Friday, September 20, 2013
Eleanor & Park
I so enjoyed this novel. It’s funny, sweet and has so much heart, yet it gently and very effectively takes on some serious topics such as bullying and abuse. The chapters alternate between Eleanor and Park’s POV, so you always feel like you have your hand on the pulse of what each is feeling and where they are coming from. I love an underdog story, and both Eleanor and Park are underdogs in their own right, struggling with different issues – some more serious than others – but Rowell gives every fear, hardship and concern merit. While Eleanor is dealing with abuse and poverty, Park’s own struggles with his dad and freedom of expression are in no way diminished or swept away as insignificant.
I loved Eleanor’s hope and bravery. I could so empathize with her insecurities about her image and having to cope with school bullies, thinking back on my own high school years, though she was much braver than I ever was at that age. Each character is so well written that they become very real, as you live each moment of the story with them.
I’m a total sap when it comes to a good love story, whether the characters are 30 or 16, so for me Eleanor & Park is the perfect combo of captivating story, great characters, and raw emotion.