Currently Reading: Eleanor & Park

I was poetically introduced to Eleanor & Park when I saw it displayed on the YA table at a quaint, local bookstore called Barnes & Noble. It was sitting alongside everything that John Green has ever breathed on. (Mr. Green also penned the The New York Times review for Eleanor & Park.) I liked the cover, the headphones intertwined to form an ampersand. I was then distracted by the bright blue emanating from the endless copies of The Fault in Our Stars and moved on.
Months later I read The Interestings, a story of six characters who meet at a summer camp under the haze of young talent. The story spans from their teenage years to their 50s, and sadly, many of them prove happiest as teenagers at a summer camp. Adulthood makes everything serious and complicated. While reading, I found myself continuously reminiscing to the beginning of the book, when everyone was young, secretly hopeful, and didn’t yet know what would happen with their lives. I wanted to focus on that single period in life, to be stuck in the amber of youth. Re-enter Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Eleanor & Park takes place over the course of a single school year. It is a love story between Eleanor, unkindly nicknamed Big Red by classmates, and Park, a comic book and music lover. They meet on the school bus. They fall in love. I’ve been promised a powerful read. Here’s to stories of the forever young.

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    1. Agreed. Although I do think the teenagers I read about have way more of a complex life than I ever did! For better or for worse…

    1. I’ve definitely experienced library shortages as well. I haven’t read Attachments! I’ll make that my next Rainbow read.

  1. I know everyone loves Rainbow Rowell but honestly, I’m still on the fence. I read Eleanor & Park as well as Fangirl. I liked both but didn’t think they were amazing or anything.

  2. I rather loved this book, because its references to the time period it was set in were so subtle. The songs mentioned really fit. Then I read a book that was set in the 90’s straight after reading Eleanor & Park, and its references to popular 90’s songs were so overdone and really the whole book was rather rough. It didn’t leave me feeling nearly as much as Eleanor & Park did. In fact, I think I skipped the middle section because the angst of privileged teenagers was too much, and read the end. Not so with Eleanor & Park, however.
    My favourite quote from this book is probably, “Park didn’t say anything. He just held his comics open wider and turned the pages more slowly.” It makes more sense with context, but it was the most heartwarming sentence I’d read in a long time and it managed to stick with me.

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