Now 2023 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang
Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Fullmetal Alchemist 24 by Hiromu Arakawa
Ghouls Gone Wild by Victoria Laurie
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
Hunting Badger by Tony Hillerman
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Imprisoned by Martin W. Sandler
Inferno by Dan Brown
Jane Vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford
The Lies That Bind by Kate Carlisle
The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
The Magic Paintbrush by Laurence Yep
The Magician's Bird by Emily Fairlie
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
1985 by Anthony Burgess
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Ostrich and Lark by Marilyn Nelson
The Radleys by Matt Haig
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
Shatterproof by Roland Smith
1607: A New Look at Jamestown by Karen E. Lange
Trash by Andy Mulligan
$20 Per Gallon by Christopher Steiner

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

Comments for Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park: 06/08/14

cover art

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell at first glance is a parellel point of view, young adult romance. That's the format and the set up. But Rowell uses the genre and its tropes to dig deeper into bullying, domestic abuse, inter-ethnic marriages, and poverty. Reading it will take you through all the emotions.

Eleanor is the new kid at school. He's immediately dubbed "Big Red" because of her size and her untamed red hair. She is living through the sort of hell being highlighted by the #yesallwomen discussion on Twitter.

Park who has also been bullied for being half Korean, is the only kid on the bus to not verbally abuse her. He also offers her a seat. And on the bus from hell, Park makes a safe place for Eleanor to be. From that their friendship slowly grows.

The setting for Eleanor & Park is Omaha, Nebraska in 1986. This means the plot can't rely on modern conventions of cellphones and computers and texting. Heck, things are bad enough that Eleanor doesn't even have access to a phone (or a toothbrush, or even batteries) except at her father's home because her stepfather is a drunk and what little money the family has, goes to his habit.

Omaha in the 1980s is a white bread, homogenous, unhappy and unsafe place for anyone who doesn't fit in. Eleanor because of the abuse at home and her poverty, doesn't fit in. She is assaulted from all sides because her home life and school life is unhealthy and hostile. Park fares better because he has a loving home and a white father who is respected in the community.

Though there is romance and sexual tension in Eleanor & Park, don't expect the happily ever after of a romance. There is a bittersweet happy ending but it's not a clichˇd one. But it's an ending that will make you think and feel and reexamine your preconceptions.

Five stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2023 Sarah Sammis