Adult Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Reading Level: Adult
Pages: 320 (ARC)
Source: BEA 2014
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides 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 to 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?
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

What's striking me about the feedback for this book is that a lot of young adults are saying that Rainbow Rowell should stick to writing YA and NA books. As a nineteen year old myself, I have to humbly disagree. LANDLINE is an adult book because it's meant for adult audiences. I will admit that I didn't connect with it as much as I have some of her other works because I am so young, but that does not diminish the amazingness of the book, it just made me unable to relate to certain aspects of this story. But this story is timeless and it does span many years, making it good for any reader. However, fans of her young adult books have to know that this is an adult book because it relates to marriage, not because of sex or anything of the sort. If you're not married or about to be married soon, aspects of it can't impact you as significantly as it will others.

This is the awesome story of Georgie and Neal. Georgie is a television comedy writer who just may have found her big break. Unfortunately, this means missing Christmas. She sends Neal and her two daughters to Omaha without her while she attempts to make deadline with her long-time (and super attractive) writing partner, Seth. While they are gone, Georgie misses them terribly and does everything in her power not to allow her marriage to fall apart. However, using the landline that connected Neal and her throughout her college days is changing everything. When she calls him, she speaks to Neal of the past. You heard me, if the synopsis does not sound at all interesting to you, read this book just for the magic phone.

I found myself connecting to the passages about their relationship back in college more than anything else. These memory sequences were super awesome. Modern day Georgie and Neal are still in love, but they're tired versions of themselves. Georgie is a little overemotional and Neal is not expressive enough, but they love each other to the point of the grandest of grand gestures. Really, they're story is very adorable and heartbreaking all at once--making the ending that much sweeter. And it made it all the more powerful to see the humble beginnings of their relationships and see where they are seventeen years later. We literally followed them through everything via memories and magic phone calls.

As someone who is not married and does not plan on getting married in the near future, I couldn't grasp certain themes of the book. I am simply unable to relate, and I think that's why I found myself putting the book down a few times. But I loved the story that was being told and I think that married couples will commend Rowell for taking this bold step.

This is definitely a book for romance lovers. If you're married, you must read this. If you're not married, just know that some things will not be easy to connect to. Full of laughs, adorableness, and moments that will literally break your heart, this book is definitely not short on the feels. Another awesome novel by Rowell, for sure! I can't wait to see what she produces for us next!

4 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.


  1. this book looks awesome! I cannot wait to get read it. It looks like something I am sure to enjoy. I am not married yet, but one by one all of my friends are getting married and engaged so I guess I am approaching that age. (that's a scary thought. lol)

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. Lol it's a doubly scary thought to think that some people get married at MY age! Thank you for commenting!

  2. I am happily married (just celebrated 4th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago!), but I am not too much of a romance reader. However, I took a chance and read Eleanor & Park a while back and I really enjoyed it. So, maybe I will take a shot with this one too. If nothing else, I really enjoy her writing style and her Eleanor and Park were fantasticly characterized!! Thanks so much for the review!

    1. You will definitely enjoy this one if you liked Eleanor and Park! I can't wait to hear what you think, Jaime!

  3. this sounds fantastic! Thanks for the great review. Definitely going to be adding to my wishlist :)

  4. Sadly, I have to admit I have not read a Rainbow Rowell book, and I also haven't read any adult books in a long time, so perhaps this would be a good place for me to start! Now don't get me wrong, I do absolutely love YA more than anything else, but since I'm 28 I feel like it might be easier to connect with Landline than it has been for the younger audience. Either way, it sounds like a great book and I'm excited to read it.