I love Rainbow Rowell and always wanted to read this, but I kept skipping over it because it deals with abuse and I thought it might hit a bit too close to home. I finally picked it up a couple of weeks ago though and liked it, although it certainly wasn’t perfect.
The story is about Eleanor and Park, a couple of teenagers who meet for the first time on the school bus. Eleanor has just started at Park’s school and sits on the only available seat, beside Park. Eleanor not only has a horrid home life, but she also has to put up with ridicule from the other students on the bus. I felt awful for poor Eleanor, having to put up with crap from all sides. She and Park don’t talk to each other at first, so she has no distraction at all. She also wear’s clothes that attract attention to herself (her parents provide her with no other alternative, plus it’s her style) and this just makes matters worse. I was so happy when her and Park started interacting because I knew (from experience) how much this would mean to her. At first they don’t really talk though, rather Park notices that Eleanor is reading his comic books along with him. This gives him the idea to lend her some of his comics and their relationship develops from there.
Eleanor begins going to Park’s house every day after school, back dropped by the ever-present threat of her step father finding out about their relationship. Eleanor knows that if he finds out about the two of them there’ll be hell to pay.
I liked a lot about this novel, like how well the developing relationship between Eleanor and Park was portrayed. Their relationship was treated delicately, almost a bit too delicately at times. It seemed as if they were younger than they were due to the seriousness the topic of kissing was given. Considering kissing was approached with such solemnity, I was surprised how quickly things turned more sexual, with both quite eager for more.
Things take a bad turn for the young couple, and Eleanor makes a decision I couldn’t fathom.
She just stopped speaking to Park like that!? And Park was happy with that postcard!?
Anyway, this left me feeling empty at the end.
I would definitely recommend it though and will be reading anything and everything else from the author.
This is the second book I've read recently that made me wish I was a teenager again (the first being John Green's Will Grayson, Will Grayson). It sounds crazy, I know. Who would ever want to go back to those tumultuous teenage years? But there is something appealing about them. Something about being that young and living your life with all senses on maximum. When everything you feel you feel with your whole being. Where everything that happens is the end of the world. Adulthood, by comparison, seems dull.
Anyway, yes, super cute book. Eleanor and Park are a bit sassy, clever, adorable, and of course a bit awkward as they journey further and further into their relationship with each other. As I read, all I wanted was for everything to work out for them. Life is never that easy though. The two characters come from completely different worlds, but somehow they carve out their own space somewhere outside of those two places.
I think, first and foremost, this book is a love story. An unconventional one, but I like it even more for that reason. But it also sheds light, and breaks down barriers, on a lot of other things, silly things, that keep people from each other. Things like race and socioeconomic standing, and things as stupid as appearance, how someone dresses. For a brief moment, Eleanor and Park are just as hung up on these things as everyone else around them, but the magic of music and reading (how magical they are) brings these two people together.
What a beautiful world it would be if we valued those things we had in common with one another above those things that were different.
I came across this tag on My Little Book Blog
I have linked each book I mentioned to their GoodReads page so you can check them out yourself!
1.) What was the last book you read?
2.) Was it a good one?
It wasn't for me
3.) What made it good?
Well, I liked the idea of the underground compound setting in the aftermath of a nuclear war.
4.) Would you recommend it to other people?
It's not my go to recommendation
5.) How often do you read?
6.) Do you like to read?
I LOVE reading
7.) What was the last bad book you read?
The last absolutely horrible book I read was Storm by Donna Jo Napoli
8.) What made you dislike it?
I had really high hopes for it. Its a Noah's Ark retelling and I just could not get into the writing or any of the characters.
9.) Do you wish to be a writer?
Its something I have thought about, but then I think I have too many books to read to write my own. But sometimes i'll get a creative moment.
10.) Has any book ever influenced you greatly?
Many, but only one comes to mind. By the Time You Read This I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters Its about a girl who wants to commit suicide because of the way she is bullied. I read this when I was in high school and I think that's why it had an impact on me.
11.) Do you read fan fiction?
12.) Do you write fan fiction?
13.) What's your favorite book?
It changes. So far this year it's Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson The first in a trilogy. It made me want to travel. And its historical fiction!
14.) What's your least favorite book?
I know I have some but nothing comes to mind
15.) Do you prefer physical books or to read on a device (like kindle)?
Definitely physical books
16.) When did you learn to read?
Whatever age you normally learn to read at.
17.) What was your favorite book you had to read in school?
18.) What is your favorite book series?
Always and forever, The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
19.) Who is your favorite author?
I cant pick
20.) What is your favorite genre?
I would have to say YA (and the branches that spring from that) and historical fiction.
21.) Who is your favorite character in a book series?
At the moment, Lee Westfall from Walk on Earth a Stranger
22.) Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?
23.) Wish book do you wish had a sequel?
I Think im going with Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
24.) Which book do you wish didnt have a sequel?
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
25.) How long does it take you to read a book?
Anywhere from two days to literally forever
26.) Do you like when books become movies?
yes, if I actually read it
27.) Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?
I dont think any that I have seen
28.) Which movie has done a book justice?
29.) Do you read newspaper
I think I have only read one newspaper. I bought it from a flea market and its from 1942
30.) Do you read magazines?
I like them, but not usually
31.) Do you prefer newspaper or magazines?
32.) Do you read while in bed?
Thats where most of my reading is done
33.) Do you read while on the toilet?
Im not going to say I never have.
34.) Do you read while in the car?
Yes but not often
35.) Do you read while in the bath
Id love to, but I dont have that kind of set up
36.) Are you a fast reader?
37.) Are you a slow reader?
38.) What is your favorite place to read?
Anywhere that it is sunny, warm, and has natural lighting.
39.) Is it hard for you to concentrate while you read?
40.) Do you need a room to be silent while you read?
Id prefer it, but not necessary.
41.) Who gave you your love for reading?
Im not sure, I think my grandmother.
42.) What book is next on your list to read?
Sounds funny but, I bought it while in a Disney World gift shop. Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson
43.) When did you start to read chapter books?
Whatever age you normally do
44.) Who is your favorite children's book author?
Barbra Park for sure
45.) Which author would you most want to interview?
Laura Ingalls Wilder
46.) Which author do you think you'd be friends with?
47.) What books have you reread the most?
I don't reread
48.) Which books do you consider "classics"?
I tend to refer to my childhood favorites as classics
49.) Which books do you think should be taught in every school?
Nothing in particular, but ones that make you reflect on your life or the world.
50.) Which books should be banned from all schools?
Nothing I can think of
And that's it! If you read through all of my answers I tag and thank you!
My first Rainbow Rowell book. This one has been sitting on my shelf for a long time now. While I did enjoy this one, I'm not sure what all of the hype is about. It's definitely cute, quirky, awkward and heart breaking, I just don't think it's the best book ever.
Eleanor and Park is set in Nebraska, We follow to high school kids, Eleanor and Park. Eleanor is the new girl who comes from a broken home. Park is just trying to fit in and not make waves. When Eleanor appears on his school bus with nowhere else to sit, he makes the decision to let her sit with him. Eleanor is different from the other kids. She wears different clothing, no make up, and has big curly red hair. The other kids tease her relentlessly Park feels like a misfit because he is Asian. He has a better home life than Eleanor, but his relationship with his father is rocky. Park doesn't feel accepted by him. Over time, Eleanor and Park begin a sort of friendship through music and comics. She slowly starts to confide in him about her home life. Eventually they fall in love.
THE ENDING HURT MY HEART
I did have a few problems with this one. Until the last fifty pages of the book, I wasn't even sure they were truly in love with each other. They seemed to just be attached to one another because they were the only friends they had. They both found someone who didn't fit in. The other problem I had was the ending. If Rainbow Rowell was trying to break my heart then I understand while she did it. But for Eleanor and Park's sake it didn't need to end that way!
The book did make me smile and want to cry at parts. It was definitely the most awkward and quirky thing I have ever read.