Not a Review: Attachments, Rainbow Rowell

Y’all, look, I like to suspend disbelief as much as the next girl and probably more than some. I’m willing to roll with an awful lot of fictional punches, and the reason for this is that I know that if you don’t accept the premise of a book, you are refusing to engage with it on the most basic level. There is then no point in reading it, and if you insist on reading it (maybe because, as in this case, you hope that the book will somehow make its nonsense premise work), there is subsequently no point talking about it. That makes you the person who reads Harry Potter and is like, “Um, magic wands? Are stupid.”

So here is why, in spite of its charming qualities, I am not reviewing Attachments: If I worked at a company that monitored my email, and if in spite of that fact I persisted in sending very very personal emails to my coworker/best friend all the time because I guess I didn’t want to send those emails on AOL or whatever people were using in 1999, and if then the person that monitored company email turned out to be reading my emails all along and developing a crush on me on that basis, the only single response that I could possibly have to that would be, “Ew, never contact me.” That is an irredeemably creepy thing to do, and having the guy feel guilty and worry that it might be creepy does not make it uncreepy, and having the girl whose email is being read develop an in-person crush on the guy who’s reading her email to the point that she follows him home one time also does not make it uncreepy.

Because nothing in the world could make that uncreepy. Because it is really creepy.

However, the people have been saying that Rainbow Rowell’s new book, Eleanor and Park, is delightful in all the ways that a book can be delightful, and I am posting this post to let you know that apart from the irredeemable creepiness of Attachments’ premise, which kept me from engaging with it in any meaningful way because of what I will from now on call premise denial, I could definitely see the potential for delightfulness and emotional truth in Rainbow Rowell’s writings. So I will still read Eleanor and Park when it comes out here, and maybe you should too.

[Programming note: When I say “all the people” have been saying that Eleanor and Park is good, I mean Linda Holmes from Monkeysee and Alice from Reading Rambo. But whatever, those are two high-quality people whose opinions have weight with me.]

Your takeaway from this non-review post: I made up the term “premise denial,” and you should all use it.