Book Review: Eleanor & Park

May 7, 2016

Hello Hello Hello!

Okay, I have a bone to pick with this book! This book is so good and very well written but the ending…arg! I mean the frustration is so real! I had to even tweet the author about it! I was so into it and then BAM! Right in the face! I need to know what happens next! The ending aside, this book was one of the most real books I have ever read. A lot of YA books that I’ve read when it comes to young romance have been very tongue and cheek and just plain ole sappy, but not “Eleanor & Park”! The author, Rainbow Rowell has this way of intertwining teenage “lingo” and poetic language that just works. I say that a lot…works, but sometimes that’s the only word that really describes it!

Now, at the beginning of the novel, there was a lot of swearing. I am not one to really care about that as I am someone who herself uses very colorful language in her life, but when I read books I usually don’t like it. I have noticed that when an author tends to use a lot of swear words, it looks like they are trying to force the “teenage aspect” on the readers. Yet, as I continued reading, I didn’t mind it as it started to make sense and I realized that the swearing seemed to demonstrate growth for the characters Eleanor and Park. Also, and whether Rowell did this on purpose, I felt as if the swear words displayed the level of intelligence as the character Steve swore more than Park and how Richie swore almost every time he spoke.
This book was actually quite difficult for me to read. Domestic abuse is something that always shakes me to my core. How could someone manage to live with someone who not only physically abuses them, but mentally as well. I think the worst of it is that Eleanor felt as if she had to leave behind her siblings because she felt as if she couldn’t help them. Usually when I read a book that has an evil character like Richie I can’t help but get angry, I got furious. I do recognize this as fiction, but in reality this type of abuse happens more often than you might think.
Eleanor and Park’s relationship is very unique as it is not the typical high school romance. At least nothing I have ever witnessed or experienced myself. It wasn’t just physical attractiveness, in fact Park actually thinks she looks quite weird at first, but he falls in love with her quirkiness and I love that! There is also the parts where Eleanor is brutally honest about her feeling about Park and again that is what makes this book so real. There is one part especially where she says, “I know, I want to eat his face.” (Eleanor & Park, Pg. 206). For some reason I really like that quote, it shows just how infatuated she is with Park and doesn’t care that people think she’s weird for it.
I sometimes wish I could go back to high school where everything seemed simpler and all I had to worry was if I was going to be asked to prom ( I wasn’t) or what to wear for picture day, that seems like heaven now. Relationships to me are never about just physical attraction. For me I need to connect with someone on an intelligence and emotional level and let it manifest to physical. I think this book really showcases that.
I now know why so many of my friends recommended this book to me. It was actually a gift from one of my high school friends for Christmas last year and I have failed to read it until now. If you have a few days to read this, I suggest you do. It really is a masterpiece and even though the ending irks me, I am proud to say this may make it to my favorite novel list. It’s up there with “Thirteen Reasons Why”, but not quite at “Perks of being a Wallflower”! Anyways, happy reading!

Author: My Thoughts are a Blog

21. Blogger, Star Wars, Marvel, and Book Enthusiast, Over-thinker, Aspiring Author who hates everything she writes, and mother to Gracie & Ghost.

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