Monday, March 3, 2014

Book review ~ Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

About the book: In this novel set in the 1980s, teenagers Eleanor and Park are outsiders; Eleanor, because she's new to the neighborhood, and Park, because he's half Asian. Although initially wary of each other, they quickly bond over their love of comics and 1980s alternative music. Eleanor's home life is difficult; her stepfather physically abuses her mother and emotionally abuses Eleanor and her siblings. At school, she is the victim of bullying, which escalates into defacement of her textbooks, her clothes, and crude displays on her locker. Although Park's mother, a Korean immigrant, is initially resistant to the strange girl due to her odd fashion choices, his father invites Eleanor to seek temporary refuge with them from her unstable home life. When Eleanor's stepfather's behavior grows even more menacing, Park assists in her escape, even though it means that they might not see each other again. The friendship between the teens is movingly believable, but the love relationship seems a bit rushed and underdeveloped. The revelation about the person behind the defacement of Eleanor's textbooks is stunning. Although the narrative points of view alternate between Eleanor and Park, the transitions are smooth. Crude language is realistic. Purchase for readers who are drawn to quirky love stories or 1980s pop culture.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.

About the author: Rainbow Rowell's adult debut, Attachments, was published in 2011. Her other books include Landline, Eleanor and Park, and Fangirl. (Bowker Author Biography)

My thoughts: I absolutely loved this book!  The love story made me remember what it was like to be young and in love for that first time. The characters were the types of kids you wish you knew when you were in high school, or if you are in high school, you wish you'd meet someone like Eleanor or Park.  After reading this (my first book by Rainbow Rowell) I couldn't wait to get my hands on more of her books. I love how this quiet pair meet for the first time while riding on a bus and how they learn to love each other event thogh they come from such different backgrounds. Their pure and steadily maturing relationship is urgent, moving, and, of course, heartbreaking, too.
How I felt when the book ended!