Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Synopsis: Eleanor begins her high school career as a social outcast who has been dubbed “Big Red”. On the first day of school, she meets Park – another pseudo-outcast in their highschool. What begins as merely sitting together on the school bus soon turns into a deep friendship, which eventually turns into more. But as much as Park insists that their love is forever, Eleanor pushes back. She is completely unwilling to be one of those girls that only exist in Shakespearean love stories.
Thoughts: This is the reason I read. For books like this. Though Eleanor & Park didn’t leave me with any particularly pertinent life lessons, it was plain and simple, a truly adorable account of first love. And after having just finished a series of somewhat blah reads, this is exactly the kind of book I was hoping for.
Rowell expertly captures the voice and sentiment that permeates high school life. From the so-called cool kids to the outcasts, you really get a feel of what life was like at Eleanor and Park’s school. Everybody has their strengths, and everybody sure as hell has their insecurities. And above all, I loved how the relationship between Eleanor & Park progresses. The stages described in the development from complete strangers (with a twinge of animosity) to toleration to friendship and then beyond are all absurdly true to life.
Because Rowell wrote her characters with such accuracy, the book evoked a really strong sense of nostalgia. Again, it wasn’t anything too deep, but definitely an enjoyable read.
Overall Grade: A-
Up Next: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
When in Oz – you read an obscure book by an Aussie author