Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

3 words: poignant, romantic, painfully humorous

You know how we all want to forget those painfully awkward teenage years? (At least I sure do.)
Well, this book puts you right back into that frame of mind, but in the best way possible.
Rainbow Rowell is seriously skilled at making a reader care about her characters, and she’s also really good at remembering and evoking the feelings of being a teenager. And she’s smart and funny, and so are her characters.

The only thing that almost made me want to stop reading this book is that Eleanor’s home life is so freakin’ horrible, I almost couldn’t stand it. But I wanted so much to stay with her through her story that I stuck it out, and later I couldn’t believe I almost had to quit reading.

(But truly: her home life is horrible.

And I was reading this book at the same time as Hillbilly Elegy. And there were times when I had to remind myself which person’s horrible home life–with a mom making terrible life choices that had severe consequences for her children–was which.)

Eleanor and Park is a love story, but a quirky one. Both Eleanor and Park feel like misfits, and when they’re thrown together as seatmates on the school bus, they don’t like each other at first. But then they bond over graphic novels and music, and they gradually become friends and then they realize they love each other.

So yes, this is a book a about teen romance, but it’s smarter and sharper and savvier than you’d expect.

I found myself recommending this book to lots of friends — to anyone who even might consider reading a YA book, and to some who aren’t usually so inclined.

What’s the best YA book you’ve read lately?

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

2 thoughts on “Eleanor and Park

  1. When I read Eleanor and Park, it reminded me of my childhood. My mom was a single mother, and she had a string of boyfriends before she found Goad and got remarried. As I was reading Elenor and Park, i was so thankful none of my mom boyfriends were THAT bad. True some were alcoholics, but they never did what Eleanor's stepfather did (don't wanna spoil it for other people) It brought back some memories it was that well written. Also, Hilbilly Elegy hit close to home because I grew up in the same place as the author in Eastern Ky and like I said mom had a string of boyfriends, and it was well..interesting however I am one of many who made it out, so I am not holding no grudges.

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