Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

Would you go back into the past to fix your mistakes? | Photo by

If you found a magic telephone in your closet, attic or store room, and it allows you to turn back time. Which means that you have the chance to go back into the past and meet your teenaged self to right the wrongs of your life, would you take it? If yes, which areas of your life would you fix?

If it was me, I would probably tell my younger self to shut up, suck it up and finish the degree in Brisbane. Whether or not I’d get a job there itself and make a life (and career) for myself there, it would still be worth a shot instead of sobbing my eyes out like a baby and jumping on the next flight home after spending only 6 months (two and a half semesters) in Brisbane’s University of Queensland because I was too homesick to keep calm and carry on studying (and struggling).

This was the option laid out for Georgie McCool, whose marriage was fast dissolving before her eyes because she agreed to work over Christmas to close a deal, instead of travelling to Omaha to celebrate Christmas with her husband’s family and her own children. Neal Grafton had been pretty patient over the years of his married life with Georgie but the last straw came when she agreed to work over the festive holidays. Worse, she would be spending Christmas at the office, working hard with her best friend and colleague, Seth, whom Neal had taken a dislike to ever since they knew each other. Georgie had never been forced to make a choice between Seth and Neal before, but now that she had reluctantly agreed to choose work (and Seth, as he is included in the “working-over-Christmas” package), her husband decided to leave for Omaha anyway, with their two children, Alice and Naomi. Only time (pages and chapters) will tell whether Georgie managed to rescue her marriage with Neal or not.

Synopsis by Goodreads:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

What I thought…

There wasn’t much of the book that I liked, to be honest. Like I have said earlier, I preferred ‘Fangirl’. ‘Attachments’ was ok. ‘Landline’ reminded me of your typical Hollywood movie plot (Note: Love, Actually) where it’s usually the man who realises he’s made a stupid mistake by letting the love of his life slip through his fingers. Thus, begins the hectic dash via a hailed cab who then weaves in and out through traffic, but unable to get through and ends up stopping in the middle of a massive traffic jam just for the guy to get out, shove a few dollar bills at the cab driver, and proceeds on foot to the airport. More often than not, the guy manages to stop the girl from going through the boarding gate. He will plead and beg with her not to leave him, explain how much of a jerk he was and probably get down on one knee to propose to her. Yeah.

In the case of ‘Landline’, Georgie was the “guy” in the relationship and her husband, Neal, was the “girl”. Georgie has just one chance that shone through all her magical conversations over the yellow rotary telephone, to save her marriage. One last-minute and stranded flight later, she reached her destination and what she does next will only tell if she had succeeded or not.

The book wasn’t very hard to read. Also, I can speed read when it comes to Young Adult fiction. I tend to read more complicated books which almost always takes me more than a month to complete. But I’d recommend this book if you’re a Rainbow Rowell fan or a big fan of Young Adult fiction.

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