Prior to joining CBR, I had never heard of Rainbow Rowell. She’s the kind of author I never would’ve encountered out in the cold and barren landscape of the real world. I don’t typically read romance novels or the young adult genre (though this book doesn’t fit into the latter category). Which is weird, because some of my favorite, most beloved movies, are romantic comedies: When Harry Met Sally, Notting Hill, Love Actually (yes, I’m one of THOSE people)…. And I love Disney and Pixar movies, which may not be “young adult”, but are certainly good for just about any age group. Not to mention my Harry Potter obsession.
But you guys love her. And I mean run-through-an-airport love. Interrupt-a-wedding-love. Spend-a-lifetime-as-a-devoted-friend-while-secretly-loving-her love. You guys love Rainbow Rowell. I’ve counted 109 reviews so far, which is the most of any writer (I haven’t gone back through and tallied all the reviews pre-CBR6, so Stephen King and Courtney Milan still may be higher), and her books average four-and-a-quarter stars. Stephen King averages 3.91, Courtney Milan a solid 4.00, Jim Butcher 4.04, and JK Rowling a 4.08. Rainbow Rowell blows everyone out of the water. This is particularly astonishing when you consider I can’t find any reviews that pre-date narfna’s* January 29, 2013 five star review of Attachments. Seeing how the reviews proliferated following narfna’s is pretty interesting. It’s like watching a meme. Her review in January, then Malin reviewed Eleanor & Park in March, then 4 reviews in April. By the end of CBR5, there were 29 reviews of the only three books she’d written at that point. When this book, Landline came out in 2014, it got 18 reviews scattered over the year, as Cannonball Readers were still discovering her, but when Carry On came out in 2015, there were 11 reviews of it in the first three months of its publication.
Okay. I’m through geeking out. We love Rainbow Rowell, is my point. Maybe we should add a rainbow to the Godtopus driving the race car…..Okay, maybe not. But, still.
To understand how I feel about Rainbow Rowell after having read this one book, I’ll quote narfna’s thoughts after the discovery she made almost 4 years ago. Of Rowell, “either get out of my head or be my best friend.” This book was so enjoyable, and the characters were so likable, that I question whether I just read a novel, or remembered events that actually happened to me. Which is insane, right? Right!? I’m not really a woman in her 30s, married to her college boyfriend, with whom I have two little girls (meow)? I don’t spend my nights talking on an old rotary dial phone, trying to reconnect with my husband through his 15-year-younger self, right? My world is unraveling, I don’t know who I am anymore……
Okay. That’s not true. But this book touched my core. It pulled every chord of my being. I’m not going to steal all of narfna’s great review (seriously, you should read it), but I will borrow one more thing. “Falling in love with a book is exactly like falling in love with a person,” she said. I agree. And, just as when I fall in love with someone, I want to take this book around and show it off. “Look what I found, everyone! Can you believe how lucky I am? Don’t you want to be this fortunate? Don’t you want to share in my joy?” Though I may get a few inquisitive looks parading a book through my life as if it was a new girlfriend, I know that here, at least, I’ll find understanding.
I’ve discovered Rainbow Rowell. And this book was an absolute joy to read.
I think romance and comedy are two of the hardest things to find agreement on. What one person might find romantic, another might find cloying and saccharine. What one person finds hilarious, another might find offensive or dull. Like love, reading is a wholly internal process that varies from person to person. We aren’t all going to like the same thing. That we all seem to like Rainbow Rowell so much…..I don’t know. Maybe that says something about us, maybe the fact that we’re all here reviewing books to raise money for the Cancer fight – that the love of reading, the devotion to a cause, and the desire to share our opinions with others isn’t the only thing that ties us together, and I find that validating.
This review is not only a celebration of Landline, or even of Rainbow Rowell. This is a tip of the glass to the Cannonball Read. You guys are the best, and thanks for introducing me to this wonderful book.
This has been reviewed 20 times, with an average rating of 3.68 (it’s Rowell’s lowest rated book, by far).
*Malin discovered Rainbow Rowell in 2011 for CB3. I’ll find that review when I’m not having to research on my phone.