Friday, August 9, 2013

Literary Friday ~Eleanor & Park

I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party  Literary Friday. You should go over to her blog and check out all of the other book reviews.

I have never been in a book club and have always thought it would be great.  My fear was what if I did not have time to read the book before discussing.  I thought I would give this book a try, one that Ricki Jill herself suggested and posted about.  She did such a great review, so you will need to read it by clicking here.

The book is Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

As she pointed out it is a young adult book, but I do enjoy reading young adult books still.  This book opened a flood gate of memories for me.  I love how the author gave both Park's and Eleanor's point of view and their emotions.  It reminded me of some of Samantha Jillian Bayaar's books.  The book is based in the 80's and I loved connecting with the bands and the songs brought up in the book.  Let's face it, the 80's were awesome.  {ahem... my error folks}  Ricki Jill and I had discussed some of the way they talked and the language.  She found it not accurate for her 80's, I found it spot on.  I think it all depends on the location, honestly I do.  Valley talk did not catch on here in Iowa and this book is based in the Mid-West Omaha.  I loved the fact they even talked about Des Moines in the book where I grew up and have lived most of my life.  The hair styles and the clothing.  I just loved how true it was to the 80's in my area of the world.

Park felt he was an outcast by being half Koren, but no one ever picked on him.  I personally think Park made him self that way, by the way he dressed and later chose to be Punk/New Wave style, however I am perfectly fine with it because I wanted to dress and be fashion like that in the worse way back then.  He felt that Eleanor who was picked on, chose to oh, maybe egg on the attention of being so different to be teased.  He felt that if Eleanor would have dressed more like the norm she would not have been picked on as much.  He felt she wanted the attention.  What Park did not like was how much she was picked on.  He was very protective of her.  I loved it.  What a great boyfriend.  I loved Park's parents.  He had the ideal life what everyone hopes for, parents who truly love one another, your own bedroom, an opportunity to have what a teen thinks is a must, radio, walkman, stereo, a phone!  He has a game system and has an opportunity to have extras like Taekwondo.  Park relates better with his mother than he does his father, but his father loves him and can relate when it comes to his relationship with Eleanor.

It was not love at first sight for the two, they ended up sitting on the bus with one another, not by choice.  They soon bonded by comic books and music and fell for one another.

Eleanor came from an abusive home and financially they were not well off.  Her step-father drank a lot and was mean.  Her mother would pick up clothes for her at a second hand store, not always the right gender clothing or size.  Eleanor's style was not a chosen style, she made the best with what she was given.  She had to sneak a bath every day from her step-father.

I loved the part in the book when Park and his mother see Eleanor and her family (minus the step-father) at the store.  Eleanor has no idea Park and his mother is there.  It was at that moment when Park's Mom understood why Eleanor dressed the way she did, her opinion changed of Eleanor.  It touched her so much because it reminded her of her times back in Korea when she was with her family.  It is a beautiful way to show how people should not judge others by appearance only.   We do not know the circumstance of why one appears the way they do, sometimes it is by choice others it is pure circumstances.

I really want a sequel to this book.  I really felt emotionally tied to this book!  I related to it in so many ways not only to the 80's but the abusive home life.  I was fortunate not to have the financial worries like Eleanor did, but maybe because I was working in high school.  I bought my own clothing.  I did help out with my younger siblings by buying shoes when my Mom could not afford them, which made her feel guilty.  I also helped with Christmas one year that year. This was after my parents divorced and my father never paid child support.  I too was judged by what I wore in 10th grade after our house fire.  It is sad, the church donated clothing to us and it was the only thing we had (Lisa and I since the fire was in our room.) until the insurance money came in.  It was the kids at church who judged us.  We would hear the comments how we wore that last week, blah blah blah.

Thank you Ricki Jill for suggesting this book or suggesting your blogger book club.  I am going to post a different trailer than Ricki Jill did. 



  1. I love your review, Jolene, and you were in the Midwest, so my issue with the language cold've been a Southern thing! I loved the music so much....The Smiths.....Oh, how the music brought back so many memories!

    I agree....there really needs to be a sequel to the book. I wonder if one is in the works (?)

    Thanks for linking-up!!! I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments about this book on FB, too.


  2. I couldn't read this whole review because you made me want to read it after the first few descriptions, and I don't want to ruin it for myself. I wonder, though, if maybe it will remind me too much of the 80's! They were not always kind to me. LOL Gonna put this on my to-read list. Also, you should so join a book club! We had one for a while, and I really miss it. Half of us would read the book, and the other half just came for the socialization and wine, but it was great!


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