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Eleanor and Park (French) Paperback – 5 Jun 2014
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While the book does have a slow-burning cute romance, and a hefty amount of more serious family issues, I really struggled with the fact that for me, the majority of the romance was so unbelievable.
I'm not sure how I feel about the ending of this book (it is left in a way that you, the reader, decide the ending). I like closure, and this book didn't give it to me. So I'm not sure if I like that. It was, however, a fitting end for the book. I'm just not sure if I'm happy it ended in the way it did, or extremely angry. That's why I've given this book 4/5, because I can't decide.
I'd recommend this book to people who like YA coming of age/romance books, such as The Fault in Our Stars - which is what made me read the book initially, John Greene's recommendation.
Beautiful story. Memorable. Made me laugh and cry a lot, and I'm sure it'll stay with me for a while. I'm just kind of hoping eventually, just maybe, the author will decide to follow up on the ending and let us know how Eleanor and Park are getting on.
- Also posted on my Goodreads account -
It is a YA novel about a teen romance, so something we have all seen before, but it was somehow very different from the average novel of this genre. Eleanor and Park are both so well written they seem completely real, and it feels like their relationship could and would happen in real life. The way they communiate on their bus journeys was just so touching, and was so authntic as to how teenage romances are in the beginning.
It also meant a lot that the main characters were more diverse than the norm. In YA fiction, I have never come across a female protagonist who was described as fat, unless the story involved her losing weight in order to achieve her happily ever after. This is not the case with Eleanor. She is not thin, and that's just how it is. She still gets the guy, and still deserves to be happy and in love - a mesaage that young girls could do with hearing much more often. Park is also the first Korean leading man that I have read about, and there is a passage in the book that refers to how asian men are often overlooked, so it is good to see a character like this in the limelight, discussing openly what it is like to grow up in a household like his.
There are some painful experiences for the characters in this book, along with some moments of sheer happiness and excitement, and as a reader I felt like I lived through all of these moments with them. Eleanor has a tough life, but she finds an escape with Park, and this means that the book remains hopeful, even through the dark moments.
This is a wonderful YA book, the best I have read in a while.