Landline by Rainbow Rowell
4 out of 5 stars
Rainbow Rowell is magical. Seriously, she is a magical awkward unicorn (and I mean that in the best possible way). I think I've said this before, but 2014 is for sure the year of Rainbow. I've read all 4 of her books since February and can't wait to pick up My True Love Gave to Me for the holidays. That anthology is going to make my winter faaaabulous!! :) Oooh, I just had a thought...I'm off the whole week of & after Christmas til New Year's. Maybe I should save it til then and read one story a day? If I can wait that long lol.
Okay, back to Landline! Georgie McCool (best name ever) is a TV sitcom writer and married to Neal, a stay-at-home dad of 2 little girls. Noomi might be my favorite character, just because she thinks she's a cat. >.< Georgie and Neal's marriage has been kind of rocky for a long time and they have been avoiding the problems, focusing instead on the kids. When Georgie gets a big job opportunity at Christmas-time that conflicts with their trip to Neal's hometown in Omaha, it becomes a catalyst for change. Whether it's good or bad change is up to them though.
Georgie stays home to work and ends up spending a lot of time at her mom's house in her old room. Due to a faulty cell phone battery, she pulls out her old yellow rotary phone from the depths of the closet and calls Neal on that. But something is off. And that's where the magic begins. Literally.
This is Rowell's second adult book and just as good as her young adult books. I don't know how she does it. The story of two adults in a not-so-great relationship is told well and with sincerity. We feel for Georgie when her dream gig might finally be happening but her partner isn't so excited about it. Neal's frustration with her long hours and unpredictable schedule is understanding. And yet, their love for each other still shines throughout the story, told in flashbacks to when they first met at school and present day.
I'm not sure how many people have heard of the "twist" in the story (even though it's sort of in the Goodreads summary), so I thought it'd be a good idea to put the spoiler owl up.
I loved the magic phone. Who hasn't dreamed of being able to talk to your past self or go back in time to a certain point to fix some huge mistake? I have a big soft spot for stories like that, Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux is one of my favorites. I didn't really care that the phone was never fully explained, how or why it became magic, what she did with it afterwards, etc...It didn't matter to me. Maybe it was all in her head, but as the great Dumbledore says, "Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
The ending was great, in a way, but I wanted more. That's just me being selfish though. Same with Eleanor & Park. I would love to see a companion/alternate book where Seth finds the magic phone and starts talking to 1994 Georgie and convinces her to pick him instead of Neal. I liked Seth and I think he and Georgie would have been good together in a way and it would have been interesting to see where their story went. I loved her sister, Heather, and the story with the pizza person. That was adorable. Oh, who am I kidding? The whole book was adorable! Go read it again! And if you haven't read it yet, what the heck are you doing down here in the spoilers?? ;)