Monday, February 2, 2015

Eleanor & Park

I think I've developed a good system for reading: I have had a paperback book and a Kindle book going at the same time and it seems to help me read as much as I want. I think this is part of why I've had such a nice spate of reading the past couple weeks. I finished Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell last week, but I thought I'd review Fairest by Marissa Meyer first. I don't read a ton of contemporary YA, preferring to stick with fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian, but I'd heard so many great things about this book and it was on sale on Kindle and I really should read more contemporary books. So I picked it up and gave it a go.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Eleanor is the new girl on the bus. Everyone's seats were determined at the beginning of the year, and no one wants this weird girl sitting next to them. But Park lets her sit by him. At first they don't speak, or even look at each other. But then she starts to read his comics over his shoulder, and he has her listen to a song. Suddenly they are battling the bullies at school and their own families to try to be together. Everything is against them, and something is sure to tear them apart. But for now they'll read Watchmen and listen to the Smiths.

So my description is much different than the one on Goodreads. Partly because I felt it didn't tell you much about the plot of the story, and I try to put plot into my little descriptions of the book. But in the main this is a character novel. The plot of life keeping these two people apart is there, but the pace is not fast, and it more examines these people's lives. I enjoyed this book, although I didn't like how it ended. I had a ball of stress in my stomach waiting for Eleanor's abusive stepfather to find out she was dating Park. The fact that this book made me stressed I have to give Rowell credit for. It's harder to do that these days. And the setting was pretty cool (1986). I did take issue with Tina, who was a very average "mean to be mean" high school girl. I thought she could have used more complexity considering her role in the story. Overall, a good read.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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