As someone who enjoyed "Eleanor & Park" as well as "Landline" I was disappointed with this one. The female lead (Beth) who we only get to know through emails comes across quite well. I just didn't care for the male lead (Lincoln) at all. I initially thought well this is an interesting premise, but things moved to the creepy for me way too quick and I just ended up disliking Lincoln. Anyone that gets completely wrapped up in another human being as a teen can be excused, but the way he didn't want to let go of his last relationship, and then just stumbled around taking courses for years, and truly not seeing how dysfunctional his mother and his relationship was didn't help at all. With his insta-love of Beth it just made me uncomfortable.
"Attachments" has a pretty interesting premise. A IT guy at the local paper is responsible for reading red flagged emails and to let the sender and recipient not to do it again. However, Lincoln finds himself looking forward to the emails that Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder send back and forth to each other during the day. It made me smile a bit since I have a best friend at work and that is all we do. Though know with Business Skype it's just IMs. Lincoln finds himself growing more and more obsessed by the emails that Beth sends and wishing that he had the guts to introduce himself and ask her out. Only problem is that Beth is in a relationship and has no idea he even exists.
Rowell changed things up a bit that we do focus more on the male romantic partner in this one. We get to read emails from Beth to Jennifer, but we don't really get any insights into her like we do Lincoln. We get to follow Lincoln as he tries to pull himself out of a depression while also starting to interact with his coworkers and older friends more. His older sister is telling him he needs to move out of their mother's house, and his totally befuddery about why he needs to do that didn't endear the character to me at all. His mother is a mess and we can read between the lines that she underminded his last relationship.
I think the biggest problem I had was that I wish that Lincoln was doing things for him and not for Beth. He changes his hair up, starts working out, etc. in order to be better for her. Heck, I don't even know if he gets how he acted about his last girlfriend was okay at first to extremely not normal. He obsesses about her until Beth, and then once he starts reading Beth's emails he starts thinking about her. His D&D friends are very adorable and I liked seeing him stretch himself to go out and meet other people.
Beth at times though I wanted to shake too. She is obsessed about getting married to her long term boyfriend and slightly jerky about her younger sister getting married before her. Though that changes through the emails when you see that Beth is doing what a lot of women do, hope that if you ignore the elephant in the room, your romantic partner will eventually propose. The character is funny though and very supportive of Jennifer. And Jennifer has her own problems that I won't get into in this book too. I would say that if the book had just been them and their emails I would have loved it a lot more.
The setting of this book is 1999/2000 in Nebraska. We have some Y2K talk which was hilarious in hindsight since nothing ever came of that whole the world is going to end when the computer clocks set back.
If Rowell had changed the ending with Lincoln growing without the whole Beth is the perfect woman for him then this would have been five stars.