Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
It made me sad, but I did not cry. It made me happy, but not quite happy enough. However, one morning as I was listening to the audiobook version of Eleanor and Park, I ended up getting dressed just like Eleanor would, only realizing I was wearing some hideous outfit as I walked downstairs.
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
I picked up this book because I loved The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The Fault in Our Stars made me cry the hardest I have ever cried over fictional characters. And I literally couldn’t put it down. I read it in two sittings–and only because I was reading a friend’s copy while at their house and I had to leave.
But Eleanor and Park was not as good as The Fault in Our Stars. But then again, nothing is.
It made me sad, but I did not cry. It made me happy, but not quite happy enough. However, one morning as I was listening to the audiobook version of Eleanor and Park, I ended up getting dressed just like Eleanor would, only realizing I was wearing some hideous outfit as I walked downstairs. Eleanor wears huge, men’s button-down shirts, grandpa sweaters, and wraps ties around wrists like bracelets. While listening to this story, I had become so entranced, that I had forgotten who I was and what I was doing, and actually began acting like the character in the book. So maybe the book reviewing part of my brain didn’t form a deep connection with this book, but the getting dressed part of my brain certainly did.
The love scenes were very innocent and sweet, but the abusive step-parent ones were dark and haunting. The book was racist and the characters swore a lot, but the teenage theme was very accurate (I should know). My favorite part was how it takes place 1986, so the reader gets all the good stuff like mixed tapes, which play a pretty important part in the story. I also love how Eleanor and Park bonded over comic books, when Eleanor begins reading them over his shoulder. I love books that talk about other published books in them. In Eleanor and Park, Eleanor’s favorite books are Catcher in the Rye and Watership Down, and they read comic books such as X-Men and Watchmen.
I might try another one of Rainbow Rowell’s books someday, but for now, I’ll just recommend A Fault in Our Stars by John Green.