As far as time machines go, a magic telephone is pretty useless.
TV writer Georgie McCool can’t actually visit the past;Â all she can do is call it, and hope it picks up.Â And hopeÂ heÂ picks up — because once Georgie realizes she has a magic phone that calls into the past, all she wantsÂ is make things right with her husband, Neal.
Maybe she can fix the things in their past that seem unfixable in the present. Maybe this stupid phone is giving her a chance to start over. . . .Â Does GeorgieÂ wantÂ to start over?
A heart-wrenchingâ€”and hilariousâ€”take on fate, time, television and true love,Â LandlineÂ asks ifÂ two people are ever really on the same path, or whether love just means finding someone who will keep meeting you halfway.
A while ago I reviewed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. As much as I enjoyed it, I didn’t get into the story or didn’t connect with the characters very much, so I gave it an average rating. I’d heard a lot of things about Landline and the synopsis had my intrigued so I thought I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did because I read it all in a day and I really enjoyed it!
The whole story is set over a week as TV comedy writer Georgie McCool as she breaks the news to her husband Neal that she won’t be going with him and their kids to spend Christmas with his parents in Omaha. Her team have just landed a possibly life-changing deal with a TV network, and she must stay and work on the scripts. As she is separated from her husband and daughters she begins to dwell on the past too much, worrying about her relationship with her husband and wondering where it all went wrong. When staying at her mother’s house, she finds a landline phone she used to have in her bedroom as a teenager. She phones her husband and to her surprise, she finds herself speaking to a version of him – and his now dead father – from decades ago.
“A bit fantastical and not too believable … I had no problem with this, though. It was just a fun, light-hearted story”
I loved the quirkiness of the story and how easy it was to read. Before reading this I was in the biggest reading slump I’d been in for ages, and I had no motivation to pick up a book. I tried this one because it seemed light-hearted, and I read it in a matter of hours. The story was a bit fantastical and not too believable; there was no explanation for why Georgie could somehow speak to a 1998 version of her husband – it just happened. I had no problem with this, though. It was just a fun, light-hearted story to read and sometimes, you don’t want too much explanation – you just want to be lost in the story!
The writing seemed a lot more mature and adult than Fangirl. Not only was the language a little more adult, but the themes were too. Rowell’s portrayal of human emotions and relationships, both physical and long-distance, were very human and realistic. The relationship between Georgie and Neal wasn’t overly romanticised or sickly-sweet as relationships can tend to be in a lot of YA novels. It was believable and definitely not perfect, which needs to be seen more in this kind of genre.
Effortless LGBT inclusion!
Finally, if you know me well or you’ve read my review of The Madam by Jaime Raven, you’ll know that I love effortless inclusion of LGBT characters and relationships. I was so surprised and overjoyed to see that happen in Landline. Towards the end of the book we discover a character is gay, and not much of a big deal is made of it; most people’s reactions are almost like â€œOh. Cool.â€ The kind of fictional LGBT relationships that instantly get my seal of approval are the ones that aren’t used as a plot device; they’re just as incidental as someone being tall or with brown hair.
I’m glad I read this book because after not being a massive fan of Fangirl (ha ha), Landline has made me want to read more of Rowell’s books. I wonder what my next one will be?