Where do I begin! Where do I begin! How about the summary of the book?
In 1986, Eleanor and Park meet on the school bus. Eleanor, who is tall (considers herself a giant) chunky and with curly red hair, is new to the school and sits next to Park. Park, who is half Korean, and in Eleanor’s eyes a perfect neat freak, doesn’t care too much for Eleanor and can’t stand the fact she sits next to him. To say the least he is embarrassed not just for himself but for her.
However, he isn’t mean to her; he just ignores her. But soon Eleanor and Park connect changing each others’ lives physically and emotionally.
I would have appreciated this book better if I was 14 and not 24. This book was a cute read. But it was full of puppy love clichés. There was so much I miss you, “no I don’t like you, I need you” that I was laughing saying Oh my GOODNESS WHY DID SHE PUT THAT IN THERE!
What I liked about the book was it wasn’t love at first sight. Park and Eleanor couldn’t stand each other but little things each other were doing kept building their like for each other. I liked that. That is usually how relationships start anyway, so I felt that was realistic.
I also liked the fact that Eleanor and Park had real problems at home. Their lives we’re perfect and yes Eleanor got teased in school badly but it didn’t ruin her life. Park had his share of issues at home with his Dad but his priority other than school was Eleanor and he made sure she knew that.
What I didn’t like was the cover and what it led me to believe. Eleanor and Park are wearing headphones on the cover . . . but that is not what connected them. It was comic books. They shared a love of comic books. Although there was exchanging of music and Park did make tapes for Eleanor it really didn’t matter. There were no music references beyond the exchanging of the tapes until the end which was completely unnecessary. Also neither one of them were misfits. Park had a decent social standing and no one like Eleanor because of how she looked. She didn’t act out nor was she dressed in all black. She was a shy large girl with a lot of red hair.
I also didn’t like the ending. Eleanor had a lot of home problems and it wasn’t as if she didn’t trust Park because she did. She didn’t trust herself and she lacked confidence. And she stilled lacked confidence at the end. How after everything you’ve been through you don’t even write the boy you love a letter . . . . You send him a post card after goodness knows how many letters he wrote you. And the post card only had three words on it. I didn’t like that. I was so frustrated with the ending not because it was a bad book but because it could have been so much better. I would have appreciated the book more if Eleanor actually showed some kind of progress.
Overall, the book gets 7 out of 10. It could have been developed more not for an adult reading a young adult book but just to be great book for all ages.
Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles
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