I've been seeing Eleanor and Park all over the blogs, so I was really happy when my Young Adult Book Club picked it for this months' book club pick. We are not only discussing the book but having a questions and answers session with Rainbow Rowell the author on May 15th! Here is the goodreads description of the book:
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a great short read. It won't be one of those books I'll remember for all time (I just read Hunchback of Notre Dame which I will remember forever). But it satisfied me enough to love this book. I love that Eleanor sounds like a normal girl. Yea she's over weight.. and doesn't wear make-up or do her hair (which I would drive myself crazy if I didn't) but she is who she is and accepts it. Unlike Eleanor... I was always made fun of in high school for being thin. I didn't have any boobs at all, I had acne.. so I would wear really big non-fitting close to hide my skinniness. I would never ever wear a bathing suit without a tee-shirt over it. Now that I am older I am the only skinny one left and I wear a bikini all the time! Everyone should check out this article written by Rainbow Rowell about Unconventional Beauty.
Really it is a good article!
This book made me remember WAY back to my first love, my first kiss. That awkwardness of high school dating. I actually dated someone who was in a similar situation as Eleanor. His family was poor. I went to his house once and was shocked. The kid's mattresses were on the floors. There was no furniture. The dad was a jerk. I was there for dinner and myself and all the kids got burgers on pieces of bread. The dad came home from work and he got steak and a big fancy dinner. Another time I went to the house and it was lunch time and the parents weren't home there wasn't any food in the house and all the little kids were just starving. I remember not knowing what to think about it. I remember having $40 on me and it must've fallen out of my pocket because when I left I went to get food from a fast food place and of course my money was gone. They may have stolen it. I don't know.
Wow.. the parents in this book are insane! Eleanor's mom just makes me angry. I don't know why some women put up with so much abuse from men. I couldn't really tell when this book took place? 1980s? There must've been shelters for battered women back then I would think. I am a little sad that the neighborhood knew how Richie was but no one paid attention enough to stop it.
Park's parents seemed like a very good family. The book was funny to me at time's when Park's mom was mentioned. I have a friend who's mother is from Korea too. I thought it was funny when Park said that his mom still talks like she just came from Korea and hasn't been in America for 30 years. That is just like my friend's mom! I was a little surprised Spoiler: Park's dad didn't really have a problem with him taking Eleanor to Minnesota. My parents would've killed me at 16. End Spoiler And Eleanor's dad (biological dad), what a crappy dad he is too. Never talks to Eleanor and then has her come over when he needs her to watch him and his new wife's kid. And then doesn't even give her the full $10 to babysit!
I recommend this book for anyone looking to read about love.
Fog is coming..... in the middle of the road on this book!