Book Reviews

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

EleanorandPark

Synopsis:

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

My Review:

To everyone but Park, Eleanor is an outcast.   “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” And for Eleanor, Park  “made her feel like more than the sum of her parts.” I listened to Eleanor & Park on audio book  and was taken aback by the cussing and racial slurs that took place within the first few pages but I’m glad that I stuck with it because it turned out to be a heartbreakingly beautiful love story. Eleanor lives in poverty with her battered mother, abusive step-father, and four younger siblings. Park lives with his successful, loving parents and younger brother. They were by all accounts, complete opposites but as they share a seat on the bus each day, they realize their  love of music, comic books, and eventually, each other. I hope that Rainbow Rowell writes a sequel because I’d love to know what happens in Eleanor and Park’s future.

 

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