Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellI am pleased to report that Eleanor and Park By Rainbow Rowell is another book that can be included in a list of books that is redeeming the young adult genre. No vampires. No fights to the death. No flying witches. This story is about two individuals who both have home lives that could be better (that is an understatement for one of them) and yet they find friendship, love and an escape with each other.

From the very first lines of the book, you are made aware that the story will not end pleasantly. By doing this, the author adds quite a bit of building tension. Foreshadowing to build tension can bring about a double edged sword: it keeps the reader interested while at the same time can prepare the reader for a letdown. I was captivated from the beginning but not because of the foreshadowing but instead because the bad situation that one of the characters finds herself in is very shocking and unfortunate. Having said that, I did not like the end so much because I felt like there should have been more of a resolution regarding Eleanor’s unhappy family life. But, on the other hand, I guess life doesn’t always have endings that are always tied up neatly with bows.

Another aspect of the book that I found interesting was Eleanor’s interpretation or opinions on Romeo and Juliet. When studying the book in English class, she stated that the book was erroneous because she didn’t believe that love like that was possible or realistic. With her home life and experience with the relationships that she was witness to, she had become bitter towards love. In the end, she is the one, of all of her classmates that finds that love. While I did feel that the relationship between Eleanor and Park was extremely intense for a couple of teenagers, I appreciated the nature of their relationship and how their attraction to each other, in a sense, defied the odds.

I was happy with the narrators of this book and appreciated the fact that there was a narrator for both Eleanor and Park since the book switches back and forth between both of their points of view. In general, I liked the fact that the author switched back and forth between both characters so that the reader could experience a single event from both characters’ perspectives. I would definitely recommend this book to a young adult, albeit a young adult of the age 16 or older.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell Purchase Links: Hardcover, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook

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