Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review & Summary: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Book Review
Eleanor & Park
By: Rainbow Rowell

 It was a normal day for Park, sitting on the bus trying to ignore the other kids on the bus, but then Eleanor stepping on the bus.  Park had no idea that the large, red-head in men’s clothing was going to change his life forever.

15795357Park is the only Asian-American in an all white school and his father is always griping about him , but other than that life easy for Park.  He has a mom and dad that not only love him, but each other, a brother that he trains with for tae-won-do, and an endless supply of comic books and music cassettes.  Eleanor on the other hand lives a life full of fear.  Her mother is in physically abusive relationship with a man who’d rather drink and smoke weed than take care of his family, and her father is absent.  Eleanor shares a room with her four siblings who are all but starved.  The lives of Eleanor and Park couldn’t be more different.

For weeks, Eleanor and Park sit wordless on the same bus seat. Their silence turns into gestures, and gesture to conversations.  Eventually, an innocent and precious relationship blooms.  Their relationship isn’t simple. Eleanor’s mom and stepdad must not know about Park, and Park’s mom doesn’t understand Eleanor.

Okay guys, that’s all you get for a summary. I don’t want to spoil one bit of this fantastic story.  I’m just going to let you know that as Eleanor and Park fall in love with each other, you will fall in love with them.

Likes.  I got to a point in this book that, I wanted to stop reading, but everything was perfect for Eleanor and Park, and if I stopped reading nothing bad could happen.  But of course I had to finish the book.
  • I love this book.  There’s so much emotional baggage, and depth.  Rainbow Rowell gives of a tidbit into everyone’s pasts—Eleanor’s, Park’s, their parents, Richie’s, Tina’s, and Steve’s.  Though she doesn’t make ever character redeemable, she gives them a pass.
  • I love the sincerity and innocence of their relation.
  • I like who even though the “kids” sometimes side with Richie that Eleanor still loves them.
  • The characters are relatable, not both of them necessarily, but either of them.   The readers who grew up in a rough household can relate to Eleanor, and those growing up in a loving household can better relate to Park.  Also, many girls have dealt with being on the losing side of social hierarchy and being bullied, and I think many of those girls can relate to Eleanor even if they didn’t grow up in a loving, functional home.
Can’t think of any.  I thought the ending was really well.

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