Eleanor & Park is my first foray into Rowell’ work which revolves around the lives of Eleanor & Park who in the year of 1986, meet as fellow students in their high school bus and eventually strike a friendship that slowly progresses into love.
While Park has supporting and loving parents & grandparents and a pesky younger brother – all in all a loving family, Eleanor comes from a huge family of 5 kids who happen to live with her mother and her abusive boyfriend. In their own way they are sorta awkward, Park’ Asian lineage courtesy his Korean mother makes him feel like an outsider and a bit of a weirdo, Eleanor is plain weird from the way she dresses up to the way her hair is tied. Sharing a seat on the bus ride to their school and back brings these unlikely individuals together who via the mediums of comic books and songs start a friendship and slowly fall in love with each other.
What I loved about this book was that Rowell dint make Eleanor fall in love with Park just based on his looks – though I wouldn’t have objected to editing out at least half of Eleanor swooning over him. They connected like normal teens – discussing music and comics and studies. Thank god Eleanor wasnt another Bella who was in love with Edward the minute she laid her eyes on his pale skin and weird yellow eyes.
But it doesn’t take away the fact the book wasn’t perfect – the ending sucked as per me, if it takes a year of escaping from the abusive Richie for Eleanor to admit to Park her feelings via a post card I don’t get the point of her escaping. She should have had Richie arrested on charges of harassment, abusive conduct and possession charges not let him roam around freely. Not to mention a phone call to Park wouldn’t have killed her.