Thursday, 14 August 2014

Eleanor and Park Review

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

You saved my life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always. “

Eleanor and Park is a love story of how two people from different backgrounds find something in common and become friends.  And slowly they become more than friends even though there are people pulling them apart.

All the characters had flaws; Eleanor isn’t nice, Park was too embarrassed to be different, Park’s mum was judgemental, Eleanor’s mum was purposely ignorant, Tina was a bitch towards Eleanor and Steve was an idiot. But throughout the book they changed and it was mostly through Eleanor and Park’s relationship. Eleanor learns the difference between being nice and being respectful, Park learns that doing what you want is far more better than doing what is expected of you, Eleanor’s mum cares for her children but hides it from Richie, Park’s mum realises her son doesn`t have the perfect girlfriend but that’s okay and Tina and Steve’s relationship has similarities to Eleanor and Park’s.

The story starts of on the School bus so our first impression of the Eleanor is taken from Park’s pov and vice versa. Eleanor isn’t skinny nor is she beautiful, she’s a mess. She’s just come back home after being kicked out and everything’s awkward between her siblings and Richie. Park is beautiful but he wants to blend in and sitting next to “big red” isn’t helping. But sitting next to someone and not talking to them is awkward so very slowly Eleanor and Park develop their relationship by swapping their views on comics and music. It’s like watching a movie, you see their relationship grow and with the multi povs you see the story from both sides.

When they do finally end up together it’s incredibly cute, theirs this awkward and nervous tension alongside excitement and fear of being caught.  I love how the story focuses on the development of the relationship and not just the intimate love parts. Eleanor and Park’s story is different because in most typical love stories following the same themes in this book it would be Park in Eleanor’s situation and he would be classified as a “bad boy” or both of them would be considered “bad kids”.  I also like how Park’s the beautiful one in the relationship and Eleanor isn’t - “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

Eleanor keeps referring to the past – before she got kicked out and the tension brought from this makes you think that something happened between them. And it’s disappointing to know that what happens isn’t even tension worthy. Though there was a strain in her relationship with Richie there’s isn’t really a past story there. Before Eleanor leaves her and her siblings are close and they have a mutual hate for Richie and so when Eleanor comes back she’s surprised to find that siblings don’t hate him anymore. Without anybody to protect them from Richie they’ve decided that making him happy will protect them.

Park goes through a lot of changes throughout the book, at first he deals with hating himself because he’s embarrassed to be with Eleanor and then it’s because he starts to wear eyeliner because he likes how it looks on him and his father stops talking to him.

One thing I really enjoyed in this book is when Eleanor saved herself from Richie, she didn`t wait for him to make the move and maybe sexually abuse her she instead chose to get herself out – away from danger.  Also the people who helped Eleanor escape from Richie wasn’t her mother like you’d expect but Tina and Steve.

 The story starts with a cliff-hanger (ish) and it seems as if Eleanor is dead. Thankfully that’s not what happens – Eleanor is forced to let Park go when she moves away and as the ending was coming everything started to get rushed and crammed together and even though there isn’t a proper happily ever after there’s hope for one. The ending is quite shocking because throughout the story you’re so engrossed in their story, you’ve read about how they’re relationship has grown and then suddenly you’re pulled right out. You don`t know what’s going to happen next. In the ending Eleanor finally makes her move and knowing she’s done that you know things are going to be pretty good.


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