Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell (2013)
I haven’t been this impressed with a book in a long time.
I didn’t want to like it, it’s my nemeses’ favourite book, so I really didn’t want to like it.
But I couldn’t help it.
Other than being fifteen years old, Eleanor and Park have nothing in common.
Eleanor has a head full of red hair, is new at school, and is a prim target for bullies and the like.
Park is a half-Korean half-Irish boy who loves punk rock and comic books. Necessity brings them together, and slowly through sharing music and comics a tentative relationship flourishes.
As a pleasant change it is the girl who has a complete nightmare of a home life and a boy whose family is amazing, not without their own problems, but hurray for that.
I’ve been reading other reviews, a thing I usually avoid before writing my own, but I’m glad I did, because there are a couple of things I’d like to address.
Two of the negative reviews that I found didn’t finish the book because they found that there was minimal plot in the middle, one commented that they weren’t sure how the characters went from loathing to love, so they stopped reading.
I think one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much was the truth in the subtly.
These are two painfully shy fifteen year old social misfits, they both have baggage, they both have triumphs, but mostly they are two fifteen year old doing what teenagers do best: being wrapped up in themselves and what everyone else must be thinking.
It starts with Park noticing that Eleanor is reading the comics he’s reading and without looking at her he checks to make sure she has finished the page before he turns to the next.
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St. Martin’s Griffin, February 2013 336 pages ISBN: 9781250012579 Suggested Reading Level: Grade +7
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