Thursday, September 25, 2014

Eleanor and Park

It's that time again for Bon's book club! This month the reading selection was Eleanor and Park

I really enjoyed this book, however there were some parts where I disliked it enough I didn't think I was going to like it. Most of the time, I was irked when Eleanor would cause drama and unnecessarily whine at Park. Then I remembered that she was a teenager, and while I don't recall being that annoyingly desperate for attention, I'm sure I was. 

Rainbow Rowell wrote from the teenage perspective perfectly. She got every nuance, every bit of self consciousness, and every insecurity. I loved her style of writing. I've never read about hand holding being more beautiful or romantic in my life. In fact, the hand holding was probably more romantic than the last romantic scene I've read, in such an innocent way too. 

The language was a bit much, but Rowell explained why she added it in in an interview. She said that it's what the main characters environments are all about. Eleanor and Park never curse, but Eleanor is in a tough home situation enough that she's exposed to it. 

All in all, I think it was a great story, and I definitely would recommend it. 

Now on to Bon's questions!

Did you find their ill fated relationship to be sweet?  Believable?  

I think  their relationship is very believable for a high school romance. Not many high school romances actually end up being "forever", but teens always think they do. I think R0well did a great job portraying teen romance.

Did the language bother you? 

Kinda, yeah. If it weren't for the language in this book, I would definitely give it to the teens in my book club to read, but because of it, I can't. As I mentioned above, it does make sense once Rowell explained why, but it did bother me a bit. 

Do you agree with me that f words in YA books are unnecessary?  

This is a tough question to answer. To assume that teens NEVER curse is ridiculously naive. That isn't to say that all teens curse, but majority of them do. To say that YA books should never have curse words is also naive, but I think there is a limit to how much and the context that it's in. If a character in a book screams to the sky 'F YOU WORLD!" after a friend dies, it makes sense. To add in the F word after every other word really changes the tone of the book from YA to something more adult. 


  1. wow, a YA book with language like that? You know I talk like a truck driver, so I may have to check it out.

  2. haha! yeah it's got overload of f might like it!

  3. I'm so glad you posted this! A couple of comments-

    I have heard it said too that Rowell didn't have Eleanor or Park use the f word, but Eleanor uses it SO MUCH. Especially in her thought. I get that it is a product of her environment, but I don't feel like Rowell can keep using that excuse. I agree that it can be used very well and very powerfully, just not overdone. I was turned off by how many f words were in the first chapter alone- I felt like Rowell was basically trying to discourage good kids from reading the book right from the get go.

    Eleanor's whining drove me nuts, too, but I like how you said it was a reflection of the time of life she was in and a reflection of her insecurity. Totally agree with you there!

  4. Thanks! I have to agree, I almost stopped reading it after the first few chapters because of the overuse of the "F" word. That's not to say that I don't curse, because I do, but there were times when it felt completely unnecessary.

  5. I loved it, and it sat like a stone in my stomach after I was finished because of how it ended. What a life for these kids. I'd be using the F word every other minute too.

  6. I agree, it was a tough life. I really felt bad for Eleanor and anger towards her mom for allowing her kids to live life like that. I mean no toothbrushes? Come on!

    I definitely ended on an emotional note, and it stayed with me for a while too.


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