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Welcome to Paula and Sarina's Book Blog! Avid readers, hard core fan girls of fictional literary male characters, proud library captains. We started this blog because of our love for reading YA novels and decided to share our thoughts on the books we read. We hope you enjoy our blog and contact us if you have any questions :)

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Sunday, 31 March 2013
Name: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Date Published: February 26, 2013
Grade: B

Goodreads Summary:


"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.

"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Review: After reading John Green's review of Eleanor & Park in the New York Times, claiming that he's "never seen anything quite like it", I was so unbelievably excited for this book. I was about to go on a trip and so I packed it in my carry on bag to read on the flight over because it seemed like such a happy, cute read- perfect for sitting on the airplane. I will admit, it was a captivating read and I ended up reading it all in one sitting, no bathroom breaks and no food breaks (which is a wonder for me). But when I turned that final page and closed the book, I didn't feel satisfied and I was left with a longing for more closure. Something in that book just didn't quite click for me.

I was wrong about one thing, that's for sure. While Eleanor and Park did have their happy, cute moments together that made me smile and go "awwe"... It was pretty dark read, tackling real issues that occur in the present world such as self-esteem, bullying, and domestic abuse. Although I wasn't really prepared for these issues to be in the book, I'm glad that they were there because it helped ground the book into reality. Even though it hurt my heart to read about these issues, they acted as reminders that life has obstacles and learning to get over these obstacles shape us as people. The contrast between the two households juxtaposed the different obstacles Eleanor and Park were having to go through. It was also adorable seeing Park offer not only his love, but the love of his warm, perfect family, to Eleanor. Another aspect of the book I really liked, was how both Eleanor and Park narrated the story, it allowed us to see their characters develop together and separately, in a magical, beautiful way.

One thing that just bothered me so much, and will continue to bother me if I ever do re-read it, is the fact that their relationship felt a bit one sided. I mean, by seeing things from Eleanor's perspective, we knew that she did love him and she did need him, but she rarely told Park what was wrong and he had to push so hard for her to let him in. Park would continuously tell her he loved her and yet she wouldn't say it back. It was so frustrating to read! I loved Park though. I loved his love for her. In the beginning, I admit that their relationship was painfully slow to read- It wasn't painful as in boring, it was painful because I just wanted so badly for them to hurry up and be happy together. When they were together, however, and when everything was going well, their relationship was like a warm cup of hot chocolate, so satisfying and sweet and heartwarming. Overall, it was pretty wondrous seeing this misfit of a couple fall in love for the first time together, and it made me happy to see how happy they made each other.

*SPOILER ALERT IN NEXT PARAGRAPH*

I didn't like the ending. I think that's one of the biggest problems I had with the book. Everything was happening so suddenly, and then *poof*- I was left with basically nothing. Kind of like a flame that just dies out, leaving no light behind at all. It didn't feel special in the slightest way- on the contrary, it felt boring and normal for such a special relationship. It was a bit depressing as well because throughout the book, it seemed as if Eleanor knew that there would be no "after" in their relationship. And throughout the whole book I had been silently cheering for them to be high-school sweethearts and get married and have a happy life and yaddiyaddiaya. But I was proven wrong, and Eleanor was proven right. And that is depressing to me. I might have been a bit harsh on my grade for this book because overall it was a lovely read with easy-to-love protagonists and for the most part, a storyline that made me feel, really feel quite a lot.

Thanks for reading!

Paula :) 

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