About the Book:
Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can't seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.
When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he'd be sifting through other people's inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can't quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can't help but be entertained-and captivated- by their stories.
But by the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? "Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you." After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it's time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can't see exactly where it's leading him.
Okay, so I've been seeing this one around the blogosphere and read such good things about it. Why did I wait so long to read it again? I have no idea, but I'm glad I finally gave in! (And I love that cover.) This is such a fun little story. I laughed most of the way through it. (Really) Set in 1999, it brought back all the memories of Y2K that I had forgotten, i.e. the worries people had and the crazy things they did. Hard to believe that's been over 13 years ago now. I will say that the beginning is a little slow. It didn't really pick up until about halfway through, but then all the set up of the beginning really kept me hooked. You know pretty well what the ending is going to be, still the adventures until you get there are what make this story so wonderful. Beth and Jennifer are such great friends and you can tell that even though you only read their emails. They truly care for one another. There certainly wasn't much about themselves that they didn't tell one another either. And Lincoln. Poor Lincoln. So lost and confused; trying to figure out his life and really, himself. A big portion of the story is Lincoln figuring out who he is and what he wants out of life. I can relate to being older and still unsure where your life is headed. It's tough, and Lincoln has the added burden of having been hurt in the past and finding it hard to move beyond this.
I loved all the times Lincoln kept missing actually seeing Beth. Beth sees him way before he sees her and their constant missed connections are cute. Lincoln is cute! (Literally and figuratively.) He gets so adorably flustered and jealous. And he is just a genuinely nice and sweet guy. He starts feeling so so guilty about reading people's emails, especially Beth's and Jennifer's. And he has no clue how to fix this dilemma that he got himself in. I was getting pretty worried towards the end that the resolution would be rushed and perhaps not as I was hoping, but Ms. Rowell knew what she was doing. It was a sweetly romantic book that was wonderful to read. The one thing I did not like is that it does have some bad language. Not excessively so, and the most of it is towards the beginning so it didn't really detract from the story, but I do think it would have been just fine without it. Also it is about 28 year olds, and they don't all lead clean, moral lives (nothing in detail, but it is alluded to). So if that bothers you, you may want to bypass this one. But if you can overlook that, then you're in for a real treat! I highly recommend this one.
A couple of favorite passages:
<Jennifer to Beth>> Oh, I love period dramas, especially period dramas starring Colin Firth. I'm like Bridget Jones if she were actually fat.
<<Beth to Jennifer>> Oh...Colin Firth. He should only do period dramas. And period dramas should only star Colin Firth. (One star upgrade for Colin Firth. Two stars for Colin Firth in a waistcoat.)
<<Jennifer to Beth>> Keep typing his name, even his name is handsome.
<<Jennifer to Beth>> Anyway, he changed my tire for me. It took him eight minutes, tops. I just stood there holding his dinner (McDonald's) and watched. And cried. I must have looked wildly pathetic because he said, "I have some French fries in there if you want them." I thought that was such a weird thing to offer, but frankly, I'm exactly the sort of person to be comforted by French fries, so I ate them.
Toodle-loo kangaroos! Happy reading!