Lincoln’s job is terrible. He has to monitor emails at a newspaper and send warning messages to staff whose emails have inappropriate content. He hates it. He works nights and hardly sees anyone and the creepy nature of his work is getting him down. Except when he reads Beth and Jennifer’s exchanges. He starts to look forward to those. And he doesn’t send them a warning like he knows he should. Soon it’s not just that he likes reading those messages, it’s that he likes the writers, and maybe is starting to fall for one of them, just a little…
This entire premise shouldn’t work, because Lincoln is a hair’s breadth away from being a total loser. A stalker even. He still lives with his mother, is an almost perpetual student, plays D&D, works nights, reads people’s emails, hovers around Beth’s desk looking for info on her and then goes to her boyfriend’s band’s gig. And yet Rainbow Rowell manages to keep me from screaming at Beth to run as far away from him as possible. Because Lincoln is a nice guy. Not a ‘nice guy’ either. A genuinely good dude who is a bit lost and a bit awkward and who knows he should not be reading those emails. And he does eventually cut ties and do the right thing, even if it takes him a bit longer than it should.
And I just love this book. I love Lincoln, he’s an honest to god romantic lead, and I love the email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer, that tell us so much about their lives and their friendship without us ever properly meeting them, or not for a while at least.
So yeah, it may be problematic, or almost problematic, but I’ve read it a bunch of times and will probably read it again in future. I’ve been looking for authors similar to Rowell and have been disappointed each time, so I’m just gonna re-read her back catalogue until her next one comes out.