Eleanor & Park...A review.
I wanted to love this book. So badly. And there were parts of it that I really enjoyed. But I didn't love it. I have been on a massive young adult fiction kick this summer/fall. And I thought this would fit nicely into the theme. This is a weird thing to say, but maybe it was too well written? Let me explain...
The book is about young love, high school love to be specific. And Rainbow Rowell writes about it with reckless abandon. All the awkward things that high schoolers think, say and do...she puts it in there. For me, it was too accurate and made it almost uncomfortable to read. But that doesn't mean it isn't an excellent book. It just wasn't an excellent book for me.
The parts I appreciated most were maybe the darker ones: difficult family interactions, bullies, gym class, etc. Those are written with the same accuracy as the lovey stuff and packed a different, more resonating punch. I would read more of Rowell's work and I hope to soon!
Who is this book for?
Your high schooler: They would probably relate to it.
Your friends: Sure.
Grandma: It's hard to imagine what she would get out of this.
Husband: Doesn't strike me as a "dude" book. But maybe? If he was awkward in high school, then probably?
What does this book say?
Eleanor's mother was beautiful. She was tall and stately, with broad shoulders and an elegant waist. All her bones seemed more purposeful than other people's. Like they weren't just there to hold her up; they were there to make a point.
It was cold and half dark, and Eleanor could see Park's breath. She resisted the urge to try to swallow it.
He loved how much they loved each other. It was the thing he thought about when he woke up scared in the middle of the night. Not that they loved him - they were his parents, they had to love him. That they loved each other. They didn't have to do that.