Obviously, this is a book review blog. I mostly read Young Adult books, but I try to branch out every once and a while as well!
Eleanor & Park. I really thought I would like this book a lot more than I did. I mean, I didn't hate it, but I certainly didn't like it that much either. For me, there were just too many things I didn't like, and too little things that I did.
My first complaint was the romance. I just didn't get it. For me, there was nothing between Eleanor and Park. Absolutely no chemistry, and nothing really close either. Things were way to fast, and even if you disregard the timeline, the feelings simply aren't there. Park says he loves Eleanor, but I feel like they barely even like each other. I know that it's supposed to be about teens, but I feel like Mrs. Rowell was basing her characters off the stereotypical teen. They went through all the motions of being in love, but I didn't really feel anything.
My biggest complaint was the characters, namely Eleanor. Now I know she is coming from a rough background, but that's no excuse to be angsty all the time. She would get mad at Park without him doing anything. Plus, I felt like I never got a good sense of who she was. Sure, I knew some things about her. She read comic books, listened to emo music. However, I couldn't tell if she did these things because she liked them or because Park liked them. Park handed her the comic books, and she read them. Did she do that before she had come? Did she like it for any other reason other than because Park liked them? Was that really the kind of music that she liked, or did she just listen to it because Park did? She mentions liking the Beatles at one point, but they aren't exactly the kind of music that Park listens to. What kind of music does she actually like? Does she like anything on her own, or does she always need other people to tell her what she should like? She wasn't an awful character or anything, and I liked her sometimes, but Eleanor and I just didn't click.
Secondly, Park. I felt like even though he was supposed to be main character, he even narrates half the story, he was still kind of a background character. Almost everything he did seemed to revolve around Eleanor, and not in the 'I'm so in love she's all I can think about' way, but in a pointless kind of way. To me, he was just around so that Eleanor could 'love' someone. Normally, I would be okay with that (though I would prefer that it wasn't that way), but he split the narrative. If you're going to have somebody narrate the story, give them something to do, something to add.
This book wasn't the worst book ever though. I actually really liked her writing style. For me, the problems were less with the way she wrote, and more with the content of her writing. I won't cross her off my list just because of this book, but I might be a little more weary when I go to read another one of her books.
Two Point Five out of Five Stars