This book sat on my shelf for a year before I picked it up to read, and I’m very happy I decided to read it now then a year ago. I read it walking around, on the bus, in the bath, in the shower, whilst I was cooking… I could not put it down. I thought it was going to been a teen love story with drama and broken hearts and ‘first world problems’, it was anything but.
THIS IS A NON – SPOILER SECTION. THE SPOILER SECTION IS AFTER THE IMAGE BELOW!
On the back on the book it states that it is not recommended for younger readers, which I thought was strange due my thoughts mentioned above. So I will state in this section that it definitely IS NOT for younger readers, not just because of the swearing or use of profanity that is throughout the entire book, but because of the serious issues of an adult nature that are addressed in the book. These issues could be distressing for some people to read. (If you would like to know what these issues are because you are thinking about giving this book to a younger reader, please scroll down just below the image and I will mention it there.)
The writing and the way the story is constructed is just brilliant. I have never cried reading a book, but Eleanor and Park made me feel very emotional. The ideologies were portrayed with a sound so loud that made everything around you silent. It really challenges the saying ‘You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.’.
I would highly recommend reading this book to put yourself outside a certain comfort zone.
THIS IS THE SPOILER SECTION!
ADULT ISSUES ADDRESSED – If you are considering giving this book to a younger reader, please consider the following.
Eleanor lives in a house that is heavily pressed with domestic violence. She shares one bedroom with her three siblings, they don’t have soap or toothbrushes or proper clothing due to their mother’s husband, (Who is only father to the baby, not the older children.). He is violent and abusive, then promotes kindness in the well known ‘cycle of abusers’.
Someone is writing disgusting things on Eleanor’s school books like ‘make me cum’, ‘do I make you wet’ and ‘suck me off’. Eleanor and Park think it’s one of the girls at school who has been bullying her, but it turns out to be her stepfather.
Three words… are you kidding me? After everything we has been through with Eleanor and Park, they don’t tell us the three words she wrote on the postcard after a year apart?? I wanted to throw the book against the wall and scream, I know that sounds overly dramatic, but I have been so frustrated lately with endings that provide no closure. You spend hours and days with these characters, trading your life to hear theirs and it just gets cut off. Everyone’s guess is Eleanor finally saying I LOVE YOU back, but it could be a million things, and we will never know.
Rainbow says in the back of the book that she gets emails and messages all the time about the three words, and she refuses to tell.
YOU CAN NOT DO THAT TO BOOKWORMS!
Our life is the characters we read and the stories we get involved in; it’s like being best friends with someone and them not telling some big important news… EVER… okay, that was a bad analogy but hopefully you get my point.
(Actually, I’m outraged at another book’s ending and I’m slightly taking out my rage on this one.)
Eleanor’s life was so detrimental to her growth, but she held her head high. Not because she was a survivor, but because it WAS her only way to survive. When we found out it was Rick writing those things on her books, it made me sick and my skin crawl. I’m so happy she decided to leave then and there, and not let this situation go on even further.
The change in narration kept the story flowing so brilliantly, as you were able to see the different aspects of the characters like knowing the viewpoint and thoughts of each one so as to see the big picture.