Thursday, October 17, 2013

REVIEW--Eleanor & Park

Hi, friends!  I'm in West Virginia right now, en route to North Carolina to visit some family.  But even on the road I'm ready to blog!

Today's review is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (yep, her name is Rainbow!).  I'd heard a lot of buzz about this book for awhile and was excited when my book club picked it up for September.  So here's what I have to think!

  • Standalone novel
  • Realistic/Romance
The Gist:
It's 1986.  Park, a half-Korean, and Eleanor, a heavy red-head, meet on a school bus (Park lets her sit next to him when NO ONE else will).  This initial meeting starts a friendship over comic books and music; this turns into a relationship full of awkward moments but real feelings.  There are bumps in their way--her abusive step-father and his judgmental friends--but Park is determined to make it work.

What I Loved:

  • This is so real high school.  I see this happen all the time--students falling for each other that aren't necessarily the "hot" or popular kids but the awkward teens with baggage.  This is real.
  • I could relate to Eleanor.  She would let her circumstances affect her relationship with Park, and there are times where something that has upset me causes me to act angry toward Luke.  Poor guys--they're always getting the heat of our anger, even when they didn't cause it!
  • The scene where Park's mom apologizes about how she first judged Eleanor--a really powerful scene!
  • Park struggling with learning stick shift.  I totally understand, Park.  Again, another awkward teen moment.
  • Park TRULY cares about the bullying Eleanor faces.  The way he treats her--giving her a necklace, opening her door, inviting her to dinner--so authentic and sweet.  
  • I like the simplicity of the cover.  I know some people have criticized Park not looking goth enough (he goes through a goth stage), but I like it. 

What I Didn't Love:
  • There's a lot of cussing.  I know, I know, teens cuss...but I don't.
  • Eleanor's mother.  C'mon, stand up for your daughter!  Nope, she always chose Richie.
  • The ending left me wanting more resolution.

My favorite quote:  "Seriously, Park, I'm never going to forget your phone number."

A really good read!  Authentic, sympathetic, romantic, heartbreaking.

I'll be back tomorrow with an 80s-inspired outfit!  See you then!

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