Review by Katie
February 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Amazon + Good Reads
"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – 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."
I've heard quite a bit of hype about this book and that usually steers me away from the book until it cools down. This book I picked up during banned books week because of some impact it has had in my home state. A library in the state (not my local library) cancelled Rainbow Rowell's appearance because some believed that this book was inappropriate for kids to be reading because of the language in it. Since it was banned books week, I decided that this would be the perfect read for it.
I loved this book and the story in its pages. The realistic aspect of this book will have anyone relating to it in one way or another. There are always difficult aspects of a relationship and Eleanor and Park's relationship is no exception. Eleanor and Park are two lost, and broken people that seem to find more of themselves when they are together. There is a tie to my homestate of Minnesota in the book and I loved that!
Eleanor was a real girl that carried many burdens with her. She had to deal with a broken home along with a new school where she didn't know anyone. She's described as being larger than those around her, but what female doesn't feel that way and in that sense I related to her and loved her even more for her realness. I completely related to Eleanor in her imperfect attributes and I loved that about her. She quickly became one of my favorite characters.
Park was an average boy, that didn't stand out, but just lived his teenage life doing what he needed to do. He was a little rough around the edges but Eleanor softened him up by just being herself. Park is a guy that not all girls want but is a diamond in the rough and was perfect for Eleanor. I enjoyed reading about how he turned around to become quite the sweet gentleman for Eleanor and giving her the love that she deserved.
Addressing to why this book was banned: Yes there was some "foul" language in this book, but it is language that you could just as easily hear on the street or other media. I think this book carries so much that everyone can relate to. I don't think this book should be banned (I don't think any book should be banned), but rather I think that this story should be embraced and shared for I think many would enjoy reading this one.
Eleanor & Park is filled with realities of everyday life, hardships, happiness and love. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone for there is something for all that lies within these pages.
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