I read this because I absolutely loved ‘Eleanor and Park‘ by the same author. Unfortunately this book was nowhere near as compelling. It took me ages to read. It’s pleasant enough with a sweet storyline and nice characters but it’s really slow with a real lack of narrative drive.
Lincoln is a shy, clever man who lives with his mum and who has a job reading staff emails which have been flagged by a newspapers email filter. Jennifer and Beth are two employees whose personal emails are regularly flagged and Lincoln finds himself compelled to read their conversations and become personally invested in their lives.
From the beginning it’s obvious where the story is going and which of the two romantic leads should and will end up together; so **spolier alert** it’s quite frustrating that they don’t actually meet until about 10 pages before the end of the book. This makes the development of their relationship seem rushed and incredibly unrealistic. Also, it doesn’t leave room to satisfactorily tie up some loose ends, for example **spolier alert** I really wanted to meet Jennifer and Mitch’s baby.
Setting the book in 1999 is an interesting choice. It’s funny to think about how much technology has moved on in the past 15 years and how worried people were about the millennium bug. However, these touches only add a little humour/novelty to the book which does not make up for the lack of pace or the absence of quality moments in the romance.