Hi from me!
I read Eleanor & Park in two days and I was hooked, but I’m usually a sucker for these types of books anyway. YA contemporary novels are one of my favorite genres amongst fantasy and adventure and all the fun things like that, and I love a good long book, but only if it’s good! I’m still trying to get myself to read the Les Miserables book and granted it’s 1000+ pages, I love the musical so I would like to be able to enjoy the novel it’s based on also.
But away from my rambling and on to Eleanor & Park! The characters are definitely relatable even to this day because you’ll always find those characters in literature and in real life. Park starts off as this kid who isn’t meant to be bothered and is just found stuck in the middle of a bad (well, bad for his age and school setting) situation, and when he meets Eleanor, well the encounter certainly isn’t one of those moments where it just clicks. They barely even talk for weeks, and there is most definitely no sign of romance brewing on this bus. It advances like a normal friendship that you’d find in real life and somehow that makes it worth cherishing. THEY’RE ADORABLE. I love it. Ah. Sorry. This book is definitely a favorite of mine.
Romance is not all this book is however, because Rowell is certainly not afraid to talk about the problems of an abusive household and the difficulties a teen has to shoulder when her stepfather is doing nothing but wrong for their family. Rowell even addresses the problems within a regular family; a family doesn’t need to have an abuser for it to have problems. Sometimes real damage can come from parents being too demanding and expectant of their children, because everyone is battling their own beasts in their own minds no matter the age or race or sexuality or whatever. Everyone has different limits, everyone has different preferences, everyone is different. Rowell even makes the point that different is okay since Eleanor is not the “traditional beauty” and yet it’s okay because beauty can be found anywhere if you let it be found.
Although I didn’t agree with some of the opinions of characters like Park’s parents, I think it was smart that Rowell included them in because they reflected the thoughts of the people during that period in time. Even though it’s fiction, it’s still realistic and true to it’s time. Reading those points of view show just how much society has changed over the years, but looking at today, we can still find the faults and accept that we have a long way to go. (Yay for marriage equality in the States though! #LoveWins!)
All in all, Eleanor & Park was a great book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who will listen! I would also like to remind readers that I title these Book Opinions because I am not the most eloquent person obviously, and this is not a straight-up, valued review, but however, my take on this book. Therefore I’ve taken to calling my “reviews”, opinions, to differentiate my lack of a proper review. I hope that you can all appreciate this blog post the same though! 🙂 Thanks for reading and Happy Independence Day to my American readers!