Last month, showered by fierce afternoon sunlight I went to my favorite book shop in town to hunt a new book. I saw Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell which is a popular book, it got high rate in Goodread and people said it superb. Then, I bought it. I had a habit to check my wish-list book in Goodread to convince me that book was worth to buy or not. Because, I didn’t want to make my every single penny spent useless if I didn’t like the book content.
So, I took about two weeks to finished the whole book. Eleanor and Park present the unusual first love story with extraordinary protagonist. The author brings us to travel back to the past at 1986. There’s no smartphone to play digital song, but Walkman. And I love it. It feels vintage. So, let me give you a quick introduce for our protagonists :
Eleanor Douglas is a big girl with freckles skin and crazy flaming red hair, beside that her fashion taste so ‘different’. She wears men’s clothing. She is a broken home family member, her mom married again with an evil man, Richie. Her stepdad is a terrible guy who act like a King just because he feed her mom and her siblings. The fact is her family so poor even they couldn’t supply her with shampoo or a toothbrush. Eleanor spends most of her time at home trying to be as invisible as possible. But his step-dad never let her in peace. He constantly make her family in horror state.
“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” ― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
Park Sheridan, he is mixed blood (Irish dad, Korean mom) and unlike his younger brother Josh, he looks more Korean than anything else. Park thought he is an outsider. He hates sports but he takes taekwondo, and he’s great at it. He doesn’t like partying, girls, or the social scene at his school, and he’s just popular enough not to get teased by other kids. He’s obsessed by music, he loves comic books, something that he will share with Eleanor.
Even though they all thought Park was weird and yellow, even though he had never fit in… They couldn’t call him a freak or a chink or a fag, because—well, first, because his dad was a giant and a veteran and from the neighborhood. ― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
All I think when I read think this book is a sincerity. Park, that I thought as a coward boy before, can do brave things to protect his girlfriend. How he loves Eleanor with intact way. How he find that Eleanor so unique, so different, and he thinks that is her privilege. I like Park’s family a lot ! How his dad get along very well with his mom. Park’s dad always obedient to his wife whenever they have argument, Park’s mom know how to show us that “women always right” rules.
“I look like a hobo?”
“Worse,” he said. “Like a sad hobo clown.”
“And you like it?”
“I love it.”
As soon as he said it, she broke into a smile. And when Eleanor smiled, something broke inside of him.
Something always did.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
The things that I like the most from Eleanor is she so resilient to face her evil dad. She is not complaining, and not bragging her problem to get attention. She protects her mom and her siblings with her own way. She has very quirky personality, but sometimes she try too hard to make people get away from her. She use sarcasm a lot which not always suitable for everyone. She isn’t easy to show there something flare up inside her heart. Like, she know how much she loves Park, can’t stop think about him, but why she so hard to show it in the romantic way. It just make me exasperated. Why is she so hard to please ? She should be grateful that there’s any a good boy that treat her so decent. And I appreciate Park for not give up his love.
“My girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
The big issue in this book is talk about how Eleanor got mental and physical abuse from his step dad. Actually I feel pity for her family. I don’t like Eleanor’s mom. She doesn’t have any gut to defend her daughter. She doesn’t do more effort to provide a good environment and a good life for her children. She hands over her life only to be oppressed by Richie. Did she not think that all mentally and physical abuses will affect for her daughter life ? She should be aware about her daughter behavior. Eleanor is strange. All the mess and trouble in her family create her to be something that strange, constantly in fear. So, it give me lesson that woman need to meet a right man to create a healthy family. Woman have to stand up her rights, we have to be independent, we just can’t let a man to controlled our life 24/7 like a prisoner.
This book I recommend for teenager, adults and more mature readers. Even though I’m not a teenager anymore, I enjoy the whole book and it’s illustration. The author left us to conclude the story with our imagination. And, I prefer they get a happy ending In my imagination, Eleanor and Park will meet again in the perfect place and time, they can falling love as hard as they could without any fear somebody will come to ruin it again.
I like this book, and it’s worth to read. But,honestly the story not give me punch or something special to feel. I do not become Eleanor and Park fan either. Maybe because I’m too old to feel sentimental thing like a first love story. Hahaha.
Rate : 4/5