My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's a unique premise, delivered in a unique way: Lincoln spends all day every day reading other people's emails. It's his job. He polices email exchanges at a newspaper office for "unsuitable content," and while perusing "dangerous" emails, he becomes wrapped up in the escapades two coworkers and friends, Beth and Jennifer--but only as they tell it through email.
The book is narrated partially in third person from Lincoln's perspective, and partially as "dialogue," in Beth and Jennifer's email exchanges. The email exchanges are similar to dialogue in a play script, only all of the nuances and intonations must be expressed within the written word, since these two girls are allegedly only interacting via their computers.
The story starts out slowly but builds momentum about a quarter of the way through. Soon the reader is as invested in Beth and Jennifer as Lincoln is, and Lincoln himself develops into a rather sympathetic character.
My harshest criticism of this book is the way that Rowell alternates between showing whether Beth and Jennifer is writing the email. It is very disruptive to try to discern who is writing all the time, and eventually I just ignored the gibberish meant to indicate who was who and just read until I could figure it out from the story arc. In the future, books trying to use this model should make it extremely clear, the way a play script does.
In summary, it's a quick, fun, pre-teen sort of book, and definitely a worthwhile read.