After reading Her Fearful Symmetry, I seriously needed something that was light, and meaningful, and had nothing to do with creepy twins, ghosts or…
Nope. I am not going to use my epithet (pseudo-pedophile) for Robert again. It’s just too weird.
Therefore, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park:
Seriously. This book is too adorable. Too adorable. TOO ADORABLE.
I’m about half way already, though I keep finding myself stopping, reading the novel in small doses.
Why’s that? I refer to the two word statement in all caps above.
For one thing, everything is so effing adorable, I feel like I may actually die from cuteness. After Park gets suspended and Eleanor visits him and he says,
Eleanor, how many times do I have to tell you that I don’t like you…
Without context, this may seem like the worst thing to say in a romance novel. But it’s actually sweet since he’s referring to something he told her earlier:
I don’t like you Eleanor. I need you.
Park is an Asian Augustus Waters with amazing taste in music and he is just adorkable. And yes, the “k” was put there on purpose.
Quite often I feel like I’m looking in on an intimate, private conversation (which, honestly, is what all books do), but something about Eleanor & Park makes me want to close the book and give the characters privacy.
And if you found the two quotes above kind of cheesy…you are not alone, because the second half of why I am reading in small doses is because there is only so much I can tolerate in one sitting.
Sometimes the things Eleanor and Park say and do and think towards one another are so mind-numbingly cheesy, I close the book and digest it slowly.
If this book does anything well (and frankly this book does several things amazingly well) it’s that it defines “heartsick” and “lovestruck” in flowing narrative. It’s overwhelming and if I read for too long I feel like I’m drowning in it.
I don’t know if love really does feel that way. If it makes a single touch suddenly loaded with emotion and its own gravity, or if it makes you say things without thinking about the appropriate time or place or medium (subtly referring to a certain telephone conversation). And maybe that’s why instead of feeling nostalgic I feel suffocated.
But that doesn’t take anything away from the book. In fact, it enhances it.
The fact that the love story bleeds into any and all side plots just enhances that fact that everything that is happening to and between Eleanor and Park is overshadowed by first love. It sticks with you, it lingers. And at the very least, that’s what first love should feel like: mind-numbingly, suffocatingly sick to your stomach with love.
Ugh. That was a terrible sentence. Geez, Eleanor & Park, stop being so darn cute! It’s screwing up my writing.