I've been reading a lot this summer during Shelley's tutoring sessions at the library. I'm far behind in posting about these books, so I might start writing about two books per Literary Friday post.
One book I want to share with you this week is Eleanor & Park. Our If You Give a Blogger a Book...Club read it this month, and I've been wanting to read it because it's set in the eighties. I went to HS and college during the *best decade ever*, and I'd read a few reviews that made the book sound very promising. I must confess that I almost put the book down in the beginning because the language was terrible. I know that bad language is much more accepted now than then, but quite frankly, most teens did not talk like that in the eighties. Everyone talked like Moon Unit Zappa, or wanted to at least. But I digress....the point I'm trying to make is that the language didn't add anything to the story, and it's almost like it was added to the first part of the book as an afterthought because the language improves for the rest of the book.
Eleanor & Park is a very sweet story about two misfits who fall in love in the mid-eighties. When Park first sees Eleanor at the bus stop, he becomes angry with her because he thinks that she's asking for abuse the way she's dressed. As an added bonus, she has unruly, fiery red hair. There are few seats left on the bus, and Park usually sits by himself. He pities her to the point where he offers her a seat beside him. They soon bond over Marvel comics (I was a Marvel girl, too) and The Smiths, and quickly become boyfriend and girlfriend. I love Park's character: He is the boyfriend who we all longed for in the eighties. He's kind, generous, and protective. Eleanor needs someone to protect her because her home life is abominable.
Told alternately in Park's and Eleanor's point of view, Rowell reveals each character's yearnings, angst, and fears masterfully. I normally don't like multiple POV's, but Rowell nails each fully-developed character, and I don't think it would have been as good had she stuck to one POV or written it in third person. If you skip over the horrible language in the beginning, I think you would love the story. It is well-written and so sweet. I do not recommend this book for younger teens at all due to mature themes (abuse) and language.
Pure Imagination blog has a cute post inspired by Eleanor & Park. I hope you'll check it out!
Mia @ The Chronicles of Chaos sent me The Fourth Fisherman for the Books 'n' Bloggers Swap @ Chaotic Goddess Swaps. I don't normally read memoirs, but I really enjoyed this one. Mia said that there are some things that can only be explained by God, and in the case of the events depicted in this book, I couldn't agree more.
Please share your books here @ Literary Friday!