Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
I am not a Romance frantic when it comes to reading genres, or so I may say- going with the classics is what I always believed in. Gone with the wind, Pride and Prejudice, works of Nicholas Sparks and the like have been my all time favorites. The only reason I picked up Eleanor and Park was because on the top it had a note from John Green, and that itched me to pick the book. Also, it was an experimental reading of what Young Adult genre sprinkled with adolescent romance is like.
This love story starts very typically with the boy not liking the girl at first glance until they are friends and fall in love. Eleanor has been portrayed as a very ordinary chubby girl dressed weirdly which screams for attention and being the new girl in the school she falls prey to a lot of pranks and jokes. She knows the only best thing to do is to ignore them. In the school bus, she manages to take the seat besides Park, who is an Asian guy always reading with his headphones on. They break the silence between them by starting to talk about music and comics, and this starts the drift of liking-ness towards each other. The little mushy moments between Eleanor and Park will remind you of when you were young and in love. Holding hands for the first time, gazing at each other, secretly stealing glances, the whole blush story- everything is captured like it happens to two people falling in love for the first time.
Apart from the love notes going on between Eleanor and Park, a stark difference has also been shown in the family life of the two, somehow that intrigued me more. While Park’s is a very liberal family, Eleanor encounters day-to-day problems with her difficult step-dad, however the only thing that tries to give her strength each day to ignore it is Park’s love and support. With a terse environment prevailing in Eleanor’s family at all times, she feels that telling about Park to even her mom will complicate things as her step-dad is always on a roll to spare no moment of insulting or abusing Eleanor. A day comes when she decides to surpass all of this and runs away from her home. What makes her take this step, knowing she might lose Park? Is their love strong enough to survive the withers Eleanor’s eloping has caused? I really liked the part where Eleanor makes a run for her life; it shows her strong will and courage to take the correct step for her future.
The high notes for me in the book were character description of both Eleanor and Park, the conversion of thoughts going on in their mind and finally the aspect which has been highlighted through this short love story that however imperfect you might be you will always find the perfect person in your life who will love you like you have everything and nothing to lose. Also, the support, guidance and environment provided by our parents in our teens, can really make or break one’s life; and like I said Eleanor’s and Park’s family define the difference finely in the book.
It’s a good pick for leisure reading, also, the author has gained numerous praises for her Young Adult books, one of them also being Fangirl. So, yes the author is worth a try.