Friday, April 4, 2014

Book: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Book thoughts, y'all! :) Sorry for my blog backlogs! Gawd, things just got buried in my huge pile of work that I somehow missed posting things in my Drafts folder. 

This is one book that is very close to my heart. And with the recent good news circling the YA Adaptations Heaven (more on that on my next entry), I think I should post this before it's too late! A book with a curious cover art, a catchy book blurb...and one that provided me an even more awesome reading experience. Here's Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. :)
source
Plot:
Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.
 
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor. 
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park. 
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try [via Goodreads]
The premise was somehow ordinary, but what made it special is its own set of characters and how Rowell treated each of them. Awkward, asian kid. Fat, freckled girl, with a disjointed family. C'mon! Who does that? What a unique pairing it was, and this, for me is what brought the heart out of the book and its story. That not only cute girls and heartthrobs fall in love. That awkward teenagers and people with complicated lives do, too. That imperfect people also have a shot at life. Because in the end, all is fair in love and war. (And when did I start quoting things like this? Haha. >.<)
Eleanor & Park by Simini Block / source

It left me brimming with #feeeeeels and I haven't been like this since I read TFioS on a school night last year. It breaks my heart into tiny little pieces, letting them scatter on the floor only to pick them up again and leave me hoping for more. I love witnessing them fall in love -- and I swear, this is one of the cutest thing I've read so far. Ugh. Young love is just so beautiful.

My cheeks were seriously burning all throughout and there were moments when I hate how much this book feels so relateable when there wasn't even anything in my life right now to relate it to. Cliche as it may sound, but this book made me remember the thrill of falling in love for the first time, the nervousness of dipping your toes into something you're not really used to, and even the pain when it feels like all the universe is conspiring to break what you have apart. This book will make you feel things, really.

And I wasn't even expecting the later part of the plot. I mean, I was half-expecting it, but it took actually reading it to realize that all the signs were everywhere and I just haven't been paying that much attention because I was too caught up with everything that's going on between Eleanor and Park's relationship. Books with that kind of theme makes me a bit uncomfortable, but with E&P, all's well because it added something brought about by the thrill of the chase and all the figuring-out stuff. It was genius.

And that ending? Gawd, was that one of the most torturing things I've read... that you just can't do anything but demand a sequel. Srsly.

I love how Rowell was brave enough to talk about REAL issues. It's time to stop living in a world of perfect love stories, feel-good lives and fairy tale endings, it's time to talk about REAL LIVES. And I applaud this book for doing just that. 

Genre-bending. A YA book that crosses borders. Eye-opener. Definitely recommended.

My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
"Holding Eleonor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive." 
"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" 
"I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death."

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