Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor is the new girl in town. She has bright red hair and dresses in old, baggy men's clothing. Park is the only Asian in school, and is the unfortunate person who sits with Eleanor on the bus. For weeks the two sit next to each other without talking and keeping a good amount of space between them. Then, Park notices that when Eleanor is looking down, she is not staring into her lap. She is reading Park's comic books.

The relationship between the two quickly grows. Eleanor cannot stop thinking about Park, and Park can't get enough of Eleanor. They share comics, swap music, and feel that the other's hand is the most amazing thing to touch. The two hang out after school and roll their eyes lovingly at one another. The relationship is not all happy, though. Eleanor is made fun of in school, which not only hurts her, but angers Park to the point of fighting. Also, Eleanor hides that her stepfather is emotionally abusive towards her, and is physically abusive to her mother, from Park. The abuse from all corners eventually takes its toll, and Eleanor asks Park to help her escape.

Eleanor and Park was full of sarcasm and teenage angst. It was not so over-the-top to be annoying, though, and I did end up liking both characters. The book goes back and forth between Eleanor and Park's perspectives, which gives readers a chance to get to know both of them and see what each thinks about different situations. For instance, Eleanor was horrified when she had to leave gym still wearing her uniform (her clothes were flushed as a prank), and even more horrified that Park saw her in the hallway in said gym uniform. However, Park was, put simply, turned on. How fun!

Looking back on what I just wrote, the book may seem kind of annoying. But it wasn't. I promise. I liked it and couldn't put it down. Well, I did, but I was hungry. Anyway, I liked reading about the title characters and their complicated high school love. It had a bit of a Perks of Being A Wallflower feel, possibly because of the descriptions of confusion caused by teenage romance (Does he/she like me? I can't believe he/she likes me. What they hell would he/she ever like me?).

I don't think I'm being very convincing on the subject of my liking this book and why someone should read it. My words are not working. That mean that you (the few and the proud who read this) should just go read the book and draw your own conclusions. I enjoyed it. The end.

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