Unlike her previous books (Attachments, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl) Landline isn't about new love. It's about worn in love. It's about a couple that has been together for years. They've gone through the first glances, the first kisses, the butterflies. Now they've been married for 15 years, have 2 kids, and the butterflies aren't really there. It's not that they don't love each other anymore, but when Georgie decides to stay in L.A. and work on a pilot for her dream show instead of going with Neal and the girls to Nebraska for Christmas, well, is love enough?
But something strange happens. While staying at her mom's Georgie finds she can talk to past-Neal using an old yellow landline phone at her mom's house. The Neal from when he and Georgie were early in their relationship, still in college. Can talking to past-Neal help her fix the problems with present-Neal? Should she?
The tone here is closer to that of E&P, more serious, less fluff, but don't think that means it's missing Rowell's humor and banter. I love Rowell's style.
Neal didn't take Georgie's breath away. Maybe the opposite. But that was okay - that was really good, actually, to be near someone who filled your lungs with air.
Seth and Scotty brainstormed. Georgie brain-hurricaned.And the banter! Have I mentioned the banter?
When were you smiling? No one in your family smiles. You're a dynasty of wasted dimples.
"You didn't make me go," he said.And I haven't even mentioned all of the other characters. Georgie's writing partner, Seth, her mom, her sister, her kids. They're full characters who feel like they exist outside of Georgie and Neal's story.
"You can't make me do anything - I'm an adult. And I'm much stronger than you."
"Upper body strength isn't everything; I have wiles."
"Yes, I do. I'm a woman. Women have wiles."
I loved this book. Obviously. It's Rowell and I expected to love it and of course she didn't disappoint. I've given up trying to rank her books. I love them all, don't make me choose. If you haven't read
any of her stuff yet, I encourage you to reconsider your life choices and rectify this problem. Landline isn't a bad place to start.
Title quote from page 127
Rowell, Rainbow. Landline. St. Martin's Press, 2014. Kindle