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review 2018-06-29 16:54
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I hated this book. I usually really enjoy YA books. I'm not a huge fan of romance stuff, but I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda so it's not like I'm completely heartless.

I'm not entirely sure what it was exactly that made me hate this book so much. Part of it is probably that growing up, I was the Eleanor who latched onto the first guy who was nice to her to escape my home life and called it love. I was the Eleanor who started insignificant fights with my boyfriend because I didn't really know what a healthy relationship looked like and was overly insecure, anxious, and jealous. It was all a coping mechanism. It wasn't healthy, it wasn't romantic, and it led to a series of unhealthy relationships. In the book, all of these unhealthy things add up to a deep romantic relationship between two children who don't know the first thing about being in an actual relationship. In real life, it adds up to pain, hurt, and a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms you spend years unlearning. 

In this novel, Eleanor is looking for an escape. She finds it in Park. Park is looking for someone to rescue so he can feel important. He finds it in Eleanor. I hate that the novel presents these kids dealing with huge issues (bullying, abuse, poverty) and seems to think that they can just love each other and make everything better. That's not how real life works. 

As with many YA novels, rarely do the characters actually go to an adult about their problems. Eleanor can't even bring herself to ask an adult for a toothbrush. She just accepts it. I hate literature that presents this as normal or something kids should just deal with. They should go to adults with these issues. It puts way too much pressure on kids and teens to think that they have to deal with all of these problems alone. Go to an adult and seek help. No one should have to live that way. Looking back, I wish I had talked to an adult about my problems. And don't think some boy is going to save you. This is the same fairy tale BS we grew up on. Save yourself, don't wait around for some dumb prince.

The narration was okay, but I hated the characters. The only people I liked were side characters who hardly played any role in the actual story. Why couldn't she develop her friendship with DeNice and Beebi instead of putting all her BS onto Park? Don't just throw yourself in a relationship, girl, friendship is important too. This basically just teaches girls to put all of their energy into romantic relationships (growing up, that's what I did and it really hurt my female friendships, not a good idea). Having female friends to confide in is an important way to deal with stress. 

I get the historical context of the novel, but the unaddressed racism seemed irresponsible in the text. 

The whole book surrounds this ridiculous "romance" and there is nothing else. So if you don't like the "romance", you're going to be bored out of your mind.

I really did not enjoy this book. It put my in a horrible mood every time I listened to it. It's not even one of those books I'm glad I read to see what all the hype was about. It was something I just wanted to forget as soon as I was done reading it.

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review 2018-04-28 00:42
The Last Blog Post
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

I have recently finished Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the book as much as I would have hoped.  Contrary to this statement, a few passages did stand out to me.  One of such passages is a line on page 299 depicting Park's emotional state: "Park stayed awake for another hour or so, fueled by Coke and hurt feelings."  This sentence really helped me picture the loss Park was experiencing.  Without giving away too many details, I will say that many of my predictions were correct for this book, and that the quote is from a part of the novel where my predictions were proven correct.  


An interesting situation I have found myself in is that while blogging on this site, I have been able to find many books that I would love to read.  While scrolling through my dashboard, I have come across multiple book reviews for interesting books.  Although I did not expect to find many books on this site, I accept the experience wholeheartedly, and recommend it to anyone in search of a good book.

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text 2018-04-20 20:29
Connections between the author and her work
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

Throughout my research of Rainbow Rowell and reading of Eleanor and Park I have found some similarities between the author and her characters.  Most of the similarities I found are small pieces of each person's character or a common interest.  An example of the former is that both Rainbow and Eleanor have powerful emotions that are almost uncontrollable.  Another similarity between Eleanor and Rainbow is their minor obsession of the Beatles.  Although primarily alike to Eleanor, Rainbow Rowell shares a love of Star Wars with Park.  Small parallels between Rainbow Rowell and her characters help connect the plot to reality.

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text 2018-04-09 13:22
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

I am preparing to read the book Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  This book has been highly recommended by my friends after seeing that I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.  Generally, I read realistic fiction or historical fiction rather than romance books, but my friends were so in love with this book, I thought it would be acceptable to make an exception.  I am hoping I enjoy this book as much as everyone else, and I can't wait to start!

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review 2018-03-31 02:00
Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell,Sunil Malhotra,Rebecca Lowman



Here is one of the blurbs on the back of the hardcover edition:


"Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution maintains the novel's delicate balance of light and dark."  --Publisher's Weekly (starred review)


As I was getting close to the end (switching from audio to hardcover for the last little bit [Chapters 51-58]), I was getting ever more anxious that there simply weren't enough pages to achieve a "solution" as alluded to in the blurb.  Ultimately, I kind of see what the PW reviewer meant, but I was left wishing for more.


Backing up from my reaction to the end--Park and Eleanor's relationship is endearing.  Misfit love in 1986 in Omaha, Nebraska.  In high school.  Park had a mother who is Korean and a father who looks like Tom Selleck.  Eleanor has a doormat mother, four younger siblings and, a horrible, vicious stepfather, Richie.


Some readers might not be into the musical name-dropping (I've seen reviewers who complain about this kind of thing in books like The Time-Traveler's Wife.)  I enjoyed the musical references (I'm three years older than these characters who were 16 in 1986).  I even paused the audiobook to listen to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division).


Eleanor's home situation is so awful, I could only hate her mother for allowing it to happen. The five kids, including an actual baby ("Little" Richie) cower in one bedroom to stay out of Richie's drunken, raging way, and Mom just walks around on eggshells and tries to get the kids to not set off her horrid husband.  The whole thing almost made me want to downgrade my rating, but bad home situations happen in real life, too.  


So, this book has been on my want-to-read list for a long time.  I'm glad I finally listened to/read it.  After having signed up for at least three Giveaways for it on Goodreads....

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