Earlier this year, if you recall (even though I only mentioned it briefly here when I had a crisis because of internet language), I read Fangirl. Whilst I enjoyed the book, in some areas I found myself wanting to pick up something else. Maybe that’s because I was uncomfortable with how much I could relate to Cath. who was so introverted that she excluded herself from everyone and never left her dorm room. It also mirrored some fears I have about university. (Thankfully I’ve been to university summer school since then so I know I can interact with strangers and they will respond positively towards me). Anyway, enough of my emotional state and back to the book. To quote John Green, I fell in love with this book slowly then all at once (that’s how the quote goes right ? I don’t know).
Initially, I was a little to reluctant to read/even want to read Eleanor and Park. But then I saw the adorable cover and the fact it was on offer in a bookshop I went in? Yeah I couldn’t resist. Whilst the blurb is a little misleading – I mean late night phone calls only happen once in the whole story. Once. Never mind the deviance of the blurb, this story is not only about falling in love but it is also about family and the different elements that can alter a family how a family interacts and behaves.
Eleanor, a girl uncomfortable in her own skin, despite her outrageous choice of clothes (which I enjoyed residing immensely), lives within what could only be called a broken home. With 4 siblings and a reckless drunk for a step father, Eleanor lives a dangerous life with little safety whilst she watches her every move in fear of being kicked out by Richie, her mums new husband. She attracts attention as soon she steps on the school bus, and not in a positive way either. This is where she meets Park, and the relationship begins.Whilst the initial awkward silences and conversations had me cringing in my chair, the two protagonists soon become friends through comic books and music.
The only thing that irritated me throughout the book, is the behaviour of Eleanor. However, it is stated throughout the book that she is rude, and not a nice person. I suppose her circumstances have lead her to behave in way that has no regard for anyone else. (As someone who is constantly worrying/interested in how other people respond to my behaviour, I struggled to relate or sympathise). Thankfully, the book is written in two-point perspective, which allows us to experience both Park’s and Eleanor’s response to events within the novel, especially the ending which was, if a little predictable, excellent.
After reading, I now believe it deserves the hype it has been given. Rainbow Rowell is an exceptional author and should be placed with the likes of John Green and Sarah Dessen. I also may or may not want to read other novels by her now. Yes.
Eleanor and Park can be purchased here.
Until next time, I guess.
PS. I’ve been writing more stuff for The Indiependent which can be found here, so go check that out!
Also new YouTube video! (You can subscribe if you like). I danced and did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge