As an unofficial New Year's resolution, I decided I wanted to begin writing book reviews on my blog. I talk about my bookwormish tendencies from time to time, but I never write reviews. I love reading other blogger book reviews, so I figured- why not give it a shot?!
"TWO MISFITS. ONE EXTRAORDINARY LOVE. It's 1986 and two star-crossed teens are 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. A cross between the iconic '80s movie Sixteen Candles and the classic coming-of-age novel Looking for Alaska, Eleanor & Park is a brilliantly written young adult novel."
I love YA. And I loved this book. I feel like the tendency of YA stories is to lean on such predictable cliches- the "good girl" falls for the "bad boy." Ugh...it's so overdone. But in this story you have the awkward, bullied, new girl at school falling for the quiet, token Asian kid who doesn't ruffle any feathers. Eleanor is heavyset, frizzy-haired and not exactly a picture of grace. But it's because of her imperfections that we love her so much. Park starts off embarrassed for and by Eleanor, but wins her over with small acts of kindness. Their relationship blossoms slowly, and so organically that it's impossible not to root for them.
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What I really loved about this novel, however, was something that I don't feel 100% comfortable talking about. But the fact remains, Eleanor and I shared something in common: experience with domestic violence. I don't know how she did it, but author Rainbow Rowell so masterfully captured the feeling of being in an abusive home. The shame, the hopelessness, the feeling of never, ever being safe. For those who have a similar history, this is not the easiest of reads. But for those who don't, it's a really well-portrayed glimpse into the life of a domestic violence survivor.
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For that reason and so many more, I'm giving Eleanor & Park...
FIVE out of FIVE stars!
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Have you read Eleanor & Park? What did you think?!