For this month’s bookshelf, I have picked out Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. This is Young Adult novel was one I flew through, as it was an easy and compelling read.
I am a fan of Young Adult fiction, since the books are usually quick reads and deal with universal topics that are easy to relate to at (almost) any age. In this case, the story follows the relationship of high schoolers Eleanor, who comes from a poor and dysfunctional family and Park, a sensitive boy from a loving family, both living in mid-1980’s Omaha.
The narrative deals with their budding love story in the midst of (especially) Eleanor’s family drama and is divided into sections narrated by both characters. We as the reader get to know the two kids very intimately and learn about their fears, hopes, dreams, and emotions first-handedly. This story is studded with pop culture references from music to comic books, which I personally loved as I am a self-proclaimed pop culture nerd. Though the relationship drama sometimes seems a bittrite, it does reflect what most of us had to deal with in our teenage years. Eleanor’s family story then brings in a more tragic and serious aspect that is practically a staple for any young adult novel.
All in all, I really liked this novel, even if it wasn’t the most original set-up. If you like YA, make sure to check this out and if not, maybe next month’s pick from the bookshelf might be more suited to your tastes.