also, a million points to you for using a You've Got Mail GIF.

  5. Do I REMEMBER the Humpty Dumpty swing picture? That was my proudest moment in blogging. It's the only positive thing to come out of Norwegian Wood.

  6. I couldn't wave the JLaw gif carrot in front of your faces like that and not deliver. What kind of friend would I be?

  7. Liiiiiiincooooolllnnnnn...your name is the same as my favorite president.

  8. It's a little scary being one of the last to read an Awesome Book, so I was pretty relieved when I immediately loved it.

  9. Excellent approach to reviewing a book that many have loved and posted on! You's funny.

    This book is so good and I'm so glad you loved it and I want to read it again right now.

  10. I want to read it again too! Let's read it again.

  11. Oh my god I just read "Enter Lincoln, a 28-year-old complacent sort who lives with his mother" as "Enter Lincoln....who lives IN his mother" And I snorted coffee out of my nose. And it really freaking hurt. Jesus, that would have changed the story somewhat!

  12. Ahahahaha! He was REALLY complacent. Leave the womb? NO THANK YOU.

  13. I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.