Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor-Park-Book.jpgThis is the second book I’ve read recently that made me wish I was a teenager again (the first being John Green’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson). It sounds crazy, I know. Who would ever want to go back to those tumultuous teenage years? But there is something appealing about them. Something about being that young and living your life with all senses on maximum. When everything you feel you feel with your whole being. Where everything that happens is the end of the world. Adulthood, by comparison, seems dull.

Anyway, yes, super cute book. Eleanor and Park are a bit sassy, clever, adorable, and of course a bit awkward as they journey further and further into their relationship with each other. As I read, all I wanted was for everything to work out for them. Life is never that easy though. The two characters come from completely different worlds, but somehow they carve out their own space somewhere outside of those two places.

I think, first and foremost, this book is a love story. An unconventional one, but I like it even more for that reason. But it also sheds light, and breaks down barriers, on a lot of other things, silly things, that keep people from each other. Things like race and socioeconomic standing, and things as stupid as appearance, how someone dresses. For a brief moment, Eleanor and Park are just as hung up on these things as everyone else around them, but the magic of music and reading (how magical they are) brings these two people together.

What a beautiful world it would be if we valued those things we had in common with one another above those things that were different.

~Ren

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