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?
(Summary from GoodReads)
Landline, like all of Rowell’s other books, has been pretty well received by the blogging community. Having really enjoyed both of Rowell’s YA novels, I admit that I went into this one with higher expectations. While this story had a lot of cute elements and tied up nicely, it felt like a lot of pieces went missing along the way.
I’m not sure what was going on with any of these characters. Georgie is an extrovert who can make people laugh and she finds herself with Neal. Georgie is really good at charming people, but this story is about her understanding what it takes to make a relationship work. I found it really healthy that she was starting to think about why her marriage might be falling apart, I was surprised that she hadn’t run into this kind of crisis earlier. If she’s as wrapped up her in career as Rowell makes her seem, why has it taken all of these years for the conflict to come to a head?
The scenes between past Neal and Georgie were interesting, though I’m not sure if they really did anything for me. While they helped Georgie reevaluate what made her be with Neal in the first place, I wasn’t convinced that I saw her conversations playing into her decisions. The ending of this one felt rushed—which is fairly typical for Rowell’s work—but it was also predictable. It was cute, but I felt like I guessed almost every moment of what happened.
Landline has worked for a lot of other people. For me the different elements never fit together the way they were supposed to. Rowell could have done a bit more to tie up Georgie’s character arc, and on a purely subjective level, I didn’t care for her character much. I enjoyed reading this book once, but I’m not in a rush to add a hardcover to my personal library. Maybe I’ll approach it with different eyes should I ever get married or once I simply have more experience with relationships.
Disclosure: I received an electronic galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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