Archive for the ‘Books of Wonder’ Category

EleanorAndParkIf you think that Romeo and Juliet is the ultimate love story, then you obviously haven’t read eleanor & park by rainbow rowell. If you have, you know better.

Eleanor is a big boned girl with exceedingly red and exceedingly curly hair who dresses in an exceedingly unique way. On her first day of school, she boards to school bus, only to find no one willing to move over and let her sit. That is until Park, a short, skinny half American, half Korean kid, sitting in the back of the bus, right in front of the cool, taunting kids, takes pity on her indecision and whispers “Jesus-fuck, just sit down“. An auspicious beginning? As you can gather, that becomes Eleanor’s permanent seat.

As the days progess, they ignore each other on the bus and in the several classes they have together. But one day, Park notices Eleanor reading his graphic novels over his shoulder on the way to school…so he reads a little slower, making sure she’s finished the page. Then he starts bringing her comic books from home and leaving it on her bus seat. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

What makes eleanor & park so special? Oh, so many things. The story of course. You know something will happen to thwart their relationship and you kinda know what it is, but you so wish it wouldn’t happen. Who would want to break these kids up?

Rainbow Rowell has so so so accurately described the insecurities felt by the ‘not in crowd’ around self image and romance and sex, it’s amazing. You can picture Eleanor and Park as they hesitate to admit their attraction, hold hands or kiss. The way they see themselves, the fat girl, the skinny Asian dork, is so palpable.

And finally, Eleanor and Park’s individual stories. The degrees of dysfunction. The concept of parental love.

I truly cannot think of a thing wrong with this book. This is no sappy love story. It’s true and genuine and totally entrancing.

I got my copy of eleanor & park signed by ms. rowell at the Mega-Teen Author signing at Books of Wonder a few weeks ago. Of course, Abbe took that copy (it was addressed to both of us, so I guess she has some right to it). Ms. Rowell, in the short signing time, was just as charming as are her book characters. This is by far, one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time. I can’t say enough about it.

If you want a totally hypnotizing book, eleanor & park. I did not want it to end.

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