Sunday, April 21, 2013
12:00 AM | Posted by Ashley G. |
Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rating: 5 cows
"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 sixteen."
"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, ELEANOR AND PARK 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.
John Green first brought Eleanor & Park to my attention. He raved about it and I knew I had to read it. So I bought it on the day it was released and actually let it sit on my bookshelf for weeks! But after so many more praises from people I trusted, I decided I had put it off long enough.
After being kicked out of her house by her stepdad, Eleanor is forced to move in with the neighbors. To make matters worse, her family moves away without her knowledge and for a whole year, she doesn't hear from them. Then one day at school, her mother arrives to take her home. When she arrives, she notices her siblings and mother seem to be under her stepdad Richie's control and one thing is for sure- she isn't welcomed. On her first day of school on the bus, nobody wants her to sit with them. She's on the bigger side and her red curly uncontrolled hair is even bigger and to top it off, she dresses bizarrely. Parks saves her and allows her to sit with him. But this isn't your typical hero saves heroine romantic moment. It's anything but romantic.
"Sit down. Jesus-fuck just sit down."
For days they don't speak to each other. Finally, they embark on a friendship through comic books and music and slowly love blossoms.
Eleanor may be cold and mean but she has a reason for acting the way she is. She knows what rejection and isolation feels like and as a defense mechanism; she becomes sarcastic and doesn't let anyone in. She's bullied and tormented every day at school and lives in constant fear at home because of her stepdad. Her life is devastating and breaks your heart.
Park's the awkward but somewhat popular Asian kid. He comes from a functional and loving household. His parents' marriage is significant to him. After 19 years of being married, they are still madly in love, and I believe this influences Park. He believes in love and happily-ever-after’s, which is why he's so sweet, thoughtful, and patient with Eleanor. After noticing Eleanor reading his comic books, he would open the comics wider and turn the pages slower. He lent her his comics and waited to read all the new ones with her. He gave her batteries so she can listen to her Walkman at home and he made mixed tapes of all the songs he thought she would like. And man was he corny, but in a good way that had me sighing and smiling.
"Are you trying to give me a nickname?"
"No, I love your name. I don't want to cheat myself out of a single syllable."
Everything about their relationship is intense: the handholding, their conversations, and their love. They're the underdogs you can't help but root for.
As much as I loved Park, I would have to say my favorite part was the ending; it could not have been more perfect. It was real. Eleanor and Park's love story was sweet, tender, and memorable- everything a first love should be. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. I devoured it and loved everything about it: from the music all the way to the time era. If you’re looking for a love story, I recommend Eleanor & Park without hesitation, a must-read in my opinion.
Buy the book:
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