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Eleanor and Park | Book Review

By Littlefashionthoughts

Eleanor and Park | Book Review
Eleanor and Park | Book Review
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  
f e e l  something.” 

I received Eleanor & Park after my best friend asked what she could buy me for my birthday back at the end of January. Between then and when I finished a couple of weeks ago, I had been reading other books and had a very important series to finish off.
The book is set during the eighties and plot line of this book is Eleanor Douglas is the new girl at school — she has four siblings, a mother and a horrible step-dad and kinda has a crappy home life, and she sits next to Park Sheridan — who lives with his brother and parents like all teenagers Park doesn't have the best of relationships with his parents, on the bus, and the pair ultimately end up falling in love. The two characters are described as misfits, Park is a quiet guy, sits on the bus with headphones and reading comic books, dressed in all black, while Eleanor—who ends up sitting next to himhas bright red curly hair, dresses with personal style which makes her stand out though her efforts to stay under the radar. 
I read this book within a few days, I do admit at the start it took me a chapter or two to give this book my full concentration and attention, however once I got started I was so fully into Eleanor & Park. It is adorable, such a sweet cute book. The way Eleanor read over Park's should on the bus, noticing he made sure he help the comic book out wider and paused when he'd finished the page waiting just in case Eleanor hadn't read the page yet. Then when he brought a stack of comics books for her to take home, they hadn't even said a word to each other and he'd brought them for each other. Then when they finally did, I loved it because it was real, it was how things would go down in real life; it was short and awkward. The relationship is one you see in real life, these characters are people you would come across in everyday life, the conversations they've had are no doubt conversations you've had with someone. What I love about this book is it is so utterly real. 
I'm not quite sure how I feel about the ending, we also do not know for sure what she puts when she writes three words on a postcard; I've heard rumours of it being something along the lines of Park, just stop. Or, nothing lasts forever. But if you read it Park seems happy with what is written on it, I did think about the words I love you but Eleanor never actually said them to Park. I just wanted there to be a happy ending and I know that books don't end with them because they're not always real, but it's fiction, we can pretend they are. I wanted this happy ending for them because I wanted them both to be happy, especially Eleanor, the struggles she went through had me feeling so much sorrow for her, when she had to steal tooth brushes from her dad's house because they didn't have any. I also kinda wanted it to end with Eleanor's stepfather crashing his damn truck or something, that would have been a happy ending, shame. 
I love that the book has two point of views, something I really admire in books and I also admire authors who do this because not only are they dividing the book between two characters, they're also managing to get across the two personalities. To write two completely different characters as well as in third person is quite a challenge. I think personally, I would have preferred to have read the book in first person, because sometimes with third person I feel like a barrier is almost placed their between the character and reader because you can't get into their heads and hear their thoughts. 
I've come across mixed reviews for this book, some were quite insulting and I crossed off them because I felt uncomfortable reading them. I also read that some thought the language was inappropriate because of the numerous times fuck is used and because of this and other reasons Rainbow Rowell was disinvited from a library event, I think. I think that is a pathetic reason, this is a young adult book—it even says on the back not appropriate for young readers—but nevertheless, teenagers swear. They swear. I swear a lot of the time when angry or irritated. It happens. When I'm watching a show and it's pre-watershed and something happens where in life that person would swear I find it strange that they don't. Yeah, it's crude and people use it when unnecessary but it happens. Words are words for a reason. I actually love that this book has swearing in it, because it just makes it all the more real.  
There is so much more I could write about this book, but I'll save it because I'm only starting to notice how much I've rambled. I do love this book, I'm not sure whether I will reread it or not, but I know it will always be in the back of mind as such a touching book that I've read.

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