Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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:

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
 "So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen." 
"What about Romeo and Juliet?" 
"Shallow, confused, then dead." 
''I love you," Park says. 
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be." 
 Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under. 

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.  

The crystal ball says:

Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!


  1. I could relate more to Eleanor as a kid, I likewise was made fun of for my hair/weight..I really emoted with Eleanor I think because of that..though I wasn't poor and luckily never had to suffer what she did. I love how unconditionally Park loves Eleanor for who she was one of my favorite reads this year!

    1. I love how Park loves her as well. He was embarrassed of her in front of his parents but most people are always unsure of what their parents are going to think of the person they are dating.

  2. After reading your review, I decided to look for this title. Eleanor and Park sounds so interesting and a book I will probably enjoy.

    Jess@ Jessy's Bookends

  3. Hi Angela,
    I absolutely love books like this even though I've never had a romantic experience myself. I'd love to read this one day. I'm also your newest follower! I would really appreciate it if you could come over to my blog to check it out and if you like it, you can follow me as well. I blog about my favourite music and books hence the name Music Plus Books.
    Thank you and good luck,
    Music Plus Books
    - Laura

  4. I hadn't heard of this book. I am going to add it to my TBR!

  5. I thought the love story was really well done too, very realistic. Park is super incredible. Love him! So glad you loved this one so much too!