I’ve only recently begun reading this young adult fiction titled ‘Eleanor & Park‘ by Rainbow Rowell (who is also behind books such as ‘Landline‘, ‘Fangirl‘, and ‘Attachments‘. From what I can tell just by reading the first few chapters, this book is all about the love between two sweet sixteen-year-old teenagers. Both are nerds whose budding relationship began on the bus and interests lying somewhere along the lines of comic-book reading and music-listening.
“Sweet, yet unconventional” were the words I used to call their little love story because Park captivated Eleanor with his gestures of sharing his comics with her and ensuring that his Walkman will always have batteries for her to listen to his mix tapes. Goodreads agrees with me on the fact that the “two misfits are sharing one extraordinary love“.
“Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”
What disturbs me, though, is the attempts made by other students to ridicule Eleanor. It defines children at the very least, as bullies who thrive on feeling good at the expense of others. Which happens a lot in reality. Name-calling and sidelining other children because they are different from the rest. It pains my heart to read those parts but I guess there is a reason why people say, “It’s only a story. It’s not real. It is what they call ‘fiction‘.” So far, the book is genuinely easy to read because of its short chapters and easy to digest because of its simple plot.