Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date of Publication: April 12, 2012
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
The first book of the Summer Reading Book Club! I've had Eleanor & Park on my 'To Read'-list ever since I finished Fangirl a few months ago. I just really enjoyed Rainbow Rowell's writing and while I'm not usually one to enjoy romance-only books (I like myself some supernatural) and I'm also not really a fan of the 80s, I just thought... why the hell not.
It took me maybe five chapters (they're pretty short) to get into it, but then... WHAM. I just couldn't stop reading it, even though I should really get on with City of Heavenly Fire ... the longer I wait, the liklier it becomes that someone spoils the ending for me. But I just couldn't put Eleanor & Park down!
I enjoyed all of the characters and found them very believable. Especially Eleanor and her sad past. She was a little bit dysfunctional maybe, and I thought she was a bit... too defensive at times. I was bullied at school, I know what that can do to you. And if you add that to her good-for-nothing-mother and her... interesting... stepfather, I can see how it changed her.
Park is just... a dream. I can't imagine that he had it very easy, being half white, half asian in the US in the 80s. The book doesn't really touch on this, which I think is a missed opportunity. It could have been really great to add racism and the potential backlash of a "mixed race" relationship to Eleanor & Park. Especially since Park's parents would probably have been able to relate and to help.
But nevertheless! The speed with which I read a book is usually a supreme indicator of how well I liked it. That's definitely true in this case. Sigh. That ending. I'm not sure if i'm satisfied with it, or if I think ... well. No, I do think it's right. Maybe. You'll have to read it for yourself.