I know this is a bookworm faux pas, but I've never read a book by Rainbow Rowell before. I actually wanted to read her others more than this one, but when I was on Audible trying to determine how to spend my credits, I was tempted by how much I love the cover of her newest novel, Landline.
From what I understand, Rowell's previous novels were in the Young Adult genre. This one definitely felt adult to me. I wouldn't call it Adult Fiction/Literary Fiction, but maybe Chick-Lit? Probably most definitely Chick-Lit. The main character, I already forgot her name, is a writer for a popular sitcom. However, her dream has always been to be a writer for her own sitcom, which is a dream that she and her best friend Phil share. They finally have the opportunity during the Christmas season to have their show picked up, but they'll need to submit the scripts for four episodes over the course of, like, a week or so. This is great!! Butttt, she's supposed to be leaving for Omaha with her husband and two young daughters to spend Christmas with his mother.
For some reason, the MC is shocked when her husband doesn't want to cancel the family's Christmas plans and stay in LA so she can write for her show. Instead, like a sane person who has probably just spent tons of money on plane tickets and is excited to see his mother, he takes the daughters and they proceed with the travel plans, leaving her behind to work. However, he's kinda a jerk and for some reason once he's in Omaha (actually once he's at the airport in LA) he never texts or calls her, like over the span of 10 days never once contacts his wife.
Meanwhile in LA, the MC can't even get her iPhone to work and she's in a horrible depression thinking she's made the wrong decision by following her dreams and not going to Christmas in Omaha with her family. So, she ends up living at her mom's house (which is closer to her job anyways) during the time her family is away. Lucky thing is, her mom has an old landline phone that she can use to call her husband. Odd thing is, whenever she calls her husband's mom's landline phone (remember he's not actually answering his cell phone for her) the Neal that picks up isn't the same Neal that left LA, it's college-aged Neal. The Neal she first met in the 90s.
So, this is a weird sort of time travel / Magical Realism type book. But, no one really time travels, she just calls the past somehow (which is never explained) with her magic landline phone. I liked the book, but I think if it wasn't an audiobook I probably would have been pretty bored by the story. It wasn't really exciting and I wasn't a big fan of any of the characters except her best friend and sister. I really couldn't bring myself to care about the MC's relationship. She and her husband (Neal) just didn't really seem right for each other or like they even liked each other that much. I really didn't understand why the MC was pining over this guy the whole time, he was a jerk, he had no personality, and other than when they were in college when he drove 27 hours to surprise her with an engagement, I don't recall anything romantic ever happening.
All in all, I give Landline 3 out of 5 stars. I do plan to read Rainbow Rowell's previous novels, which will hopefully have more likable characters and better storylines.